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Help - How to achieve sky+ equivalent for NTL

Discussion in 'Cable TV & Virgin Media TV' started by mikeeastgate, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. mikeeastgate

    mikeeastgate
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    Hi,
    A bit of a ramble about what I want and what I think. Comments and advice greatly appreciated.

    The basic need is to timeshift our TV watching. We like the kind of programs that are on between 7 and 9, but we allocate that part of the day to activities with the children. We do it now with two VCR's.

    But I believe that Hard Disk recording would give much better quality. No problems with management of tapes, and remembering to rewind before use. And the hard drive would be self cleaning. I.e. when it gets full, the old stuff gets wiped.

    So I 'need' a PVR.

    It seems as if all the investment and development is going into DVD writers, and in the rare cases where we want to archive something that would be useful. So I need a DVDR/HDD. Also useful for camcorder downloads?

    When it arrives, the VCR will go to make space, but as it's a DVD player too then the DVD player moves to the other room. But will the quality be good enough. Would a new DVD/HDD unit match the quality of the year old Toshiba SD330?

    The TV (Toshiba too) has a built in digital tuner. We can't imagine any more being limited to just 5 channels. So I need DVDR/HDD/Freeview.

    The whole point of this is to improve quality. So I have to have a brand name. And proper connections (component).

    And what about recording from NTL. Should I set the NTL box (Samsung) to the correct channel before setting the record timer, or is there a magic way to switch channels. Can someone explain how that magic works?

    And... whatever I pay, I have to believe I'm getting a bargain. The Sony RDR 510 has been seen at about £280 which has set my expectations regarding price.

    I think I may be ahead of the market, because I can't find what I want. Unless you know better?

    Since the Toshiba TV and DVD have been good, should I go with Toshiba. What are they like in this field?

    What hifi raved about the Sony RDR510, and it sounds as if the RDR710 will have freeview in September?

    Posts on AVForums are positive about the Panasonic EH50. With a freeview version from July?

    Thanks for reading this far.
    ME
     
  2. Cyril

    Cyril
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    TiVo works great with NTL and Telewest (and Sky and Freeview and analogue). Works by changing channels with an infrared controller or a dongle.

    Better than Sky+ in many aspects.

    Ideally get a network card installed and connect to a PC with a DVD burner.
     
  3. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    As Cyril has pointed out, TiVo is your best option. Well I say best, it is your only option as there are no other PVR's that will work with cable!
    TiVo does not have a DVD burner, but as pointed out you can network a TiVo and then burn DVD's from TiVo on a PC.
    TiVo can still be bought in the UK from eBay or www.tivoland.com and if you are lucky you can get it with all the upgrades required. It should be within your 'suggested' budget with larger HDD and perhaps the network card, but unlikely to have the lifetime subscription - but you could be lucky.

    Other wise you are stuck with a DVD recorder or waiting until the cable PVR's arrive.

    Mark.
     
  4. mikeeastgate

    mikeeastgate
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    TiVo?
    I remember some years back they were hailed as the latest advance. But now they don't seem to be available new any more.

    If they are the only devices compatable with Telewest and NTL, then surely those companies could source and badge them?

    If anyone knows, it would be interesting to know the TiVo story.

    rgds, Mike E
     
  5. blindlemon

    blindlemon
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    Just because you can't buy a TiVo "brand new" doesn't mean it isn't the PVR for you :)

    There are plenty of used TiVos available on eBay and elsewhere - and even at around 4 years old, they are STILL easily the most versatile and capable PVR available in the UK :smashin:

    And of course, what other UK PVR can you upgrade to 800gb, add a network card to and control over the internet or from your WAP phone?

    Not to mention Season Passes, Wishlists, Suggestions, Advanced Wishlists....

    TiVo as a company are going strong in the US and have recently upgraded their UK EPG servers and been seen at trade shows here - so there's hope that a new Series 2 TiVo may be on it's way. But for now, a Series 1 Thomson PVR10UK should suit you nicely, Sir ;) :thumbsup:
     
  6. harrisuk

    harrisuk
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    Does Tivo work well with NTL then, what about the channel guides ?

    How do you connect it to your NTL box so it can switch channels etc to record....

    I really want one of these what would be the best model to get, is ebay the best bet ?
     
  7. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    TiVo is currently the only PVR that works with NTL. It has an IR blaster or IR wands that are placed on the remote sensor of the STB and change the channels that way. If you have a Pace 1000/2000 STB then you will need a device that changes the IR signals as TiVo & these STB's are not directly compatable.
    In the TiVo setup you just tell it that you have NTL and what package you pay for. It then downloads its own EPG. This is what you pay the monthly or lifetime subscription for (along with software updates, as and when released).

    Connect the TV output scart from the NTL STB to the input scart on TiVo. Then connect the TiVo TV out scart to your TV. Set the TiVo to either use its front IR blaster to bounce the remote signals around the room to be picked up by the remote sensor of the STB, or place the IR wand on the sensor and tell TiVo to use them instead. That's all you need to do, other than connecting the modem cable to the phone line.

    There is only 1 TiVo model. All you need to decide is if you want the TiVo as it left the factory, or with upgrades installed such as a bigger HDD, network card etc.
    They are available from eBay or www.tivoland.com

    Mark.
     
  8. Cyril

    Cyril
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    TiVo has been working well with NTL and Telewest for the last 5 years!

    There is only one Uk TiVo model available, but there are plenty of mods for it, e.g. hard drive and network upgrades.

    There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of different software addons you can download from www.tivocommunity.com and www.dealdatabase.com.

    Best UK TiVo available is an 800gb model with cachecard and SDI modification, but is a bit overkill for most people ;)

    I would rather have two networked 120gb TiVo models for that price as you will have two tuners so you can record two channels and watch two pre-recorded ones at the same time.

    The advantage of Sky plus is lost when you have 2 TiVos as Sky plus can only output one signal at a time, whereas 2 Tivos can obviously output 2 different signals (useful if you have more than one TV in the house or wish to simultaneously record something to VCR or DVD).

    Start with say a 120 to 200GB upgraded model or if you are proficient with Linux, upgrade a standard 40gb model yourself.

    Once you have played with it a bit and you know your budget you can decide which upgrades you want.
     
  9. harrisuk

    harrisuk
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    Only problem is I am running a Dbox.

    Can you get Tivo working with a Nokia D Box 2 ? Apparently the issue is the remote code so Tivo can control the channels.
     
  10. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Is that the Dreambox DM500C?
    If so then you can use code 20055 under manufacturer Dreambox. This info along with a list of all the supported STB's can be found at www.tivoportal.co.uk

    Mark.
     
  11. Cyril

    Cyril
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    If your box is currently unsupported then contact the owner of tivoportal.co.uk and he can help arrange for your remote control codes to be added to the TiVo database.

    As long as your box receives normal infrared signals any set top box can be added to TiVo.

    I think the DBox is not yet supported, but go to
    http://www.garysargent.co.uk/tivo/stb-unsupported.htm

    and it should be supported soon!
     
  12. harrisuk

    harrisuk
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    Thanks Cyril. I am going to buy a pronto, using the site you provided there is a way of uploading the correct codes to the dbox so tivo can communicate.
     

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