FERGUSON F20320DTR- where can I find reviews?

Ronnoc

Standard Member

Captainkremmen

Novice Member
The Ferguson is yet another Vestel clone by the looks of it. As such it will suffer the same issues as all the others do.

Random lockups. Doesn't happen a lot, but often enough to be rather annoying.
EPG slows to an absolute crawl over time, and does it quickly if you have a large number of timer recordings setup. It can make the box very frustrating to use. Can be minimised by a complete power cycle every few days.
Stuttering on playback sometimes, and occasionally jumps forward by a vary amounts, from a few seconds to a couple of minutes.
Accurate recording works well, but does sometimes miss the very start or very end of programmes.

The Humax is generally considered to be more reliable, but there have been reports of Accurate Recording problems too.

EDIT: Indeed it is a Vestel clone, the remote is identical to all the other Vestel based recorders.
 

Futaura

Active Member
Of course, there are two sides to every story. IIRC, Captainkremmen is referring to his Hitachi HDR162 which is Vestel T825 based. Obviously, he had a bad experience with it and generally didn't like it, and that's fine. Everyone will have their own personal preference and equally you will find people who will say bad things about the Humax too.

The Ferguson you mention is a newer model (Vestel T835 based) than Captainkremmen's Hitachi. If you use it with low power mode enabled (the factory default), you will completely avoid any problems with the EPG slowing down and generally the box will be more reliable. As far as accurate recording is concerned, the Vestel software implements this perfectly to the Freeview+ standard - the only time you will ever miss the start/end of a programme is if the broadcaster is not transmitting accurate recording signalling or makes a mistake and doesn't send out the signal at the right time. I should emphasize that any PVR that properly supports accurate recording will be affected in the same way, including the Humax.

I've been using my Vestel T835 box for 18 months and I'm very happy with its performance and reliability. It is very rare for a problem to occur, and the software is much improved compared to the old T825 model software.

The £99 price for the Ferguson 320Gb is pretty good compared to Argos which are selling a 250Gb Hitachi for the same price - both the same hardware internally. You will be able to find a "refurbished" 320Gb Hitachi T835 box (HDR325) on ebay for around £50-£70, or less for smaller HDDs, which are generally units which have been returned to Argos, but there is obviously added risk buying refurbished units.

BTW, I presume you are aware that the Ferguson and the Humax do not support Freeview HD?
 

Ronnoc

Standard Member
Thanks for your comments Futaura.

I am looking for a reliable PVR so Captainkremmen's comments put me off the Ferguson. Your comments that it is based on the more reliable Vestel T835 based model have made me think again.

The link you gave says 'software updates can instead be carried out via the SCART socket'. How does this work?

I have decided against HD recording because of budget constraints. My TV has full HD so its not so bad.
 

Futaura

Active Member
The link you gave says 'software updates can instead be carried out via the SCART socket'. How does this work?
The older models had a standard RS232 socket, but the T835 models do not - instead the RS232 connection is mapped to 2 pins in the scart socket. So, with the aid of a specially made adaptor, updates can be performed this way. However, this isn't an intended method for end users - updates are still broadcast over-the-air which the box will pick up automatically. This is one thing I'd check on the Ferguson actually - the latest sofware is v3.4. I'm not sure if v3.4 will be rebroadcast since it has already had a fair number of repeat broadcasts.

My advice is to read up a bit more on the T835 models here on AVForums or DigitalSpy, for example, before making a decision - searching for T835 or the Hitachi HDRxx5 models will be more fruitful than searching for the Ferguson. As you say, there is little discussion of the Ferguson model anywhere online.
 

creddish

Novice Member
Of course, there are two sides to every story. IIRC, Captainkremmen is referring to his Hitachi HDR162 which is Vestel T825 based. Obviously, he had a bad experience with it and generally didn't like it, and that's fine. Everyone will have their own personal preference and equally you will find people who will say bad things about the Humax too.

