Feeds
75%
TVOnics DTR-Z500HD

TVonics DTR-Z500HD Freeview HD DVR

Solid set-top

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Welcome touches

If you have a surround sound system, the welcome news is that the TVonics offers transcoded Dolby Digital audio, giving proper surround from Freeview HD, as long as you install the latest firmware. A menu option also allows you to have ‘Dolby Surround’, otherwise referred to as ProLogic, as an alternative, or just plain stereo.

TVOnics DTR-Z500HD

Setting a series timer is simple, but the on-screen display isn’t immediately obvious

In terms of PVR functionality, I’d have to rate the TVonics as basic, but solid. It doesn’t offer some of the fancy options others do. For example, when recording two channels, those are the only ones you can view – even if they’re both on the same multiplex. And though there are skip buttons on the remote, they’re a fixed 30 seconds, so you’ll have to press a few times to get through an ad break. There’s no EPG search functionality, by keyword or genre.

There is picture-in-picture, though it’s not available with HD channels, and there are also buttons on the remote to start up the screen saver, or display the time. The pause buffer can be set to 1, 2 or 4 hours, and a nice touch is the ability to set a PIN on timers, so that if you record a programme that’s unsuitable for the kids, you don’t have to worry about them getting up early and watching it.

The DTR-Z500HD may lack the multimedia bells and whistles of some of the competition, but it also gives the impression of being the sort of unit that you could install for a relative without being subsequently plagued with tech support calls.

Verdict

The DTR-Z500HD is compact, easy to use, supports surround sound, and the built in HDMI switch will be very useful to some. The on-screen interface is uncluttered, but perhaps a little too much so, and there are no media features beyond photo viewing. Nevertheless, this is a solid performer at a good price, and worth a look if you want a straightforward, well behaved box. ®

More DVR Reviews

Samsung
BD-D6900
Icecrypt
T2400
TVonics
DTR-HD500
Humax
HDR-Fox
T2
BT vs
Sky vs
Virgin

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

75%
TVOnics DTR-Z500HD

TVonics DTR-Z500HD Freeview HD DVR

Twin-tuner Freeview HD DVR with 500GB hard drive and extra HDMI ports.
Price: £225 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.