Freesat recorders are currently rather few and far between with Panasonic only the second company to launch models supporting this service. In doing so, it has adapted its existing DVD recorders by adding satellite tuners. It’s a slightly different approach to hard-disk recorders like the Humax Foxsat-HDR or Sky+, which have no …
That is way over priced for what you get. At that price I'd expect a 500GB hard drive and Bluray!
If I was in the market for something like this then I'd probably buy a Humax box instead and a DVD recorder. (I know, I wouldn't get the digital quality for backups and I wouldn't be able to backup HD recordings).
For this sort of money I could build a fully featured Media Centre PC with a couple of satellite cards, a couple of Freeview cards and Vista Home Premium for WMC (or MythUbuntu).
What is it with RegHardware seemingly always just reviewing overpriced kit. Come on guys, try reviewing something a little bit cheaper huh?
Humax all the way
Thanks for confirming my choice of Humax Foxsat HDR back in December. Been running without a hitch since then. It just works, very smooth even if a few of the operation menu steps feel a little strange, you quickly get used to them and it quickly feels natural.
It seems Panasonic still has some catch up to do, especially at that price. If I wanted a clunky interface I could build my own for less.
Hmm, been bitten by Panny before ...
"... it’s more clunky and less polished than the competition."
That sums up their old TU-CTH100 dual tuner Freeview PVR I have the misfortune to own. As released (late) it was bug ridden and prone to crashes/lockups. They did eventually produce a solitary software update which improved things - but it's still slow to respond to the remote, still buggy, still occasionally locks up. Thing is, looking at some of the code, it appears that this box was a development of a Satellite box sold in Germany - so no real excuse for the lack of software quality.
But as far as I can see, the TU-CTH100 is now an orphaned product, Panasonic have just turned their backs and pretend it never existed.
It certainly means I'd think long and hard before I'd buy another Panasonic digital product again.
Clunky interface not a surprise
My parents bought my grandparents a Toshiba combo PVR/DVD recorder, and I was tasked with setting it up and teaching my grandparents how to use it. I have never in my life encountered such a torturous interface. It was a clear case of design-by-committee. All the functionality was there, but using it was hideously unintuitive, and some functions were either given meaningless names themselves or were buried in menus with meaningless names.
After having used Sky+ this was a shock to the system, and to be quite honest I've sworn off Japanese PVR/disc recorders. I will have to read reviews with words such as "wonderful interface" and "a joy to use" before I touch one again, and I somehow I can't seem to find them in this review.
Right now I'm using a Tiscali TV+ box, which isn't quite Sky+ but is very very close.
Why the focus on discs?
I can't understand why they want to put disc recorders in these. Combining with DVD/bluray makes a little sense but humaxs approach of allowing archive to USB discs makes much more sense. Archiving to a network pc would be even better.
The DVr issues just sound like an unfinished product.
That said, my humax also has a fair few issues. Many interface elements are clunky and ubintuitive (or just bugs like being unable to delete while recording) and it's less stable than it should be. Mine crashes if I switch on when recording regularly and in response to amp volume commands at times.
six hundred flippin quid
The price is completely ridiculous. I could buy a 250GB DVR for Freeview from a UK online supplier for £60, and maybe £100 at Tesco or Asda. I could probably buy a DVD recorder for similar prices for Freeview. Why on earth should it cost six times as much to buy one compatible with Freesat? And why should the Register only comment in passing about this stupid, ridiculous price?
You can get simmilar recievers for 200-300 Euros theese days. For 400 Euros you can get a Dreambox which will have a network interface so you can record directly onto your NAS (or use the box as a NAS).
Sony did a good one...
We've had the Sony HXD-860 for about 2-3 years and it's superb. Picture quality (via HDMI) is brilliant.
My parents have the Panasonic equivalent and the interface is nothing like as good as the Sony. Interesting to see that no matter what the hardware is like - it's the software which is make or break for a product.
My view is to wait until Sony upgrade their range to Freesat or any Freeview HD that may be started.
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