Sagem DTR94500S HD Freesat+ DVR
Review This time last year, there was only one Freesat recorder available, from Humax. Now there are several, of which the Sagem DTR94500S HD is one of the latest.
Sagem's DTR94500S HD: the front panel doesn't exude quality
It’s a slim unit, around the size of three external hard drive enclosures put side to side – a size that’s partly achieved at the cost of having an external power supply. There's a USB port on the front, but it's unused.
Round the back there are two Scarts, HDMI, co-ax digital audio, analogue audio, component-video, Ethernet and satellite connectors. Inside is a 500GB hard drive.
Setup is simple and straightforward, assuming your dish is aligned. Enter your postcode, select output resolution, screen size and an optional PIN code, and that’s pretty much it – the tuning is completely automatic.
As with any two-tuner DVR, you need two feeds to make the most of it, but while some other boxes – notably the Humax Foxsat HDR – will work with just one feed, the Sagem doesn’t. It didn’t even realise during setup that one input was left unconnected, and simply reported failed recordings later. So, a dual LNB setup is mandatory here. There’s no Unicable support either. In fairness, this is still very rare, but it would nevertheless be good to see.
You allude to firmware issues discovered even in the course of reviewing. Sagem have proven in the past to be utter pants when it comes to updating their shoddy firmwares, so this really doesn't bode well. Sadly no firmware update will get rid of that fugly front-panel LED though.
Having had a Sagem Freeview recorder fail after 15 months and being told by Sagem that there is no repair service available, prospective purchasers might want to consider their extended warranty options carefully.
I have a sagem rebranded as a 'canal digital hd pvr recorder', it has different software, probably an older version, but the plastic chassis amplifies the harddrives vibrations. So it is noisy as hell. I have to tune up the volume when I'm using it. It is also very sensitive to high temperature. You can't put nothing on top of it, then decoding of hd-channels just produce artifacts. If i keep the nearby door to the -10C outside open it works flawlessly though.
How is the noise level of this?
"For future use" is the official line; there's nothing I can add to that, I'm afraid.
Since you don't grace us with your name, I'm not sure why I bother replying... Someone (perhaps the same Coward) said there weren't HD boxes available; I merely pointed out that's wrong. They are on sale, albeit with limited distribution so far. But that's still not the same as "not on sale."
They're also available from HumaxDirect.co.uk complete with a charming flashing GIF that says "This is NOT a recorder." As far as I know, they went on sale the Monday after sales commenced in John Lewis Oxford St. If you're not pretty enough to hitch to London, I'm sure they'd be happy to deliver.
As for a review of the Humax, when RegHardware has played sufficiently, there'll be a review.