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Philips DTR220/05 Freeview Receiver review

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8

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Getting your home ready for the digital switchover isn't quite the scary, expensive project that many people assume. If you own an analogue TV, for instance, you don't necessarily need to fork out hundreds of pounds to replace it with a brand new flat-panel set (though it's always nice). And although the benefits of Freeview PVRs and HDD/DVD recorders are well documented, they're not essential to the Freeview experience - you can quite easily hang on to your trusty old VCR if you want to. All you need to do is pick up a cheap, easy to use Freeview receiver, hook it up to your existing system and you're good to go.

But despite their low price you can't just throw any old receiver into your shopping trolley - it's worth taking your time to find one that has all the right features for your needs. More often than not, that means choosing one from a well-known brand, and they don't get more well-known than Philips.

The DTR220/05 is one of two Freeview receivers in the company's current range and at just 200 x 33 x 95mm, it's one of the most compact models we've ever encountered. It's an all-black affair, with absolutely no buttons or other distinguishing features on the front, which isn't great for up-close control but it should go down well among those who like their kit to be discreet and minimal. It's also incredibly light, and if we're being honest it feels rather plasticky, which is slightly surprising given Philips' usual high build quality.

The back panel boasts few surprises, with the bread and butter sockets like RF input/output and twin SCART outputs joined by the less common sight of a coaxial digital audio output for piping stereo sound to your amp digitally. If Dolby Digital broadcasts ever come to the Freeview platform then the unit will also be able to send the raw bitstream to your receiver (a la Sky+). It doesn't feature an RF modulator, which means you can't watch digital TV pictures through your TV's RF input, but this will only bother those TVs from the dark ages.

GoldenGuy

July 18, 2008, 6:22 pm

Is it just the photo because that looks like one of the most stylish Freeview box's I've seen? I can see them putting that much effort into a full blown PVR (with Freeview) but for a bare bones receiver? Cool.

Danny P

July 21, 2008, 2:44 pm

The photo does make it seem sexier than it really is, but it's not a bad looking unit.

L Jones

August 20, 2008, 12:40 am

I Purchased one of these last christmas, and every time it crashes (about 1-5 times a week) and also when the remote turns the set off and crashes when you try and adjust the volume, and not forgetting when sometimes the info panel display corrupts when switching channels (this can be fixed by resetting the box only by turning it off and on again by the mains) I always say, "I must take this back for a replacement" but I never do... Because most freeview boxes I've had in the past, have had the odd glitch here and there, even the occasional crash and you usually end up putting up with them... Well, tomorrow, I will be exchanging this for a different model, this time I've had enough! This freeview box has the amazing way of crashing when 1) The punchline of a joke. 2) The suspect is being revealed in a movie, 3) A goal scored watching the match, it is unbelievable! If you want to find out what other owners (about thirty plus of us) of this unreliable freeview box think, then you must check out the customer reviews on the Amazon.co. site, although Danny Phillips gives us a great review, I think you must have a product test that lasts a good few days or even a couple of weeks too see how a freeview box performs good or bad. Oh yeh, the photo does make it look cool and stylish, but as the old saying goes "Never judge a book by it's cover"

Victor Ian Clark

March 19, 2009, 7:59 pm

this is an expensive box and it is a pity it uses a transformer type mains plug. Beware of the latest ECO cheap digi boxes from Tesco or Morrisons,which all seem to be made in Turkey, they do not pass the Aerial input through to the Aerial output.OK if all you want is TV but difficult if you want to daisy chain to a recorder. Funny the connectors are there and the manuals show the aerial pass through connection but they do not work.

Samuel

March 18, 2010, 11:55 pm

"...by hitting Info on the remote. This superimposes a banner on top of the TV picture, which is legible and quick to respond but it's a shame that you can't search the entire range of channels using this method - it's limited to ‘now and next' info"





I'm still lookin for this feature in a freeview receiver. Anyone of you know any of them who allows to do previous and next channel in the info banner?

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