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advice please - pvr / tivo

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by skr80, Jan 31, 2004.

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  1. skr80

    skr80
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    hi

    my vcr has packed up, and am now tempted with a pvr to replace it. I like the look of tivo, but wondered if there was anything better out there now (humax / pace?) are there any issues i need to look out for. my budget is around £200

    any advice appreciated

    thanks
     
  2. marksm74

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    You can get a Pace Twin for £198 from Argos. This works well but is not 100% reliable, especially on Freeview timeshare channels such as BBC3, BBC4 and ftn where it can fail to tune into the channel and so you end up with a blank recording.

    I don't think it's likely you would get a Tivo, including lifetime subcription, for £200. You could get just the unit for that, and then pay £10 a month for the EPG and full functionality.

    Humax only has a single tuner, but if you already have an IDTV this isn't a problem. I believe a twin tuner version is coming out in the next few months. You may also consider the Fusion PVR. It's expected to cost £249 but has a seven day EPG and a very nice interface. I've heard it will also record two programmes at once, just as Sky+ recently has, but I'm not sure if this true.
     
  3. skr80

    skr80
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    thanks for this advice. the fusion sounds interesting if it has the ability to programme stuff a la tivo. i do not have free view - but analogue cable at the moment! (last had Ondigital but was not overly impressed with signal strength / picture) Do most of the pvr have the 40 gig drives as standard? (or would I be better of just buying a decent VCR again and waiting for tivo to renegotiate contracts??)
     
  4. marksm74

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    Signal strength has improved slightly since ITV Digital, so the problems you had before should be less now.

    I believe most PVR's have 40Gb (20 hours recording), but the Pace Twin has only 20Gb (10 hours recording). This can be upgraded but it's better to get one that has enough for your needs straight out of the box.

    I would certainly recommed a PVR over a VCR. They all have the ability to record one programme while watching a previously recorded one, something you obviously can't do on a tape machine. And it's nice just to choose what to watch from a menu instead of searching for the right place on a tape.
     
  5. skr80

    skr80
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    thanks for the very quick response again. so the fusion one may be the one to get, as I am not too worried about the digital FTA stuff. If this can do what the tivo can do but can be purchased new then it seems a good thing?
     
  6. bobones

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    Lets, get this straight: nothing can do what a tivo can, although it has to be admitted that sky+ can do some things a tivo can't. The Pace twin has a tiny hard drive, a useless EPG and is still buggy. The Humax doesn't even let you watch a recorded program while recording another.

    A tivo has 4weeks of EPG data; you can set up season passes to record your favourite shows, wishlists to find programmes with your favourite actors, directors, subjects etc. It will automatically record stuff it thinks you might like and is intelligent about resolving conflicts when two programs clash. It does the pause live tv thing too.

    It is hackable and upgradable in the extreme: you could have one with 2 x300GB hard drives if you desired. You can add it to your computer network and drive it from a web browser, even over the Internet. You can extract programs from its hard drive and burn them to dvd on your PC. You can even stream stuff directly from its hard drive to windows media player. There's loads of cool hacks like "endpad" which will start recording early and finish recording late if and only if it won't affect the recording of other programmes.

    It works with sky, freeview, cable and analogue. Some say the the picture quality is not as good as sky+, but you can up the resolution and bitrates of recordings to dvd standard and you'd be hard pushed to tell the difference between live and recorded.

    There are some good deals on ebay.co.uk. There's one guy who is selling a batch of new, unused units with a 1 year guarantee for £209 including delivery. See www.tivocommunity.com for more info on what tivo can do.
     
  7. blindlemon

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    Right on Bob! :smashin:

    Nothing beats a TiVo for functionality! It's a shame that there isn't a current UK manufacturer, but the TiVo service is still fully supported by TiVo Inc - who have over a million subscribers in the US and around 30,000 in the UK.

    Humax are currently in discussions with TiVo Inc about producing a new TiVo for the UK (they already make a Series 2 machine in the US) and UK Tivo owners are hoping that there will be an announcement soon...

    However, it's unlikely that, even if a new unit was announced tomorrow, there would be a Humax TiVo on the shelves before Christmas - so if you want a 'proper' PVR (ie. a TiVo) before then, your only option is a Thomson PVR10UK. I have two of them (one used with Sky and the other with Freeview) and can recommend them wholeheartedly. Although the last UK unit was manufactured over a year ago, they perform excellently and have the advantage of being a Series 1 design - the TiVo of choice for many enthusiasts in the US as it is the most 'hackable' and easiest to upgrade with bigger disks, network cards etc. etc.

    I can recommend this seller (eldoctorpocoloco) as a friend of mine bought a TiVo from him about 4 months ago and has had nothnig but praise for the service he received.

    Alternatively, you could try TiVoLand - which also has a shop on eBay and is run by a regular and well-respected poster on the TiVo forums.
     
  8. CTID

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    I am a tivo owner and agree with all the sentiments. However, I do wish some product would come along and fill the void soon. Tivo is still advanced but is a product no longer made or supported, apart from the programme guide. I dread the day that either my machine dies, or tivo/tribune give up on the guide.
     
  9. bobones

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    The product is still supported, just not manufactured. Thompson pulled the plug because they didn't make money on the boxes. If you buy an unmodified, unregistered tivo today and get the lifetime subscription, tivo give you a 12 month guarantee on the hardware. There's a batch of such machines on sale at Ebay for £209 right now. There are also plenty of options for getting an out of warranty tivo repaired. The only real worry is if the entire tivo corporation goes down the pan, which is unlikely, and even then, someone else would step in to offer the gude data since there's easy money to be made from existing subscribers.
     
  10. blindlemon

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    There may be light at the end of the tunnel! See this thread on the TiVo Community Forum :smashin:

    As bobones says, it was Thomson, not TiVo that pulled the plug on manufacture of UK machines. TiVo Inc. are still looking for a new hardware manufacturer (see link above) and are still actively supporting current customers.

    I had a minor hardware problem with one of my TiVos a couple of weeks ago and TiVo CS arranged for a free swap-out machine to be delivered to my house the next day - even though the box was out of warranty by a few weeks, and I think they guessed I had taken the drive out and upgraded it! They also transferred my lifetime sub for free, too :smashin:

    Try getting service like that if you buy a Sky+ :devil:
     

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