ExpressVu 9200/9220 Review
After just over two weeks, its time for my mini review of the Bell ExpressVu 9200 / 9220 Dual HDTV Tuner PVR. First we have to get past how great HD looks! I didn’t think I’d get in the habit of checking to see if a show is on in HD before I watched it in standard definition.
There were a couple of minor hiccups, the first was the installer being two and a half hours late for the install, ie: showing up at 2:30 when the appointment was between 8am and noon. I can’t blame this on ExpressVu since they contracted the install out to dishlink.
The PVR is amazing, and with the dual tuners it makes watching TV enjoyable again. The 30 second fast forward button is perfectly suited for fast forwarding past a commercial or two, or three, or four. and if you go too fast, there is always the 10 second jump back/instant replay. In addition to recording two shows simultaneously, you can also watch a third from the hard disk. When you are not recording, you can pause live TV, or rewind up to an hour (assuming you were on the current channel for that long). On the rare occasions I have encountered timer conflicts, it was easy enough to find the same program on in a different time zone, thanks to the included time shifting channels that ExpressVu offers.
Having two tuners also has other benefits, such as Picture in Picture (pip), or you can set the receiver into dual mode where two separate rooms can watch TV independently of each other, using the supplied UHF remote. If the second tuner is not in use, the first TV can still reschedule recordings using the second tuner.
Whats in the box:
Besides the two and half hour late install, the only gripe I had was that the installer did not ground the dish, its an easy fix to do myself, but since he was already up on the roof, it wouldn’t have been too much effort. Good thing I am renting their gear!
There are only a few things that could be improved upon, such as the sluggish (sometimes) performance of the IR remote control. The PVR could do with some better ventilation, it gets very hot to the touch even when off. An option to also reconfigure or hide some of the guide would be nice, such as hiding the Descriptive video (Dv) channels, and the French channels would speed up my guide surfing. Also being able to group channels in a custom order such as: NBC-W, NBC-E, NBCW-HD, NBCE-HD would give a nice comparison, rather than having to move from the 200′s to the 800′s to see if the same show is on in HD.
All said I am very impressed with this unit, and it has changed my TV watching forever.