Having reviewed a Samsung Smart TV along with a Blu-ray home theatre setup in recent months, it really is rational to follow that up with a recording device which has at-least two TV tuners to create the amusement center complete.
We have selected the Beyonwiz DP-P2 which has been on the market for some time already and has found a steady development over the years in ability and characteristics of the record hard drive. At any rate, it is easy to off load recordings to another hard drive to preserve adequate recording capacity.
The Beyonwiz DP-P2 is a relatively well known performer, so are there any surprises left to find?
Let's start with a few possible problems.
Initially, I was a little disappointed that it was not a full HD recording device but simply 1080i. However, given today's broadcasting landscape, that is not a big deal. The playback is as great when you are used to watch right from the "tube".
Wireless network connection might have been a nice choice as everything else in our home theatre setup is wireless. In fact the router is in another room and I really don't want to cable through the wall to have the networking function happening...
Within our region (the Southwest of Western Australia) we still have GWN and WIN which have to implement digital broadcasting and the official timeline for changeover is set for
2013... So to my chagrin this unit doesn't sport any analogue tuners. When I questioned the marketing manager of Beyonwiz DPP2 his plausible answer was to the effect the market for analogue tuners is quickly shrinking so manufacturers are naturally loath to contain any soon to-be legacy features. Here is hoping the time-line for the changeover is coming a bit sooner!
Let's now turn our attention to the positive facets of this recording device and you'll find quite a few of these. We'll just stick to the core capabilities for this review since this special product has been out for quite some time. We will have a more in depth review of the following version to be announced by Beyonwiz.
Pressing the Guide button on-the remote will display the digital program guide. From there it is easy to highlight the show you want to record. Playback is a cinch too with good naming conventions for the shows and the duration of the recording. Also, the Beyonwiz DPP2 supports IceTV's electronic program guide and three months free subscription to IceTV is included with the system. This enables you to program your recordings from just about any browser. It is really useful to be able to tell the machine to record unique shows for you, regardless of if they are on. The DPP2 also has the capability to report from external analogue sources such as Pay TV.
One of the handiest functions of a PVR like the Beyonwiz DPP2 is the power to time shift. If you have an unexpected phone call or visitor while watching your favorite show recording a program for later viewing is of course also a kind of timeshifting but the ability to pause or even rewind Live TV, can become a lifesaver. The DP-P2 keeps a maximum of 2 hrs of received broadcast data on the disc.
File management becomes significant when you have recorded a fair few programs and need to delete particular shows or group them together into a brand new folder and onto another drive entirely. As stated before, this PVR can moreover play back most music files as well as display your pictures.
The Beyonwiz DP-P2 has more capabilities and attributes than you are likely to use. Having said that, there are usually some areas left out that may have been included, like wireless networking ability. Of course, wireless capacity and Full HD will be the next logical step in the development of the Beyonwiz range. We consider such a system will be heading to the Oz market really shortly and we'll be the first to review it when this unit hits our shores.
Our biggest ratings criterion is always the Value for Money factor.
It performs its core functions, multiple recordings through a simple interface, with aplomb. After the initial setup is completed it really is reasonably easy to use. Other functions, like networking and file management, might become somewhat more difficult to set up but at the very least you possess the advantage of an extensive Australian manual.
There is also a healthy activity on the Beyonwiz forum so that practically any query can be answered there. Our suggestion would-be to go for the maximum disk capacity you can afford because you will find many uses for this box, like timeshifting and storing your mediafiles, videos and pictures on the hard drive.
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