LG MS408 HD DVR

The LG MS408 HD DVR is a hard drive-based PVR that offers two tuners and a wealth of connectivity options including YouTube access.


8.1
CNET Rating
4.5
User Rating

About The Author

CNET Editor

Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury


LG is taking on established names like Topfield and TiVo by releasing a fully-featured PVR on the market which boasts the most expandability we've ever seen.

The LG MS400 features an internal caddy that will accept any 3.5-inch SATA drive, saving you money. (Credit: Ty Pendlebury/CNET.com.au)

LG is releasing two models, the MS408 (AU$849) with 250GB on-board storage, and the MS409 (AU$999) with 500GB. Not only do the devices feature two USB ports for external drives, but also include an innovative — for a PVR, anyway — removable caddy that will accept any internal 3.5-inch drive. No need to pay for a proprietary external drive here, and LG reckons it will take most people less than 30 seconds to install. It takes up to a maximum of 1TB drives at this stage.

Unlike other recorders in LG's range, this is without a DVD recorder, but it includes dual HD tuners and an seven-day EPG. While it includes MPEG-4 compatibility, it lacks Freeview certification, so it will simply use the current free EPG provided by the stations instead.

But what sets this PVR apart is its media handling capabilities: not only does it feature a wireless dongle for DLNA media streaming from PCs, but also handles a wide range of formats including the high-quality MKV video standard. In this regard it resembles the Time Machine plasmas, and if those were DeLoreans, think of the MS400 as more of a TARDIS. The PVRs feature a similar, if even friendlier, interface, with the capability to access YouTube and Picasa as before.

The MS408 and MS409 are expected to be released in Australia in the coming weeks.



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"Don't even consider it"

hatelg posted a comment   
Australia

The Good:Nothing - Except that after this experience, I will never again get caught buying LG

The Bad:Everything - even the quality of the HD tuner is poor

On paper, this unit appears to have the goods; however in practice the promise of good features does not deliver because of the reliability and poor software development:-

1. cannot turn off subtitles permanently, must be done every time a recording or movie is played

2. Ethernet connection maxes out at 6mb, well below 100 meg. Takes hours to transfer large files

3. Wi-Fi totally unreliable

4. Constantly turns off

5. several seconds delay just to bring up the program guide

6. Can't use hard drive in the removable caddy - builds up too much heat. There is no cooling fan for this area

7. Have to re-enter WiFi security every time it has been used on ethernet

8. As others have said, it switches to the program being recorded on the second tuner

9. Forget streaming of anything more taxing than mp3's - the network speed is just too slow.

10. youtube player locks up randomly

Several other issues that others have already said.

Buy a decent HD set top box if you need one and get a WD TV live for media playing. It ill be a whole lot less frustrating.

GregF Facebook
1
Rating
 

"Unimpressed"

GregF posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Not much

The Bad:Needs frequent resets, lacks basic functionality that cheaper PVRs have and no firmware updates from LG, appalling Customer service

Started to look online to answer a few questions I had about this unit. I've also been experiencing the machine freezing, failing to load, frustrations with it changing channels and turning off at the most inconvenient times and also finding out that programs haven't been recorded. I thought I was just unlucky and had received a dodgy unit, but won't bother to try get it fixed under warranty after listening too other's experience with LG. Was also going to purchase an LG bluray player to go with the rest of my system, will take this opportunity to change my choice to another brand! Thanks

Brad
3
Rating
 

Brad posted a review   

The Good:DLNA, WiFi expansion HDD tray, YouTube

The Bad:Software, LG support

This unit has great potential but is sadly let down by its software and lack of support. Here's my summary:

NEGATIVE
- No ability to split recordings
- No option to extend manual recording beyond 2hrs (unless set for unlimited)
- Unit turns off after recording (even whilst watching recording or live tv)
- When timer recording starts, whatever you were doing stops
- No option to set recording names to scheduled events
- Firmware updates. LG- C'mon, you guys suck!!!! (don't bother trying to contact them)

POSITIVE
- DLNA is great. Unit streams seamlessly for lower quality vids we watch
- Codec support is sufficient for our use
- Upscale to 1080 works pretty well
- YouTube is fun when you're bored and there's nothing on
- Menu is easy to navigate through

CONCLUSION
Do not buy this unit! Unless you can get this for free or close to, save your $$$ and buy something decent like a Topfield. The MS408D gets us by until we can afford something new, but it's very frustrating.

