back to article TVonics DTR-HV250 DVR

British Freeview box maker TVonics currently eschews the dark arts of HDTV or satellite content and seems content to plough its own furrow providing well made and easy to use Freeview and Freeview+ devices. This equipment is aimed more at the man in the street or tech fanatic's mum, than tech fanatics themselves. TVonics HV250 …

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Humax 9300T

Got to agree the Humax is pretty stiff competition at the £165 I paid last year. Yes, only one HDMI port, and no USB (IIRC), so not quite the same spec, but I've been very impressed with it. Fast, high quality upscaled picture. UI and remote have a few issues, but otherwise I like it. If the TVonics got below £200 I think the extra features would swing it.

And yes, you can have too much recorded TV. My last PVR expired with stuff recorded two years earlier I hadn't had time to watch......

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James Hughes 1 - Price Point £200

John Lewis are selling it at £199. Does that swing it?

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TVonics reliability

My TCVonic box looks nice, but has a problem of serial crashing (crash, reboot, crash reboot - 100 times+), 'losing programs' that appear to be recording, refusing to record a series of programmes if someone has foolishly locked one of the programmes previously recorded, sorting programmes based on alphanumeric dates and times so sequence needs to be guessed - andtheir helpline is crap.

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oh and...

Has a tendency to demand to retune once a month - after which all of the channel lists, 'hidden' channels etc are reset. Not good.

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FAIL

No HD

You would have to be nuts to spend £230 on this with FreeviewHD just around the corner. Also have they gone for a retro look on purpose, or are they stuck in the 80's?

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Time Machine

Did you send this box into the past during the review?

Or did you just use screen grabs from another TVonics review last June?

I'm waiting for a HD freeview+ box with built in Blu-ray to replace my ageing Panasonic PVR that's started to breakup when recording long programs, I wonder if TVonics will be looking in this direction when more regions turn on the HD signals...

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USB ports

What's the point of having two USB ports and not providing a means of getting programmes off the hard disc?

Showing the amount of disc space used in hours of tv time is all very well, but I use my PVR just as much if not more to record radio which doesn't use up nearly as much space.

It's good to see that you can page up and down the epg, but can you change the format to display the schedule for one channel at a time?

Also can you set the screen format using the remote control? I don't watch C4 any more because it forces me to watch in slittyvision. If I use my old On Digital box I can watch in full height regardless of what's in the signal.

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Happy

I thought they stopped showing Eurotrash?

" I don't watch C4 any more because it forces me to watch in slittyvision." - is that a late night feature that I haven't seen?

I would say that cropping or stretching the picture to fit a minority of old "square-screens" is an abhoration against TV. The sooner they start producing TVs which can only show things in their original aspect ratio, the better. When any of these modes are used, everyone looks too fat, too skinny, or missing parts of their head.

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How much?

As usual, TVonics have a reasonably solid product which is grossly overpriced. Why anyone would buy this over a Toppy/Humax is hard to fathom.

TVonics and reliability don't go hand in hand either. I have 3 of their Prism STBs, all of which now lock up displaying "can't find signal" with no response from the remote. Poor.

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Price/performance

I guess that's their Sony heritage showing through.

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Stop

Get a Topfield.

All else is gaslight.

Plus can you transfer recordings from this unit?

You can with a Topfield.

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J 3

Hm...

In the first picture there it looks very much like an alarm clock...

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Overpriced USB tease

For the same money you could buy nearly three single-tuner Grundig GDB20USB3 USB Digital TV Recorders and ACTUALLY record the programmes onto your attached USB storage: harddrives, solid state flash drives, memory cards with USB adapter...

I agree that the front USB is unsightly, but this would be compensated for if it provided direct to USB recording rather than just boring "view your photos" or "play MP3s".

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