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TVonics HV250

TVonics DTR-HV250 DVR

Freeview+ recorder for yer folks

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Review 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

Easy does it: TVonics' DTR-HV250

The new HV250 sits at the top of the TVonics DVR range above the 250GB DTR-Z250 and 500GB DTR-Z500 devices and the family resemblance is clear with the casings of all three devices being exactly the same size and crafted from the same black sheet aluminium.

The obvious external change is the front panel, which now houses an LED display to let you know what channel you are watching and the time rather than the wholly decorative wavy metal panel of the older machines.

Take a shufti around the back and you will find that TVonics has addressed one of the criticisms levelled at its previous DVRs by fitting three HDMI ports. The one outgoing port connects the unit to your telly while the two incoming ports let you hook up other devices such as a media streamer or Blu-ray player and switch between them – handy if you want to connect more devices than your telly has HDMI ports.

Both the HDMI-in ports can handle 1080p content and can pass through HD audio but it's worth noting that the HV250 has to be in operation rather than just on standby to work as an HDMI switch. Also new to a TVonics device are the USB ports. These can be used to display JPEG images or instal new features and firmware updates as they become available.

TVonics HV250

Multiple HDMI interfacing with Scart too

We are not entirely convinced the HV250 needs two USB ports, given the rather limited use they have, especially when the one at the front rather spoils the looks of the unit. Still, maybe a future firmware update will add to the USB functionality. Alongside the HDMI and USB ports you also get a single RGB Scart socket, optical digital audio output and RF in/out sockets.

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