Although not heavy on the frills, the Kaon KTF-570H SD Personal Video Recorder is an easy-to-use digital PVR and set-top solution.
- Simple to use, neat remote
- No HD support, lack of information stored with recordings
It's basic and easy to use, but don't ask for too much.
Price$ 549.00 (AUD)
The interface and on-screen display has an appealing simplicity, although a little, well, floral for our tastes. Recorded programs are available at the touch of a button, as is the current and next EPG information. You can record by pressing the record button, and programming recording times is very quick and very easy. You can schedule recording times as one-off, weekly or daily (although there is no provision for weekends). The remote is a fine piece of work--it has all the functions we could ask for (including fast aspect ratio changes) and was comfortable and sturdy.
It's not all sunshine and roses, however. Annoyingly, saved programs are given a filename that only tells you the time, date and channel of the recording--it doesn't draw information from the EPG to give a file its name. If you want to name a recorded program something meaningful, you have to do that manually.
The tuner does not support high-definition. Turn to a high-def channel with the Kaon, and it will struggle valiantly to decode the signal, but just doesn't have enough grunt to do it, producing massive frame skips and poor image quality. Timeshifting in the Kaon is automatic and always on (although you can switch it off in the menu); so as long as you haven't changed the channel, you can always rewind live TV.
The 80GB hard disk included in our test review box is enough for roughly 40 hours of recorded standard definition television (there are also 40 and 60GB models available). The Kaon will tell you both the percentage of space left and the number of MB. It will also tell you how large each recorded file is.
There are various ways you can connect the Kaon to your TV. It has an RF aerial loop-through, stereo RCA outputs and two SCART outputs (although no SCART cables or adapters are supplied). For audio buffs, it also supports Dolby Digital bitstream output.
The Kaon was a little slow during our testing, taking a few seconds to start up and often pausing between channel changes, similar behavior to many early model digital set-top boxes. It does have facilities for fast navigation through the multitude of digital channels, however.
There are some nifty utilities and games that are pre-programmed in the box as well. A calendar, calculator and various simple games (including classics like Black Jack and Tetris) are all on the box.
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