TVonics DTR-HD500 review

This Freeview+ HD 500GB PVR has HDMI switching

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  • HD & SD pictures
  • Easy recording
  • Intriguing design
  • Dual HDMI switching


  • Lime green interface
  • Small buttons on remote
  • High price

Aside from the curved and tilted design that recalls some of Samsung's Blu-ray players, this Freeview+HD recorder from British company TVonics has a unique feature in that it also works as a hi-def hub.

On its rear you'll find not only a HDMI output to send hi-def pictures to your TV, but also a brace of HDMI inputs. They're labeled for 'games console' and 'DVD player', though anything that uses a HDMI cable can be switched, typically a Blu-ray player.

Other connections include two USB inputs – one on the side and one on the rear – both of which can accept memory sticks or external hard drives stuffed with digital media.

If that's useful, so too is its 500GB hard disk that's able record around 70 hours of HD programmes, or around 255 hours of regular standard definition fare. It's not quite up to the standards of the latest Sky+HD box, but it's as big as they get in the Freeview HD market.

tvonics dtr hd500

Recording functionality is relatively advanced, with its dual DVB-T2 tuners allowing you to record two channels at once. Recordings can be set from an eight-day electronic programme guide, while all the latest Freeview+HD specs are on board.

There's also a media player that shows only JPEG photos from a USB stick, and an Ethernet LAN port that's largely redundant – there's no media streaming here. And nor is there a Common Interface slot, so Top-Up TV is off the menu.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital Video Recorder
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Brand NameTVonics
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Video SystemDVB
ManufacturerTVonics Solutions, Ltd
Product ModelDTR-Z500
Product NameDTR-Z500 Digital Video Recorder
Manufacturer Part NumberDTRZ500
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Freeview+ Digital TV Recorder. Recording TV has never been so simple. No tapes, no discs, no fuss. Watch, record and pause digital TV. Works with analog or digital Televisions. Includes an integrated Freeview Digital TV receiver inside so you do not need a separate Freeview Receiver. Dual channel recording with Picture in Picture. Supporting the full feature set of Freeview+ including the ability to record a complete TV series, reschedule a recording and alternative instance recording. Compact and quiet. Ideal for use where space is limited.

Package Contents
  • DTR-Z500 Digital Video Recorder
  • Remote Control