This product has been discontinued by Wintal.

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5 out of 5, reviewed on Dec 29, 2009

PVR's will revolutionize the way we currently watch TV. No longer do you have to wait till a program has finished recording to begin viewing it.
The Wintal X10 is brilliant for the price (I payed $255 delivered off Ebay). No major problems with the unit which has a 3 year warranty. Why buy a DVD PVR with analogue tuner that will be phased out when you can get a digital tuner for the same price!

A more thorough review of my new Wintal X10 ...

Hi folks. I received my new Wintel X10 the other day and thought I’d contribute back to the sources I look at when trying to find information on goodies to buy myself.

The unit was purchased on the 14th of April 2005 and the firmware is STBOS E/3.39 [B] 2004-10-18 08:19 (keep this in mind when comparing reviews/complaints about the unit).

The first thing that hit me with the X10 is its so small – about the size of my old Playstation One unit. It’s very neat in appearance with an attractive front face containing 3 buttons and a florescent display which displays limited info on what the unit is doing on its 4 or 5 segment green display. The display ranges from the channel number (live with no playback/recording), to ‘Play’ (Playback), ‘rEC’ (Recording) or ‘R__P’ (Recording with playback).

Connection is fairly straightforward although beware if you connect the Euro connector (not supplied btw) to obtain SVHS output, you have to go to signal settings menu and change ‘Video format’ to Y/C. Luckily I remembered reading that in one of the reviews otherwise I would have been very disappointed with the picture.
Whilst on connections – yes it is possible to have BOTH SVHS and Composite running at the same time for those like me who want to connect the unit to both the TV and Projector for example. Obviously you may have to change the aspect ratio (4:3 or 16:9) depending what kind of device you are viewing it on at the time.

The picture is fantastic although I did have to turn down the colour on my TV as it seemed a little too orange to me, but that may or may not be the digital transmission?

Ok, I read a lot about the remote and menu system and I tend to agree that it is a little clumsy although not too bad once you get used to it – remembering I’ve only had the unit for 2 days now. Rather than play, forward, reverse buttons as on normal remotes, the Wintal remote uses the numeric buttons combined with a blue PVR button, which can also be displayed onscreen simply by pressing the OK button. I absolutely hate remotes with hundreds of buttons on them so this configuration suits me fine. 1 = reverse (up to 6 X btw), 2 = Play, 3 = forward, 4 = back 5 minutes, 5 = pause, 6 = forward 5 minutes, 7 = folder where your programs are stored and 9 is LIVE TV.
It does take awhile to get used to switching between this mode and live TV mode where the buttons become numerals to help select TV stations. Of course there is also P+ and P- to change programs that way. You can also control the volume level via this remote or pass it through and use your own TV’s volume via its remote.
One disappointment was the jump forward button is set at 5 minutes which usually jumps past the adverts by 2 minutes and it doesn’t seem like there is a way to adjust this. Wintal, if you’re listening, a menu allowing you to change this by 30sec increments would be a good update.
Recording worked well. I have experienced a few stutters but very seldom and it could be the digital transmitting at fault, otherwise the picture is as fantastic as it is watching it live.
There is no editing of recorded programs as I’ve heard is possible with other machines, however its not that much of a hindrance at the moment – I guess it may be when the hard disk becomes full. Quite frankly this is very much a watch and delete machine for me so editing or keeping the footage isn’t of great importance - would be nice though I’m sure. The record list shows what’s been recorded, displaying the title of what is on when the unit begins recording (so if you set it a few minutes before, you’re going to end up with the title being the show before). It would be nice to be able to edit the title in case you want to hang onto it for awhile for this reason.
One disappointing thing is the limitation of only 12 timers. Why only 12 !. Seems like most of the others also only offer 12 timers which seems bizarre to me to say the least. I wouldn’t think it was a memory cost issue so I’m assuming its more of an organisation thing – trying to keep the timer to 2 screens – that doesn’t make much sense either! Come on Wintal … more timer memory please!
That said, although there are only 12 timers, you are able to directly set up the timers to record any time frame on any or all days of the week. You can select a date for a one off recording, otherwise it gives you a M T W T F S S scenario where you click which of the days you want it to record. Using this method I was able to record multiple shows (47 shows in total) in the 12 timers. I then printed myself out a colour coded timetable on my computer of the programs each timer contains to make it easier to update in the future. You can also transfer EPG data to a spare timer slot however as it seems Australia TV stations have chosen to only provide EPG for the current and following program this isn’t much help.
One thing worth mentioning is not being able to enter the timer menu while the unit is recording a show which is very annoying. It means you have to wait till the unit finishes recording before you can go to the timer menu to add another show, delete or edit one that’s there.
Other users have experience the unit going back to the start when watching a recording. I think it may have done this to me although it hasn’t done it again so that might have been my mistake not knowing what I was doing in the beginning. Let’s hope that bug has been fixed.

