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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,


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.
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on 9 April 2014
I didn't know what a terabyte was until I researched this device. I now know I am unlikely to fill up the disk! I wanted a new recorder so that my existing Humax Foxsat PVR can be left in our holiday home. I also wanted to be able to record the additional freeview programmes not available on freesat. Working on the basis that if it seems too good to be true it probably is, I took some time before ordering this unit from Bentham Ltd for £99.99. So far I needn't have worried. The unit arrived very soon after ordering and was well packaged. Setup was fairly straightforward and there is no discernible difference between the unit picture quality and that of the TV, without the unit (which is excellent) Functions are similar to the Humax but there are a few differences, some of which have been mentioned in other reviews. My view is that this is a different unit and had I been used to it first, the Humax functionality would have taken some getting used to. It did take a little time to discover the delete function, but after I read about the many shortcuts through the white button I realised what a good idea this is. The Humax doesn't have the picture in picture function, which I am sure sports fans will use, but the Digital Stream doesn't have the option to select "watch" so that the channel switches to a scheduled programme when it starts (at least, I haven't found that function). This is only a minor issue and I can easily live with it. Once or twice the unit has frozen, but has continued to function normally after about a minute. On the first occasion I rebooted, but I think a little patience would have avoided the need for this. Reserved programmes have recorded perfectly, every time, and the playback functions are everything I am used to. When a programme starts to be recorded, the unit displays a message to this effect, which is a little annoying and I can't seem to be able to turn this off. However, pressing exit will remove the message immediately. In conclusion, this is a quality unit with full functionality and a massive memory for a staggering price from Bentham Ltd.
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on 12 December 2014
I've been using this for several months without any significant problems. I have had ocassion to warm reboot the device but this has been when the drive was getting a bit full and is probably a reflection of that - always try to keep at least a fifth of your drive free if you can for processing and other tasks. There are few fidgetty things about programming recordings etc. but on the whole it is well thought through. My main niggle has been that if I want to stop a recording earlyand it's one of a series recording, you have to agree to the series recording being cancelled as welll - a little short-sightedness which leads to either letting it run its course or having to reprogramme the series - and only AFTER that edition of he programme has finished as oherwise it will start to record it again from where it is up to until the end. Hopefully this might be corrected in the future - haven't knowingly updated the firmware as yet so maybe when that happens,little things like that will be improved. I recommend this device.
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on 7 March 2011
Initially I was looking for a Humax machine as they had been recommended. However, I thought the 500gb memory might be restrictive given our bad habits (record things but never watch them). Then I saw the Digital Stream product with 1tb hard drive and took the plunge! I am very pleased with the choice. The displays on the TV screen are easy on the eye and straightforward to navigate around, although you do need to get a grip of 'Guide', 'Schedule' and 'Media' where everything is stored, remember where you are and what functions you can carry out! But this would be the same with any other similar product. It is not over complicated and with a little effort becomes quick and easy to use.
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on 24 June 2011
This unit has its good points and most of those are recorded elsewhere so I won't duplicate. However the fact that you cannot organise channels into your own order of preference, eg, BBC1, BBC1HD, BBC HD, BBC2, BBC3, BBC4, etc is a big no no. I contacted MTI who manufacture/import the machine and they advise that they have no plans to implement this "major software upgrade". In addition, changing channels using the Channel button on the remote is slowwwwwwww[...] So if you want to get from BBC1 to BBC1 HD it is a very slow process. This unit does not make for a pleasurable viewing experience.
This unit is going back to be exchanged for the Humax model.
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on 23 February 2014
These Freeview HD recorder rarely misses a recording, So as my 500gb one is slowly clogging up I have purchased one with higher capacity.

It has a few foibles in the user interface and sometimes will not obey the remote.

But it can be isolated from a source of power and will then resume any recordings you and the machine expect to be recorded straight away. So you may miss a minute or so of recording more than the outage, if there is a power cut, or someone unplugs it accidentally.

The wiki link here [...] shows all but the latest thread of the Forum to ask questions.
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on 18 January 2015
I recently bought this as my 8205u got water damaged through water coming down the inside of the cable, we have used digital stream for a while now and they knock spots off the humax, sagecom, and the inferior bush models. Although the are a bit complicated at first you do get more competent with time, the biggest plus for this model is the picture quality I have a quite old LG hd ready tv and the picture really stands out no shimmers or blurs around the edges. The 1tb hard drive is over the top really even recording in hd you cannot fill it, the EPG and series recording could be a bit less complicated, but having used digital streams for a while it comes second nature to me. I would recommend this machine to anyone, for the price tag of £130 you will not be disappointed.
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on 6 March 2014
I gave this product a five because of how easy it is to use.Picture quality is outstanding on par with the Humax.Hardly needed the users guide because of the on screen menu I found easy to follow.Set up was simple.playing back recordings are just as good as you watch live..i would recommend digital stream DHR8206U to any one.Its everything I hoped it to be
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on 31 March 2014
Better that the bush machine we had before, however we still get a little interference, but not so much as to be a problem
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