Feeds

2011's Best... DVRs and Media Streamers

Telly content, off your Lan, off the net

High performance access to file storage

TVOnics DTR-Z500HD

RH Numbers

This ultra-compact Freeview+HD DVR recently became a whole lot more interesting when maker TVOnics activated the set-top's Ethernet port for BBC iPlayer and streaming IPTV services.

In truth, the DTR-Z500HD was a pretty tasty DVR even before it was pimped. A generous 500GB hard drive - enough for 70 hours of HD TV or 250 hours of standard definition content - handy twin HDMI input switching, a front-mounted USB port for JPEGs and bullet-proof usability made it an easy recorder to live with.

Performance is class-leading. Recorded HD images look transmission-fresh and the DVR is whisper quiet when in use.

TVonics DTR-Z500HD Freeview HD DVR
Reg Rating 80%
Price £200
More Info TVOnics

Samsung BD-D6900

RH Numbers

A very different kind of set-top box, this silver sliver from Samsung combines Freeview HD tuner with a Blu-ray player, Smart TV portal and media streamer – you can even add an external hard drive for single-channel timeshifting. It’s a veritable nightmare for compartmentalists.

The integrated Blu-ray player is fast-loading and 3D disc compatible; you can access Samsung’s Smart TV portal can be reached via Ethernet or integrated Wi-Fi, for streaming IPTV services such as DailyMotion, YouTube et al. It will also convert any 2D source - disc or Freeview - into faux-3D.

Local media playback from USB is accomplished, with all key video file types supported. Across a LAN, file compatibility becomes a little more uneven, as the deck likes to communicate with specific media servers. Overall though, an undeniably clever bit of kit.

Samsung BD-D6900
Reg Rating 80%
Price £295
More Info Samsung

VirginMedia TiVo

RH Numbers
RH Editor's Choice

Recently revamped following its first major firmware update since launch, VirginMedia’s TiVo box is a feature-stacked alternative to Sky+HD. While the latter trades on elegant simplicity, this upstart piles advanced functionality skyscraper-high. 
TVholics will appreciate the ability to record three channels simultaneously, and when that capacious drive does run out you can either stream content from what is undoubtedly the most comprehensive Video On Demand archive available, or resort to watching TiVo’s own recorded suggestions, chosen by a sophisticated recommendation algorithm.

While some might argue TiVo tries too hard – its catch-up services are confusingly spread between the backwards EPG and a separate BBC iPlayer app – as a telly addict’s toy, it’s just titanic fun.

Virgin Tivo
Reg Rating 85%
Price £199 (1TB) £50 (500GB) plus installation, activation, subscription
More Info Virgin Media

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
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'
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
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
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
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!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
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.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
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.