Monday, 30 October 2006

The Future of TV for £184.65

by Charles Pooter

Last year I said:

"So what do I want from digital TV? Well first and foremost I'm a cheapskate, so that rules out Sky+ or indeed anything with a monthly subscription. Obviously I evade the BBC's TV tax (on principle you understand), so for me that makes Freeview completely free. However what I really want is a Freeview PVR box with two tuners and a decent EPG. Ideally I also want a DVD burner built in, so programmes can be "backed-up" to DVD whenever I feel like it. So far, such a thing does not exist, but surely it's only a matter of time?"
Well I was right, it was only a matter of time. I've just ordered a Humax PVR-9200T:


It's not a very attractive beast, but what it lacks in looks it makes up for in saving me from crap TV.

This the Sky+ of digital terrestrial without the standing order to Mr. Murdoch's current account. An electronic program guide will let me decide what I want recorded at the start of the week, then the box will grab the unadulterated digital mpeg stream from the airwaves and dump it onto it's hefty hard drive. Not only that but it'll record two programs on two different channels at once. Not only that but it'll let me watch what I've already recorded whilst recording those two channels. Goodbye adverts. Goodbye random-reality-TV-crap.

There's no built-in DVD recorder, but it will let me copy the programs to my PC via USB2 cable if I so wish. From there they can be easily dumped to DVD. Surely it's only a matter of time before everyone has got one of these things or something like it. What happens to TV then?

I'll let you know if the box turns out to be everything it promises, when I get it.

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