Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
OpenTel ODT 4200 PVR
- Accessible on-screen interface, good remote, dual tuners
- Crummy timeshifting, no HD support
An inexpensive digital PVR, the OpenTel lacks anything to really knock your socks off.
Price$ 449.00 (AUD)
With an 80GB internal hard disk and the most basic of feature sets, the OpenTel ODT 4200PVR is not going to set anybody's world on fire. It's serviceable, however, as long as you're not a huge fan of timeshifting.
The timeshifting implementation can be charitably described as poor. It's not always on--you have to initialise it manually--and then the whole system pauses for a few seconds before it kicks in. Fast-forwarding through the timeshift buffer is jerky and inconsistent--and you can't rewind at all.
The 4200PVR does not support HD at all, though it does have two internal tuners, allowing you to watch one SDTV program while recording another. It uses an aerial loop-through, so you only need one aerial source for both tuners. The supplied remote is of a very high quality--solid and comfortable, allowing easy access to the most desirable functions of the PVR. Your list of recorded programs can be made to appear at the touch of a button, as can the interface for scheduling new recordings. It also has a couple of handy buttons that allow you to jump from channel multiplex to multiplex, skipping all the simulcast channels that are so common in Australian DTV.
The on-screen interface is also easily navigable, and very responsive. The pause between channel changes has been kept to a minimum, saving you from one of the most frustrating aspects of digital television set-top boxes. Scheduling recordings is extremely well implemented; the task can be accomplished in a matter of seconds. EPG information is kept with the recorded video, so you don't have to figure out what that program you recorded on July 7 at 10:00 might be.
The OpenTel can connect to your TV set via an antenna cable or through the TV's composite RCA inputs. It also boasts two SCART outputs, as well as an S/PDIF port for digital audio.
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