Topfield and Humax are usually the machines of choice around the £200 mark.
However, if you want a cheaper
option! Try the Digihome PVR80 (80GB) (or for slightly more the PVR160 - 160GB) from Argos. I paid £99 for the 80GB model. Only £20 more than my Humax FOX-T non-PVR.
It's actually manufactured by Vestel
and there are many other "rebadged" models - including Goodmans, Grundig and even Sharp (one available for around £80 at Asda).
Have a look at http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=171
for loads more info.
You can see the Sharp model (overpriced at £199) at http://www.sharp.co.uk/invt/tur160h&bklist=
Slightly nicer looking than Digihome model, though! There are decent pics of the back of the unit and the remote.
- Fast Teletext
- Pretty decent remote
- Looks OK
- Quiet hard drive (silent when not in use)
- 80GB for 40 hours record
- Timeslip (just press pause button)
- Watch a previous recording, while making another recording
- Subtitles can be viewed on recordings (or turned on/off)
- Can record extra few minutes at start/end of timer recordings
- Displays a very decent picture (through RGB SCART) despite
the fact my reception is so weak it's unwatchable through
standard aerial connection.
- RF Modualtion (I think - haven't tried it!)
- RGB SCART 1 / S-Video SCART 2
- SCART through (incorrect term!) - EG: Connect a games console etc
to SCART 2, and the signal passes through to the main output SCART.
- Audio out and
Digital Audio out (TOSLink) for some reason!
Even though 5.1 audio from Freeview.
- Picture-in-picture (not available if recording)
- Twin tuner, but not twin record
out of the box
(Can be upgraded to twin record with an "unnofficial" firmware)
- No Digihome website, for support, etc.
Although plenty of info available from other websites.
- The worry of buying a cheapo product!
- No option to connect to a PC (like the Humax & Topfield) for
backups. I just connect the RGB SCART to my DVD recorder for
anything I want to archive onto DVD.
- No "Archive" feature. Would be nice to be able to program 3 or 4
programmes to playback consecutively. EG: Recorded entire Michael
Palin "Himalaya" series, but had to manually begin each episode to
transfer onto DVD recorder.
- Can't edit name of recording once recorded. EG: Recorded film from
FilmFour the other day. It recorded as "FilmFour" rather than
"Dunston Checks In"* - and now I can't edit the name in the "library".
I've had a look at the Humax 9200T as it seems to get great reviews, but I'm reticent as, to be honest, I think it's fairly hideously unattractive
Hmmmm... The Digihome is probably even uglier - but it does have a black front! Apparently the Asda version is better looking?
- needs to receive Freeview and have a decent tuner (Samsung TV tuner is only barely acceptable)
Black frontis with silver casing.
- would like to be able to record one thing and watch another simultaneously
Yes - but not record 2 programmes, while watching another, unless you upgrade to the "unnofficial" firmware.
- absolute heaven ideal world would include series link
No, but you can modify the timer you record at the same time, on the same channel, on the same day - so, pretty close.
- don't really want to spend a fortune
*PS - I didn't really record "Dunston Checks In"! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116151/