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Humax PVR-9300T review: Humax PVR-9300T

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The 9300T also has a picture-in-picture mode, which allows you to watch two TV programmes at once, should you so desire. Quite handy if you want to keep an eye on the sports scores while watching the Hollyoaks omnibus.

If you really want to receive channels like Setanta and TopUp TV there is a conditional access module slot available that can accommodate this. You'll need to get the module itself from TopUp TV -- or, they are often included in the company's starter packs.

The only significant problem with the 9300 is the noise level from the fan located on the inside of the machine, at the rear. Our first review sample was so loud that we couldn't believe it wasn't a fault, so we got a replacement sent out, which was better, but still a little overpowering for our liking. Some people online have suggested that loosening the fan screws can help alleviate the nose. We tried this, but it didn't have much of an effect.

The addition of an HDMI output has increased the quality and usefulness of the box immensely. Previously, the 9200 was an excellent PVR, but the lack of digital output -- HDMI -- for video really compromised the quality. With HDMI, there's no digital to analogue conversion, and thus, no severe picture quality reduction.

We set our 9300 to record a broad range of programmes and it did a great job as we expected it to. Setting the machine to record was child's play, and watching programmes back was just as easy, although the convenient button for bringing the list of recorded programmes hides under the pull-down cover at the bottom of the remote.

It's also worth mentioning that accurate recording works very well on channels that support the feature. We did notice on other channels -- such as Dave -- that we missed the start of Top Gear, which is, let's be honest, very traumatic.

If it wasn't for the appalling fan noise, we'd suggest this is the best PVR we've seen in a long time. The operation is simple, the picture quality is very good indeed and the new style is fantastic -- it looks much more modern than the previous generation.

If you're looking for an alternative, then we suggest thinking about the TopUp-TV-branded Thomson box, which offers many of the same features, but has a bargain basement price to increase interest in the pay services of TopUp.

Edited by Marian Smith

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