Overall though I have to say this unit is brilliant and I would definitely buy another one. If the other units have more features and work as well as this one then I’d probably go for that, otherwise Wintel X10 is superb and I definitely recommend it.
The ability to timeshift – watch an already recorded program OR start watching a program currently being recorded will revolutionise the way I currently watch TV and hopefully save a lot of time. Instead of sitting down at a certain time to watch a show I will now be watching a recorded show whenever I have the time. Once I’ve watched it I’ll delete it to make room for more programs. I guess for larger families it would be nice to have a way to tag the programs recorded on the hard drive to indicate who has watched it. Once everyone has tagged it, it can be deleted.

Overall a fantastic unit, well worth the money I payed ($255 inc postage off Ebay).

I’m very tempted to buy another unit to cover the possibility of two programs on TV at the same time on different channels. I’m not sure if you can operate two Wintal units at the same time unless the remotes work on different frequencies which I doubt so I’d probably have to buy a DigiCrystal SDT-9000PVR.
I’d be very interested on seeing a similar review on this or another unit if people who have them can spare the time. Cheers

+ Small size
Neat appearance
Good picture
Works well

- Unable to enter timer menu whilst recording
Only 12 timers
Recorded programs can't be edited or renamed

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3 out of 5, reviewed on Jun 17, 2008

Good performer and it does its primary tasks well, but the poor manual and remote will leave you less than impressed. I have a DSE non recording unit and Wintal should buy one to see how to write a manual. Long term though I guess you spend more time watching than reading the manual or using the remote. Overall - good value, good performer

+ Good receiver sensitivity - this is the 3rd set top box I have had and it is noticeably better.
Good performer and good value for the money. Paid $330 (found out next day it is available for $299 and this is exceptional value)

- Manual quite poor, and if this was your introduction to this technology you could struggle to get it up and running quickly. Remote weaker than others, and keys not all labelled making it frustrating.

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5 out of 5, reviewed on Nov 17, 2007

As the first PVR from Wintal the PVR-x10 offers all the functions and features ideal for those upgrading from a VCR. Instead of the 3 hours of very ordinary analogue playback you get from a VCR, for the same price you get up to 28 hours
of crystal clear Digital playback with time slip,
instant, one button record, and digital audio for dolby prologic surround sound

+ Simple to use with on screen key pad for all the functions, this keypad can be hidden when not required. German designed software, Philips tuner and also its cheap.

- Nothing, unless you are an importer trying to sell an opposition product against it.

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3 out of 5, reviewed on Jul 01, 2007

A glorified STB. If you are willing to put up with the aforementioned bugbears then go for it. It certainly beats a standard STB.

However sadly I will be returning mine under a 30 day money back guarentee as I am not happy with it having seen other options (Most notibly my new Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 machine that I have just built) and that I can now get a Humax 8000 PVR for well under $400 and it's features and inteface look far more refined. Please note that the price of this has just dropped as of 29/03/05 and I have seen Digicrystal DVR at wholesale below $200 so I think we can expect the Wintal to do the same in the near future. If the above were not the case I would have been quite happy to keep the Wintal as a STB that I could pause/timeshift live broadcasts and use my MCE 2005 machine to do all my regular recordings.

With the ever changing market, I believe better products at similar prices are not far off. So you make up your mind based on all these points. Hope it helps.

+ PRICE! As of 25/03/2005 I picked mine up for $312 inc postage from ebay (ozauctionbroker). A seeming bargain, however see my overall opinion to see the way the market is going.

