Feeds

back to article TVonics DTR-Z500 500GB Freeview+ DVR

We rather like TVonics here at Vulture Central because its kit is British designed and made, and rather stylish. More to the point, for the large number of people who don't understand all this digital switchover malarkey, its devices work right out of the box. TVonics DTR-500 TVonics' DTR-500: foolproof The DTR-Z500 is …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Unhappy

That EPG screenshot

How come the EPG is from July? I wish it was cheaper and had a USB port.

0
0

Humax

If you shop around you can pick up the humax 9300t for £165 which makes the Z500 and the 250 look poor deals

0
0

Not bad

If this is anything like their previous models, this will get rebadged by various brands (e.g. Wharfedale), so may end up cheaper in practice. TVonics was apparently set up by disgruntled former Sony staff, so the heritage isn't too grim. Shame no display though - it's something we've got very used to on our Inverto 7000, and I would require on any replacement.

0
0

Noticed in the first pic...

A VCR port?? O_o

Is there some technology still referred to as "VCR" across the pond that is not the cassette eating nightmare that my American brain thinks of when it sees "VCR"?

0
0
b
Thumb Up

hmm nice!

i got a humax 9200T and it's fantastic, imo..

really like the styling of this one tho..

cheers,

bill

p.s. stuff and nonsense: http://www.eupeople.net/forum

0
0
Silver badge

Dreambox

You can also get the Dreambox from Dream Multimedia which can do DVB-T and DVB-S depending on what tuners you have. It has open source software, ethernet and can use harddisks as large as you can get them. You can even get a keyboard to have a (fairly limited) web browser.

I think there's another company selling the same software with different (cheaper) hardware. ABcom or something.

0
0

Looks nice.....

Now if only i could actually pick up Freeview......*sigh* useless, back to Sky it is

0
0

@Alex Cooper

Try Freesat (BBC/ITV Version, not FreesatFromSky).

0
0

And for £150

You can get a Xbox360 and a Dual Tuner Card.

Games console, DVD Player, Download films for rent in HD, Plus everything this box will do.

And your only limited for size by your PC HD

(Assuming you have Vista HP/ULT or XP MCE that is!)

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Humax hard to use?

The Humax hard to use for the non-technical?!

I bought a 9200t for my non-technical retired parents the other year and they both love it!

To prove how non technical my father is, he sat and read the manual from cover to cover before taking the unit out of the cardboard box!

BTW, if you want more drive space in a Humax, just swap the drive and then tell the box to format it.

0
0
Thumb Down

HD Freeview is coming...

Is it just me or is the fact that in a year's time, regions start rolling out HD Freeview and if you want see HD channels, you have to buy at least a new set-top box (negating the SD tuner nicely built into your "HD ready" TV or DVR) or completely ditch the old equipment if you don't like set-top boxes. If I was considering buying a new Freeview TV or recorder with an integrated tuner (try finding one *without* an SD Freeview tuner nowadays!), I'd hold back a year and wait for HD Freeview versions.

It's the "dirty little secret" that's brewing for Q4 2009 onwards - "HD Ready" equipment with integrated SD tuners should really be investigated by Ofcom or someone because you have to apply an external HD source to get HD! As for this TVonics unit, a total thumbs down because of the SD tuner and lack of HDMI...

0
0

full width

when are any these manufacturers going to come out with a full-width (430mm) unit that'll sit neatly in my cabinet above my dvd player?

0
0
Alert

don't believe TVonics...

If they say a SW update is on-the-way to fix any issues.

I'd been waiting 6 months for an update to my box to add series link (which was supposed to be part of the Freeview playback specification). Never arrived.

I took it back to John Lewis and got my money back.

Nice box though.

0
0
Paris Hilton

Ah?

You are kidding right?

No HDMI, Standard Definition and Scart stopped being used 5 years ago.

Old technology in a shiny box.

Paris, because i bet she has a shiny box.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Bit Rate.

