For almost a year now I have been using the Motorola HDPVR 630 with my service provider Shaw Direct. In that time I have discovered both positivies and negatives with this satellite receiver.
Motorola has always put their name on fairly good products but they seem to have lacked in quality control with the HDPVR 630.
The 630 is a nice small recording device unfortunately mine came with a fairly unreliable brand of 2.5″ hard drive, Seagate. Although Seagate was a great brand years ago, their quality has gone down hill since being acquired by Maxtor some years ago. When dealing with a device that requires a hard drive which will be running 24/7, you need something reliable like the Western Digital Red 2.5″ drive or a SSD drive. Last month I upgraded my drive to a 750GB Western Digital Red.
The reason for the need to use a drive that is meant for 24/7 use is noth just lower heat generation but also better stability, reducing the chances of file corruption.
Cheaply made hard drives like Maxtor and Seagate are bad for suffering from file corruption. When this happens with the HDPVR 630, it will cause the unit to auto reboot at random. Many recordings I have done in the past year before changing the hard drive resulted in missing segments because the unit rebooted itself.
One month late since the upgrade, the only time it reboots is when you try to do too much like setting up multiple shows for recording of new episodes before the device has completed the setup of the previous requested show. Although the wait time is low when you only have a few programs setup, once you get up to my number of shows, currently around 75, that wait time can feel like an eternity to complete.
With the reboots happening when trying to do too much at once, it is obvious the HDPVR 630 could use a major improvement so the device will no longer panic and reboot itself. Maybe a faster processor could help setup the recording schedule fast even with a large number of shows.
The on screen guide is extremely well done in my opinion. I have seen both the Bell and Rogers PVR on screen guide and I have to squint to read the text. With the Motorola 600 and HDPVR 630, the font is a great size, able to read everything, even in the program description.
HDPVR 630 guide also has a nice colour code sho you know which items are cartoons, movies, sports, and so on but it does lack in the guide settings area.
Currently there are many stations that are duplicates and right now the only way to weed out the non-HD stations is to setup your own channel list but with 900 channels to go through, this can take quite a bit of time out of ones day. There is an option to hide unsubscribe channels which is nice however it would be even better if there were setting to also hide non-HD channels, sports channels, only show channels in the language you want, and so on. Adding more guide options will give back the end user the hours that they would have normally wasted setting up their own favourites list.
Another feature I would like to see added is being able to record more than two shows without the need of extra cable runs from the satellite dish. I can not understand why a single cable can not be run to the receiver then have the device split that signal so many programs can be recorded at once. Cable PVR’s can somehow do this with just one coaxial cable so why can’t the same work for satellite?
Well thats my review on the Motorola HDPVR 630.