Who will win the Freeview HD PVR race?
May 23, 2010 2 Comments
The fight is on! Who will win the battle in the race to be the de facto Freeview HD PVR that everyone rushes out and purchases just in time for the World Cup? So far we have that young upstart Digital Stream who were first off the blocks with their offering the Digital Stream DHR – 8203/5U closely followed by one from those old AV stalwarts Pace/Philips with their offering the Philips HDT8520.
It’s been a tight call as to who would be first out of the starting gate, and that young upstart Digital Stream just managed to pip the old stalwarts into first place.
Early reports from the usual sources of brave souls who love to be first to purchase any new AV equipment are fairly mixed. Some like the Digital Stream (although no one has been in a hurry to furnish other eager early adaptors with any photos of either the user interface or the resulting pictures from the Digital Stream unit) but we have been shown some pictures of the Philips PVR and very impressive it looks too.
We technophobes who frequent AVforums and Digital Spy, and who must have the latest as soon as it lands on the shelves, often find ourselves actually ending up as unpaid beta testers for the relevant manufacturers. Let’s face it, we are the ones who point out that this feature or that feature is missing, not working right, needs updating etc. and most of the members on both sites are actually very knowledgeable which of course is an added bonus. In fact, some manufacturers actually seek beta testers for their products from those sites, especially from Digital Spy, which is as much frequented by employees from set top box/PVR manufacturers as it is from users. (Though not all let on that they are employees) It’s an ideal site to find out what users think of your products and its been known for even managers to join in on the forums on occasions in the past.
Because most of us who are members on there are early adaptors who like to purchase the latest kit, we have become over the years a valuable source of feedback and also willing beta testers besides helping those members who find the sites because they need help setting up and using their new equipment. I have been a member of Digital Spy for years. I first joined the site as a member back in the OnDigital days. There are other female members on there as well, I am far from being the only one but we are vastly outnumbered by the guys, and it has mainly been the male members of course who have been desperate for a Freeview HD PVR to arrive in time for the world cup which begins on June 10th. So it’s been panic stations as to whether or not a manufacturer would be able to get their product out in time and who would be the first.
After all, such is the need for such a unit to record the matches taking place in glorious HD, that its a given it will sell like hotcakes. Another new kid on the block, 3View have their impressive unit out at the end of this month, so that will also be another contender. The interest shown in this new unit is that its an all singing, all dancing box that professes to do just about everything bar do the washing up. So who will the eventual winner be? And what of the usual winner of the PVR races in the past, Humax? Where on earth is their offering? Well, the latest news is that their Freeview PVR is unlikely to get to the starting gate until July at the earliest, so the World Cup will be all over by then, and maybe, just maybe we will already have a winner in the race to be the ‘must have’ Freeview PVR.