Rev­o­lu­tion­ary re­make

Per­sonal video recorders and net- savvy boxes are chang­ing how we watch TV, writes

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech - Mau­reen Shel­ley

TIVO 320 ME­DIA DE­VICE Tivo, $ 499 my­tivo. com. au

★ ★ ★ ★ ■ With 320 gi­ga­bytes avail­able, you can record up to 60 hours of high­def­i­ni­tion TV or 120 hours of stan­dard­def­i­ni­tion pro­grams. The new­est ver­sion of the Tivo of­fers a sev­en­day elec­tronic pro­gram guide, op­tions to record en­tire TV se­ries, pro­gram sug­ges­tions based on your pref­er­ences and it can be pro­grammed re­motely via a smart­phone or a com­puter. Tivo also of­fers ac­cess to on­de­mand TV shows with free and pay-per-view op­tions. If your ISP is one of Tivo’s part­ners, your on-de­mand TV will be un­metered. Tivo con­nects to a TV via HDMI and can be hooked up to the in­ter­net with an eth­er­net con­nec­tion or wire­less adapter. ACER REVO 100 Acer, $ 999 acer. com. au

★ ★ ★ ★ ■ Noth­ing says ‘‘ smart’’ like a se­cret key­board. This black box is more than a VCR re­place­ment; it’s a fully-fledged com­puter with an en­ter­tain­ment fo­cus. The Revo 100 is a dis­creet home-cinema PC, with a slim pro­file that wouldn’t look out of place be­neath a TV. This ma­chine can be used to play Blu-ray discs, record TV to its built-in 500GB drive, burn TV shows to DVD, or play mu­sic, video or pho­tos from a USB stick ( it of­fers three USB slots). It will also con­nect to the in­ter­net eas­ily, with eth­er­net or wi-fi avail­able, and a 16x12cm panel can slide out from its front to be used as a touch­pad or key­board ( its keys light up). KO­GAN HD SET-TOP BOX WITH PVR Ko­gan Tech­nol­ogy, $ 39 ko­gan. com. au

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ■ Touted as Aus­tralia’s cheap­est high-def­i­ni­tion dig­i­tal set-top box with PVR, Ko­gan has de­liv­ered a solid prod­uct that lets you record up to 500 hours of stan­dard­def­i­ni­tion TV to any USB stick or hard disk. Users can record, ‘‘ timeshift’’ and sched­ule pro­grams for record­ing. The de­vice has an elec­tronic pro­gram guide, will play MP3 mu­sic files or JPEG pho­tos im­ported into its USB port, and con­nects to a TV with an HDMI out­put. The unit also has a parental lock, re­mote con­trol and comes with an AV cable. There are some caveats, how­ever. La­bels on the re­mote can be hard to read, the PVR doesn’t work with all hard drives and you have to print the man­ual. FETCHTV FetchTV, $ 399 fetchtv. com. au

★ ★ ★ ★ ■ FetchTV will soon be avail­able through all in­ter­net ser­vice providers ex­cept Tel­stra. The ser­vice, via a per­sonal video recorder ( PVR), de­liv­ers dig­i­tal free-to-air chan­nels, sub­scrip­tion chan­nels, video on de­mand and in­ter­ac­tive con­tent through un­metered broad­band. It’s a pay-TV ser­vice with up to 30 chan­nels, op­tional ac­cess to 30 films each month plus apps such as YouTube, Face­book, Twit­ter, Wiki, Weather and Math­let­ics. Also, be­cause the box is a PVR you can pause, rewind or record up to 500 hours of tele­vi­sion. iiNet has a three-month free trial of the ser­vice for sub­scribers. T-BOX Tel­stra, $ 399 tel­

★ ★ ★ ★ ■ Big­pond sub­scribers will get the most out of the T-Box, but it can only be used in a lim­ited way for those out­side the Big­pond pool. As a PVR, you can watch free-to-air chan­nels, pause, rewind and record up to 50 hours or 200GB of TV, use an on-screen elec­tronic pro­gram guide and re­ceive ac­cess to Big­pond movies ( rented), video on de­mand and seven Big­pond TV chan­nels at un­metered rates. Youtube is also avail­able, but its use is me­tered and counts to­wards your down­load to­tal. The T-Box is avail­able with Foxtel pack­ages for Big­pond cable cus­tomers at an ex­tra charge.

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