Learn more Download now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

on 10 November 2016
This is a small, intuitive box, easy to set and use with a very enjoyable picture. It's not trying to be flash, it just works in a logical way, once the stations are in. Set up was similar to my Samsung tv freeview time wise and picture quality is great, I think equal to my sky hd boxes. The epg is functional and so far both boxes have recorded and played back admirably. These replaced a 10+ year old Sony DVD hard disc recorder and a Technika fview box, the picture and ease of use is better than either.
0Comment| 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 3 May 2016
My old Humax PVR has had a few problems and it only records in standard definition. I therefore decided to try this. I had read plenty of reviews and so knew it had a few "quirks". First thing to say is how small it is. Also how bright the red LED on the front is! Surely August could have put a slightly smaller LED in there? Second thing to say is that it was easy enough to set up, but trying to organise channels to make things easier to use has not been easy. I might expect BBC1 HD to be next to BBC1 SD, but it is not. The HD channels are way down the bottom of the list of channels. I spent quite a while moving them all up so they were next to their respective SD version and thought I had saved the setting. However, when I next came to it, all the HD channels were back down the bottom again. This may sound like a bit of nit picking, but there is a good reason why it is sensible to have the HD channels next to the SD equivalents. This is because the EPG only works for SD channels.... I have not quite worked out why this is yet, but some online searching seems to indicate the Freeview people allowed HD EPGs to be encrypted and this prevents some PVRs from reading them. For the life of me, I cannot see what the benefit to encrypting the EPGs is, other than allowing some entity to charge for their use... Anyway, the upshot of this is that when scheduling recordings using the EPG, one has to first schedule it using the SD channel, then edit the schedule and change the channel to the HD equivalent. This is much quicker if the two channels are next to each other. I also appear to have lost one program I wanted to record because the schedule did not work properly. However, generally, it has been recording things fine onto an external HD I connected via the usb port. The quality of the HD is very good, both live and recorded, so I cannot fault that. The unit has a few other quirky behaviours, but some of those might be me needing to get used to it. For example, when playing recorded programs, one seems to have to select the one you want to play and then choose to go full screen. Otherwise, it just plays it in a small window within the main program list window.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 28 July 2017
HT set top box arrived very quickly as promised.
Having opened the bar, and connected it to a 20 yearr old analogue 625 line Panasonic TV, I followed the instructions and connected the box to the TV via the scart connections. The start up procedures took about ten minutes - but the system worked perfectly and I now have access to a vast number of Freeview channels using an unamplified external aerial. All the remote features - including picture format and zoom - worked very well.
No cons. Would highly recommend use of this unit to extend the working life of any high quality 625 line analogue TV.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 30 January 2017
Useful Set Top Box with some limitations Daffodil e-mails pre -delivery & post delivery helpful .
Set up procedure simple and effective :-
Roof top Aerial (non powered) , loop through to LG 43LH 541V TV
Preloaded Software : SW Version V1.6.3 : HW Version 291G Version 1
LCN On : Outputs HDMI 1080i video CVBS (Various Memory Sticks FAT 32 used ).

The initial auto tune worked with no problems , subsequent retune when completed gave screen message No Signal , however , on selection of channel 1 (BBC 1 SD) picture & audio were fine , similar for subsequent selected SD & HD channels ( I believe that it had defaulted to the red button setting which is non operational) .A second press on the remote info button shows the signal strength & quality for the selected channel , the indicated values for SD & HD were strength 100% ; Quality 81 - 95% (fluctuating) . The reaction time for a button press on the remote is sedate .

