Confession: I have read the Magic TV Owner's Guide
- something all self respecting DTV posters assiduously avoid, but there, I've done it!
And what do I find? The first important piece of info: There is no danger of any firmware being inadvertently installed which will cause it to revert to crippled FREEVIEW status
What happens is that if connected to the net either hardwired or by dongle etc, it will download any updated freeware but not install it without permission. So we can relax on that score.
And yes, it will do lots of other clever things -
* If you are viewing live, all you need do to start a recording is to press the PLAY button - neat and simple
* Yes it does have options to alter an EPG setting to start earlier - just not so simple for me to find the appropriate menu without the Guide
* Editing recordings is possible and looks simple - it is a function I only use on a DVDR before burning and I cannot see much purpose for it on a PVR, particularly as it only hides, rather than deletes unwanted sections, so no gain in HDD space is made unless you copy the edited version and delete the original - a fair bit of messing around. With a good skip function I see little point in editing on the PVR. If you download to a DVDR or a PC editing there would normally be an easier proposition anyway.
* You can move recordings to folders already set up. Not sure yet if either the file or folder can be renamed (there are limits to how assiduously I'll study the Guide
) but having folders to move heaps of files into is important if you intend using the HDD to archive (and I suppose editing could be useful then). The 1 TB HDD capacity does make archiving more of a proposition.
* There are heaps of settings available - listed in Chapter 8 and too boring to go through here.
Bottom line is it is a good PVR provided you are not looking for something with external input.
And, at $299 + a few more dollars for Australian Post freight (rather than expensive courier) it is a steal.