Friday, 15 May 2009

This Personal Video Recorder just got personal Humax PVR 9200T

Advantages: Record two channels while watching a playback.

Disadvantages: Too unreliable

I bought this on a recommendation. 

I also recommended the machine to someone else. 

So we are talking three machines here. 

The one belonging to my friend who recommended it. 

The one I bought. 

The one belonging to the friend who I recommended it to. 

One has been back for repair. 

Ultimately, all three have been returned for exchange. 

These were all bought from John Lewis. When I bought mine I made it clear that it was being bought on the understanding that should there be a problem that I brought it back and the SHOP dealt with it rather than me sending it back to the manufacturer. 

I chose John Lewis over Currys as Currys are really bad, I can't put it any simpler than that. Currys do that thing where they say they will deal with problems, then when you take the item back they refuse to do anything, and tell you to send it back to the manufacturer. 

Anyway back to the Humax. When mine did break down, as a precaution I rang the John Lewis, warned them I would be bringing it back, and was quickly cut off and told that it had to go to the manufacturer! 


After a long conversation with the guy on the phone, I made it clear that I would be bringing the machine back to the shop and that they had better do something for me. 

Nothing could have been simpler. Customer services took the machine without a fuss, sent it back and within ten days it was back repaired. 

The friend who had recommended it had to take hers back. Lewis's changed it on the spot for the next one up the PVR9300T, but charged her £20 extra. 

Same with my other friends, an exchange+£20. 

Then my repaired machine went. I took it back and they changed it at no extra charge (the price is now the same as paid for the original). 

Be aware the, despite being 'the next one up', the PVR9300T DOESN'T have a USB port. 

Right now this seems so far like a review of John Lewis', but the point I have been trying to make is that the Humax PVR 9200T is a no-goer. They seem to break down, and touch wood John Lewis dealt with it. 

The problems I had was freezing of the screen, the 'timer' would not stop recording at the end of programs, and crashes, which would be OK after a reboot, but this does not help when you keep losing recordings. Also, after a transmitter update some channels were not being picked up too well, possibly due to a new multiplex being on channel 37, which is just on the edge of the range of some aerials, I thought. When I got the new machine the channel 37 multiplex was fine. 

Someone at John Lewis was gracious enough to tell me a lot of these had come back. I appreciate when a shop is honest with me rather than give me some bull. For their honesty I will be going back to John Lewis. 

Now the machine itself, when it works is totally amazing. You can record two programmes on different channels at once and watch one on playback while this is happening. This is important the sales guff would make you believe that you can record two channels whilst watching another live transmission. This is possible depending which multiplex (basically a group of channels) you are recording - if there is a clash you will get a warning.. 

Remember the days of programming the timer on the video recorder? That has long gone. Now you have a graphic TV Guide, which you scroll through to you get to the programme you wish to record, then you press the red record button. 

It is possible to back up your recordings onto your PC, this method seems to unnecessarily complex for me, especially in the plug and play era. 

I really would love to give this machine 5 stars, but for my machine to fail and my two friends' machines to fail, and also with the shop being honest enough to hint at a problem, I can only give it an overall 2 stars.

Summary: A great machine when it works, sadly fails too often

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