Initial recordings using both EPG & the record button whilst watching the channel were fine for SD quality transmissions , NOT SO for HD Channels - limited playback time & picture freeze , unfortunate because viewing the set top box signal directly to the TV was impressive .
I then switched off DVB400 & connected the memory stick to the TV usb port , it was recognised but very sluggish to load even though there was only one 30 minute HD recording of a Julia Bradbury Countryside Walk (make a mug of coffee - perhaps two)
Playback was a little irritating , the leisurely scenic shots were fine but the programmes jump cuts , overlays & crossfades resulted in momentary black flashes or a little ghosting followed by an intermittent speed walking Julia accompanied by a herd of very athletic cattle .Safe removal of the memory stick was again very sluggish (more coffee?), other memory sticks of home videos m2ts & MP4 files load/unload fairly rapidly (no coffee)

My TV has a single tuner , therefore, I wanted an inexpensive set top box to record & playback programmes where broadcast times clash , this box fulfils this requirement but only for SD quality ; unfortunately this does not seem to be achievable for HD , yes you can use it to view HD on a compatible TV but acceptable record & playback eluded me whichever output settings were selected .
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 11 July 2017
There's no way to look at a program list of all channels at once with now & next - you have to use channel up and down buttons and look at each channel individually. A channel list is a standard function of every Freeview box I've had and I assumed this unit would be the same. Consequently it's back in its box as without this basic function it isn't really much use to me at all unfortunately.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 23 July 2015
This item is nothing like as bad as some reviews say. It's easy to set up, easy to use , tuned it in mid afternoon and it picked up all freeview and freeview HD channels. Some reviews say you need to tune it in either daytime for kids channels or evening for adult channels. Didn't have this problem
.My only real complaint is the ridiculously short mains lead. Your lucky if it reaches from the unit to the wall socket without an extention lead.
For £20 it's great value, mains lead meant only 4 stars.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 5 December 2015
This product has a lot of irritating things about it but I so far have found very little that doesn't work or can't be sorted out. For the price, I think it is extremely good value for money.

I will start on the outside of the box. It is tiny and incredibly lightweight. One thing that I wish the manufacturer had done was make the power supply longer or detachable. I ended up taking the plug off and wiring it up again to get it where I wanted. it is just around 1m long which is a bit tight in my opinion. On the front, it has got a USB port. August say it can have a hard drive up to 1TB. That is pretty good. But then the format it records TV in is mts. Those files seem to take of over double the room of MP4 MKV and similar. I just have a 64gb Lexar stick and that is enough for me.
On the back, it has HDMI, SCART, COAXIAL, RF in and the RF loop through. I have used all of them at times. Some people will probably think that scart isn't really relevant but I find it very useful. I use a scart to phono adaptor. I was looking for a cheap way of getting an analogue audio signal to my amplifier. That has done the job well. I use HDMI to go to my PC monitor.

Like others have said, it is very simple to install. I think that the only channels that don't work smoothly are the ones that my aerial didn't work with very well anyway.

I do have one of the problems that some people find very irritating. Every now and then, channels such as 4 +1HD and several others move up right up to the channel number 800 or so. Very strange. This doesn't happen often but all you need to do it retune the box and it fetches them back to where they should be.
I agree with others here, the user interface is poor. Even so, I waited until I got used to it and I'm still learning now about how many things that is actually capable of. It is nice that you can record anything on any channel. It seems unlimited to how many programs you can set to record. I once had 20 set to record and it did the job just fine. When you set programs to record, you have the option to set the time they start. This means that you will be able avoid cutting off the start or end of programs if they don't run on time. I tend to set them to start recording 5 minuted before and add 5 minutes after too just to make sure I won't miss anything. You can even set a program to record daily and weekly.

One thing people might not like is that if you are wanting to put what you have recorded onto your PC afterwards, it actually splits the video up into several files. They are called the channel number, then the date, then the time so it can get confusing. If you want your computer to play them, you will need to rename them and add on part 1 part 2 etc. On the media play on the DVB400 though at leased, it will play them fine as one whole program like it was originally!

A smart but slightly hidden feature is when you play back TV you have recorded. If you press the stop button on the remote, and select that video again sometime later or even another day, it pops up with a message saying start/resume. If you select resume, it will remember where you were last time in the video. However, the pop up message is very hard to see or even notice. If you press exit when you are in a video that you have recorded, it then won't remember where you last were. You need to think to press stop and look very carefully for the start resume text. This is one place where the UI is really poor.

