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True Review of Freeview Thomson DTI2300

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by HarryAlffa, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    :eek:
    I won't give you the long story of the two Ferguson FDT 2000 STB's which Thomson broke with an over the air software update (Dec 16 2004 and May 2005). I took them back to Dixons recently and got two Thomson DTI 2300 STB's.

    Thomson DTI 2300 :spam:
    Ok, it gives a great picture, allowing you to set the "RGB level" so that you can have a REALLY bright:cool: picture. It has two Scart sockets; one for TV, one for VCR, it has analogue stereo output AND digital co-axial output (not tested). What else can I say that's good about it? Yeah, it doesn't just loop through the RF signal, you can set the RF channel it throws the picture out on, so you can avoid interference with your VCR, but it doesn't come with an ariel fly lead (you should be watching through a Scart lead anyway) and only one, cheap :rolleyes: Scart cable.

    What's wrong with it :mad:
    Not only does it not control your video recorder with the STB timer through a fully wired Scart cable :eek: (it's supposed to, it has a number of "actions" for timer events; zap to channel, VCR ON, VCR On/Off ...) but only the first two timer events actually "event" when the "Action" is set to VCR On/Off, the box comes on, but it fails to start the VCR, on the third and subsequent events the box doesn't even come on :eek: :eek: !! I phoned the Thomson helpline printed in the manual, which gave a recorded message to phone another number, which then gave me another number :( . Of course they told me there was no general problems of this sort reported. I'm not sure I believed them, although they did agree with the description of the user interface as the worst there has ever been.

    No Honestly!
    The Thomson DTI 2300 gives a great picture but it's a pain in the proverbial if you want to record from it, or browse channels! No kidding.
    To record you'll have to set the timer to "zap to channel", but don't switch the unit off because it won't switch from standby to do any zapping, and you'll also have to set the timer in your VCR as well.
    If you want to know which channel you've browsed to, tough, because most of the time it doesn't show any banner giving you that info. Sometimes it does, and gives you the channel name, but gets rid of superfluous information like the date or time of day. I mean, who wants to know the time of day when you're browsing channels before your favourite program comes on?
    You would have recorded your favourite program so you could FF through the adverts, but you haven't figured out why the VCR on/off action doesn't work yet. It did with the old STB. Then even when you have figured out a work around, actually setting the timers is nightmarish. Why doesn't pressing at least one of the increment/decrement buttons increment/decrement the time or date?

    User Interface? Don't Make Me Laugh
    This is the worst designed timer-entry user interface I have ever seen. In fact the whole user interface gives the impression of being designed by a blind man shouting instructions to a deaf dwarf who's first language is Norwegian. And the dinky little remote control shouldn't be called that. Dinky sounds cute, this is not. It's the Sinclair ZX Spectrum keyboard compared to even the cheapest qwerty keyboard you can find, and that's an insult to all coffee soaked electrocuting ZX Stickies surviving! Why don't Thomson just send round that Norwegian dwarf to smash your thumb and tendons with a hammer rather than supplying that crippling little gray git? David Blunkett would pick it up and think it was the instruction manual for the blind - the keys are so small.

    The Thomson Design Team is to ergonomics as Jim Davidson is to comedy, it's not big, and it's definitely not clever.

    Both boxes I got at the same time, they both don't work in all the important ways, but differ in other less important but still niggling ways.
    Thomson Quality Control is to consistency as a small fluffy bunny is to the further understanding of the macro-economic impact of the failure to ratify the EU Constitution.

    Thomson tag line? WE WON'T EVEN GIVE YOU THE TIME OF DAY. :devil:

    One of the boxes was for my Mum.

    I wonder if the blind guy was from another planet?

    Feedback :clap:
    Post a cut-and-paste reply from one or more below on how this review was for you, or write your own. :)

    This rang very true to me.
    I'll not buy that box for sure.
    I'll be very wary of buying any Thomson product.
    I think AVForums should remove the link to the positive review of the Thomson DTI 2300 at the top of the "Sky+, Freeview & Satellite" page.

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    1. Banner with less information than you need plus huge box obscuring the picture with useless information for ages.

    2. You can only see one timer entry at a time! There is no overview of timers.

    3. When you want to select the channel you have to open the lists with the blue button on the remote, like other functions why not make it the OK button which your thumb MUST be hovering over because you MUST have just used the arrow keys to get here.

    4. Can you see how narrow this remote is and how tiny are the buttons, and how cramped is the hand that holds it? It looks longer than it actually is because of the fish-eye lense on my mobile phone camera.
     

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  2. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    I think AVForums should remove the link to the positive review of the Thomson DTI 2300 at the top of the "Sky+, Freeview & Satellite" page.
     
  3. Shwing

    Shwing
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    Hi Harry.

    I have a DTI2300 box and have no probs with timer recordings.

    My setup is slightly different to yours in that I have the TV scart on the box hooked up to my DVD/HDD recorder - but when I set a timer (or multiple timers) on the box it always works.

    I set the timer/s to switch TV on/off, and get my DVD/HDD recorder to go onto standby and wait for a 'wake-up call'.

    This set up has always worked for me.

    Mark
     
  4. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    Yes! A different setup! I don't have a DVD/HDD recorder. I don't have my VCR connected to the TV scart!

    I'd be very interested to hear what happens if you connect your DVD recorder to the VCR scart and set the "Action" in the timer to "VCR on/off". This SHOULD send a wake up call to your recorder and start it recording. Note that at this point there isn't supposed to be any output from the TV scart.

    The TV scart is composite or RGB
    The VCR scart is composite only.

    I'll try connecting my VCR to the TV scart and see what happens. Although I've already established that it doesn't switch on/off my Sony 32" flat panel, but I'm not sure if the TV is capable of this.
     
  5. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    Nope. That didn't work either. I was nearly hopeful!
     
  6. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    Didn't you find the banner with less information than you need plus huge box obscuring the picture with useless information for ages, really irritating?
     
  7. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    I've found the Electronic Program Guide empty on occasions, and not just Channel 5, as illustrated, but also on BBC 1 & 2.

    The EPG provides no means of selecting a program to be put into the timer function, unlike my old Ferguson box, which Thomson broke with an over the air software release.
     

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  8. Shwing

    Shwing
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    Yes, I too find the EPG a pile of poop - with it being fairly unreliable & slow.
    However, I have to say that the picture quality is very good, and the fact that I can record what I want using the timers in RGB is a big plus.

    I previously had posted about a Sony VTX800 freeview box that I had the use of, and whilst I found the picture quality/epg to be excellent, the set would not set up a timer recording using RGB. This was a big issue for me (and most people I would imagine).

    So, at present, with all things considered, I am happy with my DTI2300 box.

    Mark
     
  9. scitech

    scitech
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    I'm a little confused as to how a Thomson update can break a Ferguson STB. Can someone enlighten me? I'm not a Freeview owner so is it something obvious a non-Freeviewer wouldn't be aware of?
     
  10. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    Thomson own Ferguson. Don't know when they bought them.
     
  11. HarryAlffa

    HarryAlffa
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    Yes, from the TV scart, which you have a DVD recorder attached to (the VCR scart is composite only). I assume then that unlike VCRs, DVD recorders universally accept RGB input? If you record with a VCR then you can't record RGB.

    I'd still be very interested to hear what happens if you connect your DVD recorder to the VCR scart and set the "Action" in the timer to "VCR on/off". This SHOULD send a wake up call to your recorder and start it recording, if only in composite mode.
     

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