This PVR from Sagem is their first to cater for Freesat and HD. The DTR94250S comes equipped with a generous 250GB hard drive providing about 60 hours of HD recording time (or 125 hours at standard def). You can also opt for the DTR94500S if you need more recording space as this has a 500GB hard drive but is otherwise identical.

A key important feature with the Sagem recorder is that it does feature twin tuners, meaning you can reliably watch one channel while recording another. Or even record two channels while watching a previous recording! Single tuner models won’t let you do this – and it will prove a major inconvenience in time. So always go for twin tuners.

The RRP is £250 which is pretty good (although see below as you can do much better online).

The machine itself is fairly attractive if functional looking. It is very slim at just 4cm high, which may be a significant appeal depending on how much space you have in your TV cabinet (always ensure sufficient ventilation space so things don’t overheat though).

Connectivity is good. Importantly it does have an HDMI out, but also provides twin Scart sockets and unusually component outputs too. Audio outs are both digital (coaxial) and analogue RCA.


An ethernet port is in place for BBC iPlayer use. And finally a front mounted USB socket – although that remains unused at present.

Recording Freesat

So how does the DTR94250S HD perform? Pretty darn well I’m pleased to say. Picture quality is really good, with colours rich and pleasing. Standard definition, and HD will not disappoint. Oh, and setup is really simple, so you’ll have it out of the box and working in next to no time.

The EPG does the job. It could be a little clearer but that might improve anyway with later software updates. Recording is a breeze, just hit the record button in the EPG and it asks if you want a one-off or a series. Any recording clashes are well explained and easy to fix. And you can also sort your recordings into folders which is becoming very useful as hard drives get larger.

Any Problems?

There is one niggle. The remote control doesn’t live up to expectations – the buttons are small and a bit fiddly. So if you have big sausage fingers and don’t have a good programmable all-in-one remote control already, you should look elsewhere. Otherwise it’s not a deal breaker.

Conclusion

It is possible to buy a better Freesat PVR, but for the money you can’t really go wrong with Sagem DTR94250S, or the DTR94500S if you want double the recording space.

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