As the majority of the giants of consumer electronics, Thomson provides for the launch of digital television in France, a receiver range to suit different budgets. The DTI-1001, tested here, is the most feature rich despite its price lower sales to some simpler competing products.
Sobriety is the watchword for Thomson’s DTT receiver. The unit does this indeed no big frills facade. Presented in the form of a two-tone gray and black cuboid, this small box lets only appear as a power key, a pair of dedicated buttons to change channels and two power LED indicators. The green when the camera is on, the red during the day. This mode is particularly energy efficient with low power consumption to less than one watt. A step in the right direction to reduce the energy loss associated with still many electronic devices.
The supplied remote control is a classic model of Thomson, the same one that is found on most TVs and VCRs. Small and capable of driving the latter two types of products, it takes nicely in hand with soft keys that fall well under the fingers.
Contradicting the front we find a string of connectors of all kinds. Input and output for antenna cable, but also a pair of Scart sockets to connect the receiver to a TV and a DVD recorder or VCR for example. Audio is for once not left out with a coaxial digital output. The power is supplied by a single electrical cable, which avoids the use of a transformer umpteenth also unsightly inconvenient. The range of outputs has absent size: outputs component (YUV) or digital (DVI or HDMI) that would directly power a projector with optimum image quality.
First power, automatic installation wizard configuration in a jiffy: a standard but well designed behavior. the TV aspect we regret all the same that is not required during this step. The tuning is dramatic, less than a minute was required in our tests in the Paris region with simply correct quality reception. The transition from one channel to another is also very fast, with no more than half a second to change the channel. The reactivity in menus is similar, each command will meet at the end of half a second, which is more troublesome for the fools of the trigger.
settings fans really have something to do with a DTI 1001 stuffed settings and gadgets of all kinds. The channel list is already friendly, with miniature receiving current, power, and signal quality. It is also possible to sort the channels by name, type, frequency or manually. Come preferential chains that each family member can draw and shoot again, rename, etc. One could almost say that this avalanche of opportunities is superfluous or even detrimental for basic use. Fortunately the options “advanced” displayed in small characters appear only people taking the time to decode all that is displayed on the screen.
If your DVD recorder or VCR is not equipped with a digital tuner, the DTI in 1001 may turn on automatically to the correct channel at a given time: the “timers” (triggers) are there for. Like a VCR program, you specify channel, time and date so that the receiver automatically turns on and sends the issue directly to the recorder.
Thomson even thought to include games in its DTT receiver! For now, only a breakout like “tennis” evolved is offered, but any updates to the device could well improve. There is also talk of adding features and enhancements included in the new domestic software released in the future through digital channels. The “update” made from many options and settings of the installation menus. The receiver can be set up and down, the SCART output signal to the screen size through the languages and subtitles. The friendly graphical interface can be customized via four different themes. Even the display time headbands, level of transparency and the default string to start the unit are adjustable. Never have we seen such a performance in an affordable receiver.
And audio and video performance in that? No complaints, really. The reception is in the middle, neither more nor less. SCART video output is extremely clean, noise free video noise. We appreciate rich colors and deep, but above all natural as it is usual with electronic Thomson. The definition is excellent, also the contrast. It is even possible to adjust the output level of the RGB signal to give more nervousness in the image without any degradation: we love it! The sound is also well treated, the digital output is revealing more than useful for a definition copy on your home theater system.