on 16 May 2015
I am honoured refreshing here, that my original review is top 21/21. Thank you. It is included intact below.
I add a couple of extra points given extended use and my intention to buy a couple more...
The bad news I report is that I'm not aware of having any hearing problems, but the maximum sound output is not loud.
My kitchen one is OK but it is only 2 feet away from me at my breakfast bar.
My second set is only 18" away from me on a shelf above my desk here and is also at maximum output but I find myself straining to hear it. I have the audio output connected via a switch to my PC external speakers (The August output is a 4 way plug terminating to connect with standard RCA/Phono plugs/sockets for Video, Left and Right Audio - bog standard and spares easily obtained if required) so my stand-alone amplifier switches between my PC or the August.
I tend to have BBC or Sky News24 freeview on here 24/7 except when watching specific programmes, and put the August onto my amplifier when interesting news comes on.
Frankly with such a small screen it is pretty basic one watches it close up, but in fairness I feel the output volume could be a tad louder.
My second longer-term experience is I use the inbuilt recording to a USB stick extensively - a brilliant feature this range has - and noted despite both my models being left on 24/7 (I mute the volume when I'm not in the room) as I use their PVR (Personal Video Recorder) facilities constantly, they regularly lose their Freeview channel settings. I have other PVR's of a different make on which no such problems arise. Freeview channels change a bit but are usually well broadcast beforehand. So I don't know if this is unique to Augusts, but as a precaution against missing anything, they take a good couple of minutes to complete their auto-channel search, and if they have "lost" your channel you get a screen warning the channel number is invalid... No big deal unless you try to set it to record within a couple of minutes of your programme starting... duh!
So, as precautionary Good Practice, I now ensure if there is a programme I really want to record, I set it up around 15 minutes at the latest before it is due to start just in case I have to let the August retune all its channels.
A tip for anyone buying any similar TV to this, is buy a right-angle coax connector plug as the aerial input is at the top of the case, and depending on where you watch it that can affect the stability of the TV or just be unsightly!
And an extra Bonus point to the August is both of them are solely operated by their remote controls, both of which have performed perfectly and consistently. The point here is that many remote controls become unreliable and even fail for a very simple reason. The "rubber" buttons you press are sensed inside direct on the PCB (printed circuit board). In time and with use, poorer quality "rubber" tends to wear off onto the PCB that contaminate or give improper results. Instead of replacing the remote, the repair is very simple but you do need a couple of special bits of kit to risk the repair.
In most cases, the remote is held together by pressure clips around the top and bottom. Some might be retained by screws but I guess these are becoming rarer. So what you need is a kit readily available around £3 or so of the special plastic toughened tools used for mobile phone maintenance etc., to prize the remote control apart.
It will then drop open into four bits - the top and bottom casings, the PCB that will hopefully stay fixed in the bottom casing, and a flimsy rubber bit that is actually the keys you press.
Now, the proper stuff you need is Isopropyl Alcohol and a clean fine wove cloth to wipe both the underside of all the rubber keys, and gently wipe all the PCB where the rubber keys press. In fact, isoprop is quite legal, best not drunk though, and difficult to obtain at a modest price, so I use frequently as a substitute Asda or Tesco value-brand baby wipes. At around less than 1p each, these do most all cleaning work necessary in routine electronic repairs, plus they evaporate fairly quickly which is a Good Thing in electrical repairs. However just as an extra precaution I only buy Non-Scented ones just in case they might leave any trace of conductive residue.
Having thus cleaned residue of the rubber, reassemble your remote - clip it shut back together again and you have just saved yourself at least a tenner in a replacement or the hassle of buying a universal remote and finding the frequency it works on...
(I'm not quite sure how the human race evolved before Baby Wipes were invented, but in case you don't have babies yourself, make sure you store the packet of wipes in a small airtight plastic box else they will all go dry and useless on you, and if you tried using them on a baby it will have the effect of wiping its, er, rectum, with fine grade sandpaper!)
But, as I said, so far with pretty intensive use, the August remote controls show no signs of needing such attention!
