Thomson DTI 6300-16 TopUp TV Anytime DVR
DVR meets VoD
Review Bit of an odd turbot this new TopUP TV service - not a selection of extra Freeview channels like the original TopUp TV offering, nor a full video on-demand system either. Bit of an odd review too, as it's difficult to come to a final conclusion on the hardware without some reference to the associated broadcast service, and that's highly subjective.
Thomson's DTI 6300-16 TopUp TV Anytime DVR: styling straight out of the 1990s
The short and tall of it is that TopUp TV Anytime is all you get if you're a new TopUp TV customer. In any case, the old version is now reduced to providing access to just UKTV Gold, UKTV Style and British Eurosport over and above the usual Freeview channels.
The new service brings you a set of channels from which TopUp TV will 'send' you a maximum of about 14 hours of selected programmes overnight. You have no control over the programmes being sent, beyond selecting the channels they are pulled from. Whether those channels represent value is up to you. Full details of the nightly downloads can be found on TopUp TV's website, here.
This basic service costs £10 a month. If you want Picture Box, which gives you a selection of films from Universal Pictures, you'll need to fork out another £5 a month, while sports fans can get 46 Premiership football games and other stuff on Setanta for a further £11 a month. If you are new to TopUp TV, you'll also need to shell out £140 for the Thomson DTI 6300-16 DVR TopUp TV box, which is the linchpin of the whole system and is now the only set-top box available from TopUp. Existing TopUp customers can access various lower priced options if they wish to upgrade to the new service.
The DTI 6300-16 is a decent enough bit of kit in terms of specification coming as it does with two digital tuners and a 160GB hard drive. According to the on-screen stats, the drive is good for 145-odd hours, which seems a lot for only 160GB, but as we shall see in this case that still isn't enough.
Connectivity is pretty comprehensive, with two Scart sockets; a digital audio output via a co-axial socket; two RCA analogue audio outputs and an s-video socket. There's no HDMI output. Lurking by the Top Up TV Anytime card slot under a drop-down panel at the front of the box is a USB port, but you'll search in vain in the manual for any clue as to what this is for.
This box sucks
We've got one, and it's been nothing but trouble since the day we got it. It crashes every damn day, the only solution is to pull the power and wait for it to reset.
We waited with baited breath for the first software update, TUTV were good enough to write to us explaining that they had experienced troubles with a lot of boxes and the update would correct these issues. No, it didn't. It still crashes, it still sucks.
I have been sorely tempted to connect that USB port up to my *nix box to see what's hidden away. Perhaps an install of MythTV might do a better job.
Re What they don't tell you
I too was recording on the unit straight out of the box, but when you have used the unit with the tutv card and then remove the card you can not use it to record, unless you can do some kind of reset,
I have done a master reset, menu > help > green button > red button.
I have reverted back to the old software and also looked on the engineers page, menu > help > 1397.
And still no joy. So if you can use the device with out subscription I am All ears.
Any advice would to great so I can use this plastic box to do the job I got it for.
How do i delete the software
I recently got this box from Argos and would like to delete the Top Up TV software so I can use the whole of the hard drive for personal recordings. Can anyone enlighten me as to how to do this. So far all i've been able to do is de activate all the extra channels but that still only leaves about 60% of the drive for personal use.
Any help and advice appreciated.
It's pretty good
Must admit having had this box since the service started last year, that it is pretty good. There were teehting problems with the software but on the whole I'm very happy with it. Would have liked a slightly larger hard drive but you can't have everything.
Re What they don't tell you
Sorry but that's total BS, I was recording quite happily on this piece
of kit straight out of the box and before I'd even re-registered my old
TUTV card to start the "Anytime" service. I'm also told by other folks
with this box that if you do buy the box from a 3rd party retailer and
decide not to subscribe to Anytime you can delete all the service
subscription listings and you do get all the hard drive space for your
own recordings. My own first impressions of this box have been