Philips HDT8520 review

A difficult birth, but this Pace/Philips Freeview HD PVR is now as able bodied as any

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We liked

The software update has made this a Freeview HD recorder of some status in terms of functionality, and though it's not the finished article the HDT8520's picture quality and ease of use should be enough to please most users.

We disliked

There's nothing flash about the HDT8520. There's no dabbling with USB playback, BBC iPlayer or any kind of networking, while the lack of Dolby Digital support and a Common Interface slot – for Top-Up TV – makes the HDT8520 a closed, albeit impressive, experience.

Final verdict

A solid performer, but there's nothing flash about the HDT8520. And though it comes with no extras, if you're after fairly advanced Freeview HD recording functionality it's a good option. As a bonus, its poor rep pre-software update would appear to be translating into a discount price.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital Video Recorder
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Maximum Recording Time125 Hour
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Composite VideoYes
Sound SystemDolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus
Brand NamePhilips
Video FormatsMPEG-2, MPEG-4, MPEG
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height70 mm
Width235 mm
Depth210 mm
Video SystemPAL, DVB-T
Audio FormatsAAC
ManufacturerPhilips Electronics
Product ModelHDT8520
Product NameHDT8520 Digital Video Recorder
Manufacturer Part NumberHDT852005
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Watch and record your favourite TV shows in HD
Pause and resume live TV. Don't miss a thing with the Philips Freeview+ HD PVR! It not only integrates the top audio-visual technology, but also boasts remarkably low power consumption in both active and standby modes and has been designed to function almost silently.

Package Contents
  • HDT8520 Digital Video Recorder
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • HDMI Cable
  • RF Antenna Cable
  • Mains Cord
  • Mains Adapter
  • User Manual
  • Quick Start Guide
Weight (Approximate)1.75 kg