For those purchasers who like me make use of the built in programmed TV/Radio recording, the .mts files created by the August can be a pain as their audio track goes out of sync with the video on certain programs used to remove commercials and edit the recordings. I use the freeware Avidemux software to edit all my recordings and the most recent versions of this mitigate this lack of sync a bit, but broadly media analysis software cannot be relied to give the correct sound delay in milliseconds and it boils down to frustrating trial and error. In my experience, TV sound sync is almost always in 250ms intervals, and good starting points are if converting to my lower standard but more universal .avi container format, -750 and -1250 -1500 or -1750 ms delays are preferred starting points. I run an older v2.5 version of Avidemux as well as the latest version, preferring to use the older version because it is more flexible over accepting audio sync at P frames as well as I frames, and the most recent versions have an annoying green screen flash at the start of a replay and are very fussy over what frames you can cut at. (Hint for novices, don't start an edited out commercial except at an I or a P frame)
If you are not bored and stopped reading this, from experience unscented baby wipes seem very good at cleaning LCD display screens. BUT use them even more lightly than if wiping baby's - er, rectum - do not exert any pressure, and do not let any liquid drip around the screen frame. If you get any drips at all, you are using too much pressure. LCD screens are very delicate and vulnerable and unrepairable !!!
I have a sheet of catering cling film cut to size over the screen in my kitchen August - so no grease or spills affects it. Seemples!
I have bought 2 of these and saving to buy a couple more before they are replaced.
Most all poor ratings are for the pretty basic reason ALL TV's NEED A GOOD STRONG SIGNAL and that in most cases requires a loft or outside aerial.
The basic "indoor" aerial August supply should be considered inadequate for probably everyone in the country who does not have a TV Transmission Station at the bottom of their garden, and if only people would appreciate this, then the feedback for this product would all be 5 star.
So can we please move on from reviewing how any TV could perform with just a bent wire coat hanger as its aerial?
My review is solely for the 7" DTV705 models in the range, I have very satisfactory experience of.
Where this model scores is giving a good picture, close up, for anyone with vision problems. I don't wear my spectacles when I watch them!
2 Caveats/Warnings: The built in rear stick "Stand Support" is not really adequate - for best viewing some firmer rear angle and support would be preferred. This should not put potential buyers off - all such "flat tv's" have this problem. A spare paperback placed behing the TV, for example, would solve the problem.
It also has an excellent USB programme record facility that is very reliable. I use USB v3, 64GB Memory Sticks, now available at around £15 or so, to move over using "Teracopy" freeware my recorded programmes to my computer hard disk, then edit out the adverts etc. with another freeware programme "Avidemux" to retain the final programme in .AVI format.
As a "cheap" record-it-when-you-are-not-there videorecorder, it scores 6 out of 5 !!!
Again, two warnings.
1. It records in a high quality ".mts" format and Avidemux is the ONLY freeware I've found I can edit out adverts and other bits that can accept ".mts" original inputs.
2. It can record using either FAT file storage or NTFS. BE AWARE if you use FAT - the default for some USB Memory Sticks, the August will give any longer programme in separate FAT files that will require a lot of extra trouble in converting to a "bog-standard" .avi file for just plain simple viewing. Further, if you use a USB stick with both FAT and NTFS format options, Don't!!!
Hewlett Packard have a freeware utility that can format USB sticks of 64GB capacity in FAT or NFTS known as: "HP USB Format Tool".
Find it, download it, and use it.
I have absolutely no connection whatsoever with August, the manufacturer, the supplier, or Amazon. but do have a modest track record of writing "semi-technical" review often quite detailed and legthy, on other specialist sites. One I subsequently was delighted to find by chance 164 out of 165 readers had voted my review as "Helpful".
One quite minor thing is it appears if you are a Safety Fanatic, you can't actually turn this TV off from the mains, because it trickle charges its integral battery that provides some 2 hours uninterrupted viewing in the event of a power cut. So when you turn it off, it still remains with a little blinking LED at the side showing the charging or state of its internal battery.
This little TV has one problem I take issue with in its specification - the volume of its sound output. Maximum volume is essential at all times for me from its built in speakers, and although I don't use the headphone socket yet, I intend to connect this up to a more powerful amplifier as if you have any hearing difficulties or other appliances are making a background noise, listening to your TV sound might be a problem from this lovely little telly.
I'll close with a bit more verbose praise. I had to retire early on health grounds in 2000 at age 49, and have tried since to occupy my time in recycling, "green" and similar projects. If I had the facility, I'd scrounge a few scrap "anglepoise" desk lamps and adopt their variable brackets to support this little TV so it could be clipped on to a wheelchair or bed restraints etc. for the benefit of more severely disabled people. Even better, redesign and manufacture such brackets myself!
And, of course, having built-in Freeview capacity, it can perform lots more functions I don't need nor use myself, such as providing radio programmes, listening to music, watching films etc. and photos... via the USB Stick source facility.
OK. Probably no one has bothered to read this far but in conclusion... Buy One Now - that hopefully will keep the model available, as it really could be a very efficient and economical solution to a problem you or a friend or relative might have.
For what it delivers that I have assessed for well over a year now, I rate this DTV705 Six Stars out of Five !!!