Even the guide of the HD channels only has the times. Only the SD channels have information of what the programs are on the guide. Another thing that would maybe bother others is the style of the guide. Each channel you view, you can only see one at once and you as you view each channel, you can't stay on the one you were on. So if you were watching the news on BBC 1 and you wanted to see what was on BBC 2, you won't even here BBC 1 any more. As I said earlier, there is no information other than the times for the HD channels. If say I wanted to know what was on Channel 4 next, and I was on Channel 4 HD I would have to press 4 and then EPG then go back to 104. The RECALL button is also the previous channel so that would get you back too.

Timeshift works well. How it works is it pauses the TV and records what is currently playing. The time shift space is 1gb when you first get the DVB400 but you can put it up to 4gb.

Something that most TVs don't seem to have is a button that switches it over from TV to radio. You can press the tv/radio button. This will then take you to the list of radio channels. If you mainly listen to 1 channel then you can press the that button again and it will take you back to the TV channels. It only takes one press of that button and it will take you back the the exact same radio channel you left it on. On a Samsung TV in my home you need to dial in the radio channel number each time you want it which to me isn't as simple as this.

The remote is quite poor too. It is very small and takes a while to get used to. Some of the buttons don't do what you would expect and are labelled in an unusual way. Such as the goto button. This to me makes it sound like it will bring up a menu of different places you can go or something like that but no. It is only for when you play stuff on media play. You play a video, press GOTO and 00:00:00 pops up. you dial in the time of the video you want to get to. It is pretty hard to skip to it the other way as there is just a fast forward. Although this feature is a little tricky to get used to, it is very useful at times.

Although it has many niggles, I really can't complain for the price. Now at only £24. That is really good value. I got it at around £26 - £29 and I still think that is great value. The value for money is the main reason why I have given it 5 stars.

Update - 26/04/16

I have recently worked out the reason why this Freeview HD box didn't record a program all as one file. It was because my record device was formatted to FAT32 and it on;y had a limited amount of space single a file could take up before having to create another.
Now I have a bigger portable hard drive connected to it that I formatted to NTFS. It now will record everything as one video file.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 15 February 2018
Arrived earlier than expected, packaged well. Easy to set up with either scart or Hdmi, very good picture with both indoor and outdoor aerial.
Not had this unit very long so my negatives are so far is that the power cord could do with being longer and the remote a bit bigger the buttons are too close together being so small.
Although I’ve purchased a memory stick for recording programmes, I’ve not used it yet to record but have found it useful to pause live tv.
The seller sent me an email to warn me of issues I might experience , this was very helpful to fix the problem. So far in the short time I’ve had the box it’s working well.
11 Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 26 October 2015
If I had to guess I'd say that this was developed by a Chinese technical team with no input from anyone Western or anyone who has used a competing product, let alone a dedicated User Experience specialist. The end result is something that feels like a cheap and nasty Chinese device, it meets all technical requirements but is wrong in as many ways to cause constant frustration.

The device itself is reasonably good looking, it's small, sleek and very light. A little too light perhaps. The foam feet don't offer much grip and the weight of an HDMI cable is enough to lift the front of the box into the air. On the back you'll find SCART and HDMI outputs, plus an input and an output for your TV aerial, a useful addition. Unfortunately for me the USB port is on the front. This would be ideal for a thumb drive but if like me you're using an external hard drive then you'll have nowhere to put the cables. On the plus side, unlike my most recent two laptops the USB port has enough juice to power a 2.5mm hard drive in an enclosure. The power lead is under a meter long so you'll probably need an extension.

The remote control makes a few UX sins and was either made for a different device or was designed by someone who is not skilled in the art of interface design. The number buttons are in an irregular order with the 0 key being to the left of the 9, they form part of a grid with other circular buttons which helps hide them from a casual glance. The channel buttons are plus and minus rather than directional, meaning they change channel the opposite way to the on screen display. The media playback function is activated by the "list" button, which doesn't make much sense. The power button is in the right place and the right colour, it's rectangular rather than circular.

