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Philips DTR7200 review: Philips DTR7200

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The Good HDMI output. Pulse Killing shielded output. Simple menu structures. Good picture quality.

The Bad HD broadcasts are still relatively rare. 7 day EPG can't fill up.

The Bottom Line Philips' DTR7200 HD Set Top Box is a very good choice for standard definition viewing. If only there was some worthwhile HD content out there to watch on it...

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.0 Overall

Review Sections

Design
The most striking aspect of the Philips DTR7200's visual display is the round LED display that sits dead in the centre of the front panel; it's used for channel ID, time and even displaying the current output resolution. It's encircled with function buttons that control basic menu functions and allow you to quickly and simply switch output resolution. Aside from a few company logos, the rest of the DTR7200's front panel is left starkly bare, which gives the design a very nice sleek feel. Sure, it still does look like any other TV component you'd care to name for the most part, but it at least isn't an ugly TV component, unlike many other set top boxes.

The rear of the DTR7200 houses the connecting inputs and outputs, as you'd expect; a single antennae in sits above the coaxial video out -- although why you'd use coaxial on a high definition set top box totally eludes us. Otherwise, you've got a single HDMI output, component, S-video and composite connectors, along with a serial port for applying firmware upgrades. Audio output is via either optical, S/PDIF or plain old RCA stereo cables.

The DTR7200's remote is quite busy, but then it's designed to run other Philips AV equipment; there are even buttons at the very bottom of the remote that control the Ambilight features found on certain Philips display panels. Its busy nature contrasts quite sharply against the minimalist display lines of the front panel, although again, there are few remotes on the market that we'd expressly call "attractive".

Features
The DTR7200 is a digital set top box capable of receiving standard and high definition free to air broadcasts and displaying them at either 576p, 720p or 1080i, depending on the capabilities of the output panel it's connected to. It features a seven day EPG function -- more on that below -- and the ability to zoom in on 4:3 broadcasts in order to eliminate side-letterboxing.

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