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Is it better to get a Freeview HD receiver and recorder

saadgooner

Standard Member
than getting built-in freeview hd? i mean iv seen some on amazon for about £200.

But im not sure which as there are quite a few

Can anyone help?
 

PhilipL

Prominent Member
Hi

than getting built-in freeview hd? i mean iv seen some on amazon for about £200.

But im not sure which as there are quite a few

Can anyone help?

What TV have you got?

A PVR with Freeview HD is probably the cheapest choice if your TV is HD Ready and you are happy with it. To really see the benefit of Freeview HD you will need a TV that is 32" or larger, and of course be in an area that can receive it, check here. Note there are only 3 HD channels, and normal Freeview channels will look the same as they do currently using your TVs tuner.

Even if you were buying a TV new, it would probably work out better value for money buying a Freeview HD PVR rather than a TV with built in Freeview HD as currently they are at a premium price, you also get the benefit of recording as well.

You should note that Freeview HD PVRs are only just on the market and are not 100% reliable currently.

Regards

Phil
 

saadgooner

Standard Member
Thanks for your help Phil

Basically im looking for a TV (probably about 46" if i can find a good deal) and i was thinking of getting a freeview HD tv with it. but as you said its better to get a PVR as i would probably benefit from recording. Even if the HD signal turns out to be poor at least i have the recording right?

do you know any good PVR that would be worth it? i mean iv had a long look but there are so many eg Sagems and i really dont know what to go for. Im looking for a relieble one but not too pricey.

Thanks alot for your help
 

PhilipL

Prominent Member
Hi

Thanks for your help Phil

Basically im looking for a TV (probably about 46" if i can find a good deal) and i was thinking of getting a freeview HD tv with it. but as you said its better to get a PVR as i would probably benefit from recording. Even if the HD signal turns out to be poor at least i have the recording right?

do you know any good PVR that would be worth it? i mean iv had a long look but there are so many eg Sagems and i really dont know what to go for. Im looking for a relieble one but not too pricey.

Thanks alot for your help

Yes you can still use a PVR even if you don't get HD, although then you are paying the extra for something you can't use for perhaps a year or so.

As for a good HD PVR, probably Sagemcom who have new firmware out now or perhaps DigitalStream. They are all a bit rushed out to cash in on the world cup but over the coming weeks new firmware will come out. If Pace/Philips can fix the bugs then the HDT8520 is a nice looking bit of kit and good build quality.

Tip: don't let the shop try and sell you an expensive HDMI cable, there will be one bundled with the HD PVR most likely and that will give you the same picture quality as those in the shop for ones at £60.00 or so they'll try and flog, mainly because those types of accessories are pure profit for the shop. You shouldn't need to pay more than a tenner for an HDMI cable.

Regards

Phil
 

saadgooner

Standard Member
what do you mean by 'firmware' if i bought it now would it be unrelieble? are these things as good as sky+'s recording system.

hanks again for the help guys
 

xmb

Prominent Member
Be careful about which Freeview HD PVR you buy as most do not support 5.1 surround sound! They may be advertised as having Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus but in the UK we use HE-AAC and although they will be able to give you stereo sound they fail to deliver 5.1 sound from any output!

Read the Sagemcom RTI90 manual on page 45 for confirmation and I suspect the Digital Stream DHR8203U is the same! Both only decode the HE-AAC stream to 2 channel PCM.

It is very poor that most reviews do not check the audio from these units as it is clear there is a major issue with surround sound in the UK due to the use of the HE-AAC format.
 

saadgooner

Standard Member
Be careful about which Freeview HD PVR you buy as most do not support 5.1 surround sound! They may be advertised as having Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus but in the UK we use HE-AAC and although they will be able to give you stereo sound they fail to deliver 5.1 sound from any output!

Read the Sagemcom RTI90 manual on page 45 for confirmation and I suspect the Digital Stream DHR8203U is the same! Both only decode the HE-AAC stream to 2 channel PCM.

It is very poor that most reviews do not check the audio from these units as it is clear there is a major issue with surround sound in the UK due to the use of the HE-AAC format.


thanks for your help

is there a major difference in the quality of the sound between the 2 different types?

would you advise against buying the sagemcom as i was going to buy it as it as in my price range and had good reviews.
 

xmb

Prominent Member
It is not so much a quality issue (although HE-AAC has more compression) as a compatibility issue.

If 5.1 surround sound (from the currently few broadcasts that actually transmit a program in 5.1) is important to you (in other words you have a surround sound system) then this issue is very important!

You need to check carefully to find out if the unit you are considering supports 5.1 correctly for the UK market as many do not!

I can say the Panasonic DMR-BW780 supports 5.1 only over the HDMI connection. I think the Philips HDT8520 will support this after a future software update but no 5.1 at the moment!

Looks like most may be better off waiting until this fiasco is sorted out!
 

saadgooner

Standard Member
im thinking of getting the sony bravia kdl40w5500u, if it turned out that the sagemcom didnt support 5.1, would my tv viewing be affected in anyway?

and would it be possible in a future software update of the sagemcom to fix the issue?

thanks alot
 

clemenzina

Established Member
im thinking of getting the sony bravia kdl40w5500u, if it turned out that the sagemcom didnt support 5.1, would my tv viewing be affected in anyway?

and would it be possible in a future software update of the sagemcom to fix the issue?

Your viewing wouldn't be affected adversely, but you would only be able to listen to stereo sound, not surround sound, so if you have a fancy audio system it would be wasted to some extent. I am very NOT au fait with anything audio, but I happened to read yesterday on a techie site that next year there will be a new Dolby which would be capable of being transmitted on Freeview (it's a bandwidth problem that prevented DD being adopted by Freeview, I understand - HE-AAC doesn't take up so much "space" - the whole Freeview "garment" doesn't have enough cloth so has to be cut very skimpily, it's partly to do with squeezing in too many channels, I think).

There is a possibility that the PVR companies could update their boxes to deal with HE-AAC but you'll need to find someone somewhere who knows about these things :rolleyes:

clemenzina
 

ched

Established Member
Just to add my two pennth. This is a link to a BBC Blog that says the reason HE-AAC was used was due to BBC having to have the capability of having audio description and switching codec issues.
Its an interesting read.
 

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