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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.

Teac DVB300

The DVB300 model is quite a nice unit, full-width component set top box, sitting around the same size as any current model VCR. The DVB300 packaging is quite nice as well, pulling it out of the box sees it nicely wrapped in plastic, with impact absorbent foam surrounding the unit, the usual manual & leads sitting in the bottom of the box, or on top of the unit, depending I guess on who packed it in the factory.

The remote control is neatly packed away in one of the foam inserts surrounding one end of the unit & pulling it from the plastic reveals a nicely styled tapered remote which is very ergonomic, the buttons within easy reach. A great front panel display is centred & is easy to read. Hitting the power button displays a 'Boot' banner on the display, giving a good indication that you have indeed hit the power button.

Leads for connection to your TV have in all units we've seen been a SCART breakout cable which incorporates a composite video RCA connector & a pair of left/right audio RCA connector, while the backplane also contains an RS-232 connector for software upgrades & the RF loopthrough connectors. An RF loopthrough cable is also supplied.

Connecting up, then powering the DVB300 up is pretty simple & the switch on is nearly instantaneous, with the boxes automatically popping up to an 'auto-tune' menu. The software is quite nicely presented & is responsive, looking just a little similar to the Strong brand. Auto-scan takes anywhere from 60-120 seconds, depending on signal strength by the looks of it.

Once the box has scanned, channels are pretty much allocated automatically, wiht unallocated channels given the standard numbers from 350 upwards - this will obviously depend on your location & how many services are activated. Channel switching is fairly rapid, with the DVB300 locking into the video stream quite quickly in comparison to some other brands we've seen & used.

Our light 'tap' test around the tuner area & cable revealed only minor pixellation, certainly nowehere near as severe as the DGTEC 2000a's we've seen & normal movement around an AV cabinet doesn't show up any nasties on the screen either.

Our local area (New South Wales Central Coast) gave us some grief with the local digital network apparently showing something that presented this model with some strange problems with pixellation - we can attest that this problem only occured in our local area as signals coming off translators outside the area showed no problems. As a consequence, this is the first model we've had any real reason to test the software upgrade via the RS-232 port. The Teac software over a series of upgrades is nice & solid, taking around 90 seconds from start to finish, so that's good news for future additions of features on this model - I'd also have to say that Teac's responses to our questions were answered quite rapidly, so potential buyers can be reasonably confident that support should be good.

The Verdict - Despite our minor local problems, it would appear that the DVB300 is a good performer. Once our software issues were sorted out, we really encountered no probems in use, or on any of the installations we've done of this model either. The unit runs nice & cool in service, with bare warmth around the case.

Telextext usage was very responsive & I like the look of the software as well. Adjustable banner times is a nice feature which reduces the on-screen time if you're annoyed by those information banners. Probably the only minor gripe I'd have here is that the unit offers only on video output at a time, though I'm happy to be corrected at any time. Nevertheless, I'd be happy to recommend the DVB300, as a pretty solid unit.

IT & AV Services rating - 85%

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