DigiFusion FVRT145 Review

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  • Features

  • Ease of Use

  • Value For Money

vincent0's review of DigiFusion FVRT145

★★★★☆
DigiFusion FVRT145

“I am still getting use to my DigiFusion FVRT145 hard...”

Written on: 24/05/2006 by vincent0 (9 reviews written)

Good Points
Ease of use compared to a Freeview box + video or DVD recorder (but might be comparable to a video or DVD recorder with a built-in freeview tuner).
Two tuners.
Information on what you've recorded is comprehensive. Too much; just give me the title, I don't need a summary every time!
EPG is 14 days.
80Gb drive - could be bigger but acceptable (see Bad Points).
The company does seem to send out automatic, over-the-air updates for this machine and others to upgrade and fix functions/features - I count that as after sales service - a positive point in their favour.
Easy to use basic functions.
Price is relatively low.

Bad Points
Slight fan noise which doesn't go away, even when on standby (not for use in a bedroom I think).
High number of remote button presses needed to get some things done (may be a consequence of the high number of functions and permutations available).
There is no Daily, Weekly, Weekends only, type of repeat record function - a strange omission.
This type of equipment is still in it's infancy, like DVD recorders.
If you're comfortable with opening boxes, you can only upgrade the hard drive to 128Gb due to system limitations. Sounds easy, but you'll destroy your guarantee.
It has a known problem when using the LP and EP modes (to use less space), as they cause the system to wipe off all your recordings at some unspecified and random time in the future, so you're stuck with the standard SP mode (unless you're like me and just go ahead anyway - it's only TV after all).

General Comments
I am still getting use to my DigiFusion FVRT145 hard drive recorder, so I might change my mind about things later.



I've had it for less than a week, and so far, It has given a good impression.



Records off Freeview nice and easily, and there is no need to set an off or on time when recording, as it gets the information from the EPG (electronic programme guide. TV guide to you and me).

You use this EPG thingy to set the recording usually, ie, go and look at what's on TV now or next, or whatever (it's a 14 day EPG, and it loads the EPG at 3am each night off-air onto the hard drive, so you get an instant reply when you call it up, which is very good. Other units download the information when you ask for it, so they are slow, I hear) and highlight the programme you want, then press a button to set it to record. That's it! It'll start and finish on it's own. There is nothing else for you to do.



The downside is that sometimes, of course, the broadcast will not start bang on time, and it may be a minute or two early or late, in which case you'll miss a bit (what is that function thing, PDC? which gets around this? - it could do with that). You can get around this problem by manually padding out the recording. It does give you an option to make changes like start, finish and recording quality.



There is no mention of the number of recording events you are limited to, but as I'm in my honeymoon period I've been happily setting recordings left right and centre, and I haven't' hit a limit yet (it might be something like 128 times or some other computer significant number like 64?).



I've got a DVD recorder, and this in comparison, is easier to use and more convenient, but I think a lot of that is because the Freeview is integrated into the system, and it is so easy. Maybe I should have bought a Freeview DVD recorder with a hard drive to start off with. Oh yes, they were too expensive, and I didn't know.



1) You can record on two different channels at the same time, as it has two tuners. Plus, you can watch a recorded programme at the same time, and you can even go to the beginning of what you're still recording and watch that.



You can't plug it into two different TV's as it only outputs one tuner at a time.



It doesn't have an RF output, but although there is an RF loop through for it to catch the transmission, it doesn't add the signal to it like your video player does (some people like to pipe the signal around the house and this function would make it easier).



You can get around this by plugging it into a video player via the scart and that will output it out through the aerial cable.



2) You can pause or rewind live TV as it automatically records the TV programme you're watching temporarily. It only does this for 30 minutes, so if you have been watching a programme from the beginning for 30 minutes you could wind back to the beginning, but if it's been 45 minutes, you can only wind back 30 minutes, so you'll lose the first 15 minutes.



I've found the best use for me so far is to repeat what I've just missed seconds ago due to inattention.



3) This buffer is also useful if you've been watching a programme for a while and decide that you want to record it for whatever reason. It will look at it's buffer, look at the EPG, and then it tries to capture as much of the programme that it's missed. Neat!



Summary:



I like it! It is a bit idiosyncratic in the way that it works. Some would say very idiosyncratic.

It's one of those gadget categories that still needs to mature and get better like DVD recorders.



There is a reported problem with using quality settings other than SP, even once. It starts off as a fault that will delete ALL your stored recordings at some random time in the future (you can get around it by not using these settings or reformatting the drive).



The best thing is it's easy to just record off the TV listings and there's no problem with searching for which video or DVD you've recorded onto, or where the recording is on the tape.



What it needs is the LP / EP fault to be fixed (the picture quality is poor on these settings as is to be expected, but it is acceptable on my 21" TV for time shifting), then it would have 80 hours of recording instead of 40 hours.



There's so much to say, but overall I'm glad I've bought it, and I like it very much so far.



It complements my DVD recorder and video recorder. In fact, I'm certain I'll be using them less.



Another thing. The picture quality of the Freeview seems not to be as good as my Asda own brand or Echostar Freeview boxes; just ever so slightly.



The Asda unit went back as it started to lose channel 5 every time I wanted to record Star Trek a while ago, but it was only Star Trek!! Was it trying to tell me something? :)



I'll be back with more when I think of something else.

  • Value For Money

  • Features

  • Ease of Use

  • Less than a Week

    Time DVR Owned

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Vincent0's Response to vincent0's Review

Written on: 11/08/2006

11th August 2006
<br/>Hello Again.
<br/>Well, had the machine for a while and guess what? There was an over-the-air software update last month and a repeat this month (in my case changing the version from 1.7.4 to 1.7.8).
<br/>
<br/>Did it get better - did it hell !
<br/>
<br/>The upgrade fixed a known problem with widescreen TVs and this unit. As I don&#039;t have a widescreen it didn&#039;t do anything except upgrade the version number. I say didn&#039;t do anything, what I mean is it didn&#039;t do anything good.
<br/>
<br/>It introduced a bunch of problems which weren&#039;t there before. Recording from radio has gone a bit jittery, spoiling the enjoyment - that is the sound stutters a bit at the beginning somewhere but plays normally for 99% of the recording, you just sit there waiting for the jitter to appear.
<br/>
<br/>The live TV rewind causes sound jitters and synchronising problems with the picture, but can be fixed by pausing and rewinding.
<br/>
<br/>There seemed to be some minor tweaks to the system, nothing too drastic or noticeable.
<br/>
<br/>I change the harddrive to a spare unit I had, also an 80Gb unit.
<br/>
<br/>The drive had some pc stuff on it and was formatted for windows.
<br/>
<br/>The digifusion started to use it as if the machine was brand new out of the box - the pc files and formatting was overwritten. Tuned itself to the TV stations and showed a blank harddrive.
<br/>The version was back to the original one it had, version 1.7.4 - so this must be kept on the circuit board and the over-the-air upgrades and station information kept on the harddrive.
<br/>
<br/>I can also downgrade the version to its out of the box state by formatting the drive from within the digifusion setup menu.
<br/>
<br/>Back to my continued review - great, it works fine. Another problem the machine is know to have is to wipe the library of recordings clean at some random time if you have a recording made that is not at the default, highest quality (SP quality).
<br/>
<br/>This has happened to me now, when the drive got very very full. So I won&#039;t be using EP or LP quality again.
<br/>
<br/>A problem I&#039;ve had which may be peculiar to me is that I&#039;ve managed to run out of space (just before the manchine wiped the harddrive), that represents 40 hours of TV.
<br/>
<br/>I think this machine is good for people who time shift TV and watch it soon after. For people like me who gradually accumulate more TV than is watched, the drive fills too quickly - maybe the random delete is a good feature for people like us !
<br/>
<br/>I&#039;me happy, and would be happier if it had a unlimited capacity to record or if the EP and LP didn&#039;t cause a random harddrive wipe.
<br/>
<br/>Conclusion - so far, very happy, despite my complaints I&#039;d buy it again, except it&#039;s now disappeared off the market.
<br/>
<br/>Bye for now.
<br/>(It&#039;s the version with the 5amp power supply and extra LEDs on the front display and of course it has a manufactureres 3 year guarantee, that&#039;s one from the shop and two via the manufacturer)

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Vincent0's Response to vincent0's Review

Written on: 18/04/2007

18th April 2007
<br/>
<br/>Machine still working fine. Still haven&#039;t downgraded the operating system but I&#039;ve noticed that the manufacturer is still sending out the upgrade data to 1.7.8 every once in a while. So at least they are still looking after the customers (I wonder if they are working on fixing the problems too).
<br/>
<br/>Still happy with this thing.
<br/>
<br/>Bye

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Vincent0's Response to vincent0's Review

Written on: 05/02/2007

7th Feb 2007
<br/>Machine is still going strong.
<br/>I haven&#039;t been able to downgrade the system back to 1.7.4 as I haven&#039;t cleared or watched all that is on the drive.
<br/>(formatting the drive will take it back to its default setting as well as wiping any recording off it)
<br/>
<br/>Still happy with it but still would wish for it to have a larger drive or for the extended play functions to work without intermittantly wiping the hard drive clean of recordings.
<br/>
<br/>Bye

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Vincent0's Response to vincent0's Review

Written on: 18/09/2006

18th Sept 2006
<br/>The unit is still going strong.
<br/>It&#039;s not very good for use as a standard freeview box, ie to switch channnels so another device can record the output.
<br/>
<br/>It does it fine, except it will go to standby at 3am when it downloads its epg data.
<br/>
<br/>Any channel that it is set to switch to doesn&#039;t happen unless the unit is on.
<br/>
<br/>So, you can&#039;t use it this way between 3am and whatever time you next manage to switch it on again.
<br/>Regards

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