Gaming laptops are traditionally full of compromises.
- Wide range of innovative and useful functions, full 1920 x 1080 resolution high-definition display, very easy and intuitive to operate
- Some features poorly implemented, no DVI
The Sony DSTHD100 is innovative and easy to use, despite a few minor flaws.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
Sony's DSTHD100 is an excellent digital set top box, featuring several impressive functions. In addition to the regular range of digital features, the Sony brings picture-in-picture and pause functionality to its array, and to top it off, delivers stunningly clear high-definition images.
This isn't to say that the DSTHD100 is perfect, however, for it does have a few minor flaws. The first is apparent from the moment the device is removed from its box. The back panel is surprisingly sparse, with a bare minimum of connection options. The lack of DVI output on the Sony is one of its largest drawbacks. It has component, composite, S-Video, RF loop-through and S/PDIF digital audio output.
Sony has also implemented a couple of features on the DSTHD100 a little poorly. For instance, the favourites menu is slightly annoying. As soon as it's brought up, it disables flicking through regular channels, cycling through favourites only instead. To rectify this, the entire program list must be brought up again. The program information plates and electronic program guide (EPG) are also a little difficult to navigate and set up, and the EPG is especially annoying, since information can only be brought up on one channel at time, rather than multiple channels simultaneously, for comparison. One final complaint: the Sony lacks the ability to cycle through just TV or just radio stations, which can make channel surfing somewhat tedious.
These foibles aside, the Sony DSTHD100 delivers nothing but the highest-quality digital experience. The menu is incredibly well laid out and rather unobtrusive. Navigating through the various features is quick and easy, especially with the remote, which is well designed and clutter free. The controls on both the remote and the front panel are intuitive and responsive.
What really makes the DSTHD100 stand out, though, are two of its features that don't appear on many other boxes: the picture-in-picture and pause function. Both are well implemented, and easy to use via buttons on the remote. The picture-in-picture feature only works with channels from the same broadcaster, since the Sony doesn't come with twin tuners, but is still a useful and worthwhile feature. The pause function is an interesting addition to the box, especially considering that it doesn't include a hard drive for recording. This means that programs cannot be paused indefinitely, for playback to be resumed normally. Instead, it allows the picture to be frozen (for instance, to jot down a phone number), and once unfrozen, playback speeds up to catch up with the broadcast (minus audio). It isn't quite up to speed with a PVR's pause functionality, but it's definitely a standout feature for a regular set top box.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel 3a review: Less is more
- 2 Huawei P30 Pro review: A photography powerhouse that leans into and elevates its natural strengths
- 3 Samsung Galaxy S10 review: Messy decisions mar smart evolutions
- 4 Dell G7 review: Growing pains
- 5 Nokia 8.1 review: The more things change, the more they stay the same
Latest News Articles
- Apple Music is now streaming on Alexa in Australia & New Zealand
- Apple TV app arrives on Samsung Smart TVs as Apple expands its services push
- Sonos are finally bringing the Google Assistant to their smart speakers
- TCL has announced when their first 8K TV will be coming to Australia and New Zealand
- Spotify teams up with Google Home Mini
PCW Evaluation Team
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
- Computex 2019
- Huawei P30 Pro: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic Lumix S1 review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?