Price (RRP): $699
Manufacturer: Legend Digital
A personal video recorder (PVR) sold by an Australia-based company. Legend, based in Adelaide, is best known for consumer memory devices like USB memory sticks. But it does have a consumer products division, which imports this unit, which the company claims to have had a hand in designing.
At $699 the Legend is priced toward the lower end of the market for a PVR, but still manages to punch above its weight. It’s easy to set up, with its intuitive menu interface making tuning a snap. The remote control is functional and sturdy, if not fancy, and the button layout ensures you won’t have to refer to the manual to perform basic PVR functions.
Like the Humax, this device can play MP3s, but with all the fussing around with USB cables, you’re better off sticking with a dedicated MP3 player like an iPod, or a computer connected to your audio receiver via an Apple Airport or audio cable.
The Legend reviewed here shipped with a 160 gigabyte hard disk drive capable of storing 80-100 hours of programming. Thanks to Legend’s partnership with Hitachi, a 500 gigabyte model capable of storing around 250 hours of content is available at an extra charge.
Watching and recording
Dual TV tuners, which are pretty much the go with most PVRs, ensures viewers can watch two channels at the same time while watching one of them. The Legend has some nifty features, too.
Like the Humax, the Legend has a time-shift feature that allows viewers to pause television broadcasts; perfect for taking phone calls or dealing with unexpected Jehovah’s Witness visits. It can also play a program while it’s being recorded. Viewers can come home early and watch that movie or sporting event before it has finished recording, and not miss a second of the action.
While the Legend is capable of decoding high definition signals, it can’t display them in true HD; it’s just a standard definition unit. But it does come with a composite video connector, so the picture is nice and crisp, and after all, it’s only television.
Electronic Program Guide
As with the Humax, the electronic program guide (EPG) doesn’t really work, thanks largely to the Australian networks’ decision not to broadcast EPG information as the digital TV standard allows. Networks don’t want people time-shifting programs.
The Legend doesn?t support IceTV either, which allows some PVRs to download an EPG on a weekly basis. It’s a problem that limits the ease of use of the recording facility, and is a problem the Humax PVR-Smart (reviewed opposite) shares as well.
Something like Foxtel’s IQ unit, which allows viewers to scroll through program listings and flag shows, movies and events for capture, is the closest Australian users will get to the full functionality offered by devices like the USA’s TiVO. With cable TV costing as much as it does in Australia, that’s a real shame.