It should be said from the outset that the Relook 400S - an intriguing Linux-based satellite PVR - is not intended for Sky Digital, because it lacks the necessary conditional-access hardware.
Although compatible with Astra 2.xs FTA channels (such as BBC or ITV), the 400S is really intended for use with other satellites like Hotbird and Astra 1x. The 400S has twin-tuners, as with the Sky box. With appropriate setup, recording of one programme is allowed while another is being viewed.
Two things make the 400S stand out. One is its software upgradability; third parties are developing custom firmwares and plug-ins, free of charge. The second is a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port that supports DHCP. Through this, network upgrades are possible. Furthermore, recordings can be transferred via FTP to a PC for conversion and DVD authoring.
A web interface is included for remote control, scheduling and transfer of files to a remote PC. After placing the 400S in our router's DMZ, we were able to gain remote Internet access to the web interface via a dynamic IP provider.
The large files containing recordings were slow to transfer with typical broadband upload speeds - so an offline MPEG-4 conversion tool would help here.