Feeds
80%

TVonics DTR-Z500 500GB Freeview+ DVR

Doddle-to-use recorder that can store 11 days' telly

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A useful red line hovers over planned recording time slots at the top of the EPG so you can see that something is being recorded even if the programme itself is on another page of the EPG. A small touch, but useful nonetheless.

TVonics DTR-500

Almost faultless operation

In day-to-day use, the Z500 proved nearly faultless, never stalling, crashing or suffering from any other sort of technical hiccup or brain fade.

On a couple of occasions, we experienced a few moments lag between hitting a control on the remote and anything happening but it never amounted to a serious annoyance, the same being true of the have dozen seconds it takes to get its act together when coming off stand-by.

Playback quality was top notch - it was impossible to tell if we were watching content live off air or played back from the hard drive. In use the Z500 is to all intents and purposes silent.

If £195 is too steep for you then TVonics will happily sell you a 250GB version of the Z500 called the Z250 for £175.

As for the competition, the problem for TVonics is that the aforementioned Humax 9300T is only £20 more and comes with an HDMI output and HD upscaling. It has a less attractive EPG, a smaller, 320GB capacity, and is not as easy to use for the less technically minded, but it appears a better bet if you have an HD TV.

TVonics DTR-500

All you need is in the box

The 500GB Topfield TF5810 is a whole £100 more and though it comes with 1080i HD upscaling and a USB port, it also comes with firmware that, from what we hear, can drive a man to drink and around the bend, at the same time.

Verdict

If you're not concerned about matters HD and have no intention of shifting content between your DVR and PC then the Z500 is not a bad buy. It's very easy to set up and use, has one of the best EPGs we have come across, has an excellent remote control and, at £195 for 500GB of storage, represents pretty good value for money. ®

More Digital TV Recorder Reviews...


TVonics MFR-300

Pinnacle Video Transfer

Hauppauge Freeview PMP

EyeTV Deluxe

The essential guide to IT transformation

80%

TVonics DTR-Z500 500GB Freeview+ DVR

It may lack HD goodness, but the Z500 is well made, easy to use, quiet and stylish.
Price: £195 RRP

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
End of buttons? Apple looks to patent animating iPhone sidewalls
Filing suggests handset with display strips
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.