- Easy setup and install
- Not visually appealing, tower form factor, overly large channel plate
The HDT-1100 does the job, but a rather cheap look and feel detract from the overall package.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
We recently had a look at, and were quite impressed with, the DT-720 standard definition set top box from Australian company Mediastar. The HDT-1100 is the high definition offering from the same firm.
For some unknown reason, the HDT-1100 ships with a small stand, designed to place the unit in an upright position (think tower) rather than a traditional VCR form factor. We find this strange as set top boxes are predominantly used in the lounge room and not many other appliances are placed vertically this way. The logo and controls are angled in such a way however, that the unit can be used without the stand and placed flat. The LED can also be 'rotated' (in store) so that it displays horizontally, rather than vertically.
In the looks department, the best we can say about this model is that it is functional. The silver and black styling is fairly standard these days, but the finish is of an inferior quality, giving the whole unit a rather cheap look. Similar to the DT-720, there are very few controls on the front of the panel - only channel, volume and power buttons. All other functions have to be accessed using the remote.
We connected the HDT-1100 to our Toshiba 62 inch DLP using a component cable and in a few minutes had the system menu displayed onscreen. We liked the menu on the DT-720 because it was easy to use and understandable. The menu on the HDT-1100 is not as intuitive though, and you will need to refer to manual in order to work out the different functions. Although we found the manual to be very helpful, we also noticed that for some reason it didn't cover off all the functions of the unit.
The HDT-1100 picked up both digital television and digital radio channels in a few minutes using the Quick Scan functions. On all other units we have seen, pressing the 'Menu' button usually displays the system menus on a blue, black or grey background. With this model though, the menu is simply superimposed on whatever channel you are watching. We didn't particularly like this, as sometimes it was difficult to clearly see what we were selecting. You can however, change this setting using the 'Transparency' function in the preferences, which will display the menus on a standard coloured background.
The program guide on this model was excellent. Channels were listed on the right hand side and a small preview box of the current channel on the left. Scrolling up and down would change the preview, while using the left and right arrow keys on the remote displayed the next program coming up. In this screen, you can also set up reminders to watch a program, and a small reminder box will popup onscreen 10 seconds before the program is due to start.
We quite liked the channel plate information on the DT-720. It was informative, easy to understand and displayed discreetly at the bottom of the screen. Unfortunately, the channel plate on this unit doesn't make as good use of real estate and takes up almost half of the screen, obscuring the picture to a significant degree. The length of time that the plate is displayed can be toggled in the preferences. Pressing the Info button the remote control at any time also displays the channel plate, and pressing it again displays detailed information about the current programs.
Like the DT-720, users can setup a list of favorite channels to watch - or in this case two lists. This was simple to do and pressing the 'Favorites' button on the remote displayed this list onscreen. The HDT-1100 also has a Picture in Picture (PiP) function, that allows you to display another channel in a small box on the screen. On this unit however, we could only use PiP for similarly grouped channels because it lacks twin tuners. For example, if we were watching ABC HD, we could only use PiP to display other ABC channels. This isn't very helpful if, for example, you want to watch the cricket (on channel 9) while you watch ABC news. Additionally, you cannot change the channel when PiP is activated, as pressing the arrow keys simply moves the channel box to different areas of the screen.
For parents, the HDT-1100 allows you to block certain programs based on their rating. For example, after accessing the system menu, you can set the unit to block all programs that have an 'MA rating or above'. To view these channels, you then have to input a password.
The remote control for this model is very different to the DT-720 and we found it to be much simpler. In addition to the PiP, Favorites and Info buttons, users can also change the aspect ratio, vertical formation, aux settings and freeze live television.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 3 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 4 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 5 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- Google eyes remote content controls for parents in YouTube Kids app
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- Subaru XV 2017 review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTSenior Devops EngineerVIC
- CCDevelopment Lead - Java - TelcoVIC
- CCDigital Business Analyst AgileQLD
- CCApplication Developer - FileNetQLD
- FTSenior Web DeveloperVIC
- FTIntegration SpecialistQLD
- TPMedia AssistantNSW
- CCProcess Improvement Specialist - TelcoVIC
- FTRuby on Rails DeveloperQLD
- FTInternal Recruitment | $36phVIC
- FTApplication Support Consultant (Oracle SQL, Unix scripting)NSW
- TPAPS6 Java DeveloperACT
- FTSenior Front End Developer x 2NSW
- FTDatabase DeveloperVIC
- FTDelivery ExecutiveSA
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- FTJunior DevOps Developer - TelcoVIC
- CCCognos Report WriterQLD
- CCSenior Network Architect l CCIE R&S l Cisco ACINSW
- CCBusiness Project Manager - ApplicationsNSW
- FTKey Account ManagerVIC
- FTBusiness Development ManagerQLD
- FTBusiness Improvement ManagerNSW
- TPProject Manager | HealthQLD