Advice needed for Pioneer or Sharp purchase

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by mark99, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. mark99

    mark99
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    Hi All

    I'm new to this DVD/HDD business and am looking to buy either a Pioneer DVR530/433 (I know 433 is available in Black, not sure about 530) or a Sharp DVHR350. The main reason for these models is that we need the machine to be in black which I know is an odd reason but I don't intend to go down the silver route.

    I will be hooking up to standard Sky and wonder if the EPG functions will work OK with this. I do not have an ariel on the house so any info for programming must work through Sky (will guide+ work with just a Sky box?)

    I have read some posts regarding the Pioneer model but have not found much about the Sharp.

    Any advice appreciated or any suggestions regarding other Black machines.

    Thanks

    Mark
     
  2. Phantom Phixer

    Phantom Phixer
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    The Pioneer model supplied everywhere is the DVR530H-S which is silver I think there is a DVR530H-B which is black but I have not seen it advertised anywhere.

    The EPG will work fine with Sky but if you do not have an aerial you will have to obtain the EPG data from Eurosport. I have read that this is less reliable than analogue ITV.
     
  3. Daftboy

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    Sharp 350 does not have EPG, it's the 400 or 480 models that have that function.
    None of the unit that Sharp make are in black (Unless it's a DSG exclusive).
     
  4. pepchick

    pepchick
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    Does anyone have any experience with the Sharp 480?
     
  5. pjskel

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    I had a 400 from Sharp - was totally unimpressed with it.
    If you want black - then JVC is your best option. New MH300 out, for the money, it's all but dual layer DVD and Freeview, the same as sony's HXD910.
    Yes, HDMI for upscaled output.
    Not blowing my own trumpet - but here's my take on the Sharp.
     
  6. Daftboy

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    I have had experience of the 480 and it is slightly better than the 400.
    Your review on the 400 isn't very accurate to the unit at fault as Guideplus is not their system, and is software produced by Guideplus.
    For your Guideplus not to work, your NTL box would have been incompatible with the system, easily fixed if you had asked NTL to replace your box.
    Regarding all of the Guide functions, the same applies regardless of what system you buy with Guideplus, I have Sky and have got all of the channels available to record.
    Anyway, point taken about the remote and menu's being hard to operate.
    I was really impressed with the Pioneer and found their menu operations much easier to use, but the Guide functions work the same as the Sharp.
    Out of the 2, I would have gone for the Pioneer, but went for the Sharp as I got a better price because I got a GA5 at the same time (Some promotion).
    Anyway, if you want ease of use, go for the Pioneer, but if the price is right, go for the Sharp.
     
  7. pepchick

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    Thanks, guys. I guess I'm not interested in the slickest, best model around. Mainly I want a replacement for my video, but I also wanted something with guide plus+, which would do timeslip and chase play, and which I could watch something (dvd, or previous hdd recording) while recording something else.

    A good, big hard drive is a nice bonus. The Pioneer 530, which also has guide plus, is more expensive - not to mention hard to find (it seems to be out of stock everywhere).

    Is there any way to make the Sharp multiregion? Without voiding the warranty, of course...
     
  8. Daftboy

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    Understand, the 480 will do what you want as far as watching and recording.
    As far as Multi-Region goes, I haven't seen anything, and it's always hard to find on a Sharp.

    Best of luck with what you go for.
    Guideplus is a good system, when you get it to work.
    Before you buy either unit, have you checked the Guideplus website to ensure your digi box is compatible?
     
  9. pepchick

    pepchick
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    Yup, checked digibox. It's fairly new, so no problems there.

    Crap, I hope I can find a way to make it multiregion - I've got mainly R1 dvds.
     
  10. pjskel

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    The Sharp method of setting up the Guideplus was to select the STB by name - I think Samsung wasn't one of them, so other had to be chosen, then I had to tell it if it was Bromley or Langley - I'll be damned if I knew.
    Even on choosing either of them, the next step was to use the provided IR blaster, which wasn't provided.
    Aside from the Guideplus being more hassle than worth, there were numerous other things that the Sharp didn't excel at, unlike it's TV brethren, but if you're happy with it, then that's all that matters ultimately.

    As for the NTL box - brand new Samsung unit. Asked why when the engineer was installing it, and it was supposedly much better than the Pace ones previously.
     
  11. Daftboy

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    Still don't understand the issue here.
    I understand setting up the STB was unavailable, but the point I'm trying make is this is Guideplus's software, so if you have a complaint about Guideplus, make the issue about Guideplus.
    Anyway, don't know what you are on about with setting up where you are, all you have to do is input your postcode. Reason, different regions have different broadcasts.
    Can't believe you never got the little black cable, this must have made the experience worse!:thumbsdow

    As mentioned, the remote and menu navigation isn't the easiest, but after a few hours of play, I got value for money. The Pioneer is by far the easiest to use, but it's too damn expensive.:thumbsdow

    Hope your unit does you good, but my wife can't live without the Guideplus feature. For her, she could never use Videoplus or setup timer recordings very well.
     
