Best PVR

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by stevomacca, Nov 2, 2005.

Tags:
  1. stevomacca

    stevomacca
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    267
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    OK, here's my story.
    I've just moved into a new flat, which has a communal sky dish and the **** who installed the dish have only run 1 cable to my flat (sky+ needs 2).
    I used to have sky+ and am going mental :suicide: without it, so i need something to use instead.
    Money isn't a real issue although i'm no Abramovich so nothing crazy pricey.
    Any suggestions?
    The sky does work, just not as sky+
     
  2. awhb

    awhb
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Probably the best 2 Freeview (Dual Tuner) PVRs around at the moment are the DigiFusion FRVT200 and the new Humax 9200T.

    However, you do realise that you won't be able to record from your Sky box onto the PVR don't you? Freeview PVRs cannot record from from an external source, only from their internal (digital) tuner(s).

    -- awhb
     
  3. stevomacca

    stevomacca
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    267
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    Can a tivo record from sky?
    I think i read somewhere that they can but just to clarify?
    Are tivo's no longer for sale in the uk, do i have to ebay one?
    cheers
     
  4. Cyril

    Cyril
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,113
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +39
    Yes TiVo has been the best and only proper PVR to record from Sky, Freeview , NTL and Telewest for the last 5 years! It is also the only PVR to support both Freeview and Sky at the same time as it can load two EPGs.

    More recently support for Homechoice (2002), Sky+(2001), and the Pace twin (2005) has been added. Other source boxes can be easily added.

    Ebay and TiVoland are the only places to get one, but there are about 2 million for sale in the USA and Japan in shops, but those are not suitable for UK use.

    Every day my TiVo faithfully records stuff I programmed it to do over 5 years ago! Today , I know it is sad, but my Sarah Beeny wishlist kicked in and I got her appearing on The Wright Stuff!
     
  5. wack

    wack
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    4,316
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +840
    I second the above recommendation :) I bought a tivo 5 years ago and paid the lifetime subscription, best £400 I ever spent( not counting a trip to amsterdam) :devil:

    it's still the only PVR that will record programmes without any input from you based on your viewing choices in the past.

    There's always something to watch on it as it records things that fit the profile that may have been on at 3am on channel 435 etc that you never would have spotted.

    I've watched some excellent films I would never have seen if it hadn't been for my tivo :thumbsup:
     
  6. swanny

    swanny
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    967
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Ratings:
    +216
    Another vote for TIVO here. Had mine 3 years this month. Have increased HD size, added the TIVO to my network and can now programme it from anywhere in the world using TIVOWeb.

    What more could you want. :clap:
     
  7. stevomacca

    stevomacca
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    267
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    so if i get myself a tivo and plug it into my sky, do i have to have the sky on the right channel to record? can it record if i'm watching something else?
     
  8. stevomacca

    stevomacca
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    267
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +1
    so if i get myself a tivo and plug it into my sky, do i have to have the sky on the right channel to record? can it record if i'm watching something else?
     
  9. plonky

    plonky
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Messages:
    343
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Liverpool
    Ratings:
    +12
    Tivo has an infrared eye on a cable that you place in front of the SKy receiver. It will then change the channel for you.

    The input to the Tivo will be a scart out from the sky box, which of course means that you can only record one sky channel at a time.

    By the way, you could use a stacker/destacker to get Sky+ from one input. Never tried it myself but may be worth looking into
     
  10. plonky

    plonky
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Messages:
    343
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Liverpool
    Ratings:
    +12
    dual recording ;)
     
  11. Cyril

    Cyril
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,113
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +39
    Get 2 TiVos.
    Or more :)

    Alternatively move to the USA or Japan and get a 4 tuner TiVo!
     
  12. Cyril

    Cyril
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,113
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +39
    The TiVo has several options to control your Sky box:

    a) the front infrared blaster - about 99% reliable
    b) a twin infrared lead - about 99% reliable
    c) 3rd party RF links - about 99.9% reliable

    Yes you can watch something you have already recorded while watching something else.

    To record 2 or more channels at the same time you will require 2 or more TiVos. They can be networked and transfer programmes, resolve conflicts, prioritise etc..

