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on 12 November 2014
What a great peice of kit! The HD quality is very good. It very rararely (if at all), hangs, which is unusual for this type of kit! I replaced a std definition box with this and I'm not disappointed. Only issue might be support and updates in the future, but never been a problem so far! See the other reviews - they're not wrong.
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on 28 April 2014
I connected this unit to the TV and followed the instructions to the letter, the unit worked fine, finding all the digital channels including the HD channels. The pause and rewind function worked great, I thought that this would turn out to be a fantastic little unit until I tried to record something and that when things started to go wrong. The unit recorded when it wanted to sometimes it would and other times it wouldn't. I got in touch with the suppliers via amazon who were very helpful, arranging for the machine to be collected and repaired or given a complete refund. Between contacting the suppliers (Bentham) and the item being collected I noticed on the internet that many other people were having the same problem and that they had to download the "update software" and install it via the internal USB port, out of curiosity I tried to go onto the official web site and download the software only to find that the web site was closed down, by now I was totally frustrated until I found that the software was available on the Wikipedia platform. I downloaded the update to my computer and then transferred it to a USB stick as recommended by the manufacturers. You can even find a video on how to do it on UTube . Having done this and then retuning the unit it worked fine. I feel sorry for anyone not having technical knowledge on how to do all this, they would probably have to return the unit.
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on 25 February 2014
Spent ages looking at Freeview set-top boxes, reading countless reviews, going from brand to never heard of's and I kept coming back to this one. I had struggled for a couple years with a dvd, dvb-t, usb recorder all in one job which served me well but it was ever so frustrating. If I retuned, the best strength channels were in the no name 300's, a total pain. I have a Freeview tv, but Shock and to my Horror (should of checked) it never came with a headphone socket or audio out option that I could send to my hi-fi speakers. The dvd/dvb-t player had audio connections but I couldn't get the red button text services, this meant I had to keep pulling out the aerial fly leads to swap the text service/audio out as and when I required them. Hope that all made sense?:-)
Well... the Digital Stream box does it all, the price was amazing and I would definitely recommend this product to anyone who is or has been in my position as mentioned above.
I had an outside aerial installed a few years back to future proof any HD channels in my area and yes I am receiving them now, great picture even on my 720 hd ready tv. I turned up the sharpness on my tv and that seemed to work a
treat, as I had read in a review that the picture was a bit soft. I thought the manual was pretty good, explains most things. Recording is a doddle, I'm recording lots of stuff which playback faultlessly. Recording a programme while watching a recorded programme makes a film you've already seen more enjoyable lol
There are two standby modes, one turns off the box ( power saving mode ) without messing with the on off switch at the back of the box, this is useful as it's in my bedroom. The other standby mode is the one I use when I have a scheduled recording, but I'm going out. I'm not sure if it records in full power saving mode... well I've been busy lol
The remote control is a tad cramped but I'm getting use to it, it has little buttons at the top which give direct access to media, schedule etc. Can't say I've really noticed the fan noise as mentioned in some reviews.
You can get a lot tips and advice on various websites about this make and model if you're unsure about stuff.
All in all I've only had this box less than a week and I'm well pleased, I would definitely recommend it.
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on 1 January 2011
I purchased this Twin HD tuner impulsively not really having ever heard of Digital Stream. My original plan was to buy a Freeview HD TV ready TV (costs around 100 extra) but i am glad I didn't. Firstly the ability to record and secondly if you ever move from a Freeview HD area you can sell the box so economically it makes sense.
I am very happy with my decision and Digital stream customer service is fantastic. Picked up all the HD channels and they work perfectly although the first time I tried the HD channels were not picked up. I had to fiddle with my aerial input (no doubt something was loose). Recording is simple and I have yet to have an error! You can record 2 HD cannels at a time and if you wish to watch all normal SD channels while you record you can connect the box to your TV (providing it has Freeview built in) via another aerial cable. Transferring over SD and HD content to an external USB drive is simple. You can also make folders to organise all your recordings but it takes time! Series recoding also works great but it would be nice to see them all added to a new folder. Perhaps in the next update?
My only complaint is that switching channels is a bit slow but while using the Guide it`s fast enough so no problems.
I have yet to connect the box to the internet so I can not comment but it would be nice to see BBC iplayer etc integrated like on the PS3.

