Thanks for all the info. I'm not seeing a downside to this unit. I don't like the front USB connector for the external hard drive but I assume others would like this for FTA mod's. It looks like an internal SATA HD option is in the works anyway. For the outputs do you need to select or are they on all the time? I assume HDTV output in the manual is HDMI. I don't see anything in the manual for setting output to component or HDMI or changing 720p to 1080i. I would have the TV connected to HDMI 1080i and a projector on component video 720p. Currently I use a Samsung DTB-H260F as my projector tuner and would replace with SV8000HD if both outputs on. The Samsung has switches on the back to set output and resolution. The DTVPal DVR is a good deal for the price but getting to Canada and warranty issues make it a no go for me. I also don't like their HD format and difficulty to upgrade HD size. This looks like a good option.
Some of the downsides to the unit are the following:
1) To me, the fan makes the unit noisy. The fan was added in the latest rev to handle an optional add on board. Apparently, with the add on board, the unit tended to overheat. For OTA purposes, the add on board isn't required and therefore you can probably disconnect the fan. I haven't tried that yet simply due to concern over the unit overheating. (There are many other suggested modifications on various websites to reduce the fan noise, such as using a laptop cooling pad or riser rather than the fan).
Also, the fan is on all the time, even during standby (sleep) mode. Turning off the unit via a switch at the back is the only way to turn off the fan. Unfortunately, this also causes the unit to forget the EPG meaning that you then need to tune again to each OTA station to regain the schedule after power up (I don't think any OTA station only broadcasts their schedule at certain points during the week but that is another issue if that is the case).
2) Front USB port: There are no USB ports on the back which means that if you have a USB hard drive connected, you likely won't be able to close the door of your TV cabinet.
3) No ability to watch a recording while recording a different program at the same time. The PVR also makes it difficult to scan the EPG (it only shows a few random stations) when you are recording compared to the normal use where it shows all stations when no programs are being recorded. This makes it difficult to see if you are missing a program on a different station while recording on the primary station.
In regards to your questions:
1) At the moment, I haven't heard of an internal SATA HD option although there is space in the unit for a hard drive, although a mount would have to be added..
2) The HDTV option is HDMI.
3) Under A/V settings, you have the options of 720p or 1080i, NTSC or PAL (or auto), letterbox or pan and scan or full screen, and a few other options such as aspect ratio (16:9, 4:3), closed captioning and OSD display type.
4) I don't see any option for selecting output and therefore I assume everything is on all the time.
5) There's also a favourites option allowing you to set up to 8 groups of 8 channels or music stations each. However, I've found this difficult to use and now tend to ignore it.
In the end, the unit is decent although I would have preferred it if they could have used a heat sink rather than a fan. Also, the manual could be much more extensive and it would be nice if they offered some screenshots on their website. Finally, to update the unit via USB key (I recommend loading the latest factory firmware if you do buy the unit as the original firmware was missing some features such as EPG and recording support) you need to make sure your USB key is FAT32 and not NTFS. Otherwise, the PVR will not recognize the key (I fortunately have a 64 MB key as all of my newer/larger keys are NTFS).