Feeds

2011's Best... DVRs and Media Streamers

Telly content, off your Lan, off the net

High performance access to file storage

Xmas Gift Guide The days of piling shelves high with videotape recordings of shows once broadcast then forgotten are long gone. The current generation of DVRs and media streamers ensures that no TV programme remains unwatched for long, whether you snare it with a series link or stream it via a catch-up service.

These days it's hard to miss a show even if you try.

The challenge now is to manage this unceasing torrent of televisual entertainment as best you can. Helpfully, the past 12 months have seen the most advanced and audacious selection of DVRs and streamers released yet, from VirginMedia’s TiVo-branded smart recorder to do-it-all entertainment packages from Samsung and Panasonic.

Which one will be your next box?

LG ST600 Smart TV Upgrader

RH Numbers

You don’t actually need to replace your TV if you want a connected viewing experience: you can just upgrade to IPTV functionality. Both Sony and LG offer similar products, but it’s LG’s superior media streaming talents - it’ll play MKVs on downwards - that give it the edge over Sony’s rival, the SMP-N100/N200.

The ST600 connects to any TV via HDMI, and to your home network through Ethernet or integrated Wi-Fi. A USB port is provided for local file playback. Mimicking LG’s net connected TVs and Blu-ray players, there’s access to the brand’s Smart TV portal and all the streaming services that implies, including YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Acetrax and Vtuner radio. Easy to install and a doddle to use, this is the simple way to a Smarter TV.

LG ST600 Smart TV upgrader
Reg Rating 75%
Price £130
More Info LG

Panasonic DMR-HW100

RH Numbers

Welcome to the first 3D-specific Freeview+HD DVR. It’s much like any other Freeview HD recorder – offering seductive series-linking and HD recording prompts – but with the added attraction of 3D terrestrial TV recording with correct signal flagging for 3D-ready TVs, conversion of 2D programme material to fake 3D, and the ability to store and display digital 3D images in the MPO format. Stereographers, rejoice!

Strip away the 3D frippery, and you have a digital recorder with a 320GB hard drive, excellent local USB media playback and online access to Panasonic’s VieraConnect smart portal, which offers Skype, YouTube, DailyMotion, BBC News and more, but no iPlayer - although we are told it’s coming. 
If you want to make the most of your new 3D TV, this DVR is the way to go.

Panasonic DMR-HW100 Freeview HD DVR
Reg Rating 75%
Price £299
More Info Panasonic

High performance access to file storage

Next page: TVOnics DTR-Z500HD

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.