The Ferguson you mention is a newer model (Vestel T835 based) than Captainkremmen's Hitachi. If you use it with low power mode enabled (the factory default), you will completely avoid any problems with the EPG slowing down and generally the box will be more reliable. As far as accurate recording is concerned, the Vestel software implements this perfectly to the Freeview+ standard - the only time you will ever miss the start/end of a programme is if the broadcaster is not transmitting accurate recording signalling or makes a mistake and doesn't send out the signal at the right time. I should emphasize that any PVR that properly supports accurate recording will be affected in the same way, including the Humax.

I've been using my Vestel T835 box for 18 months and I'm very happy with its performance and reliability. It is very rare for a problem to occur, and the software is much improved compared to the old T825 model software.

The £99 price for the Ferguson 320Gb is pretty good compared to Argos which are selling a 250Gb Hitachi for the same price - both the same hardware internally. You will be able to find a "refurbished" 320Gb Hitachi T835 box (HDR325) on ebay for around £50-£70, or less for smaller HDDs, which are generally units which have been returned to Argos, but there is obviously added risk buying refurbished units.

BTW, I presume you are aware that the Ferguson and the Humax do not support Freeview HD?
I use a Humax 9200 as my main PVR but I back this up with a Wharfedale LP/HDMI Vestel T825. Both the Humax and the Vestel randomly experience occasional failed recordings, about the same percentage on both PVRs. So far, except when the broadcast data is incorrect I have never had a failed recording on both PVRs at the same time. I prefer the features and speed of response of the Humax but Accurate Recording is much poorer on the Humax hence my use of the Vestel as a back-up for when the Humax produces un-acceptable results. If I had to choose only one of the two PVRs I use it would be the Vestel simply because of its better Accurate Recording performance.

The results of some extensive tests comparing the Accurate Recording performance (specifically the late starts issue on the Humax) on the Vestel and Humax PVRs are reported in the post here.

Colin
 

Captainkremmen

Novice Member
Of course, there are two sides to every story. IIRC, Captainkremmen is referring to his Hitachi HDR162 which is Vestel T825 based. Obviously, he had a bad experience with it and generally didn't like it, and that's fine. Everyone will have their own personal preference and equally you will find people who will say bad things about the Humax too.

The Ferguson you mention is a newer model (Vestel T835 based) than Captainkremmen's Hitachi.d out the signal at the right time. I should emphasize that any PVR that properly supports accurate recording will be affected in the same way, including the Humax.

I've been using my Vestel T835 box for 18 months and I'm very happy with its performance and reliability. It is very rare for a problem to occur, and the software is much improved compared to the old T825 model software.

The £99 price for the Ferguson 320Gb is pretty good compared to Argos which are selling a 250Gb Hitachi for the same price - both the same hardware internally. You will be able to find a "refurbished" 320Gb Hitachi T835 box (HDR325) on ebay for around £50-£70, or less for smaller HDDs, which are generally units which have been returned to Argos, but there is obviously added risk buying refurbished units.

BTW, I presume you are aware that the Ferguson and the Humax do not support Freeview HD?
Indeed it was the Hitachi HDR162.

If Vestel have sorted the stuttering/lockup/slowdown issues in the newer T835 models then I would say as a budget Freeview + PVR the Ferguson would be a good buy then. Apart from the issues I had I liked the clear, basic menus, EPG and general ease of use of the Hitachi.
 

Futaura

Active Member
Indeed it was the Hitachi HDR162.

If Vestel have sorted the stuttering/lockup/slowdown issues in the newer T835 models then I would say as a budget Freeview + PVR the Ferguson would be a good buy then. Apart from the issues I had I liked the clear, basic menus, EPG and general ease of use of the Hitachi.
The EPG slowdown isn't completely erradicated, since it still happens after 24 hours or so with the box left on. But, as I say, as long as you switch it off to low power standby overnight at least, you will not notice any slowdown. I can't say I've ever had any lockups using the public software releases. Stuttering may still be a minor issue, but that said, it is much less of a problem compared to my T816. I think it helps that the T835 has better tuner performance than previous models.
 

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