Sony SVR-HDT1000 review

Stunning HD pictures and a massive 1TB of storage, but limited functionality Tested at £300

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The SVR-HDT1000 is good – but you can’t help feeling that it should be better


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    Stunning HD picture

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    clear set-up menus

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    massive 1TB of storage


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    Disappointing BBC iPlayer picture

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    EPG’s look and standard-def pics could be better

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If you exist mainly on a diet of high-definition TV, we wouldn’t blame you for heading straight for this Sony.

This diminutive box squeezes in a 1TB hard drive, so you should have no trouble cramming it with more than 250 hours of high-definition content. For standard-definition that figure rises to a whopping 600 hours.

And, if that 1TB of storage isn’t enough (seriously?), a USB socket allows you to transfer files to an external hard drive.

The lack of a front display takes some getting used to; we’re left puzzled as to why it’s been replaced by a narrow light.

The presence of both a ‘Record’ and a ‘Record Stop’ button on the remote control makes much more sense, while the overlaid set-up menus are similar to those found on the Sony’s TVs.

Switch to the EPG and although information is presented in a clear, logical manner, the channel guide blankets the whole screen, obscuring what’s on the current channel.

No internet portal
It’s packing an ethernet socket, but the HDT1000 doesn’t feature Sony’s Bravia Internet Video portal. On-demand and catch-up content is extremely limited, therefore – but you can still access BBC iPlayer through the red button.

Standard-definition images are watchable enough, but rivals do a better job of handling on-screen noise, motion and detail.

The HDT1000’s strength is most definitely its display of HD broadcasts, with breathtaking clarity, stability and razor-sharp edge definition all combining to a hugely satisfying standard.

BBC iPlayer picture quality isn’t as good as the dedicated apps from the likes of Samsung and Humax – and the high-quality versions can appear worse than the SD original.

The Sony’s 1TB of storage will appeal to the ‘bigger is better’ crowd, and to a large extent this PVR performs admirably. There’s just an added layer of quality and usability that’s missing.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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