Echostar HDS-600RS Freesat HD recorder
DVR with Sling slung in
In normal use, the Echostar is pretty much what you’d expect – the Freesat spec doesn’t leave too much that can be tweaked. The box will work with just one LNB feed if that’s all you that have, though you’ll need two for dual recording, obviously, and there doesn’t appear to be support for Unicable installations – not that those are terribly common.
There’s a one-hour pause buffer, and keys to skip forward 30 and back 10 seconds – none of which is adjustable. Nor are there any of the other tricks other boxes have, like allowing you to watch another channel on the same transponder while recording. The BBC’s iPlayer is supported from MHEG on Freesat, and works well – though it doesn’t feel quite as responsive as on my Panasonic TV.
On-screen displays are clear, with informative icons, and the box seemed pretty stable, with the exception of decidedly sluggish performance when I was scanning for non-Freesat channels. Those can be stored, but you have to dive into the settings menu and switch to ‘non-Freesat’ mode to access them, losing access to Freesat programmes in the process, so it’s not really straightforward to watch the occasional unlisted channel.