I have the same box, albeit with the smaller hard disc. It may not have the internet connected features of more modern PVRs, but it is a solid performer that has had frequent updates to cure issues and add features (other PVR manufactures are often very tardy when it comes to firmware fixes).
It rarely has any recording issues, but the recording clash resolution interface could be better. EPG and EPG searching is fast and responsive.
If you're a bit of a geek then you can archive off the standard definition recordings on to a XFS formatted USB hard drive. You can then connect this to a PC running Unbuntu Linux in a virtual machine (XFS is Linux only) and copy them onto your Windows desktop and use Video Redo to convert them into standard .mpg files. This is certainly a bit more involed that PVRs that support FAT32, exFAT or NTFS external drive formats, but at least you can do it, which is more than you can say for most freeview boxes.
You cannot sort the channels into your own order of preference and Digital Stream advise that they have no plans to upgrade the software to allow this. My box is going back to be replaced with the Humax.
We couldn't get our review sample to output DD5.1 when we tested it, but I've asked one of the test team to take another look at it.
tom_mk - Check out ProfHat's excellent ongoing thread on the subject:
It now appears that since we conducted this review the unit has had a firmware update to address this problem, although the manufacturer hadn't notified us of this.
We're going to apply the update to the unit, and will report back.
New firmware now installed, tested and - as you say - operational. Thanks for the heads-up: the review has now been amended accordingly.
The technical spec says "Fully interactive services available", does anyone actually know what this is, is it 'Red button' services or is it like the Humax which has the ability to run iPlayer and other online playback services? This is one major difference that I can see between this and the Humax.
Additionally, does anyone know if it's possible to manage / pull off the recordings from the Digital Stream DHR8205U, and if so what format they are in?
Excellent box, with the latest August update installed (second one since the box was released with Digital Stream listening and taking feedback from their customers), virtually all bugs have been ironed out. In my opnion, the best of all the current Freeview HD PVRs (with the Humax a close second). See my full review at http://community.whathifi.com/forums/t/486809.aspx.
Guys - review is still saying the box is not able to output 5.1...
'The box can�t output Dolby Digital over its optical output'
Yes it can !!
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