Sony SVR-HDT1000 Freeview+ HD DVR
No-nonsense telly recorder with HDD archiving
At first glance, the Sony SVR-HDT1000 may appear rather unprepossessing. It’s a Freeview HD digital recorder which bucks the trend for ubiquitous Smart-ness and has no integrated Blu-ray player or fancy multi-platform functionality. It does, however, make a virtue of simplicity. Those looking for a no-nonsense, high grade terrestrial DVR are unlikely to be disappointed.
Record-player: Sony's SVR-HDT1000 Freeview+ HD DVR
The SVR-HDT1000 packs a prodigious 1TB drive, enough for some 600 hours of standard definition TV or 250 hours of HD. A lookalike model with a smaller 500GB drive is also available, the £50 cheaper SVR-HDT500.
The unit itself is impressively small at just 320mm wide, thanks to an outboard power supply, and has a good build quality too. It’s designed to partner Sony’s Monolithic Design BRAVIA TVs. Not only does this DVR appear to be well made, it runs quietly; a whispering fan does not draw undue attention to itself.
Bare essentials round the back
Rear connectivity is fairly standard. There’s a single HDMI output (no HDMI switching is provided), supported by legacy analogue AV phonos, a digital coaxial audio output, USB and Ethernet. A second USB can be found on the front fascia, concealed beneath a recalcitrant bung.
However, the unit lacks any useful display. Instead of time or channel information, there’s just a glowing white light and a pair of red LED recording lamps; at least you’ll know when it’s timeshifting Masterchef.
Typical Sony remote holds few surprises
It’s perhaps unfortunate that the SVR-HDT1000 doesn’t plumb into Sony’s IPTV Smart network. Rival boxes from Samsung, LG and Panasonic are all integrated with their respective Smart portals, consequently this DVR offers no access to YouTube, movies on demand services or miscellaneous apps.
LOL. Some (highly technical and computer literate) people work for a living, and can't be dicking about with patching their TVs when they get home. Or just want something the kids or (computer illiterate) wife can switch on from standby. This box is pretty good at that (I have the 500Mb version). It could do with DNLA or access to the same services that the Sony BD has, but it does the job it does very well.
God I hate people who describe themselves as geeks just because they can load Ubuntu onto a PC and call it a PVR.
Actually locked recordings are mandatory for Freeview HD
"Archive to an external disk, but locked to the box? That's understandable for pay-TV subscription channels, but unacceptable for Freeview."
It is mandatory for any Freeview HD product to apply copy controls as signalled at least to the HD content. The simple way of doing this that many boxes choose is to encrypt the content with a device specific key. Often they do this with an encrypted partition or taking over the whole disc but they could do it on a file basis. I think many consumers would find it very confusing being able to do some content but not others and the rules aren't completely simple anyway.
"31watts, with an external wallwart PSU? More hot clunky clutter behind the TV."
Also 31W isn't that much for a dual DVB-T2 tuner plus HD decode plus writing two HD streams to disc plus reading one stream from disc which will be the only time that the maximum power is taken. I for one would prefer the wall wart generating the heat behind the TV than it being internal and making the cabinet hotter.
"No DVD or Blu-ray player, no video media playback from USB?."
They have those products if you want them but this isn't it.
"And they want £350? I'l pass."
The price does seem a high at £350 but a quick Google shows that Richer Sounds are selling it at £280 although I would go for the £220 500GB model.
Disclaimer: Ex-Sony Product Planner, didn't work directly on these products but know people who did.
PS3 PVR ?
It would mess up my after tea gaming while recording Great British Railway Journeys.
Looks like they really splashed out on the UI then!
Exactly what I thought
I can only assume that Sony expect people to believe they'd get better results from something with the word Sony written on it than from something with the word Humax written on it. Which I doubt is true nowadays.
Still, as an avowed cheapskate (spend more than £600 on a TV? Are you kidding?) I'm not exactly the target market.