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Chances of a PVR for Freesat?

Dan Mac

Standard Member
Currently my only option for digital TV is through satellite and I definitely don't want a sky subscription. This just leaves the freesat option which i have now looked into and seems ample for my need.

The only thing is that i want to have similar PVR capability to those receiving via Freeview. Does anyone know of a way to do this? Or if there are any plans to release a product aimed at this market?

According to the stats 25% of the population can't get Freeview but can get Freesat so surely there is a decent market for a freesat PVR? :confused:
 

chrise

Active Member
There would be if there was an accessible Electronic Programme Guide. Currently only Sky produce an EPG and that is only on their equipment and they charge £10 a month to have access to their software on Sky+. If BBC do produce a competitor as promised 12 months ago things will change but that is now delayed to late 2007.

There are Satellite PVRs like the Topfield 5510 or 5010. I assume they will take TAPS like the 5800 Freeview recorder then you can download programme data from the Radio Times site etc but it is not simple and requires a USB connection to a PC to do it. It works well for Freeview so in theory should work for Freesat. You will not get channel 4, 5 or Sky 3 which are not free to air and need a sky card.
 

Dan Mac

Standard Member
chrise said:
There are Satellite PVRs like the Topfield 5510 or 5010. I assume they will take TAPS like the 5800 Freeview recorder then you can download programme data from the Radio Times site etc but it is not simple and requires a USB connection to a PC to do it.

I think i can manage this with a little effort, as long as someone has done the TAP thing for Freesat.

chrise said:
It works well for Freeview so in theory should work for Freesat. You will not get channel 4, 5 or Sky 3 which are not free to air and need a sky card.

There's always something though. Why are channel 4 and 5 not free to air? Is there a way around this? The freesat card is cheap really, £20. This allows channel 4 and 5 viewing but I'm guessing you can't use the card with the Topfield?
 

nwhitfield

Well-known Member
Both the main EPG uploading systems - EPG_Uploader and rt2mei - would get you the listing for the satellite channels, as long as they're available on the Radio Times web site; you just need to set up a configuration file for the scripts to say which channels you want to load - the process will be exactly the same as for Freeview.

A dragon cam can, I gather, be made to work in the Topfield with a freesat card.

Nigel.
 

chrise

Active Member
If you look on the Toppy.org.uk forums you may find someone has already got this to work.

Why Channels 4 and 5 (With Sky3 it is pretty obivious why) are only free-to-view not free-to-air I don't know but currently that is the position and yes a Sky Freesat card will only work in Sky boxes as there is no CAM available for Sky. I believe some people have got this to work on HTPCs but that is another whole ballgame.
 

rwtomkins

Active Member
Sounds great if you're up for it but just for the record TiVo's electronic programme guide is still fully functional even though the box itself is discontinued. As I mentioned on another thread, as-new TiVos are available quite cheaply on Ebay with lifetime subscription but I can understand why you might feel uncomfortable about using a discontinued technology.

Good luck!
 

nwhitfield

Well-known Member
As I mentioned, you can get a Dragon CAM and use the Sky Freesat card with that; there are a few people who have done so with a Topfield satellite PVR.

The main reason they don't tend to do it with a subscription one is that there are some difficulties with the card being updated, but on the whole that's not a problem for Freesat, only for those who have a monthly sub.

I suspect 4 & 5 may be encrypted as part of the deal for regionalisation, which is used to ensure the right ads can be played out in different parts of the country. Sky may be reluctant to let them squirm out of the encryption, or make it financially unattractive to do so - and in doing that, of course, they increase the appeal of their own packages, even the free ones, which at least give them a name and address to market Sky subscriptions to, over a plain free satellite service with a bargain basement box and dish.

Nigel.
 

np1664

Standard Member
I have a similar issue with wanting a PVR/HDD for connection to a Sky digibox. However I read that some recorders (HDD/DVDR) come with Guide+ which is a an EPG which is availble if you have access to Analogue ITV 3. You also get a cable or IR connection to the set top box (Sky or Ntl for eg) which then ties in with the digibox.