    Try www.tivofaq.co.uk or the FAQ at http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=37326
     
  13. azzo

    azzo
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2002
    Messages:
    1,009
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Wokingham
    Ratings:
    +9
    Can I ask a really dumb question about Tivo?
    When I use it with a cable box, do I still need the cable remote control?
    I mean can you use the Tivo to switch it on, changle channel, adjust volume, press I for program information.
    Sorry if these questions appear trivial, but I am having trouble understanding the integration of it. I already have a HD DVD recorder and this does not integrate well as even a dumb pvr.
    Knd Regards
    Azzo
     
  14. happyhiker

    happyhiker
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    428
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +27
    change channel yes. Volume control changes the tivo volume, so it works to a point but doesn't actually change the tv volume.Power, no I don't think so.

    Best bet is to get a universal remote. I've got an e-pilot that works a treat. Maplin used to do these for £29.99 a while back.
     
  15. MarkE19

    MarkE19
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    17,617
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Rainham Essex
    Ratings:
    +2,546
    The TiVo remote wont turn the STB on or off unless the STB will wake when receiving a channel change remote signal. It will change the channels on the STB and can be programmed to control the volume of most TV's. It wont control any of the interactive services offered by cable, but TiVo has its own EPG that can obviously be brought up on the screen with its own remote.

    Generally you just put the STB remote away and use only the TiVo remote. I only ever use my Freeview remote if I want to view the digital teletext services. TiVo needs to control the channel changes otherwise it can't keep track of what channel the STB is on. If for example you get TiVo to record BBC1 and use the STB remote to change channel TiVo will continue to record what it thinks is still BBC1. If you change channel with the TiVo remote then TiVo will ask if you want to stop recording and change channel or stay on the current channel.

    Mark.
     
  16. azzo

    azzo
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2002
    Messages:
    1,009
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Wokingham
    Ratings:
    +9
    Thank you all, MarkE19, that is what I was getting at, if TIVO didn't control the channel then viewing would be impossible. This is all good news. If only TIVO could get decent hardware support in this country they would be onto a winner.
    azzo
     
  17. blindlemon

    blindlemon
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    They're onto a winner in the US with over a million subscribers!

    In the UK they have around 35,000 subscribers and you can still buy a lifetime sub for the cost of 20 months' monthly sub, so they are clearly planning to continue long term or return with a new machine shortly.

    Go for it! I guarantee you won't regret it :)
     
  18. Cyril

    Cyril
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,113
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +39
  19. billybug

    billybug
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    188
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0
    Im a complete novice with all this but was contemplating buying the Topfield TF5800t PVR, as it would give me freeview, access to top-up-tv and a reasonable sized hard drive.
    A) Is there a better option than this?
    B) What do TiVo and Dreambox do that the topfield don't?
    Thanks
     
  20. LV426

    LV426
    Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    13,828
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Somewhere in South Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +6,459
    In terms of features combined with ease of use, then, frankly, I wouldn't bother with TiVo. As well as being effectively obsolete in this country, a single TiVo can only record one thing at once. Whereas a well specified Freeview box can record two things, plus allow you to watch either a third (with some restrictions) or watch something previously recorded. With the addition of some feature enhancements (from the toppy website, need a USB connection to your PC) the Topfield comes close to the "extra" features offered by TiVo - season/favourite recordings and so on.

    TiVo can record from external sources; a Freeview PVR can't.
    TiVo requires a subscription (monthly or one-off lifetime) to work fully. A Freeview PVR doesn't.
    TiVo only has an analog tuner (channels 1...5). You need a separate set top box to receive (and hence record) Freeview on your TiVo. If you want to watch something different at the same time, you need another Freeview box. If you want to record something different at the same time, you also need another TiVo.

    From what I read, though, even the mighty Topfield isn't as 100% reliable as perhaps it should be - meaning it does, sometimes, fail to record properly for whatever reason.
     
  21. Richard46

    Richard46
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,796
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London E7 UK
    Ratings:
    +120
    Never had a Tivo and do not doubt the superiority of its software; I do have a Topfield and as Nigel says it can do some similar things; e.g. with Jags EPG it can word search for programmes across all channels automatically; every day. It cannot do things like search for films by director etc which Tivo can.