Overall i am extremely happy with this box and highly recommend it. Perhaps I would have gone for the DHR8206U which has a 1TB hard drive.

Please note I am basing this review on the latest firmware update which was released 20/12/10. In order to update you must go to [...] and put the files onto a formatted (FAT 32) usb key and reboot the device with it in the back USB slots. If you try and upgrade over the air it just told me that I had the latest firmware
Digital Stream DHR8205U Freeview HD PVR with 500GB HDD
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on 22 May 2013
There are some good points to this machine and several bad points. On the plus side the quality of the recordings are quite good and it is relatively easy to use albeit sometimes annoying.

On the minus side, the remote control is rubbish and the text is so small on the buttons that I struggle to read it (the remote is fairly big though). I also think that this has been created by techies who have missed something in terms of usablility. Things like putting _ in_the_title_names (as an example) for shows that are recorded. No idea why that needs to happen and OK it is a small point but is typical of features of this machine. It reminds me of beta software.

The machine crashes on a regular basis even though I have upated the firmware (which is not obvious or straight forward) and when I say regular it is unusual for it to last more than a week until it stops responding (and recording).
After watching a recording instead of going back to the media folder it returns to live TV so you have to go back into the media folder then scroll back to the program you were watching to get to the next episode. (This is after finding my glasses to read the stupidly small text on the remote!)
Deleting a recording takes an age.
The display on the front looks like a bad christmas tree and is not helpful; it displays the program name but won't scroll it. Not much point really...
As someone else mentions - the blue light on the front. It just shines and has no other function.

Actually, don't bother buying one. It could be great but it isn't and I am sure there are better products out there. A little investment in better written software on it would improve it no end.
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on 21 January 2014
Great piece of equipment. Can record two channels and watch a recorded programme from the library. The only thing I haven't found yet is how to set a reminder for a programme. Easy to use and easy automatic set up. Would recommend. Have had a recorder for several years now and is ideal for recording, especially as the channels put their best programmes on at the same time!
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on 31 March 2011
On the whole, I'm really happy with this machine, its easy to use and picked up all the stations, fantastic picture quality from the HD channels, recording & playback is a doddle. I've not yet tried to transfer a recording to my pc, so can't comment on that, but did manage to do an internet firmware update ok. My only gripe really is the inordinately long time it takes to start responding to the remote after being switched off overnight. You have to use the buttons on the front for a good 5 minutes, which is really annoying! (I guess its designed to be kept on standby, but in the bedroom the fan is too noisy overnight, don't notice it during the day) however, it does still have all the stations after being switched off, an improvement on my previous pvr. There are a lot of channels I don't use so I followed the instructions to set up a favourites list, which seemed to be successful, but can I figure out how to access it? No - so if someone can guide me on that it would be appriciated, probably really obvious but has me stumped and the instructions only tell you how to set it up & not how to access it!
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on 5 March 2014
Been using this Freeview HD recorder for about 2 months now and can highly recommend it.
Excellent picture quality in HD and even the SD channels seem to look slightly better than on previous HD PVR's I owned.
Hooked it up through SPDIF to an AV receiver and sound is also excellent.
No problems at all with fan noise, lagging reactions to remote or the time it takes to delete one or several recordings as reported by other reviewers.
Two negatives:
- some buttons the text on them is just too small to read for my aging eyes.
- BBC iplayer doesn't seem to be functioning (although not a problem for me as I watch iplayer through the Blu-ray box), it might be an issue for potential buyers.

Not enough negatives to remove a star though, so 5 stars!
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on 16 June 2014
I had a cable subscription for a PVR. As I only ever watched channels that I can get on Freeview, I ditched the cable service. The result is that I will have paid for the new PVR within 5 months, from then I will be saving £18 per month.
Having learnt how to use the new remote control, the PVR works like a dream. Like all new things you have to get use to it.
The quality of the picture is 1st class. The instructions are very easy to understand and very extensive.
The only minor drawback for me is that the buttons are a bit small, but there I have big fingers.
Overall this is a 1st class product and I would recommend this to any one
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on 22 January 2014
4 stars for an excellent set top box. Plugged in, set the input source on the TV and after the set up scan everything worked. Would highly recommend as it is great value for money.
It lost the last star due to the user manual being in such small print and not totally clear to see the images due to poor print quality.
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