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Digital Vision Gigo 

As I am sure everyone knows the Digital Changeover is coming (in fact it has already arrived in some places), so to keep perfectly good Analogue TVís working set top boxes were made to translate the signals, then the PVR (to replace the video recorder), then the PVR had Freeview built in. Now something slightly different.

Looking like an oversized video tape is the Gigo. It is a Freeview box 22x14x3cm. However it has PVR abilities but this version has no hard disc built in, instead it records to one of three USB slots. So while it costs more than a Freeview box it costs a lot less than a PVR with Freeview.

However perhaps the most interesting feature is that as you record onto stick/pen drives once recorded the content can be immediately plugged into a PC to be edited with suitable software.

As a PVR it does not currently have all the latest gismos it is currently Freeview and not Freeview + so no way to record all of a series at one time (unless they are all shown at the same time on the same day of the week) It is currently a single recorder meaning you can watch one recorded program while recording another but these need to be on separate stick drives.

The unit requires 2GB to record an hours program, while 4GB, 8GB and 16GB sticks are available they are less convenient than the larger size offered by an internal hard disc if for instance you want to go away for a week. However you can connect a portable USB hard disc. I tried two one ran very hot after a few hours so I deemed this unsuitable and another from another manufacturer remained cool and worked well. This was a 250GB drive from Buffalo that you can expect a review of shortly. You would need to be a bit of a TV addict to record 125 hours of TV in a week.

There is of course a built in TV Guide this shows only five channels at a time but it does show a short sentence on the program highlighted and the current channels offering in a window above.

Most selections need two confirmations either to select or delete, somewhat different from most PVR’s but I not saying it is a bad idea just different.

The box has the three USB ports on the right half of the front and the remote control receiver on the left front corner. Nothing on the top sides or base. The back has Aerial input and RF Out followed by two SCART sockets and finally the power input.

Switch on and tune it should find the same number of Digital Stations as any other Freeview box. The 44 key remote control does everything from putting it in standby to selecting programs to record. The current user manual should guide you to use the various controls but it has too many hints that destroy the flow of information, however everything is there and it could have improved for the retail version.

Most things are done from the menu button but if you are using stick/pen drives you have to watch you are not selecting to record more than the capacity, however there is a menu setting that lets you check you are not over extended. It is possible for you to copy data from one stick to another should you wish. Using three you can easily flip (single button push) to see what is on which stick.

To me the ease of transfer to a PC is the key and the files are readable in recent copies of Windows Media Player, you will need other software to edit them though.

A look at www.digitalvisiontv.com will find more details and by the time you read this the www.gigotv.com site should be running. I have been told about other exciting developments and hope to tell you about them shortly.

Both Tesco’s and Maplin have committed to stocking these items and they should be available in the next month or so.

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Features2
Performance2
Ease of use2
Design2
OverallDigital Vision Gigo rated 70 out of 100

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