TVonics DTR-Z500HD Freeview HD DVR

Solid set-top

Easy to use

Setup is straightforward, and the user interface is certainly uncluttered, to the point where some screens look incredibly sparse – setting a recording, for instance, overlays a large grey box on the screen with just a few words in the centre, and some colour-coded keys below.

TVOnics DTR-Z500HD

The integrated HDMI switch will help folk whose tellies have too few ports

Scheduling a series record is simple – press Record, then Blue for the series. The big space between screen elements made that a little less than obvious initially, but you soon become used to it.

Rescheduling or selecting the HD version of a programme works well, and new features like trailer booking, where you press Green to set a timer during a trailer, are supported too. The interactive engine is very responsive, and TVonics says that a future update may provide access to iPlayer that way.

However, I do have some niggles. While most of the DVRs I’ve looked at allow – or impose – folder creation, the TVonics doesn’t. This means that you have a long list of recorded programmes which, while you can sort it in different ways, doesn’t allow you to organise stuff yourself.

TVOnics DTR-Z500HD

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