    Agree with Nigels comparison list; but would add that The Tivo does have to do a Digital to analogue conversion which the Freeview PVR's do not. In fact they are not capable of it.
    You would need at least 2 and really 3 Freeview STB's; and 2 Tivo's with 2 subs to guarantee you could do everything that one Topfield or Humax can do.
    By the way not all the the current crop of Freevies PVRs can do the record 2 and watch another Digital channel trick. The Topfield and the twin tuner Humax can. Basically you can watch another if it is on the same Mux as one of the recordings.
    But it is horses for courses; the Tivo does still have unequalled abilities obviously.
    Richard
     
  22. billybug

    billybug
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    188
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0
    LV426 thanks for that.
    So ignoring the tivo, is there any other freeview/pvr's to rival the toppy?
    And are the feature enhancements from the toppy website easy to download and once downloaded, do they work directly from the Toppys remote with no need to keep connecting to the PC?
     
  23. LV426

    LV426
    Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    13,828
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Somewhere in South Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +6,459
    I believe the Humax 9200 and Digifusion PVRT200 do the same basic operations as the Topfield, but without the "benefit" of the extra programs you can install on the Topfield. From what I read, the Digifusion is probably the most reliable (i.e. doesn't fail to record what you want, nor to play it back properly) of the bunch. It's only two glitches of note are
    (a) incorrect aspect ratio on a very few channels (E4 IIRC) on widescreen TVs. A broadcast fix is promised.
    (b) has been reported to wipe its entire hard disc, but only when you use the compression feature.

    The Humax 9200 has had reports of software freezing and/or other failures to record. And it won't let you start to watch an in-progress recording until it's finished (no chase playback). The Fusion and Topfield do.

    I've no personal experience of any of these - just what others have written here and elsewhere. I gather loading programs into the Toppy is easy and reliable and, yes, once loaded, they simply enhance the user interface/features offered, after disconnection from the PC. You may find more of interest at www.toppy.org.uk .
     
  24. Richard46

    Richard46
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,796
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London E7 UK
    Ratings:
    +120
    In the same price range or slightly cheaper; I would say only the Humax 9200 has similar specs. Some people having problems with it currently; see the AVForums Humax thread; but the Toppy has also had problems although currently relatively few. Both my Toppys are reliable at the moment.

    You just need to connect the Toppy to computer (with a USB cable) when you want to download new firmware or a TAP (optional third party enhancement programmes). Once TAPS are downloaded you can activate them or just store them on the Toppy until you need them. You can just use it out of the box anyway; as I suspect many people do.

    From Dec (19th actually) new firmware will come over air as well.
    Otherwise no need for permanent computer connection unless you want to download recordings to your computer obviously.

    All these boxes benefit from a good signal as two tuners are being supplied.
    NB have just installed a DigiFusion 200 for a friend as I did not think they would use the extra facilities of Humax/Toppy, HD capacity etc. It seems fine; except the look of the menus is awful.

    Richard
     
  25. billybug

    billybug
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    188
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks again - one final question, although I think I will go for the Toppy. Does the Digifusion 200 have a facility for top-up-tv?
     
  26. Richard46

    Richard46
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,796
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London E7 UK
    Ratings:
    +120
    No.
     
  27. billybug

    billybug
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    188
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0
    thats that then - I shall be ordering the Toppy, is Turbosat the best place to order from (even though £30 ish more expensive)?
     
  28. Cyril

    Cyril
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,113
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +39
    I think they are considered the best and largest suppliers.

    As you are a novice, the Toppy is a good choice.
    Obviously if you want more than what the Toppy offers, the TiVo is still state of the art.

    The basic difference is the quality of the metadata in the EPG.

    Even with 20 years of extra development, the current UK DVRs (i.e. non-TiVo ones) cannot do any of the extra-smart searching a true PVR requires because the data is just not there in the EPG - first runs, directors, actors, actresses, keywords, genres, ratings, categories etc.. This requires a full-time team of people to massage , format ,add to and correct the vast amount of data for thousands of channels that are now available.
    This service does not come for free, though Microsoft swallow the costs when you pay for Windows Media Centre.

    The second difference is the excelllence of the software design that TiVo has.

    But it is a bit too sophisticated for some (a lot of?) people, who just want to record things the old-fashioned VCR-like way.
     
  29. rhubarbe

    rhubarbe
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    4,675
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Ratings:
    +211
    Turbosat, you know it makes sense.

    Accepting that the Tivo software gives a dachshund backend gravel rash; sell me the horrid, outmoded analogue based hardware.
     
  30. Cyril

    Cyril
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,113
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +39

Share This Page

Loading...