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Homecast HT8000 PVR review: Homecast HT8000 PVR

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The Good HDMI support. 320GB HDD. Twin HD tuners with no loop cable.

The Bad Useless Ethernet port. Quirky EPG and menus. No 1080p output support.

The Bottom Line The Homecast HT8000 PVR brings a budget approach to the twin tuner HD market — and that budget approach has both its good and bad sides.

7.0 Overall

Review Sections

Design
The Homecast HT8000 PVR sits at a just-below premium price for a PVR at AU$699, and it carries a design that more or less confirms that status. The unit itself is a moderately small box (60x360x270mm, 3.4kg) that should fit into any entertainment cabinet easily enough. It has a small LED display panel on the slightly curved front with simple (and rather cheap feeling) silver buttons beneath. The front right-side panel flips open to reveal a single USB slot, used for media playback and firmware upgrades.

While the front of the Homecast HT8000 PVR is rather plain and not terribly busy — which may well suit some living room décor plans — the rear of the unit is highly crowded, with coaxial input and output, USB (Type A and Type B), a so-far unutilised 10/100 Ethernet port, HDMI, S-Video, component video, optical audio and a serial data port — again, like the Ethernet port, of no use currently to consumers.

The remote control is nicely laid out, with large buttons for common functions. At the base of the remote are the seemingly compulsory buttons for controlling a number of television models, once the correct three-digit code is entered. To its credit, we at least now know it's possible to buy a Harley Davidson-branded TV.

Features
The Homecast HT8000 PVR is a twin HD-tuner with a 320GB internal hard disk drive. This gives it a theoretical capability of up to 30 hours of HD content or 100 hours of SD content, although there's no way to select quality settings to eke out additional space, as you can with many hard disk-enabled DVD recorders.

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