Top critical review
24 people found this helpful
Awesome picture, not very user friendly! And Now? I wish I'd never bought it!
on 9 December 2010
I cannot fault this machine for it's picture. It is very, very good and I defy anyone to fill up the 1TB hard drive with TV programs even in HD. We don't have HD Freeview in my area yet, but it is less than a year away so I plunged for this box now to be ready in time.
This box has it's faults though and they may well put some people off. They did my wife but as she hates and wont use remote controls, unless she has to, it was down to me and I decided to keep it. Call me shallow but I like the way it looks and the fact that it displays the name of the program you recorded and are watching on it's display. It records 2 channels at the same time and you can watch a recording at the same time. I somehow managed to record 2 channels and watch a third at the same time. Not sure how that works with only two tuners? I might well have been mistaken.
The system has two standby options depending how "green" you are, but I find both take far too long to turn on. We are talking 18 seconds at it's fastest!
The menu driven system is clumsy and not that intuitive and the instruction book (yes I am male and I HAD to look at it) is little better. Everything takes too long to do and is not obvious and can even be confusing. I contacted Digital Stream's UK representative for some help and they did not bother to reply at all. Not even an acknowledgement that they were dealing with my enquiry. I was informed that I could copy recorded programs through the scart socket to a DVD recorder/VHS like you can with a Sky+ box. I can't get it to do it, there is no mention in the literature and the company doesn't answer emails.
Hopefully the menu driven system will be dramatically improved with future firmware updates (over the air or downloaded from the web ). It has a long way to go but the hardware is already there with LAN and USB connections for future use and is pretty future-proof with two Hi-Def tuners, but the software side really does need some work.
An incident that has only happened once and was easily rectified was it stopped outputting it's signal though the HDMI port. It was resolved by that old favourite, "turn it off and turn it on again". Not happened since.
If they get the software sorted this will be an awesome piece of kit if you don't want Sky. That's why I have given it 4 stars. It really deserves 3, but if the software is sorted out it will deserve 5, so I've opted for 4 being an optimist.
Well time heals they say. No it doesn't.
My box started doing weird stuff.
Any of the on-screen-display windows had the highlighted section constantly moving and therefore you are unable to choose a selection. The EPG was unusable, the media screen unusable so you couldn't watch recordings.
Having to turn off and turn on again as the HDMI output stopped working. If it is recording at the time, you cannot watch anything through or off it as it doesn't turn off properly to restart. So you can't watch any recorded prorammes or watch a live programme.
The display buttons which should show as red would appear yellow. You know you're in trouble.
My original box, after repeated attempts to talk to customer support, was returned for replacement under warranty. They sent me a new box. Great I thought. The new box had it's security stickers missing so I couldn't prove I HADN'T OPENED IT. I emailed MIT London again immediately and was told they were not concerned about that and that they were extending my warranty for 12 months. Great! Yippee!
It started going wrong very quickly. All of the above faults started, AGAIN.
I emailed MIT London AGAIN and guess what? They've stopped answering emails,
DON'T BUY THIS FREEVIEW BOX. IF IT GOES WRONG LIKE BOTH OF MINE DID YOU WILL PROBABLY GET SOME OF THE LOUSIEST CUSTOMER SERVICE I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED.
I am still using it because I can't afford to buy a decent make yet. It is regularly frustrating to use but not as frustrating as dealing with Digital Stream/MIT London.
I have downgraded this product to one star. It's the only thing I have ever bought that I wished I hadn't.