Beyonwiz DP-P2

Beyonwiz's DP-P2 is a PVR for those who don't mind a bit of tinkering and setting things up. The quest for the perfect PVR still continues.


8.3
CNET Rating
6.7
User Rating


Design
Lots of manufacturers use the same basic design for their products, and Beyonwiz, maker of a variety of PVR boxes, hasn't shucked this trend with the Beyonwiz DP-P2. If you're familiar with the Beyonwiz DP-P1, in fact, you may find the DP-P2 all too familiar. Same black box, same blue circular power button that sits beside a simple LED and a hidden flap that hides USB and media card slots. Even the dual-HD tuner nature of the P2 and P1 utilises the same convenient single cable in approach.

As with the DP-P1, the P2's remote control remains unimpressive. It feels light and cheap, it isn't backlit, and even after a couple of weeks worth of testing, we were still sometimes struggling to instinctively find functions, especially as the unit's play/stop/pause buttons are small and indistinct. It may have only been a quirk of our review sample, but we also found the channel down button had a tendency to get stuck, leading to us often skipping many channels when we only intended to jump one, invariably leaving us stranded on the NSW Parliamentary Channel. There's a reason it's there — to put people to sleep — but it wasn't what we wanted to watch all the time.

Features
The DP-P2 is intended to be an all-in media box; part TiVo, part media centre streaming box, with a dabble in home photography to boot. Much of what makes the Beyonwiz DP-P2 an appealing prospect was present in the DP-P1 too; you get two HD TV tuners, compatibility with IceTV for EPG and remote recording, UPnP video streaming over a network of compatible file types — and the DP-P2 will support pretty much anything you choose to throw at it in terms of common internet video.

On-board storage has been beefed up on the DP-P2, with an internal 320GB hard drive as standard. Beyonwiz claims that this is good enough for up to 40 hours of HD broadcasts, or one 120 hours of SD. Owners of the DP-P1, or Beyonwiz's other PVR boxes will find that they can also stream files to and from each Beyonwiz box quite simply, which would be one simple way to extend your recording times.

Where the DP-P2 earns its extra numeral is in its ability to record Pay TV via an AV port at the back. Beyonwiz touts this feature quite prominently, pointing out that you can pause and rewind up to two hours worth of Pay TV signal, as well as schedule recordings, although the practical truth is a little less endearing than it first sounds. More on that shortly.

One thing the DP-P2 will let you do that other, more commercially minded PVRs won't (we're looking right at you, TiVO), is skip commercials easily. We know why the commercial broadcasters hate this feature — but it's the exact same reason that viewers love it.

Performance
Setting up the DP-P2 was moderately painless, although because we were connecting via HDMI, we did have to skip through a number of other pre-set video modes before we could begin configuration properly. How many people, exactly, are going to buy an HD PVR and not connect it in a way that'll send an HD signal?

Unlike the DP-P1, we had relatively few problems getting IceTV up and working on the DP-P2, as long as you leave aside the fact that IceTV didn't list it explicitly as a compatible model. Telling the system you've got a DP-P1 seemed to do the trick, regardless, and we were quickly pulling down EPG data. We even managed to get the IceTV App for iPhone 3G to schedule some recordings for us, and watched them unfold.

On the network streaming side, Beyonwiz hasn't really reinvented the wheel here, and it shows. If you're familiar with older Beyonwiz units, you'll be on familiar ground with the DP-P2, and that's both a good and bad thing. The company hasn't changed its basic, somewhat geeky file browser at all, and this means you're still in slightly clunky territory. It's nothing that you can't overcome with a bit of determination, but then again, this is an entertainment product, and the pursuit of less effort should be at the top of any GUI designer's notebook.

On then, to the DP-P2's show-stopping feature; the ability to record, pause and rewind Pay TV. Beyonwiz isn't exactly telling fibs here — the DP-P2 does do what it says on the box — but those looking for a more flexible alternative to the Foxtel IQ2 will have to keep on looking.

The Pay TV recording feature (although it could, in truth, record just about any AV source) is managed via AV inputs on the rear of the box, and they top out at S-Video quality. As such, it's perfectly feasible to record a single Pay TV channel, but not in particularly fine quality. You'll also need to do some fiddling around with timers to get everything to synchronise properly, which is again effort that some couch potatoes will find exasperating.

