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Technomate TM-6900 vs FREESAT

Discussion in 'Freesat Forum' started by mattriz, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. mattriz

    mattriz Member

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    Guys, I need some help bigtime with this. We're gonna leave Sky and we have a sprog on the way and we want to save some cash in the long run :smashin:

    I've been offered a Technomate TM-6900 machine. I've been told that it can scan over 10,000 channels and you'll get a whole lot more on offer than freesat, plus you can get all the freesat and FULL HD channels also from the bbc, itv, channel 4, ch5 etc.. plus you can attach a hard-drive to record and also it upscales all existing signals to 1080i. Is this true?

    I'm sort of aware from doing some reading that you won't get the full Freesat EPG but you can still get the "now and next" stuff displayed and we'd be ok with that.

    If its true and it can do all of this, surely its a better option than the freesat humax box with its 200 odd channels (some of them being radio channels).

    Has anyone got one of these systems and how many channels from a normal sky dish can you really get? Also is the quality visually as good as Freesat HD?

    Really sorry for all the questions, but we'd really like to ensure we make the right choice before purchasing.

    Thanks in advance,

    Matt :thumbsup:
  2. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    Some true some not, Channel 4 HD is not available without a Freesatfromsky card (its encrypted and free to view) and even though the card might work you need to check if it needs to go back in a sky box occasionly to be recativated.

    To get access to the vast number of channels you have to partner the box with a motorised dish using a facility called diseqc switching.

    Freesat channels are not different any free to air channels they simply have an entry on the 7 day epg. All the free to air channels are available on a freesat box in free to air mode, as you say now and next programme for the channel you are watching (broadcast with the programme stream) so in this mode programme choice is the same. Some generic fta boxes can be patched to get the freesat epg.

    Humax Foxsat Sat boxes (Foxsat-HD, Foxsat-HDR) have diseqc switching and therefore pretty much the same choice of channels as the technomate in fta (non freesat mode). The technomate box will allow you to archive BBC-HD to a computer and the freesat boxes don't as the bbc sets a flag that restricts HD to HDMI).

    The technomate is an advanced free to air twin tuner receiver and to fully utilise requires a degree of technical knowledge (steep learning curve) strictly one for the enthusiast and remember you have to buy your own hard disc.

    The Foxsat-HDR at £299.00 comes ready to record all freesat channels (HD and SD) directly from the freesat epg. At launch can record all the other fta channels in fta mode manually. It can copy SD programmes onto an external hard disc or pen drive which can then be viewed or burnt to dvd on a personal computer. It's a distinctly more user friendly option than the technomate.

    Which is best, neither really it depends on which features you want most

    List of freesat channels (some extra now notably channel 5)

    http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showpost.php?p=28432963&postcount=1

    List of fta on astra2/eurobird 1

    http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showpost.php?p=28475946&postcount=24
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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
  3. zAndy1

    zAndy1 Active Member

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    I'm in the same boat as the OP, trying to decide between the TM6900 Super and the Foxsat HDR. Hence this post:-

    Foxsat HDR, Common interface possibilities? - Freesat - Digital Spy Forums

    I'm trying to work out if the Humax box can also be used with a cam e.g. Diablo but I suspect there's a lot more to the TM6900 than just the fact it will take a diablo cam!
    It's a tough one, I'd like to know a bit more about what the Foxsat-HDR is capable of in non freesat mode really and unfortunately information regarding that is pretty scarce, although that should change as people get the Humax box...
  4. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    Certainly at the moment the free to air mode of the foxsat-hdr is going to be pretty basic. Humax admit that they have concentrated on perfecting the freesat features and that they will release firmware upgrades in the coming weeks to make timed fta channel recording possible. To those with home networks though the Foxsat box has one feature the technomate lacks (assuming the spec in my magazine is correct) namely that of an ethernet port (all freesat boxes have these intended for future on demand services like BBCi). The foxsat-hdr in particular offers some exciting possible future features as the HDR is based on the German Icord whose ethernet port can be configured as a ftp server. Streaming video over your home network and remote timer setting are just 2 that come to mind.

    As you say it's a tough choice. My foxsat-hdr is on advanced order so as you can see I have made mine
  5. zAndy1

    zAndy1 Active Member

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    The Technomate also has an ethernet port that can be used for card sharing purposes (newcamd protocol). Not that I'd condone the use of such a feature
  6. Smith2004

    Smith2004 Member

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    Graham, Can the Foxsat-HDR copy HD recordings to an external hard disc (providing they're not copy-protected), or is it just SD?
  7. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    No one is absolutely sure at the moment. If the copy flag is not set by the broadcaster then there should be no reason why not. Currently all BBC HD programming is so protected but not sure about ITV HD. I will let you have a definitive answer as soon as my hdr arrives.

    If you want to archive HD the generic fta (like the technomate) or a pc solution will be more flexible.

    Until blue ray recorders and blanks become much cheaper, for me there's not much point
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  8. mattriz

    mattriz Member

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    Graham,

    Hi. Thanks ever so much for your help here.

    Ok I'm a bit of an idiot when it comes to this so bare with me. So if I bought this Technomate box and did a scan with my Sky dish (I have a non motorised dish with Sky + facility), will I basically get all the channels from Astra2 / Eurobird 1 or a lot less?

