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Test Report for Dreambox DM 800 HD PVR

Dreambox DM 800 HD PVR

The personal video recorder (PVR), also known as a digital video recorder (DVR), is a device that records TV onto a hard drive in digital format. Unlike video and DVD recorders, there is no need for tapes or disks. Unlike VHS recorders, PVRs give you the ability to pause live TV, instantly replay scenes just watched while continuing to record and, most importantly, skip through adverts. The first thing to consider when buying a PVR is the size of the hard drive. Try going for one with a minimum of 40GB, but 80GB would be better. Most will come with a single Freeview tuner for getting free digital TV signals, but an increasing number are arriving with two. This means you can watch one channel and record another or even record two different channels while watching a previous recording. The latest HD Personal Video Recorder from Dreambox, DM 800 is our desk.

On the front side of the black cabinet, an easy-to-read VFD display is located on the right side. There is no button on the front panel except the power button. There is also a smartcard Reader slot on the front panel. They can accept any compatible module such as Irdeto, Seca, Viaccess, Conax, Alphacrypt, etc. The rear panel is equipped with TV scart connector, USB slot, programmable 12 volt output, serial interface RS-232 for updating a software, DVI output and digital audio output. All things considered, there's really nothing missing here. The remote control presents a very pleasant look. The option buttons of the remote control have multiple have multiple functions. The well-written user manual comes with numerous pictures that make it easy for users.

Especially important with Dreambox DM 800 that will most likely be used with LCD or plasma TV's, is naturally the HDMI output and above all the video format to be used.

German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch and Polish, Finnish and Hungarian languages are available for communication. It also has an optical digital output for sound, which will give good quality stereo should you have an amplifier or speaker system that can accept it. Finally, there's a USB port on the back that allows the box to be connected to a computer.

In addition to DiSEqC 1.0, access to multiple satellite positions can also be accomplished with DiSEqC 1.1 for up to 16 LNBs as well as the motor control protocols DiSEqC 1.2 and 1.3 (USALS).

Dreambox DM 800 is designed with the 16:9 and 4:3 video format in mind. Dreambox DM 800 have automatic scan, manual and other expanded scanning modes are also available whereby the latter lets you enter not only the frequency, symbolrate, polarization and modulation, but also the correct PIDs.

The start wizard helps you with the basic set up of your Dreambox receiver. You will be shown different video output modes for 10 seconds, after you have connected and switched on you receiver. Once you see a closer picture on your TV screen, press the OK button to select it. If you prefer a different output, than the selected one you can use the Navigation buttons up/down and the OK button to select it.

By pressing the info button in TV mode, you are supplied with detailed information about the current show and by pressing the right button afterwards about the next show. By pressing the yellow options button, you can either sort the single EPG alphabetically or by time. This way you can very quickly and easily access the single-EPG of every service. The Multi-EPG will be displayed according to your set time and date. With the help of a timer, you can record shows (if you have a hard dish installed). You are offered two different ways to programme a timer, the manual way and via the EPG. An ongoing recording is indicated by a flashing symbol in the info bar. During a recording, you can watch another service, view a previously record movie or add an additional recording. The number of recordings depends on the number of services residing on a transponder. It is possible to make up to four simultaneous SDTV or two HDTV recordings.

Once a recording is started, no matter if manually or by timer, it will be signaled by a note on the screen. Dreambox DM 800 HD PVR also shows Teletext services.



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