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Olin OPVR-1000 review: Olin OPVR-1000

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Apart from USB, connections include a component output, S-Video, composite, HDMI, and optical and coaxial digital.

Performance

If you're looking for a bare-bones PVR, the Olin will definitely fit the bill. As with too many PVRs, iIt may not be the easiest to use, but once you learn its quirks you'll be recording in no time.

Recordings are of a decent quality and in most cases indistinguishable from off-air content plus we like its ability to archive recordings to an external drive. We did find there was some aliasing on straight lines and ghosting on moving images when the Olin's output was set to 720p. Best then to let the content sit at its natural resolution and let your TV do the scaling.

Unlike the LG HR559D, there is no performance "penalty" when activating timeshift and you can either use the tiny Timeshift or the Pause button. To restart, you simply press Play again.

The device offers a number of different ways to setup recordings. Pressing record immediately records the channel you're on for 30 mins, though you can change the amount up to "Infinite" if you like. If you press "Stop" while recording the Olin lets you choose which recording to stop (if there's more than one) and gives you the option to stop all.

Where the Olin comes a little unstuck is in its lack of flexibility. For instance, you can only browse the electronic guide on the channel the tuner is currently set to. To browse the EPG for more than one channel you need to exit, press CH +/-, then reenter the guide to see the listings for another channel.

However, you can watch watch programming from the same stream as you're recording — ie if you're recording Channel Nine you can also see Go and Gem. But this only works for the last channel you chose to record.

Conclusion

The Olin OPVR-1000 isn't a bad device. It's serviceable and will make great recordings. But if we were to use a well-worn phrase or three, TiVo has [upended/stolen/rewritten] the [applecart/thunder/rulebook] with its latest price drop. If you have the choice between the two, go for the TiVo instead.

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