    To be honest with you, we don't watch enough TV to want to record things, so not overly bothered that, but much more interested in getting more channels, then currently on Freesat as it does seem very limited at present. Will the technomate scan more as a rule or is that only possible with a motorised dish? I think I may have been tempted by this figure 10,000 channels etc... :rolleyes:

    Let me know as still undecided what's best to get. Perhaps a standard Humax Foxsat HD box would give me everything I need? Like this: * * Humax Foxsat HD Freesat Satellite, Set Top Box * * on eBay, also Digital Receivers, Satellite Boxes Receivers, Satellite Cable Freeview, Consumer Electronics (end time 25-Nov-08 19:46:35 GMT)

    Thanks in advance,

    Matt :smashin:

  9. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    Wierd this I posted a reply and it seems to have vanished I will try again

    Any box with a dish pointed at astra will get all the fta channels.

    Generic fta (eg Technomate), Freesat box in non freesat mode or a Sky box in add channels mode all the same. A HD Freesat box (and some fta boxes) can get ITV HD which is not a channel in the normal sense (it's a data stream accessed by the red button when on ITV1). If you want more channels then you need a reciever that can handle more than one dish or motorised facilities.
    These include either fitting a monoblock lnb to an existing dish (not a sky minidish) which will get you one other satellite provided it's not too far away in orbit, a second dish or a full motorised set up. THe technomate can do this as can the Humax HD freesat boxes giving you the full 10000 ish with a motorised setup. Be warned though most of these are absolute tripe, only a few hundred are worth watching. As far as Freesat is concerned there is more than enough on there to satisfy my viewing habits, I only use non freesat mode to impress the neighbours with LUX HD:D or to have a quick look at some of the Sky channels that occasionly (and not for long) go fta


    There is likely to be quite a few of the Foxsat-HD on the auction sites as they get replaced with the new pvr
  10. grahama10

    grahama10 Guest

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    In addition to receiving multi-satellite and Freesat transmissions the Technomate TM-6900 can also be used to receive terrestrial Freeview transmissions ( subject to being in a suitable reception area and having suitable aerial).
  11. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    yes you are right just checked 6800 is 2 sat tuners, 6900 is 1 sat 1 freeview though i believe you can swap tuners for any combination on either
  12. Smith2004

    Smith2004 Member

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    Are you sure about the 6800? I thought it only had 1 tuner.
  13. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    You are absolutely correct (Sure I read somewhere that you could change the tuners in a twin tuner technomate to 2 x sat)

    TECHNOMATE - PRODUCT

    This makes the technomate 6800 look very expensive. Going to post correction to OP
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  14. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    If you have been following this thread you will have seen that I mistakingly assumed that the 6900 was a twin satellite pvr ready tuner box. The website says it has 2 HD tuners and I wrongly assumed that as they were HD they must be sat tuners. The second tuner is in fact a Digital Terrestrial tuner and needs to be connected to an aerial to receive Freeview. This tuner although specified as HD in fact will never receive HD in the UK as this requires a new tuner spec (DVB-T2) and these currently exist only in pre production prototypes. All the info about satellite and channels remains valid but of course from 1 tuner only and you only need 1 feed from a dish. I must say this makes the technomate expensive compared to the Foxsat-hdr which is a twin tuner HD sat box. Apologies for error hope you were not too badly misled
  15. Smith2004

    Smith2004 Member

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    No bother Graham. It is confusing about the Technomate receivers. I bought the 6900 about a year ago and sold it a few months back. It wasn't a bad machine, but one thing that did annoy me about it was the fact that even though it had two tuners, you could not record from the satellite tuner and watch (or record) Freeview at the same time- or vice versa. The actual USB PVR feature itself was good however, as it did allow me to archive a lot of BBCHD.
  16. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    Something we now know for certain the Foxsat-HDR can't do. (May be can't is the wrong word, is prevented from would be better) :mad:
  17. malcolmk

    malcolmk Member

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    Unless you live in a good area for Freeview, then effectively the 6900 only has one tuner. Although I am happy with it overall it picks up only two DTT multiplexes less than 15 miles from Crystal Palace while my Pioneer gets everything with never a glitch. I am in a sheltered spot but even so that is a massive difference on the same aerial - only one unit connected at a time I should add.
  18. Smith2004

    Smith2004 Member

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    Are all non-Freesat FTA HD PVRs (such as the Technomates, icord HD etc) free from copyright protection? I.e. can you transfer FTA HD recordings via USB on any non-Freesat HD PVR?
  19. mattriz

    mattriz Member

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    Graham hi thanks for all your help mate :thumbsup:

    We've decided to go with Humax Foxsat HD box, should arrive tomorrow. Got it brand new on ebay. Look forward to setting it up and trying it out, especially the non-freesat feature.

    Many thanks!

    Matt ;)
  20. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know yes. It's imposed by the Freesat spec and fta boxes don't have to comply. Certainly I have never heard of one and can't imagine why any fta box would want to do this as there is no legal compunction to do this (They would not sell many)
  21. softsorter

    softsorter Member

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    i have just bought a Tm6900 super and i'm really pleased with mine, i can output anything i can see to which ever method i choose to record it with. but my requirements were a little different to pointing it at fresat, i have a 80cm dish with monoblock lnb astra/hotbird and a std skydish on astra 2 28e and use a A-B antenna switch as required.

    i have my 6900 connected to my Panasonic 42" plasma via hdmi and a scart connection from the 6900 down to my sony vhs where the cctv is operational and when the sony is shut down and the last previous viewed was the cctv i can jump straight to the cctv image by using the tv/sat button which cycles through sat/tv/vhs, picture quality on upscaling is very good on SD as well.

    i dont miss the freesat epg as the now/next does me fine.

    my 6900 super is in a different setup than just freesat and i dont regret going the route i went down due to my slightly requirements, and i didnt find the 6900 dificult to setup/use as i upgraded from a Tm 5000DAPCI which i have connected on the lnb loopthrough on the 6900 so i can view eurosport in analogue on 19.2e fta.

    no lockups freezing at all on freesat channels and all the other stuff available on 28e:smashin:

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