Would this then allow such recorders to give all the functions; pause, chase TV, advanced EPG recording etc whilst using a Sky box?
 

sparky_paul

Active Member
np1664 said:
I have a similar issue with wanting a PVR/HDD for connection to a Sky digibox. However I read that some recorders (HDD/DVDR) come with Guide+ which is a an EPG which is availble if you have access to Analogue ITV 3. You also get a cable or IR connection to the set top box (Sky or Ntl for eg) which then ties in with the digibox.

Would this then allow such recorders to give all the functions; pause, chase TV, advanced EPG recording etc whilst using a Sky box?

I have a Philips HDRW720 on a Sky box and it works very well. Pausing live TV and chase play work fine, the buffer is adjustable up to 6 hours and doesn't empty when you change channel, unlike Sky+. You can also retrospectively record things in the buffer that you have already watched, or begun watching. The EPG works very well, but only covers the major channels on Sky/FreeSat - you can remove channels from the EPG which you don't subscribe to.

You don't need access to terrestrial ITV3 to download the EPG, it can dowload it from Eurosport on satellite too - even if you don't subscribe to Sky, because it takes the data from the teletext stream which you have access to without subscribing. I've tried it, I download the EPG from Eurosport and it works fine without the card in.

There are two main drawbacks with this system. No 'series link' facility, but you can schedule daily/weekly from the EPG. Additionally, you are obviously only using one tuner, i.e. your digibox, so you can't record one channel and watch another, unless it's on terrestrial. I get round this by using this setup in tandem with a freeview PVR. You can, however, record one program and watch something from the HDD.

I probably wouldn't recommend a Philips as they seem to have a poor reputation for reliability, though I must say mine has been 100% reliable. There are quite a few other manufacturers offering Guideplus equipped machines now.

The other great thing is that if you want to keep something, you can dump it straight onto a disc!:smashin:

Hope this helps!:thumbsup:
 

np1664

Standard Member
Excellent - this confirms at last what I thought was possible with PVR/HDD and Sky.

Can you or others suggest a sub £200 HDD/DVDR which has Guide+ and any other functions (link to digibox for eg) needed to give some of the PVR functions (pause TV, chase TV, EPG scheduling) while connected to a Sky digibox - even if it will only record the channel actually on. Thanks
 

MKPatrick

Active Member
I recently bought a Globo DVR1 DVB receiver with 80GB HDD built in. It has 2 CAM slots and works a treat. It's single tuner but you can record one channel and watch any other on the same mux. It was £90 delivered from Germany and is currently fed by the FTA stuff from 28.2E (handy for all those Film 4 movies) and the free French tv at 5W via a DiseCQ switch. The place I bought from is http://www.b2c-electronic.de/. They were reliable, very quick, and have some terrific bargains

Patrick
 

sparky_paul

Active Member
np1664 said:
Can you or others suggest a sub £200 HDD/DVDR which has Guide+ and any other functions (link to digibox for eg) needed to give some of the PVR functions (pause TV, chase TV, EPG scheduling) while connected to a Sky digibox - even if it will only record the channel actually on. Thanks

You are going to struggle to find Guideplus equipped machines under £200. The only one I've seen around that price is the one I've got, which can occasionally be found fairly cheaply because it is a discontinued model. However, if you could live with a Philips, Valutech are selling them here for £200

http://www.valutech.co.uk/prod.asp?id=78

Better still, if you don't mind an 'open box' item, i.e. ex-return, the same company (Mikrolive Ltd. - the same company as Valutech) is selling them on Amazon marketplace for an amazing price of under £105 plus delivery, retail boxed with all accessories.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...871O/used/ref=olp_pg_used/202-6640544-8940636

Even for a ex-return Philips, that's a bit of a bargain. :thumbsup:

That's actually where I bought mine from 18 months ago - and I paid a lot more than that, they were over £400 new then! :suicide:


EDIT : MIKROLIVE NOW SOLD OUT @ £105;)
 

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