MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.
A perfectly capable all-round HD set top box
- All necessary outputs, good price, reliable
- Slightly boring looks, not much information displayed on LCD
If you want a high quality HD set-top box but don’t need recording capability, Sanyo’s simple, speedy unit can do everything you need.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Sanyo’s TUHD1000 is a high-definition television set-top box that, frankly, does everything it professes to. It quickly and accurately scans channels, outputs them in high definition with all the appropriate connectors and doesn’t have much to go wrong with it. If you’re looking for a simple and reliable unit you can’t go wrong here.
It’s a pretty simple unit to look at and in black it looks unobtrusively classy. We’re not huge fans of the alternative silver/black combination, though. The unit’s four major buttons — power, channel switching and a TV/radio toggle — are hidden behind a simple flip-down panel. Everything else is handled by the system’s remote, which has an easy-to-use layout.
The TUHD1000 has all the connections you’d expect from a mid-range set-top box. HDMI will no doubt be the most commonly used port, with optical digital out being used for 5.1-channel Dolby Digital audio from appropriate broadcasts. Analog connections are also aplenty, with component, S-Video and composite available for connection to older TV sets looking to join the digital television revolution.
The LED display on the front of the unit harks back to VHS days — rarely useful for more than checking the channel or the current time; its saving grace is that it doesn’t attempt to do anything spectacular.
The main bulk of the information is conveyed through TUHD1000’s on-screen display. Thankfully, it’s functional and simple — if slightly unsightly — and handles all the vital functions of a set-top box acceptably.
Auto tuning of television and radio channels was gratifyingly quick and all of the channels were picked up in an area of strong signal reception. Obviously, signal quality is dependant on your location and interference, but we found the TUHD1000 to be very capable. Switching between channels was speedy and flawless, requiring less than a second for most changes.
All other set up steps are equally simple, with television resolution and aspect ratio the main options. The TUHD1000 is capable of 1080i resolution, which is equal to the highest quality broadcasting in Australia.
The system also has a rudimentary electronic program guide system built in, which relies on the channel information transmitted with broadcasts. It’s a slightly clunky system and we would have preferred a little more refinement, but it gets the job done. Along with this is an information screen that provides technical data about the current channel’s broadcast — signal strength, quality, frequency etc. — though most users would have utterly no interest in this.
We couldn’t fault the unit’s picture or sound quality. They’re not fantastic — definitely not the quality of a good Blu-ray movie — but that’s the fault of the television broadcast quality rather than the player. Dolby Digital output through optical digital was also a bonus whenever channels were broadcast in it.
All in all, there’s not really much to fault about the TUHD1000. As a high-definition set-top box it fulfils its aims admirably — and it doesn’t attempt to do anything more. If you want hassle-free digital television on either a newer or older set, you can’t go wrong with the TUHD1000.
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