The TVonics UI in Pictures
The programme guide is clear, and uncluttered like the rest of the interface
The menu system is plain and simple – no fancy graphics here
You can create a playlist of recordings to watch, but there are not folders for organising your files
Picture in picture is available, but only with SD channels
Resume play is supported, but skip functions are limited to 30 seconds back or forward
Next page: Welcome touches
It's been sitting here for around a month or so now, and I've not had any mysterious things happening (or at least none that I can't put down to other causes; for example, watching a recording of The Event from C4HD last night, one segment had the audio messed up, with no dialogue, but I've seen that happen on 4HD with other recorders too - seems they don't always switch back from stereo to 5 channels after the ad breaks properly).
So, I'd give a qualified yes, and it was happy even at the end of the chain of devices connected to my aerial, where other boxes have suffered failed recordings due to low signal.
It'll be interesting to see how HD boxes fare over the summer, with any tropo lifts, together with the increased power on digital muxes around the country as switchover proceeds.
A couple of points; a mistake I made (mea culpa) - there is an EPG search; it's just not immediately obvious.
Fast forward is tolerable at the highest speed, though you do get some of macro-blocking. There are other options worth using too, though. First, there's resume playback, so you can jump back to where you were. And the same screen allows you to enter a number of minutes to jump to and then start playback. Finally, there are the skip buttons; admittedly they are limited in duration, but the combination of those will likely cover most common needs.
As for the score, I think it does deserve the figure it got; we do have a standard way of calculating the ratings for RegHardware. Essentially, this doesn't offer as much as the Humax, but it does provide features (notably Dolby Transcoding) that are missing from some of the others I've looked at.
It's got a pretty straightforward interface that should be simple for most people to grasp (even if they don't find the EPG search), but lacks some of the extras found on, for instance, the Digital Stream or IceCrypt boxes.
Have you been using it long enough to have a handle on its reliability? As you know, just about every box out there seems to suffer mystery missed recordings, library disappearance, resets to defaults, loss of record list etc - but often only manifesting after a few weeks' use. Any confidence at this point that this is any better than the field?
Knowing the search function is in there could just tip in its favour if the dependability was there.