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Best/easiest way to get Freeview on bedroom TV?

Discussion in 'Freeview' started by broona, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. broona

    broona Moderator

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    My parents have got an old Bush 42" LCD in their bedroom, no built in Freeview and only 1 HDMI socket.

    It's on the wall at the bottom of their bed, so any Freeview box would need a 5m+ scart or coaxial cable to connect to it, as they already have a HDMI dvd player plugged in.

    They bought a cheap Argos digibox yesterday, and I connected it up this morning via coax, only to find out that the coax is just a pass through and doesn't output digital TV, and there are hardly any boxes on the market that do, doh! :(

    Just had a look on Ebay, anyone got a scart Freeview adapter like this one, looks like it might do the trick with less wires - NEW Freeview Digital TV Reciever Tuner Scart Set Top Box DVB T ANALOG TO DIGITAL | eBay

    Alternatively, anyone recommend a Freeview box with an RF modulator built in, or a decent 5m+ scart lead that isn't too thick, lol? :p
  2. audioenthusiast

    audioenthusiast Active Member

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    How about an HDMI switch?
    With this, you can still just have the one long HDMI running to the TV. At the other end of this cable you have the switch, connected to both the freeview box and the DVD player.

    Just had a quick look and they start off really cheap. If they already have a universal remote, this would be ideal. Otherwise you can get auto-switching ones. I haven't looked at details but I guess they work on a priority system - e.g. if there's an output on A, use A. If not, check B. If still nothing then use C.
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    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  3. broona

    broona Moderator

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    That could be perfect, they'd still need to swap the cheap Freeview box for a HDMI one, but that's easily done, then something like this would do them, automatic switching but a remote control to override if necessary - Xenta Black Metal Auto HDMI Switch - 2 Inputs to 1.. | Ebuyer.com
  4. audioenthusiast

    audioenthusiast Active Member

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    Yep, that one looks ideal. Didn't realise the cheap freeview didn't have HDMI though. I'm surprised you can even buy non-HDMI stuff these days!
  5. broona

    broona Moderator

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    Right, sorted I think!

    Cheap box back to Argos, gonna order that HDMI switcher I linked to, a couple of cheap 1m HDMI cables, and probably an I-Can Easy HD 2851T freeview box, as it seems to be about the cheapest with HDMI, hopefully that will all work together OK. :D

    Edit: Or possibly a Bush DV8680 as the I-Can gets some iffy reviews, £25 brand new on Ebay.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  6. lbear

    lbear Member

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    NOOOOOOoooooooooo! The Bush is the Vestel T8300 which all the stores (except Argos who kept the price up) remaindered in the January 2011 sales. Under one of the other 13 badges one of the wholesale warehouse chains sold the last of the big stocks for £15

    Tesco seem to finally be getting to the last of the first batch Technika STBHDIS2010 as the latest listing on eBay is for some without remote controls. Maybe worthwhile waiting to see if any more with remotes are refurbished (the software updated) It is available at various prices new from about £35 in their bigger stores, go for the cheapest, ignore the end letter(s) and if you want the latest iPlayer enabling software, ask here. This is one of the best cheap boxes and came out way above a badged version of the T8300 in Which? trials.

    The iCan is probably between the Vestel and the IS model from Technika. You can get them new from Richer Sounds for a price also roughly in the middle of what you propose.
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    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  7. broona

    broona Moderator

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    Bought them a Technika off Ebay for £25, 2 HDMI cables for £1.20 each, and my mate's got a spare HDMI switcher, sorted. :thumbsup:
  8. davidac

    davidac Member

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    What is the difference between the STBHDIS2010A and HY?
  9. lbear

    lbear Member

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    So far Tesco have imported three batches of the STBHDIS2010. The first batch had early software that was unstable with HD simulcasts and deleted the HD channels. That was solved with an update from the original 0133 version of the software to 0151 and later 0161 which added further features like single frequency tuning and the SD/HD autoswitching. These were the ones being sold as "refurbished" with updated software very cheaply on eBay from Tesco Outlet.

    The next batch had the 0161 software pre-installed and the A was added at the end. The third batch was designated HY (for Hylab, the OEM maker) and was the A model in a slightly different cardboard box.

    In short, they are all the same. Tesco are now marketing this STB with iPlayer software (version 0225) at a premium. Many on here have the update and will send you a copy if you ask discretely. My advice is get the cheapest one you can and add the software yourself. It's dead easy to do and all you need is a USB memory stick.
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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  10. davidac

    davidac Member

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    Thank you Ibear. A general HD question. I have a Panasonic TH-37PX70 which has a resolution of 1024 x 720. Am I likely to get a worthwhile improvement in picture quality with the extra resolution? Is most HD in 720p or 1080?
  11. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    All broadcast HD is 1920 x 1080 interlaced. 1440 x 1080 was used by the BBC but currently is not. But yes you should see an improvement over the 576 lines of a SD display.

    When you watch SD the TV has to scale up to your screen (invent extra pixels). When you watch 1080i the TV downscales, this removes some fine detail but the process is much easier than going the other way.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  12. lbear

    lbear Member

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    You forgot that the Freeview HD transmissions are now in a mixture of 1080i/50 and 1080p/25. The former is more suited to faster moving scenes like football or other sports while the latter gives more detail for slow moving scenes like many nature/documentary programmes and closely matches the 24 frames per second used by cinema films.

    The quality can be dynamically changed withing a single programme to provide the optimum output. As an example, the station idents/promos on BBC HD using the shots from their documentaries are in 1080p but switch to 1080i for the animated "crystal" at the end.

    The STBHDIS2010 outputs up to 1080p/50 but some earlier HD televisions can only accept 1080i signals. In those cases, 720p output is better as the TV does then not have to de-interlace in addition to down scaling. It has very good upscaling and, very unusually, you can change the brightness and contrast of the output from the HDMI socket. This can help with "tired" screens.

    The main advantage of the HD channels, apart from the greater detail, is that there are far fewer digital artifacts - sometime seen as a "graininess" on areas of flat colour.

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