Written on: 28/11/2010 by paulmatthewssurv (2 reviews written)
The Hitachi HDR505 digital TV recorder is excellent value for money (on offer at Argos for £110 when I bought it, with a £10 Argos voucher, so actual price £100 really). Its hard drive is 500 GB - impressive!
It's extremely user-friendly including the set-up process, although when you switch it on for the very first time it takes about 5 minutes to boot up and display the menu and you think it's not working! Once that's done it takes about 30 seconds to start from standby so I tend to leave it on all the time except at night (power usage is 18 watts in use, 1 watt on standby).
It has a great feature I wasn't expecting called "picture in picture" - you can view another channel on a small screen in the top right corner whilst you're watching your main viewing channel - not sure when I will use this but it's very clever!!
It has 2 tuners so you can watch one channel and record another at the same time, or record 2 different programmes simultaneously if your TV already has integral Freeview. You can also pause a programme and it automatically starts to record it (say if you have to answer the phone or the door etc), then when you press play it plays the recording but at the same time continues to record the programme so you can watch it till the end without missing any.
Like everything else, recording is intuitive and user-friendly; programmes can be recorded by time/date or more simply by highlighting the programme on the 7-day EPG (electronic programme guide)display and pressing the record button.
Overall then, very simple to use, good value and an attractive appearance - I like it a lot.