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Reviews placed here are based on our experiences with the units described. Faults & advantages of the various models are listed as we have encountered them.

Thomson DTI1500HD

We've largely been impressed by Thomson's set top box products in general. While a couple of odd glitches such as an early video hum & power supply problem affteced the DTI500AU (which has been fixed up since), we've seen little in the way of problems on this high definition offering.

Unlike it's standard definition sibling, the DTI1500HD is more of a 'full width' unit & is more conventional in appearance, which may or may not make it a more welcome resident in your equipment setup. The back panel is somewhat reminiscent of the Panasonic QTR2140 HD unit, with a mode switch as well as the standard offerings of component (both high & standard definition component connectors are offered), composite etc... plus RGB output for outstanding picture quality on VGA capable displays, as well as the now normal types of audio connectors.

The appearance on-screen in 1080i HD mode on a good quality screen is fabulous & signal hold in low level conditions seems very good as well. Remote sensitivity has been an issue with some other brands, most notably the DGTEC 2000A & DGTEC 5000i models, however, after testing a number of these units, the remote sensititvity, as well as channel switching speed, are both very solid.

The software & general navigation through the interface is quite intuitive & responds wih reasonable speed. Initial channel scanning is a little slower than the DTR6000AU, which is just about 3 minutes all up. An attractive front panel serves well, with visual display of what channel is active, plus buttons for most of the basic functions assists if needed.

The Verdict: Probably about the only downside, which all of the high definition brands & models we've tested have, is the inability to do a remote switch between HD & SD modes. We don't believe this model is actually using the same board as the DGTEC 5000i, which the Panasonic & early Toshiba offerings clearly are, however without disassembling, we cannot determine this for sure. Thomson have clearly done the hard work to get this model to market in a good state. Certainly from our experiences, we've found this to be one of the best high definition set top boxes on offer. User reports on these units have been quite positive, which is always a good sign. Having spent some time using one of these, I'd be comfortable recommending them to potential purchasers.

IT & AV Services rating - 90%

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