Huawei DN371T: Performance
The DN371T is a little sluggish in places – there’s a niggling pause when flicking through channels or moving around the EPG programme grid – but most of the time it’s a smooth operator.
Menus appear quickly, digital text is super fast and unlike some PVRs it pauses and rewinds instantly and jumps back to live TV the moment you press stop. It’s aided by a timeline-style menu that shows where you are in relation to live TV.
The Huawei also delivers terrific high-definition picture quality. Watching daytime guff like Watchdog Test House reveals sharp, stable detail reproduction – the lines and pockmarks on Sophie Raworth’s face are clear as day (sorry Soph) while the different shades of blue within her dress are rich, saturated and smoothly blended. Skin tones look eminently natural.
Edges are crisp, blacks boast satisfyingly depth and moving images show few artefacts. All in all these are solid, watchable HD pictures that look as good recorded as they do live.
Standard-definition channels are a different kettle of fish – they look hazy and colour reproduction lacks subtlety. Moving objects and rolling text captions are surrounded by a subtle cloud of mosquito noise, making them look soft and fluffy. They’re watchable images, but skip straight to the hi-def version whenever possible.
The quality of streamed video varies (some of the SD content looks dreadful) but the experience is hassle-free. Programmes load quickly from the EPG and we didn’t have any problems getting to grips with the different layouts and navigation systems of the various catch-up players, but a more cohesive user experience could be something to work towards in the future.
Should I buy the Huawei DN371T?
The DN371T is a very likeable YouView PVR, bringing you all the benefits of digital terrestrial and internet TV within a slick, easy-to-use box. The attractive YouView interface provides a pleasant user experience, searching and streaming catch-up TV with little fuss and making it easy to manage recordings. Hi-def picture quality is stunning to boot.
But a few niggles take the shine off its performance – it’s slightly sluggish in places, the remote’s layout causes slip-ups and build quality is below par for the money. The lack of Wi-Fi makes web setup trickier than it could have been and SD pictures are scruffy too.
Nothing major perhaps, but these are the tiny margins that would make us lean towards the Humax DTR-T1010 when choosing a YouView box, particularly as it’s now cheaper than the DN371T. But if you do opt for the Huawei then we doubt you’ll be disappointed.
Huawei DN371T: Verdict
The Huawei DN371T is an impressive 500GB YouView PVR, but the Humax DTR-T1010 is still our box of choice.
Score in detail