>> you're told how much free space you have in terms of hours rather than the percentage figure beloved by Sky. It also tells you much space you've used and how much is allocated to scheduled recordings, again in hours.

That's great for Freeview, perhaps all the channels on freeview are the same bit rate. On Sky different channels use different encoding, some are high bit rate, high quality - others are shit. So there is no way a Sky box can tell you how much time is remaining on the box, as it depends on what you want to record. I suspect Freeview isn't entirely disimilar in this respect.

>> "dirty little secret" that's brewing for Q4 2009 onwards - "HD Ready" equipment with integrated SD tuners should really be investigated by Ofcom or someone because you have to apply an external HD source to get HD! (Richard Floyd)

That's why it's HD *Ready*, it is ready for you to apply an external HP Sauce to it, just the same as an HD Ready TV without an integrated tuner is. It has an HDMI input.

>> As for this TVonics unit, a total thumbs down because of the SD tuner and lack of HDMI...

Well indeed, it is SKIP Ready.

*please note any typo's may be related to my skipping breakfast this morning

0
0
Tom
Thumb Up

it's not bad

I've had one of these for a couple of months and overall, it's not bad.

I have one major gripe, which is the remote control's volume buttons don't affect the volume output by the TVonics box! Instead, you're supposed to set the remote control to output the correct IR codes to control your TV's volume, which doesn't work at all with my setup, which is a TVonics box, AV amp and projector. I have tried and failed to get any customer support from TVonics.

In the two months I've had it, it's completely crashed once. This left me with a blank screen and a high pitched tone, until I turned the box off at the mains. It recovered fine when I turned it back on, but I did fear it might corrupt the hard drives and lose recordings. It seemed to cope though.

I have also found it sometimes flat out refuses to set a timer via the guide. Normally, you hilight a programme and press record and it says "Setting timer for Name" for a couple of seconds, then underlines it in red. Sometimes, it says it's settign the timer, but then doesn't. This is rare, but when it does it you have to manually set it, by telling it to record channel x from a until b. Not a big deal, but a bit of a drag at times.

My final moan is that the remote doesn't seem very powerful. I have the box on a top shelf, behind my sofa and I always have to point the remote backwards, over my shoulder to use it. My older freeview box never had that problem.

Like the review says, it doesn't do upscaling, but if your display does it anyway this is not a problem.

Having said all that, I am actually quite happy with the product overall.

0
0
Alert

another nearly but not quite...

in the lines of save the best stuff for the five year business plan...

this is another not quite right product.. problem is the competiton (in this case Humax) has already done better.

Shame the brits cant keep up.

I wonder whether they will be able to pull thier finger out and release a sellable product before they fold? Im still holding my folding.

0
0

It looks rubbish...

Sounds rubbish and has the specs of...you guessed it...RUBBISH!

0
0

@ Bit Rate AC

>> "dirty little secret" that's brewing for Q4 2009 onwards - "HD Ready" equipment with integrated SD tuners should really be investigated by Ofcom or someone because you have to apply an external HD source to get HD! (Richard Floyd)

>That's why it's HD *Ready*, it is ready for you to apply an external HP Sauce to it, just the same as an HD Ready TV without an integrated tuner is. It has an HDMI input.

Errm, for the average man on the omnibus, "HD Ready" means it will do HD - and "HD Ready" + "Integrated Freeview" means it will do HD Freeview when it arrives. As Richard Lloyd suggests, there is going to be a LOT of disgruntled people when they see on the news that HD transmissions have arrived and the HD channels have appeared in the guide, but for some reason they won't show - it's going to be fun for the dealers explaining why that new TV isn't actually broken.

And as for showing time left, yes, all the Freeview channels use a similar bit rate - it does vary, BBC generally uses over 2GB/hr, some others under 1.5GB/hr. But unless you are down to the last few gigs of disk space, it's going to be accurate enough, especially if the 'time remaining' is done on a pessimistic basis.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.