TVonics DTR-Z500HD review

This Freeview+ HD recorder with HDMI switching is as slick as they come

TODO alt text


The user interface is quick and slick, with great use of colour and, most importantly, speed. Pictures from Freeview HD channels are stunning, and though standard-definition channels are upscaled to a reasonably good standard, we've seen better.

Watched on a mid-size TV you're unlikely to have any complaints, but the low bittrate of some channels is obvious if you attach the DTR-Z500HD to any display above 42-inches.

TVonics dtr z500hd

Audio is punchy with enough bass response to impress in a home cinema setting, too. Surround sound can be a confusing area since most boxes now offer 5.1 despite it not being broadcast much on Freeview HD.

Happily, when it is broadcast – in the compressed HE-AAC format – the DTR-Z500D converts it into Dolby Digital 5.1 (which all AV amplifiers can handle) to send over both HDMI and optical audio. There's also a Dolby Surround option, which puts normal stereo into a Dolby format that all AV amplifiers can then convert into 5.1 using one of the Dolby Pro Logic codecs.

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