Ultimately, the Beyonwiz DP-P2 is a good product that does perform as advertised for the most part. At the same time, it's not as purely convenient as boxes like the IQ2 or TiVO, and in the world of TV Junkies, convenience counts for a lot. It's also arguably badly in need of a GUI refresh. If you're the tinkering type, but don't want to go down the Windows Media Center route, it's a worthwhile purchase.

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Post comment as
canthook777
1
Rating
 

"BEYONWIZ ARE RUBBISH"

canthook777 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:NOTHING

The Bad:EVERYTHING

BEYONWIZ ARE RUBBISH they don't last long before playing up

 

"Poor quality option"

Ghunnar posted a comment   
Australia

The Good:Picture

The Bad:Build quality and reliability

1st unit didnt last a week.

2nd unit died a long and horrible death plagued by infinite HDD crashes, sticky remote control buttons, etc etc

Never again Beyondmizery!

Menace
3
Rating
 

Menace posted a review   

The Good:Not much

The Bad:Lots

Absolutely the world's worst remote control - the DP-P2 is not old but it is just not worth the frustration. I'm buying something else.
Anyone want this one???

 

Avitsol posted a reply   

Yes mate i will give it a go. What are you asking for it.

mick56
10
Rating
 

mick56 posted a review   

The Good:Awesome feaures, picture quality, very reliable

The Bad:Nothing

Have owned two of these for a number of years after upgrading from troublesome Topfields.
These units offer awesome features, great picture quality, and most importantly bullet proof reliability. Highly recommended.

kbbbb
7
Rating
 

kbbbb posted a review   

The Good:Can pull recordings off the box, fairly easy to use, allows you to timeslip

The Bad:Poor for conversion of VHS (no inbult TBC), input records to MPEG4 (annoying to convert format), getting material off is painful (will not connect directly to a PC and ONLY to a FAT32 drive), files taken off box need conversion before in an editable format (using WIZTV)

I bought this to convert my VHS. Waste of money that was, no inbuilt TBC and recording via inputs creates MPEG4 files, which are a pain to edit.

It's annoying how the files don't record straight to .ts format, because they require conversion on a PC before they're a viewable format. Also the box won't copy to non-FAT32 drives, and anyone who knows anything understands formatting a drive to FAT32 in any version of modern windows is tedious. The USB connection on the back must be awfully slow because copying 4gb recordings can take up to 20 minutes.

As a DBT recording box it's fairly good. Controls are good, has timeslip, fast forward is a breeze, menus aren't too annoying.

 

Bruce posted a comment   

The Good:Media player is great, WizTV has a lot of potential, IceTV support makes terrestrial television more appealling

The Bad:Cannot alter IceTV recording settings via the Beyonwiz's program guide, cannot play DRM files, UI could be flashier and easier to use, WizTV has not reached its potential

A great PVR and media player. The WizTV service is limited and hasn't been updated in ages. Would be better if IceTV subscribers could search for programs and alter their recording options via the Beyonwiz program guide.

thecoops67
5
Rating
 

thecoops67 posted a review   

The Good:Love the icetv option for the iphone...works great

The Bad:The remote has failed after 3 weeks

Instructions are not great, and no option to use the unit if your remote dies....damn stupid if you ask me! the tuner is not great as there is a quality difference between my tv tuner and the ones in this unit, and the beyonwiz is not the better out of the two.

This is my first DVR so i'm a bit disappointed. I should have bought some other brand.

 

DevR posted a comment   

The Good:Work swell. Des everything it states. Good over all features , ext hd , medial player of files, video, photos..Great

The Bad:Have had it for a month , so nothing bad so far..

9/10

Gaz
9
Rating
 

Gaz posted a review   

The Good:Easy recording/playback. IceTV.

The Bad:Remote is only downfall

I have had it for 5 months and not a problem. Easy to use. 500g can record heaps of shows. Can program to record remotely from my iPhone via icetv. Love it.


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User Reviews / Comments  Beyonwiz DP-P2

  • canthook777

    canthook777

    Rating1

    "BEYONWIZ ARE RUBBISH they don't last long before playing up"

  • Ghunnar

    Ghunnar

    "1st unit didnt last a week.

    2nd unit died a long and horrible death plagued by infinite HDD crashes, sticky remote control buttons, etc etc

    Never again Beyondmizery!"

  • Menace

    Menace

    Rating3

    "Absolutely the world's worst remote control - the DP-P2 is not old but it is just not worth the frustration. I'm buying something else.
    Anyone want this one???"

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