Bell's 9242 PVR for Satellite TVPlatform: Home Theater
If you're new to the satellite HD experience, like I am, you need to check out Bell’s 9242 PVR.
Simply put, the 9242 is the best out of the box PVR available in Canada IMHO.
Everybody is going HD crazy these days. HD is everywhere and is even front page news (Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD format wars). Cable and satellite providers are fighting it out for your hard earned dollar when it comes to HD.
Buying an LCD or plasma TV is only part of the process behind going HD. You also need an HD tuner to view HDTV in all of its glorious wonder. Without an HD tuner, LCD and Plasma TV's will underperform. So make sure you account for some extra $'s when budgeting for an LCD or plasma TV. For those that don’t want a PVR (yes you do), Bell offers a standalone HD tuner, the 6141. This is a simple tuner priced at $299 to purchase or $10 a month to rent.
Bell is getting ready to switch over from MPEG-2 formating to MPEG-4. The switchover is scheduled for sometime in 2009. The MPEG-4 format will deliver DVD quality images at lower data rates and smaller files sizes. Giving you the ability to squeeze more recording time out of your PVR’s HDD without sacrificing picture or sound quality.
The 9242 is a dual tuner satellite receiver with PVR capability. To push programming to a second TV you will need to connect to your home's existing cable network, or run a separate coaxial cable to the second TV. I’m lucky since my home is wired ten ways to Sunday. But for some older homes this will be a little more challenging.
The 9242 offers 30 hours of HD recording and 200 hours of regular programming. It also has an s-video out for TV2.
Other Features of the 9242
• Independently watch and record on two TVs
• HDMI Output
• 2 Multi Function remote controls. Control up to 3 separate units (TV, DVD, and VCR’s)
• The ability to pause live TV
• Fast forward and fast reverse at 4 speeds (4x, 15x, 60x, 300x)
• Skip forward 30 seconds, skip back 10 seconds
• View slow motion or frame-by-frame
• Set auto record timers
• The dual tuner provides multiple viewing options including:
-Single Mode: watch and record up to two live programs
-Record two programs while watching a third
• Programming Guide with up to 9 days of program listings and information
• ExpressVu Interactive Television
• Parental locks
• Call Display with history
• Picture-In-Picture including split screen
• Name-based recording (VuPass)
• UHF based second remote
• Ethernet Port for future use
What I liked about the 9242:
Ease of Use
The 9242 is a dream to setup and use. The on-screen programming guide is very intuitive and easy to navigate. The step-by-step instructions are easy to use and follow. If you need to make adjustments or changes there's no need to continuously reference the manual. It's as easy as point and click.
Like its little brother, the 9200, the 9242 has the capability to record two programs at the same time. This has saved me a couple of times as many of my favorite TV shows air at the same time. As I mentioned earlier, you can record up to 30 hours of HD programming. I went a little recording crazy over the Christmas holiday and the 30 hours came in handy.
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