MM-VC
2
Rating
 

MM-VC posted a review   

The Good:LG - JUNK company made in KOREA

The Bad:All functions

stops in motion, reboots,NO NEW SOftware updates , powersupply failure,
HDD don't spinn up.

Give it a kick and send it back where it came from everything is lousy and cheap. maybe you get what you pay. Never ever any item out of that country and from LG.

Colin
1
Rating
 

Colin posted a review   

The Good:nothing

The Bad:everything

Never again LG. I am sick of its faults and it is going in the bin !!!

Simon
1
Rating
 

Simon posted a review   

The Good:nothing

The Bad:everything

piece of junk.
do not purchase.

So frustrated
3
Rating
 

So frustrated posted a review   

The Good:Hardware

The Bad:Software and faults

Great specs are let by the software. Bought it to add an extra HDD but won't bother. After 6 months, 2 attempts to have it repaired and a few attempts to get LG to see what a lousy job was done with the software I'm ready to buy a replacement. Worst peice of technology I have ever purchased by far.

Might be OK if you never want to record and possibly never want to watch a program or recording while the unit does a timer record. It stops what you're watching and takes you to what you're recording. LG's explanation is that no-one records while they are home. I told them to look at the reviews on the net and they told me that there are people on the net who think Elvis is still alive. I was trying to help them improve the product. By the way mine has been in for repair twice under warranty. It's still under warranty and it still doesn't work properly.

Don't walk away....RUN!

 

jbtj posted a reply   

Interesting that bit "LG's explanation is that no-one records while they are home." Can someone tell me the purpose of the two tuners then? I think it far more likely that they are used to record one program while watching another, than for recording two programs at the same time while you are out.

Re their comments about "Elvis is still alive", I received a similar contemptous response from them when I finally managed to get any response at all.

This company makes Telstra look good by comparison in the area of customer relations, and that is one hell of a big statement.

I wonder if they realize the damage they are doing to themselves. We wers buying a new vacuum cleaner a week or so ago. LG was not an option.

 

GaryB posted a comment   

The Good:Records TV, connects to local DLNA HDD, plays music

The Bad:Timer recording powers off, needs frequent resets, plays music alphabetically

As per jbtj : switches to channel being recorded, turns off at end of recording - these is just crazy, poorly designed software that has not been user tested.

Music playing hasn't been mentioned - it plays the tracks of albums in alphabetical order ... not much of an issue, unless you listen to Pink Floyd / Dark Side of the Moon - the tracks blend from one to the next - it plays them alphabetically!!! Crazy again.

The unit can't have been user tested, otherwise LG would have found all the bugs and fixed them. This was my first LG product, and probably will be my last. I contacted them with my issues and was told they are features, not flaws too. If they dont listen to their customers, they wont have any!


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User Reviews / Comments  LG MS408 HD DVR

  • hatelg

    hatelg

    "On paper, this unit appears to have the goods; however in practice the promise of good features does not deliver because of the reliability and poor software development:-

    1. cannot tu..."

  • GregF

    GregF

    Rating1

    "Started to look online to answer a few questions I had about this unit. I've also been experiencing the machine freezing, failing to load, frustrations with it changing channels and turning off at ..."

  • Brad

    Brad

    Rating3

    "This unit has great potential but is sadly let down by its software and lack of support. Here's my summary:

    NEGATIVE
    - No ability to split recordings
    - No option to ext..."

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