Monday, 28 March 2011

Tesco Direct cuts another £30 off - now £155

Tesco Direct have now cut the price of the 8320HD twice in just one month - it's now down to £155 (including delivery), the lowest it's ever been by far. It's difficult to make sense of these cuts, especially since Fetch TV have now committed to a new UI this summer. Is there a successor to the 8320HD waiting in the wings or is this just a temporary second cut by Tesco?

Still, one thing's likely - the new price will bring in more sales, since it's now the cheapest twin-tuner HD Freeview hard disk recorder by quite some distance. Now if only the next firmware release would tidy up the major bugs, I might actually be able to recommend the 8320HD to people at long last!

Tesco Direct have added a "Final chance to buy - Order now whilst stocks last" banner to their 8320HD page, suggesting that the 8320HD won't be available from Tesco Direct for much longer. The Pocket-lint review I mentioned in the previous post does say "the remote control has been improved for future roll-outs of the box", so I don't think the 8320HD will be discontinued per se, but it might get a model number change for the new remote. Let's hope existing 8320HD owners don't have to buy a new remote to fully use the new UI!

On, the user natterjack has posted up a couple of discount codes for Tesco Direct (I don't know if both can be used on one purchase):

£10 off purchase over £50 on Tesco Direct - code TDX-KMAW
500 extra Clubcard points on electrical purchases - code TDX-KNA7 (that makes it 800 points in total on an 8320HD, equivalent to another £8 discount)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

New 8320HD UI coming this summer

Pocket-lint have a review of the proposed new UI for the 8320HD - yes, the one we've been promised for about a year now. It does look far slicker than the current one, though I hope they remember to include auto-padding and non-repeating remote control responses in this one! A second article on the UI claims Summer 2011 is the new UI launch date, so start those countdown clocks now....

Sunday, 6 March 2011

BBC Red Button channel 301 won't ever be Remote Recordable

With the Formula 1 season only weeks away, I was keen to see if there was any possibility to be able to remote record the Friday practice sessions which air on the BBC Red Button channel 301, because I might forget to set a recording via the local EPG on the 8320HD before leaving for work.

As some of you may know, channel 301 is present on the 8320HD's EPG, but bizarrely missing from Fetch TV's Web-based EPG (the one that lets you remote record). I lodged a ticket about this with Fetch TV's support, but got this unsatisfying response:

"Unfortunately the EPG data providers who supply the programme guide do not include the red button channels as the BBC doesn't provide the programme information  for them. So even if we added the channel itself in the listings it would have no programme information."

So what they're saying is that the Web EPG has a different data source than the 8320HD's EPG (the former is collated by non-geniuses TV Genius and the latter is taken from the Freeview on-air signal). Surely there are two obvious ways to fix this - the first is to get TV Genius to supply the channel 301 data (I find it difficult to believe that the BBC wouldn't supply it to TV Genius if asked) or secondly, simply add the "missing" channels by merging the TV Genius EPG data with the on-air signal data.

It's disappointing that Fetch TV haven't even thought of considering either course of action, especially when channel 301 isn't the only missing channel in their Web EPG. As it stands, you can forget ever Remote Recording anything on the BBC Red Button - another thumbs down for the Web EPG/Remote Recording facility then.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Tesco Direct drops the 8320HD's price to £185

As reported last month, the 8320HD returned to Tesco Direct, albeit surprisingly at the original price. This month, however, they've dropped the price a further £20 to £185 (including the £5 delivery charge) and this finally undercuts Fetch TV's price by £4.50.

Potential new purchasers should be aware that there at least two serious issues with the latest 8320HD firmware: repeating the previous remote control button press instead of obeying the latest press and no auto-padding facility causing regular losses of the start or end of programmes that don't run exactly to the EPG schedule unless you manually pad them.