PHILIPS HDT8520 Freeview+ HD PVR with 500GB Hard Drive for £129.95 @ RicherSounds (A Graded / 12 months guarantee)
-18°Expired

PHILIPS HDT8520 Freeview+ HD PVR with 500GB Hard Drive for £129.95 @ RicherSounds (A Graded / 12 months guarantee)

7
Found 29th Mar 2012
If you need a PVR to replace a VHS on the digital switchover, this is a twin tuner High Def recorder at the price point at or below most decent Standard Def recorders. I personally think it is worth considering especially if your TV does not have an inbuilt Freeview HD tuner.

An expired cheaper deal was posted here 6 weeks ago at £119.95, but Richer Sounds have stock in, and even at £10 more, this still seems a decent price.

As all the forums will tell you, this box had a very troubled birth. It was the first HD PVR, rushed onto market just in time for the last world cup. While the hardware was fine, the software was dire, causing any number of faults. However over the last year and a half, the new firmware releases seem to have belatedly turned this PVR into a solid performer.

Last weekend I bought two of these boxes (one for a neighbour to replace a VHS and one for me to replace an ageing HUMAX). Both were in "as new" condition and both had the latest firmware version 7.21 installed. I took the precaution of formatting the hard disk drives before first use, as recommended on other forums. So far, both have been easy to use and performed faultlessly. The HD recordings and standard def upscaling have been particularly impressive.

While not as feature rich as the HD HUMAX or Samsung Boxes, those are around £100+ more.

Reviews of this box against the competition can be found here ]techradar review.

Just in case you get a box with older firmware, V7.21 can be downloaded from here V7.21 Firmware
and is easy to install. Just unzip it onto a USB stick. Plug it into the rear USB slot and update the firmware via the settings menu.

Product Details
The Philips HDT8520 is all you need for complete control of Freeview HD TV.

Featuring the latest T2 Freeview HD digital tuner, the HDT8520 gives you access to Freeview HD channels using your existing HD Ready TV. In addition to this, the HDT8520 features a 500GB hard drive and twin tuners. The 500GB hard drive is enough to store up to 125 hours of HD TV and makes the HDT8520 the ideal replacement for a DVD recorder or VCR. Twin tuners allow you to record one program while watching another.

Where the Philips HDT8520 really stands out from its rivals is in offering 1080p upscaling. Although Freeview HD, like all other types of existing digital HDTV, is broadcast at 720p or 1080i resolution, the HDT8520 will upscale this to 1080p, giving you even better clarity should you have a 1080p TV.

In terms of connections, the HDT8520 has everything covered. HDMI connects to your TV while an Ethernet connection makes it easy to download future firmware upgrades.

Finally, there's also a USB socket. This lets you playback photos and video from your digital media device, through your TV.

Further securing its advantage over its rivals, the Philips HDT8520 looks sensational. With its inset lid, seamless feet and crisp edges, the HDT8520 makes others look basic and crude alongside.

For a Freeview HD box with PVR that looks every bit as good as it performs, the Philips HDT8520 has all the answers.

GRADED/Factory Repack = mail order returns or ex-service products, thoroughly tested and re-sold with a 12 month guarantee.

7 Comments

I expect one of these is the one I bought one of these new from John Lewis and returned. They really are a pile of crap. It would take about 30 seconds to display the channel guide and then at least 5 seconds to navigate from one channel to the next. Looks nice but if you want to use it as a PVR I'd look elsewhere.

Why people moan when they cant use stuff i have sold a lot only problem is the power supply which is replaced FOC, nice r/c and osd

Betas

Why people moan when they cant use stuff i have sold a lot only problem … Why people moan when they cant use stuff i have sold a lot only problem is the power supply which is replaced FOC, nice r/c and osd



Nothing to do with people cant use stuff.

This unit was crap and user hostile when it came out
And with very little mfg support it is still crap now !!!

Original Poster

The purpose of this post was to try to alert you to the fact that the problems with these boxes appear finally to have been fixed. If you can overcome your fear of old reviews and just look at the newer owner reviews, there is a decent HD box to be had here at an SD price point. It's not a HUMAX or Sammy, but it is substantially cheaper.

Here is a link to ebuyer reviews of their graded boxes. There is only one bad review in 19, and it does not state if the latest firmware was installed or not.

in my opinion as a new and happy owner, if you need a PVR for the digital switch over, you can safely add this to your list of options.

"While not as feature rich as the HD HUMAX or Samsung Boxes, those are around £100+ more."

Actually the superb Humax HDR-FOX T2-G grade A, direct from Humax, is only £69.05 more

humaxdirect.co.uk/pro…104

Just opened another BRAND NEW HDT 8520 and tried to install the Second Replacement Ph HDT 8520 and yet again on this one it also keeps turning itself off whilst trying to do FIRST Install - how on earth can I upgrade firmware when I can't get it to stay on long enough to complete FIRST INSTALLATION - does any one Know a work around please.
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