TVonics launches Freeview+ set-top box with 500GB hard drive

10 Jul 2008

TVonics DTR-Z500
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How much TV do you watch? And do you record tons of stuff so you can watch it at a time to suit you, not the broadcaster?

Then this compact little box from TVonics could be just what you need. The DTR-Z500 is a 500GB Freeview+ set-top box that can record a massive 250 hours of Freeview digital TV and radio, as well as pause and rewind live TV.

It allows you to watch one programme from the hard disk while recording two different ones off-air thanks to its twin tuners, and has an eight-day electronic programme guide (EPG).

Freeview+ enables users to record an entire series and takes care of rescheduling if a programme over-runs. You can even watch two different programmes at the same time on the same screen (if you really want to!).

With a nod to the green movement, an auto-standby feature places the unit in standby mode while waiting for the next scheduled recording, and the DTR-Z500 uses just 1.5w in standby mode and less than 15w when fully operational.

Connectivity includes two Scart sockets, plus an optical digital output for hooking up your surround sound or hi-fi system.

The unit can receive more than 40 digital TV channels and 20 digital radio stations via a standard roof-top aerial. The DTR-Z500 will cost £229, while a smaller 250GB version, the DTR-Z250, will sell for £199.

Both will be available from John Lewis, QVC and online at www.tvonics.com from the end of August.

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Comments

I paid £195 for the 500GB version. The machine is very good but, with nothing between 16x and 132x, lacks a sensible fast forward speed in the playback mode. Also the programme schedules in the EPG become out of sync with the channel list, if you use the jump ten stations forwards or backwards button and this slows down the selection of programmes for recording.