- Simple and easy to use, Effective recording capabilities
- Expensive, No way to back up recordings, Limited features, Awkward interface
A pricey option, this is a product that should appeal to users who are only looking for a unit with twin high definition tuners and a hard drive.
Price$ 849.95 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
Philips' DVR5100 is a capable device for users looking for high definition digital reception and recording functionality. However, its relatively limited list of functions combined with a high price, make it an unsuitable choice for a majority of users. Lacking DVD support, its overall usability is quite limited. Dual high definition tuners and a 160GB hard drive make it an adequate recording device, but it's hampered by its interface.
Digital TV reception on the DVR5100 is quite good, and it picked up all local channels quite quickly. Image quality was respectable, without noticeable flaws in either standard or high definition video. It's a good option for those without an integrated digital tuner in their current TV; most users who have recently purchased a new TV will find that it comes equipped with digital reception. Nevertheless, the dual tuners and high definition capabilities make it an attractive product for those looking for something extra.
Recording is quite streamlined, although at the same time lacking advanced options. One-touch recording works well, with the DVR5100 automatically setting the recording to end at the end of the program. Similarly, recording can easily be set to stop after a pre-determined time, adjustable in half-hour intervals up to six hours. Users concerned that the 160GB hard drive might not be large enough for their needs should also be aware that the Philips DVR7100 is available, which ships with a larger 250GB hard drive. One of the only downsides is the lack of a way to get recordings off the hard drive. Without a DVD recorder, Ethernet, or USB support, recordings can't be saved to other media, forcing users to delete recordings if more space is required.
The included time-shift buffer, an almost required feature on set-top boxes these days, works well, giving users the ability to pause live TV. A slight downside is that the time-shift buffer must be manually started, meaning that users don't have the ability to spontaneously rewind live TV. Apart from that, it's one of the better time-shift buffers we've seen, for its simplicity; it helps to make the DVR5100 an attractive product for inexperienced users.
The timer function is similar in its functionality and ease of use; it works well and is simple enough to be operated by almost anyone. Combined with the time-shift buffer and dual tuners, it makes the DVR5100 a useful and functional recording unit.
One let-down of the DVR5100 is its interface. Continuing the trend of simplicity, it unfortunately serves to make things harder to use rather than easier. Setting up a favourites menu (a very important feature, with digital TV's multitude of channels) is an awkward and almost hidden process. We also found several options to be missing or limited; the lack of adjustable recording modes is one of the most notable.
Overall, despite a few omissions and oversimplifications, the DVR5100 is a highly functional device, but unfortunately, one which still fails to justify its high asking price. Those in the market for a dual high definition tuner set-top box with the ability to record programs to a hard drive will be well-served by the DVR5100, but others will be more likely to find better value in other products.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Evapolar USB air conditioner review
- 2 LED Lenser P7R Professional Torch review
- 3 Aftershokz Wireless Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headphones review
- 4 Review: Periscope users rejoice with Feiyu’s G4 Plus 3-Axis Gimbal for Smartphone video
- 5 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review
Latest News Articles
- Amazon's faster new Fire TV Stick comes with an Alexa-enabled voice remote
- 4K Chromecast Ultra details leak ahead of Google event
- Sonos comes to the Apple store, but what does that mean for Beats speakers?
- Plex Cloud lets you say goodbye to your always-on home media server
- Sony's first 4K Blu-ray player reminds you what a steal the Xbox One S truly is
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTOutbound TelesalesVIC
- FTTechnical Business Analyst | Marketing ServicesNSW
- FTLinux Systems AdministratorNZ
- CCContract Web Developer (160915/WD/vmp)Asia
- CCSoftware TesterACT
- FTEMC Storage ConsultantWA
- CCSecurity Cleared IT Professionals - Expression of InterestSA
- CCInfrastructure Project Manager - DCR ProjectNSW
- CCSenior Change ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst -Change and SAP ProcurementNSW
- CCSolutions ArchitectACT
- FTCertification and Accreditation Security ConsultantACT
- CCBusiness Analyst - Telecom ProjectNSW
- CCIT Security ArchitectACT
- FTCustomer Solutions Engineer | Voice | Data | TelcoNSW
- CCInformatica Developer (MDM)NSW
- FTIT Pre-Sales EngineerSA
- CCBusiness Analyst with change management experienceACT
- FTTeam Leader Full Stack, Python, FinanceNSW
- FTTechnical Support Engineer | Cloud | Automation techsNSW
- CCNetwork Design Specialist - TelecommunicationsNSW
- FTOutbound TelesalesVIC
- FTSenior PHP DeveloperNSW
- FTBackup ConsultantWA
- FTBusiness Development Manager | ICT intelligent systems integrationVIC