I saw a similar thread here, and was just going to post there, but see that you guys prefer new threads not to confuse issues.
I'm looking for a reliable FreeView HD PVR STB, with a large built in hard drive that I can backup recordings from (e.g. backup to PC). Full 8 day EPG would be nice but not essential. I just want to be certain the unit will record the shows I program, and be able to do basic things like fast forward HD recorded content smoothly, or time slip (like my old Panny EH67).
It's really hard to tell what these units are like to use in reality just going off the sales blurbs, spec sheets, or even the pdf manuals.
It sounds like the MagicTV 3600 is a favourite on Geekzone. The only catch with these freeview approved sets is the lack of backup to PC ability. I think I heard mention of this possibility on the Homecast 9200 by doing frequent firmware flashes with a old or hacked version (less than ideal). Does any other PVR STB allow this? I've eliminated several older (non approved) PVRs as they have such poor recording and playback capabilities (not reliable), or require an external USB drive (often only smaller FAT32 formats). Maybe I missed a good one?
I've also been looking at the TViX 6500 (playing media would be a nice extra). The trouble is even with a dual tuner card, they seem extremely limited as a PVR and have many firmware/reliability problems. e.g. overheating, freezes, slow search, can't view a recording while recording, etc.
Perhaps better going for a proven brand like the Panasonic DMRBW850? It seems to be the only big brand recorder that allows backup of recordings (to BD). The DMR-XW350 will compress HD content to fit on DVD (not ideal). Pretty damn expensive models, and perhaps still a bit buggy?
Any personal experiences or tech advice appreciated.