The digital TV revolution
New dimensions opened for TV viewers
New dimensions are being opened up for TV viewers by Grundig, the first German manufacturer of consumer electronics to offer the possibilities of the Personal Digital Recorder SeleXX. The device combines the characteristics of a digital satellite receiver with those of a digital video recorder.
The A/V-optimised 20 GB hard disk installed in the Grundig SeleXX enables the simultaneous recording (for a total of approximately 10-12 hours) and playback of different programmes. Using the Timeshift process, the viewer can record a programme and begin viewing the recording of the same programme before it has ended. When the device is switched on, the Timeshift function is always active and can be set between 20 and 60 minutes, allowing the viewer to reverse, pause, or play in slow motion a running programme.
Recording is simplified using the ECG (Electronic Content Guide). This guide is transmitted via satellite and includes a complete overview of all DVB TV programmes which can be freely received via Astra and Eutelsat. Simply clicking on the corresponding programme is all that is required to program the digital recorder.
An additional option of the SeleXX recorder is the start menu system which can be called up via a multilingual user interface in both English and German, and is expandable to include other languages. The menu system is divided into five areas and automatically appears when switching on the Grundig Personal Digital Recorder SeleXX. The first option is an archive for recorded programmes. The second menu option contains an overview of the current programmes which can be received. An additional feature of the Grundig SeleXX is the "TV Guide" menu option which provides a programme preview organised according to channel and theme. General functions can be found in the last two areas of the menu system.
Besides these special features, this new development from Axcent Media AG in Paderborn includes all the essential functions of a standard video recorder. The Play function allows a video to be viewed within 1-2 sec (8 Mbit/sec). The Stop button can be used to set a bookmark which specifies particular positions on the hard disk between which the user can easily shift back and forth. This eliminates waiting while fast-forwarding or reversing. A frame search with variable forward and reverse speeds is still possible, however. Still frames and slow motion with variable playback speeds are also included in the repertoire of the Personal Digital Recorder.
The recordings are made as MPEG Transport Streams via an audio and a video channel. The user can record TV channels manually during a running programme or from individual categories. Complete categories -- for example all daily sports programmes -- can be automatically recorded. Individual programmes can also be transferred to standard videocassettes so that they can be erased from the hard disk. The SeleXX allows both manual and automatic deletions. Automatic deletion is executed based on pre-set parameter combinations, allowing certain programs to be overwritten.
The SeleXX is connected to a universal LNC. The installed tuner/demulation module covers each of the two polarisations in the frequency range from 10.7 to 12.75 GHz. The other interfaces are two scart outputs for CSCC, audio right/left, one RCA audio output, one S/PDIF digital audio output, one RCA video output, one S-Video output, one RS 232 and one infrared input for the remote control.
The Personal Digital Recorder requires very little space in the living room with its tiny dimensions of 360 mm (w) x 68 mm (h) x 260 mm (d). With the PDR 5000 S DIG "SeleXX", Grundig is already set at this early stage to dominate a market of the future which has been shown to possess a very high potential.
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