Experience with Canal Digital’s HD PVR

Canal Digital had long promised a new and better HD PVR receiver to replace the problematic decoder from French Sagem. Last year, they launched HD PVR 5720-CDX, produced by Swiss ADB. I’ve had this decoder for 9 months and share my experiences here.

I am one of many customers who had problems with the previous generation HD PVR decoders. The decoder from Sagem created a headache for many, including me. I still had a fails on my decoder and was able to return three Sagem decoders before Canal Digital launched its new HD PVR from ADB.

When the third Sagem decoder started to fail, I convinced myself to buy the new decoders from Canal Digital. This new decoder should be so amazing and without fails. The expectations of Canal Digital’s new HD PVR were therefore great.

After nine months with the new decoder, I have already managed to replace two decoders and the third one I have now has also problems.

The first decoder was unstable and the recordings that were made were either cut before or after the programs. In addition, it was missing signals on the recordings. After repeatedly resetting it to factory settings and updateing the software, it was successfully returned to Canal Digital. All recordings and recording settings disappeared at each reset.

A new decoder were received by mail. This one worked acceptable, at least if we ignored noise problems, until the hard drive broke. An attempt was made to reset it to factory settings and to update the software. After trying this for several hours with countless error messages, it finally managed to update the software. However, this did not solve the problem of a defective disk. All recordings were once again lost. Canal Digital once again sent me a new decoder.

After receiving the new decoder and updated software, I was hoping I should finally have a stable decoder. I strolled in front of the TV and was going to look at some of the recordings I had made. Finding the desired program and pressing play. Everything goes well until the first commercial break. When I try to skip the ads it return to start. I tried for several attempts, all uncessful. I had to watch the programs from start and with all the ads. Fast forward was forbidden! Once again I had to call Canal Digital and as always they are surprised about my problems with the new decoder. Their only solution is to run a reset to factory settings and once again lose all recordings.

After reading about the decoder online, I see that there are more people who have problems with the new ADB decoder. So I’m not alone in having trouble, although that’s the impression Canal Digital tries to create every time I’m in touch with them.

The experience with this decoder so far is that it works as well (or should we say it badly) as Sagem’s old decoder. I also think that sometimes it responds a little slow. All in all, I can only conclude that it does not live up to the expectations I had for a new decoder.



Storage capacity: 500GB equivalent to 80 hours of HD quality recording or 240 hours of default settings.

Film Rent: Yes, via the movie rental service GO.

Fast forward: Up to 64X speed.

Connections: 2x Scart, HDMI, USB, SPDIF audio, analogue audio, component video and ethernet.

Music: Streaming music from WiMP.