Visit the new Freeview Explore section for an immersive TV experience. A minimum of 3mbps is recommended to enjoy internet enabled features. Catch up and On Demand Unlock the full potential of the T once its connected to the internet. Set reminders, recordings and find out programme information from an intuitive timeline.
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Offering all of the benefits of digital television clear picture, extra channels along with some of its drawbacks namely shopping channels , the small investment and ease of setup mean that this is one new service worth upgrading to.
By combining a Freeview receiver and a hard drive recorder in one box, it offers much more control over digital viewing. This means you can do anything from pause the programme at any time, fast forward through the ad breaks and schedule recordings for the future. This relatively small omission results in a product that is brilliant in concept, but one that has definite room for improvement in terms of practicality.
Design The Humax PVRT boasts an interesting design, mainly because it will confuse the uninitiated over what it actually is. Humax has certainly not been economical on engineering -- the hard drive takes up only a third of the actual chassis, and the rest is simply an elongated motherboard. It certainly gives the box plenty of air to circulate inside, but a little bit more effort could probably have shrunk the device considerably.
The box also includes an optical audio output -- very rare for a Freeview receiver. This allows it to be controlled centrally by an automated system, using those touchscreen displays that are the sole preserve of footballers and inordinately smug stockbrokers. A nice touch though, in case you ever win the lottery. To record a programme, you simply call up the EPG and select the one you want. We had trouble seeing more than a few hours ahead from the centre of London, which is worrying for anyone living far away from their transmitter.
During testing, we also encountered a couple of occasions where the box would miss the start of the programme by a minute or two -- you can select a whole programme, but it sticks rigidly to its scheduled timing so you may need to prolong it slightly.
The remote control is a little bit cluttered, but it can be used to control your TV as well. This can be a little confusing at first, as you end up changing channels on your TV when you really want to do it on the PVR. A lot of Freeview broadcasts are actually made at a low bit rate, and when you output via RGB Scart there can be a hell of a lot of artefacting on an LCD or plasma screen.
Use a regular CRT, however, and the picture quality is fantastic. The recordings are also made directly from the MPEG2 broadcast, meaning picture and sound quality are flawless. You simply cannot tell the difference, and the fact that you can store 40 hours of footage on the hard drive means you could fit a whole series of 24 or Desperate Housewives on there.
The PVRT meanwhile, is a superb idea that has been well implemented, but one that needs an upgrade to realise its potential. Edited by: Mary Lojkine.
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This gives up to hours of recording time, 60 hours more than with the 80GB drive. Since the operating system for the Humax PVRT is not stored on the hard disk it makes the upgrade more straightforward. Disk Upgrade Pros and Cons There are pros and cons with the Maxtor GB hard disk upgrade, so read the following carefully before doing any disk upgrade:- First the advantages, aside from the obvious increase in recording time - the loud ticking noise from the hard drive, which was present for a few minutes when the PVR T was initially turned on, was eliminated by the disk upgrade. The second advantage being that the occasional momentary picture twitches jumps that I used to see with the 80GB disk during time shifted viewing seem to have been cured, either because of increased data buffer size or improved read write times of the Maxtor GB hard drive. When the Humax PVR is in time shifted viewing mode it is continually writing new data and reading old data from the disk, so the data overhead is high. Unfortunately, the hard disk upgrade resulted in a significant disadvantage - during time shifted viewing, with a delay of over 5 minutes a loud ticking sound is present continually from the hard disk.
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