So as I explained I got the Humax 9200T Duovisio Freeview PVR (Personal Video Recorder) for my birthday. I've wanted this for a couple of months, and first mentioned it on the blog here, but have been rabbiting on about it to anyone who's interested.

Anyway I've got it, but what the hell is it, for all you people afraid of new technology! Well, it is a personal video recorder, or hard drive recorder. Essentially, you can do away with your video recorder and tapes, and just use this. No longer do you need to find a tape, wind it on to a free slot, record, wind it back to watch it, and suffer the poor quality of VHS. Simply highlight the programme you want to record in the tv guide and hey presto, its set to record in fantastic digital quality. So that's a good thing for a start.

However it can do more, as this is also a Freeview receiver. So it gets all the new digital Freeview channels. Finally its a duovisio, dual tuner box, which means it has two Freeview receivers so you can record up to two digital channels, and watch a third digital channel at the same time! Even a normal tv / video setup couldn't do that, so that's cool. Its also got all the features of Sky Plus, so you can pause and rewind live tv, and have picture in picture if you're trying to watch something on two channels at once!

So that's what it is, but what is it actually like? Well, bloody good if I'm honest! Compared to my old Philips OnDigital box (unsliced bread) this is way better (sliced bread). In operation channels change when you tell it to and not 2 seconds later, the interactive services are actually usable, and not only that but so quick even Dawn agrees its quicker to use it over normal teletext now! The signal / picture is also brilliant, and outstanding considering its splitting the signal into two tuners. Its got 160GB inside, so no real chance of running out of space for stuff to record. Quite simply this box will change mine and Dawn's life forever, and if the rest of the family haven't got one (or one similar) by the end of next year I'll eat my hat.

I could continue to rave on about it for another 10 paragraphs, but I won't, other than the mp3 and photo playback features, great user interface etc. The only downsides so far, and they really are minor, is that the audio line out is really quiet, but still works, sometimes the channel info in the tv guide can take a few seconds to load, and the plug is molded on so I had to cut a bigger hole out of the back of the tv cabinet before it could be plugged in. But they really are minor issues.

I'm so happy with this present I might marry Dawn, ah already have! But I'm that happy with it, and can't recommend it enough. As a final comment I was looking at the Topfield PVR, but went for the Humax instead, and it was the best decision I ever made. Buy one, now!

Update: Humax have issued a couple of over the air updates, I've blogged about them here!