Likewise, feeds from devices connected through the HD500's HDMI inputs weren't as crisp as they are when directly connected to the set, even when input and output resolutions were matched.
Designed for shop display stands, not living rooms?
Picture-in-picture works, though not with HD content. And the HD500 has a momentary wobble when you pause and then resume HD broadcasts. This is more noticeable on BBC HD, suggesting it's higher bitrates that the HD500 isn't so happy with. Another such oddity: engaging or disengaging the box's Audio Description support - the on-screen action is read out to those with poor or no vision - momentarily speeds up what's on screen, presumably as the various data streams synchronise. For the target audience, this probably doesn't matter, but it seems unnecessary even so.
A final note: the HD500's 500GB hard drive can be easily accessed through a hatch in the base, so upgrades - while not sanctioned by TVonics; it says such work will bust the warranty - are straightforward. The DVR avoids all reference to drive capacity, using available recording time instead.
At £280, the HD500 is cheaper than Humax's rather nice and equally capacious HDR-Fox T2, but also packs in fewer features beyond the DVR basics. TVonics sells direct and is discounting its DVR to £250 and bundling an extra, second year of warranty, which makes up for this. If you need Audio Description, this is an obvious box for you. For the rest of us, the clear lines of its UI and 500GB capacity will win it friends. Only the questions raised by its - not unique; too many DVRs do this - crash stops me scoring it more highly. ®
More Freeview HD Set-top Reviews…
TVonics DTR-HD500 Freeview HD DVR
YouView most unlikely
It's most unlikely - pretty much certainly impossible - that any of the current crop of Freeview HD boxes will be updated for YouView; there are specific requirements for YouView that far exceed the basic presence of the MHEG-IC channel that's included in Freeview HD.
And wireless is, really, just a big heap of headaches for manufacturers. In urban areas, it can be pretty close to unusable at times, due to congestion, and that's before you decide what standard to have, and what encryption to support.
There will be incompatibilities, and configuration issues whatever you do, and people will call the PVR maker's helpline. Who, unsurprisingly, won't have all the details of every brand of crappy old wireless router to hand. End result will likely be punters saying "I called XX and they were useless; couldn't make the wireless work, the product is shit."
Ordinary punters won't care about the technical aspects; they will just consider that they bought a box that said "links to your home network wirelessly" and that it stutters on playback, or doesn't work at all. And they'll blame the PVR maker.
Unless a company's prepared to do a lot of hand holding on support, I really do think they're better off with an ethernet socket, and let the customer plug what they want into them.
I've got a box with wireless support and it's fine, thanks - I live in the middle of N. London surrounded by routers, and have a standard 8Mb BT service (ie 3 at best, usually less). The box drops the connection now and then, but less than it freezes up, refuses to change channel or shows a frozen image over the new channel's sound. It also refuses to series-link, crashes in iPlayer when time-shifting, time-shifts very badly otherwise and oh yes did I mention it freezes and crashes all the time?
Really it's a piece of rubbish - the wireless support is one of the better things about it! It's oneof those £200 Tesco fetchTV jobs. God it's awful. I'm soo glad I kept the old Humax!
"Likewise, feeds from devices connected through the HD500's HDMI inputs weren't as crisp as they are when directly connected to the set, even when input and output resolutions were matched."
A-B double blind test?
If it's an HDMI source selector it can't change the resolution or quality of the other devices selected.
Maybe because they do not have a TV/projector with HDMI sockets on it.
HDMI to SCART conversion
Why would anyone choose to take a high quality (and digital) HDMI signal and have it converted to crappy (analogue) SCART?