Post details: Digital HDD recorder - update

12/07/06

Permalink 10:08:29 am, Categories: Review, Technology, 411 words   English (UK)

Digital HDD recorder - update

Well I've had my Sagem 7280T for a few weeks now and I guess it's staying. It's not done anything really terrible and so I'll live with it. The temperature controlled fan is a lot quieter that I expected and it's not been on all that often, even with the high temperatures we had here in the last few weeks. The persistent ticking from the hard disk itself is no louder than a clock and I can certainly live with that.

That's not to say that it functions perfectly. It has a few niggles and I'll outline them here so you can be aware of them.

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The most irritating is probably the way that it crashes and reboots almost every time you try to turn it off. As a result, you have to wait for it to re-initialize before you can turn it off again. Modern hardware often takes a little while to boot up, but you shouldn't have to give it 20-odd seconds of considered attention just to turn it off.

It consistently crashes on channel 303. There's really nothing interesting on 303, but it's a key page in the BBCi digital strategy and as a result it's easy to go there unwittingly. If the unit was recording something at the time, a reboot would be most unwelcome, and because it always comes back on with the tuner set to the last channel it was decoding, it can be tricky to recover from this situation without factory resetting the unit; which obviously requires you to retune it afterwards.

We tried to watch something which we had already started recording. This works, but threw up a couple more irritations. The first was that picking the program off the list of recordings took us to the live feed. I'd prefer to get to the live feed from the program guide or the channel changer. If I pick it off the recording list, I expect to be taken to the start of the recording. Instead I had to rewind to the beginning.

Then when it finished recording, it also decided to stop playback, so I had to go back to the list a choose it again. It hadn't even bookmarked where it had stopped so I had to wind forward to find the place I'd been.

I'll live with it, but this model seems to have had at least 4 firmware revisions since September, and this kind of shoddy work does the whole industry a disservice.

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