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Freeview Boxes - Does Quality Vary?

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by Scott_Mac, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    Have moved into an apartment and want to get a Freeview box to go in my bedroom as running an LCD off a terrestrial feed scares me.... have Sky+ in the lounge and used to have that in bedroom at old place, can't get multiroom where we are though as it's off a shared dish :(

    Having spent a fair whack of money on the LCD i don't want to waste my time and buy a pants freeview box... so is there a variation in quality. The Sony V800 thingy gets good reviews but some of the Philips ones looks ok and are half the price...

    Any pointers or advice appreciated to a Freeview newbie :)

    Thanks folks.
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    There is a considerable difference between Freeview boxes - picture quality and audio quality are obviously the main concerns but speed of menus, performance of EPG and other interactive elements is also important. IMHO you can't beat the Sony D800 at present.
     
  3. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    Sounds farely conclusive there then :)

    Thanks.... do i dare mention that is it worth moving up to a PVR when we're talking the £100 price point, only an extra £50 for the Thomson DHD4000 for instance??

    Am happy to go with the Sony though :)
     
  4. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The Sony digibox isn't cheap - no doubt about that - but it's performance is better than the Thompson who have obviously made a price-focused effort. In order to get a PVR with (near) the performance of the Sony and you are looking at £280 for a Topfield 5800.
     
  5. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    OK, answers that then - thanks!
     
  6. Rob100

    Rob100
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    I have both a Sony box and a Netgem iPlayer feeding my Plasma through JS Tech RGB2VGA.

    The Netgem does have the slight edge on PQ, but I'm being really fussy here. The biggest (and probably only) complaint I have about the Netgem is the speed of changing channels etc - it's so slow! The Sony OTOH is blinding fast.

    If you plan on using the original remote, stick with the Sony as the Netgem remote is awful.

    Rob.
     
  7. DaveP

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    If your plasma has component input, have you tried component out from the iPlayer?

    Dave
     
  8. Rob100

    Rob100
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    Yes I have, but PQ is better using RGB and JS Tech RGB2VGA IMHO. Edges of logo's etc (especially reds, such as Sky News) are more jagged (bad English I know!) when using component. FYI my Plasma is Panny 42PW5.

    However component from my DV88+ is better than RGB. There seems to be no rule for sure to say component is always better than RGB. It seems to vary from one device to the next is what I've found.

    Dave - BTW players arrived yesterday. Will not get chance to test until tomorrow night though :thumbsdow

    Rob.
     
  9. DaveP

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    Thanks, keep me posted!
     
  10. strees

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    Scott

    I have the Sony (have had it a year now) -excellent PQ and it was (at the time) the only freeview with optical out.

    Sort it out mate ...

    :D
     
  11. Rob100

    Rob100
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    No it wasn't! The Netgem was out long before the Sony and that has optical out. IIRC the awful Pace Twin that I owned for a few weeks b4 buying the Netgem also had an optical out.

    Rob.
     
  12. strees

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    okay, I will rephrase. It was the only decent looking bit of kit with an optical out. The fact (after I'd bought it) i read the rave reviews was just a bonus. I wanted optical out for the surround amp.
     
  13. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    You're just a GJOB aren't you streesy... :D

    You're also clearly stalking me... it's only for the TV in my room hence i loathed to waste cash, but it seems to be the way forward. Cheers all!
     
  14. strees

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    Stalking!!! Cheeky bugger. Look, just because I turned you down (I am sorry, I am just not that way inclined) doesn't mean you can follow me from forum to forum. I am sure this is in breach of the restraining order - perhaps I should speak to my solicitor about this.

    :p
     
  15. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    Do you know any good solicitors ;)

    Cheers for all the advice, just ordered the Sony from Amazon for £80 delivered.
     
  16. Dean25

    Dean25
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    I am also considering the sony freeview box, but could someone tell me whether the optical audio output on it doubles up as the analogue out?, and if so would I correct in thinking that I would need a 3.5mm to 2 phono cable to make use of the analogue output as I plan on using it through my hifi as a temporary tuner, until I can afford the naim nat 05 tuner!.
     
  17. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    Err, your best bet on a temporary solution there is to get a lead that has a Scart at one end and outputs to 2 RCA (audio for the hifi) and an S-Video lead... perfect if your TV can handle S-Video. It's how i'll be using it too :) (Oh and the Optical out means that you couldn't use a 3.5mm lead as it is a completely different connection)

    Nice choice on the tuner too.... personally prefer the Olive range but at present am being over-awed with the Tivoli Model Three i bought... the sound from a diddy box is absolutlely stunning!! Might be worth you looking at the Model One as a temporary tuner instead... far better than the evil DAB broadcasts.
     
  18. CH_2003

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    Is there much variation in PVR's regarding picture quality or are they generally all about the same? I'm thinking about the Inverto or Topfield but if cheaper boxes have just as good picture quality, I might consider them.
     
  19. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    Yes you are correct. What you require is a 3.5mm jack to 2RCA phono socket adaptor so you can plug in a normal phono to phono lead. Do make sure the adaptor is pluged in properly and/or turn the volume on yor amp right down otherwise a very quick death for your speakers!
    Unfortunately if your thinking of using this for radio it is far from the bees knees. Freeview radio leaves a lot to be desired.
     
  20. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    Sony is the one for me too :) Excellent software and trouble free operation.

    This must be one of a very few (or the only one) that allows you to input a 3 digit channel number which speeds up channel change markedly.

    The only downside to the Sony (for me) is it's blockiness and sound whine with weak signals (Freeview units deal with this in different ways).

    As a very good alternative the Humax Fox-F2? does a fine job. Picture is marginally behind (brighter, less focused and weaker blacks) and sound is more hollow. However it to is very stable and has some software features that the Sony omits...... E.P.G allows you to view past (missed) programs and has a nifty Channel list/info button for now and next.

    Downside the unit does not support channel overlay on the EPG/Menu software. Meaning you can't watch a channel while perusing the software.

    Hope I hav'nt been to late with my answer :)
     

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