Well built unit that is compact and feels durable in it's metal casing.

Digital Audio output.

Good tuner that picks up signals very well (unit has only been tested on an amplified indoor antenna and I was able to pick up all stations bar TEN)

SCART Output for premium image quality (RCA just doesn't cut it)

Pause / Timeshift function is a god send when watching live broadcasts. This is the machines strongest feature by far.

- Interface has not changed from the Wintel WIN1XS (Wintel now known as Wintal) as I have reviewed many months ago. And as such has the PVR(DVR) functions added on and not intergrated making for a messy and unfufilling experience.

Flickery RCA output (have not tested SCART options) although still clear and sharp.

Remote remains almost the same as other Wintel/Wintal STBs and therefore has no dedicated pause, play, FF, FR, Skip Forward and back buttons. Instead it uses the number keys that do not indicate there PVR function on the remote and therefore you will find yourself refering to the annoying On screen display of the functions of various keys. A BIG oversight! Also remote is rather flimsy and not powerful enough for my liking.

Timer record mode only allows for one entry to reoccur!! Simply stupid. The other 11 entries have to be for a specific date as you cannot specify a day of the week. This renders the capacity of 80GB HDD only useful to record on program or set of programs on a regular basis. Otherwise you might use it to record movies as the aforementioned limitation makes it impossible to record TV programs (all but one that is) on a regular basis. Hopefully this will be fixed with a firmware upgrade.

Unable to play previous recordings while recording.

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3 out of 5, reviewed on Jul 01, 2007

For the price, I can't recommend it highly enough. It does need a firmware upgrade to fix a few little annoyances, but these are minor.
User manual could be clearer, but if you read it, the answers are there.
Obviously a DVD Recorder, extra Tuner, network connection would all be good features, but this would double or triple the price. You get what you pay for, and in the case of the PVR-X10 you get plenty.

+ As everyone says, the price is amazing for what you get. The unit is also quite small in size. Menu system is clear and friendly, after taking a little while (15 min) to get used to. I had mine up and running and using the Timer PVR within 10 minutes.
Unlike other reviewers, I am able to program all twelve timers as weekly or daily - and this function is more flexible than my current Panasonic VCR.
The unit CAN be automatically put into Standby after power on.

- No component out, or native S-Video, which would have been handy. Remote could have had the PVR functions labelled, but I think those with reasonable memories will remember which button for which function.
There is a little bit of drive noise when chasing a live recording.
Forums say that replacing the IDE drive with a larger one is a difficult, and currently unknown process.

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5 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 15, 2006

Top quality stylish unit for less money than some inferior brands. Some useful features. My favourite is watching my favorrite shows when I want to. The digital picture quality and CD quality sound through the stereo makes me cringe when I see snowy analogue at other people's houses.

+ The price - Even at full RRP it's good value. Haven't found any faults. Looks great and is so small you don't need to rearrange the cabinet much.

Ability to watch a prerecorded program while recording another. Time slip and time shift. Simple remote without a thousand buttons. Good signal pickup from weak signals.

Ability to program a week's viewing and watch it at my leisure skipping the ads. (Who Wants to be a Millionaire takes 10 minutes to watch without ads and Eddy)

- I didn't have one earlier. Built in DVD recorder would be nice, but then again it wouldn't be so damn cheap.

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4 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 15, 2006

Great value for money (we paid around $335 on ebay including delivery). We are very pleased with our purchase and would reccommend it to others, despite initial confusion in setting it up.

+ Excellent picture on channels that were weak and poor quality, great recording features, relatively low price.

- Very poor user instructions - took a while to work out how to use it successfully - and still learning. Cannot use it to watch one channel whilst recording a different channel (have to revert to normal tv). The "Delete" function (for recorded programs)- this is one of the few times I would like to see the "Are You Sure?" safety question, alas, it's not there - so if you click "delete" by mistake your recorded program is gone.

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2 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 15, 2006

I traded up(?) to the X-10 from the SD digital box but returned it the next day. I was very disappointed that I could not use it like a VCR with a timer.
Looking for a better implementation.

+ Small, tidy looking unit. Great concept. Good connectivity to TV but not to PC.

- No timer function to record a program if you're not in. The auto programming of channels did not work properly.

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