Originally Posted by avJohnny
I've had a Sony DHG-HDD500 for the last 5 years that I've really loved, aside from the relatively weak tuner (has trouble with a few channels). Well, the hard drives have finally bit the dust. From what I've read, the Sony repair is $150. Is there any real good reason why I should be looking at this unit for an extra $150 over the Sony repair? I understand it has dual tuners, but does it have stronger tuners than the Sony unit that I already own? Is the user interface (skip, etc.) and responsiveness better or worse?
Maybe someone that owns both, or has owned both, can give me a quick pros and cons list for each of the two units?
If you really like the Sony it will be a big adjustment. I got a Pal DVR when they were first released to replace my Sony DHG (which at that time we were worried would be left behind in the digital transition) well the Sony came thru without a hitch and the Pal DVR has really been a minor disaster this whole time.
On paper the Pal DVR is better in every way -- twice the tuners, half the power consumption, better multipath handling, user upgradable drive, fallback PSIP listings... but in reality the Sony is just a much
Pal DVR is good hardware, that part has been stable for me but the software is just buggy, unfinished, and botchy. Nothing that major but just frustrating. Neither listing system works correctly on the Pal DVR. TVGOS is perfect for the few channels it can display (no user mapping) and PSIP doesn't work correctly for the bulk of the remaining channels. Which is the bulk of the channels. They messed up the playlist as well. The only way to really use it is to order by date so you have to scroll through 350 items. Group by show title is only alphabetical, so you will never find the new stuff to see if it even recorded, since the shows in the folders seem to be alphabetical by episode title(??) not by date. However the Pal DVR has no way to display episode titles so the shows just appear random in the folders when grouped this way. The correct implementation of all these items can be seen on real dish recorders. Perhaps if you have never used one of those you may hate the Pal DVR clone less.
At any rate the Pal DVR is the least favorite of all my HD recorders. The Sony DHG with it's own quirks is still my favorite. So I would sure spend that $150 to get it fixed in hopes of getting 5 more years of quality timeshifting. Provided it tunes the channels you need, but it's easy to fix that with a better directional antenna.
If I really could have only one maybe I'd have to get used to the Pal DVR