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EchoStar HDS-600RS review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 349
inc VAT

A very simple-to-use dual Freesat HD PVR with the ability to stream video over the internet, but it's expensive and not as flexible as we'd hoped.

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Our minor problem with the system is that using the Sling Loaded part, you control the box directly. So, what you see on your TV is what you see on your computer. For a device like this, we were hoping that the integration would go further, allowing a remote viewer to watch a recording, while leaving the people at home to watch live TV, for example.

With two tuners it would be nice if the remote viewer could use a spare tuner if it were available, allowing two different channels to be watched. It’s also a shame that you can’t stream iPlayer over the internet either. Using iPlayer on the set-top box disables incoming connections and prevents you from even connecting to the box. That’s not to say that the Sling Loaded technology isn’t useful, but it’s not as flexible as we’d have hoped.

As this box is network connected it’s a shame that it can’t stream music, videos and photos from a UPnP server. It also can’t play this kind of media from a USB stick attached to the prominent port on the front; this is solely for firmware upgrades.

Echostar HDS-600RS front

If you absolutely must have access to your TV from wherever you are, the EchoStar HDS-600RS is pretty good value, compared to the cost of a separate Slingbox and Freesat HD recorder. Its value is further enhanced by the quality and simplicity of the PVR. However, even given the Sling Loaded technology, this PVR is an expensive purchase and standalone Freesat HD or Freeview HD recorders can be bought for at least £100 less.

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Details

Rating ****

Features

Analogue tuners 0
Digital tuners 2
Hybrid tuners 0
Radio DVB-S
EPG days 8
Dual-channel recording yes
Series link yes
Video recording format MPEG2, H.264
Certified Freeview Playback no
Picture in Picture no
Interactive content support yes

Connections

Analogue tuner RF inputs 0
Digital tuner RF inputs 2
Hybrid tuner RF inputs 0
RF passthrough sockets 0
HDMI outputs 1
Component outputs 0
Output resolutions PAL (576i), 720p, 1080i
Total SCART sockets 2
S-Video input 0
S-video output 0
Composite inputs 0
Composite outputs 0
Stereo phono inputs 0
Stereo phono outputs 1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 0
Optical S/PDIF outputs 1
Surround sound formats Dolby Digital
Other ports USB

Storage

Capacity 500GB
Optical drive no
Optical drive type N/A
Audio playback formats N/A
Video playback formats N/A
Image viewing formats N/A

General

Power consumption standby 17W
Power consumption on 25W
Extras remote control
Size 390x275x55mm

Buying Information

Price £349
Warranty two years RTB
Supplier http://www.johnlewis.com
Details www.exchostareurope.com

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