What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Thu, 30 Oct 2008, 3:00pm

TVonics DTR-Z250

Tested at £179
80100
4

A great value PVR that combines the required functionality with top-notch performance

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For

  • Slim profile
  • plenty of hard disk capacity for the money
  • excellent tuners and recordings
  • simple usability

Against

  • Lurid green menus seem a strange choice
  • no HDMI or upscaling
Is your AV rack full to brimming? Well, if you're still in need of a well-specified PVR, the TVonics DTR-FP2500 may be just the thing. The squashed profile makes a change from the more usual boxy designs and frees up a little space underneath your TV. 
 
Cleverly, the TVonics has twin digital tuners, allowing you to record one programme while you watch another which is unusual at the price, a 250GB hard drive capable of storing up to 125 hours of digital TV, and is Freeview+ certified. There's no HDMI out, though, so you'll have to settle for Scart.
 
This certification means the box has reached a certain level of standard and functionality in the eyes of the powers that be at Freeview, including an eight-day EPG, the ability to set an entire TV series to record and automatic updates to schedule changes.
  
Sharp, solid Freeview images 
Setting up and familiarising ourselves with the interface and remote is easy enough, and we're soon enjoying the TV's tuner.
 
On Sky Sports News motion is solid and bright, colours are vivid and levels of detail are good. It's sharp and clean, too, putting some class-leading TVs (albeit not those with the best tuners) to shame.
 
Sonically it's perfectly adequate, and recordings prove as satisfying. It's easy to set one-touch recordings in motion, or use the EPG to programme content. Faithful results are every bit as enjoyable as the live action.
 
Bags of hard disk space, fine TV performance, copycat recordings and easy to use – there's little to fault in this TVonics PVR.

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