So I got my 830 PVR hooked up on Monday, it's now Friday. For reference, I'm replacing a 505 with it but I have other 630 units in the house for the past year so I have lots of experience with those. These are my opinions and impressions after 4 days of use. Your opinions may vary.
Let me start with the positives:
- I like the smaller size. Also, there are no vents on top of the unit so you can stack things on top of it without blocking ventilation unlike the 630.
- Everything feels a little crisper. For example, less wait time after a button press. Everything happens faster on screen and feels more fluid.
- I like the Wifi option. I have never had my units hooked up to the internet because there are no phone line jacks anywhere near any of my TVs and I didn't care. With Wifi, I can stream their VOD library! It's not the biggest library but it works well and I guess something is better than nothing.
- I like the bigger hard drive. More space means more shows to record!
- Everything is running smooth so far, no lockups or bugs that I've seen in a short time sample.
As far as the negatives:
- The lack of front display is unacceptable to me. I use the damn clock on my other units so much! I'm horribly disappointed by this seemingly insignificant omission. I don't get it.
- There's nothing really new on this unit. More of the same from the 630 with Wifi and a bigger hard drive. Very underwhelming for a "New Version".
- The lack of connectivity doesn't bother me so much but I can see how some people would be upset at the lack of options other than HDMI.
- DID I MENTION THERE'S NO FRONT DISPLAY???!!!
That's all I can think of after 4 days of use. I would be upset if I paid to upgrade from a 630 for this because it's basically the same thing with a couple of small upgrades and no front display. If you don't need wifi, get a 630 and an external hard drive unless an 830 is cheaper for some reason.
Hope that helps someone!