The electronic program guide is done differently to every digital TV I've had. A standard EPG is a vertical list of channels on the left with a horizontal timeline to the right, the user moves up and down to view different channels and left and right to compare what's on. This EPG doesn't have that, instead, if you're lucky, you get the schedule for the current station without a channel list. To see others you have to actually change the channel and wait for the list to populate, which isn't possible while recording. The list occasionally gets stuck displaying only the current and next programs, sometimes it skips a day in the middle and if that day happens to be today you'll be thrust far into the future and stuck there until you manually scroll back. There is no EPG for HD channels. It is however possible to get a list of channels by pressing the OK button, which mitigates some of the mess that is the EPG.

There's a nice clear separation between radio and TV, but unfortunately it looks like whatever fancy text broadcast with the BBC's radio signal (DVB-HTML? DVB-J?) isn't supported, instead we get the brand image; the brand name "August" (which annoys me more than it should) in a font that makes my inner-typographer cringe, sat atop a bright photo of a green field in the style of the default Windows XP desktop.

The user interface lacks progress bars, instead opting for a series of dots. The volume "bar" goes red at about 80%, suggesting that sound quality is compromised by being amplified over 100% (it isn't).

The media playback functionality appears to be completely separate software from the TV tuner and programme guides. Some menus have a save option but there's no visual feedback acknowledging a button press. The PVR playback section is separate from the rest of the media player even though the files are in the same place, the PVR section shows only "m2ts" files while the media player shows everything, so if you want to play a downloaded film you have to exit PVR playback mode and enter media player mode, then navigate to your file, press the play button which starts it playing in the top right corner, then finally press the red button to expand it to full-screen.

The PVR itself records file names in the format "Channel - show - title - MMDDYYYY-hhmm" then lists them in alphabetical order, meaning the display order is completely wrong. To make this worse, the show name is set when the recording started rather thanwhen it was scheduled. This means that if a program doesn't start in time the recording is given the name of the show before the one you've actually recorded. To work around this flaw you can rename files using an on-screen keyboard, which is in alphabetical order than QWERTY and lacks a space button.

In summary, while the device works as advertised and can be used to record digital TV or add HD broadcast capability to a TV that is was "HD-ready" but doesn't support HD broadcasts, it's not a great PVR and I wouldn't recommend it as your primary digi-box or media player. The external USB is great in that you can pull recordings off to your computer with ease, and the price is fantastic, but you certainly get what you pay for.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 29 March 2015
Purchased Oct 2014. Used continuously with 32Gb USB stick for storage. Software level 4.1_1236
The unit has functioned 'adequately' over the past few months, but it's not the easiest piece of kit to work with! The remote is too small and consequently very easy to press the wrong buttons. We have to look at the thing each time to be sure we're pushing the right one.
Software issues have led to channels 'jumping around', and during one period, loads of them (i.e. BBC1,2,3,4 and ITV's, etc.) relocated up into the 800's! Bit difficult explaining to the other half why you're recording in the 'Adult' channels area! The UK August response (Nov '14) is that the characteristic is 'known' and new software awaited from China. Still waiting... A full power down and factory reset has helped though.
The EPG is very unreliable. Signal strengths are good on each channel (90%+), but it can take ages to update...and then you can only look at one at a time, so very easy to discover 'clashes' with recordings set for other channels Then it's lots of button pushing to find out which one!
The Recorded programmes list is difficult to decipher, unless you've written down what you've recorded or can decipher the date code. What's a pain is that recordings aren't listed in chronological order, and then move around again when you delete watched programmes.
The Rename function can help, but we've found that it can lead to chunks of the programme being deleted! Weird and very irritating.
The Timeshift function works well, but there's a huge DOG (Digital On-screen Graphic) across the bottom of the screen all the time during its operation, blanking out a large area of the picture. More irritation, especially when a broadcast (especially sport)uses that area for game information!
A useful feature is that the last watched position in a recorded programme is often saved so you can restart there next time - but - this isn't described in the Instruction Book. So - no idea it exists until you're faced with the option on the screen!
There are plenty of other 'rough edges' in the software, but the one that finally tipped the scales was the inability to cope with the BST clock change last night. It was set to record at 6am this morning for the Grand Prix (selected from the BBC1 EPG).....but it started at 5am. The box was showing the correct real time so it had changed ok, but still started early - figure that one out!
So - final verdict is....Cheap but not really cheerful. It's been hard work.... :-(
22 Comments| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse