To record a program, simply navigate to it (you can move program by program, channel to channel, or skip ahead a day at a time), and hit the record button (the red button!). If the program is part of a series, then it will pop up and ask if you would like to record the whole series, or just this episode. Easy!
Another nice feature was that if a program is split in two (for example a movie that is cut in half by Saturday nights lotto draw), you just select to record the first part, and the second part is automatically recorded as well – nifty.
There do not appear to be any options regarding recording quality, though I still haven’t read the manual!
The playback of recorded material appears to be in the same quality as the original broadcast – e.g. if you record an HD show, you will be able to watch it in HD – most excellent.
There does not appear to be a long list of recording features on this device, but it does the basics very well, and you do not have to get out the manual to remember how to record Coronation St. Once you have pressed ‘EPG’ (Electronic Program Guide) to see the listings, it tells you which button to push to record, and shows a little [R] next to programs scheduled to record, or [S] next to programs for which you have booked the whole series.
A lot of you might be battling the concept of “Wife acceptance factor” (or “WAF”) in regards to gadgets in the living room.
Of course the “WAF” concept can apply to flatmates, hubbys, kids, siblings, parents, and significant others - not just the proverbial technophobic wife, who demands uncomplicated and instant access to DH, Trinny & Susannah, Shorty, anything to do with doing up houses (or castles), anything with ‘makeover’ in the title, and anything hosted by Ryan Seacrest.
This stems from the fact that if your housemates cannot simply come in, sit down, turn the TV on, and start changing channels or playing recordings without needing a PhD and a ten page “How to watch TV in our house” manual, you WILL cop it, and the housemates will demand a return to simpler times, that will conflict greatly with your desire to have your new gagdet take centre stage in the room.
Wife acceptance factor with the Homecast should be at an all-time high. It ‘does what it says on the box’, doesn’t have a zillion menu options to get lost in, and the basics of watching tv, checking the guide, recording from the guide, and playing back are covered off with a really easy to use interface.
About the author: Tony Hughes is a self-employed financial & IT consultant, based in Hawkes Bay. As a busy, working parent of young children, I am enjoying the family & child oriented content available on Freeview, as well as the odd Sci-Fi series as well (Primeval for starters!). I often find I miss shows, as I do not glue myself to the tv every night, so I am looking forward to trying out the Homecast PVR from Freeview.
Other related posts:
Reliability of the Homecast DTR9200
Setting up the Homecast HT9200DTR
What I expect from MyFreeview|HD
Comment by David Cole, on 30-Sep-2009 08:04
That's good that the EPG recordings works like that. This is how it should be. SIMPLE and quick. Do you know if it handles time changes/extension/contraction of show length?
Comment by tonyhughes, on 30-Sep-2009 09:44
I do not know at this stage. If you could give me an example of a listing(s) likely to change, I will try and find out for you.
Comment by Raff, on 6-Oct-2009 05:55
pls kindly let me know how to configure my blackbery 7230 phone
Comment by Carl, on 11-Feb-2010 14:54
Does the Homecast support external USB hard drives? Also, is there a way to access the recorded content from a PC? I'm thinking of using XBMC over a network..
Comment by evanh, on 2-Apr-2011 23:20
A belated detail - There is no recording quality options because it's doesn't do the compression like what the analogue recorders have to. Digital broadcasts are already compressed just like a DVD. PVRs/DTRs/what-evers only have the much easier decoding/decompressing function. That is unless it also happens to have some video inputs as well as the aerial/network inputs ...
Comment by graeme pedersen, on 9-Jun-2011 17:54
Sounds like a good basic unit and probably the best way to go. Q. I am a bit thick, but I presume this is a tuner and being such, it could be plugged into a projector without the need for a conventional T.V. Q. obviously, the ultimate would be to have a wireless system where it could beam a signal to any other analogue set or PC in the house. Is this a possibility ?
Comment by freitasm, on 9-Jun-2011 20:30
That's correct, you can plug anything to it, not only a TV...