Technisat HDFV - Features and Menus

By Danny Phillips

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Technisat HDFV

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

As well as recording programmes, you can pause and rewind live TV using a helpful timeline at the bottom of the screen. When you stop and return to live TV, the unit asks if you want to store or discard what’s in the memory. Recordings are stored as TS files that can be exported to PCs and other devices, but on the downside, the single tuner stops you from changing channels when recording, which is hugely limiting.

A bigger problem is the inclusion of only one USB port, which means you can’t have PVR and Wi-Fi functionality at the same time. This will no doubt frustrate tech-savvy users who will probably want access to both at all times.

Elsewhere, the unit will upscale SD channels to 720p, 1080i and 1080p, but there’s an Auto mode that will select the most appropriate resolution for your TV. It supports all the other features you’d expect, such as subtitles, Audio Description and MHEG-5 support, and it’s also compatible with Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus and the HE-AAC codec currently used by Freeview HD. It won’t currently transcode HE-ACC to Dolby Digital but Technisat says the next software update will add that feature.

Fire it up and your starting point is a welcome screen that runs through key settings, including preferred AV connections, aspect ratio and auto tuning, the latter taking no more than a couple of minutes. This is a great way of easing digital TV newcomers in gently, and making sure everything is set correctly.

The next thing we saw was notification of a network service update scheduled for January 1st 2013 – talk about forward planning.

The onscreen menus are a bit old fashioned and gaudy, splashed in primary colours and ugly fonts. But looks aside it’s very good – the menu cursors are responsive, submenus are logically sequenced and the text is always legible.

The eight-day EPG is well presented too. The main programme grid fills the whole screen, which not only makes the text inside each ‘block’ easy to read but also allows 10 channels to be shown at once. The black, white and grey palette sounds dull but is rather striking, and a row of colour-coded options at the bottom let you navigate with ease. The Guide menu lets you look for a particular programme with a virtual keyboard, or search by genre. It doesn’t play live TV as you browse, but plays the sound in the background.

Disappointingly, you can’t use the onscreen banner to search through the schedules – it only supports now and next information. But it’s an attractive-looking display, using a white/grey colour scheme, clearly legible text and stylised icons. It provides a synopsis about the programme being shown, and when you press it again it moves on to the upcoming programme.

Andrew 19

July 21, 2010, 12:24 pm

I disagree with the very high 9/10 score you have awarded this. Reading the review there seemed to be a lot of annoying negative points, for instance the single USB port disallowing storage and a wireless dongle at the same time and that this is a single channel tuner. I think this bring up the issue of scores being so high now that when something genuinely good comes along, are we in danger of issuing an 11/10 score!.





Secondly, there was a very subjective remark about the clarity of the picture. I would prefer something a little less subjective, such as a test signal image with resolution and gradients, also cross channel RGB and signal levels etc. This could be easily setup and the results published. Then we would have a very accurate (and no subjective) assessment of how well these devices perform. Given this is trivial to do, and can be applied to many other products such as TV's, Printers, even cameras, then how about it.

Keithe6e

July 21, 2010, 3:14 pm

@Andrew: such as a test signal image with resolution and gradients





You make some valid points, but how could TR get a test signal coming out of this device. eg, I assume they can't tell the BBC etc to transmit a test signal for them.





The USB thing, I wonder if a USB hub would work.





I must admit I'm a little disappointed with the fact it's only got one receiver.





@Danny: How would you compare this to the 3View?. I know Andy was the one who did the hands on, so maybe you could converse with him on it. Just a thought.

Terrystan

July 21, 2010, 3:46 pm

I would agree the the 9/10 is a little high, The review states 'you can pause and rewind live TV' but the user manual does not mention rewinding live T.V., this unit does not appear to have a constantly running recording buffer, This is a show stopper for me. Also having to set up HDMI using a SCART connection is annoying

HeyZuZe

July 21, 2010, 3:46 pm

@Andrew Well said absolutely spot on. If a product dose come out with 11/10 you can be sure Nigel Tufnel will buy it.





Only 1x Tuner no HDD cant use external drive and WiFi at the same time, surly this deserves a 5 or 6 for features not a 9. Also without all these features how s it possible to get a 9 for value as well £69 maybe.





Come on TR

cushy91

July 21, 2010, 5:41 pm

@Keith - The BBC HD channel, during it's preview in the daytime, has some test cards with the striped colours and patterns and it even has a sound test iterating through each channel with a test tone for your theatre setup. Otherwise you could load up a jpeg or mpeg with test patterns.

Ash

July 21, 2010, 6:00 pm

How does it compare to the Technika 8320HD from FetchTV?


http://www.fetchtv.co.uk/shop/...

Andrew 19

July 21, 2010, 6:19 pm

To get a test signal, you need simply to connect the TV input to the RF output of a quality Full HD 1080p transmitter (oh they even sell these at Maplin), actually I would get a more expensive broadcast quality job. You would only need one after all, so you spend a few hundred quid. Then make up a 1080 image with resolution line in 2 orthogonal directions and on 45 degrees. Plus tonal gradients for Gray, Red, Green, Blue and combinations of cross-over. Also have a sequence player for alternation between full black and full white to see how the components cope with a sudden shift of loading. Additionally, use a moving white square on black background to observe edge performance. Then some standard pictures to assess general composition and balance. As long as the input RF signal is standard and the result viewed on a the same monitor each time, then you will get a very good repeatable and measurable result. Using a HD recorder you can record the output and put it online so we can all make our own assessment. There - that was not so difficult was it.

Peter Etherington

July 21, 2010, 6:24 pm

Hi,


I can confirm that the single USB port can be extended with an active or passive hub. This also explains why the 'Media Organiser' shows two external storage volumes - to allow the transfer of files between them.


I can also clarify that Terrystan is correct that there is no buffering so live TV cannot be rewound unless it has previously been paused.


Regards.

Keithe6e

July 21, 2010, 7:13 pm

@Andrew: (oh they even sell these at Maplin),





Out of interest you got a link to the device at Maplins?

Keithe6e

July 21, 2010, 7:19 pm

@cushy91: The BBC HD channel, during it's preview in the daytime, has some test cards





Oh right, I've not got BBC HD yet, but that's good to know. I always remember the Test cards of old, I thought they had stopped doing them, not seen one for years. :)

cushy91

July 21, 2010, 10:19 pm

yep little girl with the clown :)

Beaky69

July 21, 2010, 10:23 pm

Can anyone tell me whether an external hard disk could be recorded to, assuming it's formatted using FAT32?

Bagpuss515

July 21, 2010, 10:51 pm

@Ash: I've got a 8320HD box and would recommend it. HD picture quality is good, SD is good, I have it connected to my wi-fi so get the BBC iPlayer and Sky Player and it's an excellent all round box. Best of all it 'sees' my uPnP NAS so I can stream movies, etc. from there.

Malderon

July 22, 2010, 6:47 am

I love the idea of the USB storage as PVR, but the single tuner then counters that somewhat. :(

Keithe6e

July 22, 2010, 1:54 pm

@Andrew: (oh they even sell these at Maplin),





I've been looking at Maplins website, I'm unable to find such a device. It's maybe named something odd and I can't find it. You couldn't post a link could you, maybe @Danny might invest in one, you never know.

burntoutmouse

July 23, 2010, 12:25 am

The file playback support is pretty limited, do they intend to improve it through software/firmware revisions or anything?





Feature set seems a bit poor for the price in my opinion.

clemenzina

August 1, 2010, 4:51 am

"No buffering" means no constant fan noise. I can live without buffering... but only one tuner? :-{

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