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Update: ET review: Dish TruHD+ DVR
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DishTV's TruHD+ DVR is the cheapest DVR around at just Rs 2,690 (it includes a one month subscription of the HD Royale Pack).

DishTV also extends the functionality to its existing HD subscribers, who can upgrade the software and convert their existing HD set top boxes into a DVR - you only need to order the new remote with DVR controls for Rs 500.

The quality of HD channels is impressive - sharp picture, rich colours with excellent clarity. Although, you will see a clear difference between native HD and upscaled HD channels. Upscaled channels show artifacts, especially in fastpaced scenes. SD channels, on the other hand, are a mixed bag.

   

Compared to TataSky & Airtel's DTH offering, some channels on DishTV seemed better (mostly the ZeeTV channels), while others like Star World, UTV Movies and few others had visible noise. Thankfully, the 5.1 audio output was top-notch with excellent surround sound.

The set-top box also has an additional setting to enable virtual surround sound. If you do not have a 5.1 speaker setup, the box will try to create a surround effect with the TV's built in speakers. However, this is a feature best left disabled.

The recording function worked great - plug in a USB flash drive or external hard drive (up to 2TB supported) to the rear USB port to enable recording. DishTV calls it 'unlimited recording', but you are actually limited to the amout of storage you attach.

You can use multiple flash drives or portable hard drives with the device, but keep in mind that the connected drive is formatted in a proprietary format. It cannot be used on a PC or any other set top box - a smart move to curb piracy. That said, the saved content in HD/SD can be easily accessed using the set top box when required - without any visible loss in quality. You can also schedule timebased recordings or event based recordings.

There are a few glaring issues though. The device's user interface - the most accessed feature of a DTH service - looks very dated and is slower than competitor offerings. Fonts are not sharp and functions like scheduling recording and adding/removing favourites is a pain.

Although it has improved drastically over what Dish used to offer earlier, it still has a long way to go before it can match upto TataSky or Airtel's clean and smooth interface. The remote control layout is awkward - buttons for common functions (such as volume up/down and mute audio) are not placed together. Also, buttons sizes are uneven - the ones on top are too small, while the center ones are placed to close for comfort.
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