  12. pjskel

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    By any chance, are you using Freeview or Sky? If so, then it would seem they have a better mechanism in place for Guideplus than NTL digital does.
    If only it were as simple as inputting the postcode - done that, but that's were it ended with 1-5 only.
    The other method was as described previously - choosing the brand of STB, then which area services you.
    Far too much hassle for the limited time I had it.
    Still, my search goes on - holding out hope the JVC MH300 will be the one. Either that, or a Sony HX unit. No point having the HXD since the Freeview tuner will be redundant.
     
  13. pepchick

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    Can any of you help? I finally got the Sharp yesterday. I did the initial setup for Guide Plus, and confirmed that it could control my sky box. I left the sky digibox on overnight, tuned to 410 (Eurosport), and left the Sharp in standby. But I've still got no EPG this morning.

    Unfortunately, I don't really have an aerial so I can't use ITV.

    Any advice?
     
  14. Daftboy

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    What Sky box have you got?
    I know my mate had a problem with one of the Pace boxes, but my Amstrad works fine as did his when he tested it on my Sky box.
     
  15. pepchick

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  16. pepchick

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    Here's an update... I got home and changed the set-up.

    1. Took the RF cable out. When I did this, it couldn't get a signal from the sky box at all. So I put it back.
    2. Redid the guideplus setup, specifying that it should get the epg from Line 2 (the scart in from the sky box). Turned the skybox to 410 (eurosport), put the recorder and standby, and waited. Pretty soon, it tried to get the EPG*, and it seemed to take longer this time (although I might have just been more impatient).

    Still no joy. I'm still not getting the EPG. Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong?


    * When left in standby, the recorder seems to try and get the EPG pretty frequently. Is this only a one-off, or is it likely to continue to do this constantly while in standby? Am I going to have to leave it on all the time when I want to watch tv?
     
  17. Daftboy

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    To answer the first point, the Sky box you have got is the one my friend had with the problems. It appears that Pace have only approved this model for the Italian market!!!
    Don't know why this model is having problems?
    I did find out that the models listed on the GuidPlus website don't just list compatibility for EPG compatibility, but also for IR codes only.
    Anyway, my friend says that Sharp are aware of this issue and have been discussing this with GuidePlus (About 2 weeks now), I hope we will hear something soon.
    Regarding the second point, it will keep trying to do an EPG search until it finds the EPG host.

    Is there anyway you can get an aerial signal to the box? Even an indoor aerial just to prove the point?
     
  18. pepchick

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    Bugger. Do you mean that Sharp are aware of the problem with this particular stb and are trying to address it, or do they have guideplus problems generally?

    I don't really see why it matters what sky box you're using - it can get a signal, and I can get teletext ... actually, I can only get teletext when the Sharp is in standby, not when it's switched on.

    I have a loft aerial, and I *could* plug the cable in to the back of the recorder, but there's not much point. I don't get enough of a signal to watch terrestrial tv, much less get teletext on it.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  19. Daftboy

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    It's a problem with the data output on that Sky box.
    The data for guideplus is added onto the teletext data and some stb's block this additional data for reasons I don't know (Known as VBI data).

    Might be worth while calling Sharp and telling them about your problem, so that if they get a solution, they can inform you about it.

    I suppose the other thing you could do to eliminate doubt is return the box and get the Pioneer or Philips to resolve any doubt.
     
  20. pepchick

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    So, does that mean that I'm not going to get the EPG on any dvd/hdd recorder while using this sky box, or is it just the sharp one specifically that has problems with it? Sounds like the former. :(

    Unfortunately, i only just bought the sky box about 4 months ago, brand new, and I'm reluctant to have to buy another one so soon. I also don't want to have to spend even more money! The sharp was cheap for what it is, but it's still a lot of money.

    I'm on the phone with Sharp now, but it's just some muppet who's reading the manual. He said he's not aware of any issues with any digiboxes, or anything. He suggested that I change the host country from United Kingdom to other. Hmmm... This doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.
     
  21. speedyc

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  22. pepchick

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    I don't think you're going to have much luck with your sky box, regardless of recorder.

    My sharp is going back to Empire Direct thursday, and hopefully I'll be able to swap it for a Pioneer 530 (hopefully they'll get more stock of it). I've had enough of it. Within a week of receiving it, it developed an intermittent fault: it would stop playing any sound...once it did this, it also wouldn't play dvds or anything from the hard drive. Turning it off and on again would fix it (until it happened again), but that just shouldn't happen at all. Especially on a machine that had only been used for a week. Grrr...

    Actually, I have a question - if I *can't* get a Pioneer, what would you recommend for around £300? I want a machine with guideplus (I'll get another digibox at some point). Ideally, it should play dvd+r disks, and be multiregion. But guideplus (and a reasonable size hdd) are the main things. Oh, and ease of use, good quality, etc.
     

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