We have to admit, we haven't been massive fans of Sagem PVRs in the past: a high price tag and tacky styling really didn't endear them to us. But now the DTR 64160 has had an update and its price has fallen to just £99, and for that little we don't mind so much if it looks like a bulldog chewing a wasp.
To be fair, the styling is an improvement on the. Now finished in a two-tone black and grey, the small unit does look a little smarter. It's still burdened with an LED display that's straight out of the 80s, and yes, it's still orange. But we'll overlook that, because you can always put some masking tape over it.
The built-in 160GB hard drive is large enough to store around 80 hours of TV, and the added bonus here is that you can use the built-in USB socket to transfer recordings to an external hard drive. We're actually very pleased to see a feature like this, because it means you can keep copies of your favourite recordings without clogging up your PVR's hard disk.
The dual tuner means you can record one channel while watching another. Or, indeed, record two channels and watch something you'd previously saved to the hard drive. There's also a picture-in-picture mode, which allows you to watch two channels at once. Sounds like a great way to boost your manliness by watching Top Gear, but still keep an eye on the voting on Strictly Come Dancing.
At the rear there are the usual pair of Scart sockets. Unusually the 64160 also has a component video output, which should be better quality than Scart, but it's a shame the box isn't capable of outputting progressive video. We'd also like to see an HDMI output -- with most TVs being HD Ready, it makes sense to get the best picture into the TV, rather than relying on converting the digital signal to analogue first.
Sagem also claims this box will save the world and reduce your electricity bill, by using just 2W when in standby, which is reasonable for a PVR. We'll be casting a critical eye over this little machine in the coming days, so stay tuned for a full review.