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Is it time to go for a Pace Twin?

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by steev, Dec 1, 2003.

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  1. steev

    steev
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  2. Mikef

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    I'm in the same position as you....I fancy being able to get Freeview and would like a Hard Disk machine of some sort.

    I've decided to wait until the new year when some of the other tuner/recorder machines get released, then see what the reviews are like. Some of the specs posted in this forum make them look good on paper (larger disks than the pace, etc).

    cheers

    mikef
     
  3. steev

    steev
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    We're in the position of moving to the new house we have built in the next couple of weeks. We'll be taking the ntl phone and broadband, but not the TV box. We don't want to be without widescreen and the extra channels over Xmas.

    We've only ever had the most basic package on ntl and won't really miss those channels that are not on Freeview. The only thing we watch on Sky One is the Simpsons.

    I don't know what other deals there have been on the Twin recently or if this sort of price will become standard.
     
  4. unrealrocks

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    Thats about the cheapest I've seen that PACE box! Normally its around £250, but that price is very tempting!
     
  5. steev

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    I'm slightly worried by the bug reports on this site

    http://www.riscthis.net/pacetwin/bugs.html

    Before anyone suggests it I know the Pace is not as good as a Tivo, but it looks to be adequate for our use. I also gather that the Tivo is not being sold any more. Even second hand the extra cost of a Freeview box and the subscription makes it too expensive. I had to push a little to get the Twin instead of a plain box.
     
  6. seafoodmix

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    i like the idea of getting one of these boxes, £200 seems a bargain.

    I know they can be programmed to record tv using the on screen displays for tv on the same day but it must be possible to record stuff a week/month away like a vcr is this true. it must be.

    also how many events can you set to record.
     
  7. bluebaron

    bluebaron
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    Ordered mine from Digital direct on Thursday and received it first thing today (Monday) including delivery £217.98.

    First impressions connected to my 433MXE. Not bad at all. Text banners run smoothly along the bottom of the screen on news channels. This is always juddery on my PCI Nebula card.

    Downsides

    It comes with the March firmware and therefore has a slightly soft picture and does not support teletext or the interactive channels. However, I think the next update will be broadcast sometime in December.

    Just hope it's soon;)
     
  8. steev

    steev
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    Another reason for switching to Freeview was to get the interactive features, mainly for things like Wimbledon. It's very frustrating on ntl to hear those 'press the red button' announcements and know it doesn't work.
     
  9. seafoodmix

    seafoodmix
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    i read somewhere that freeview is to launch week at a glance tv schedules. Will the pace twins be able to handle this new function or will they be obsolete
     
  10. MartinImber

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    Twin supports 7 day EPG
     
  11. steev

    steev
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    So Martin,

    Are you happy with the Twin? I see all these bug reports, but does it work on a daily basis?

    I'll get serious grief if I buy something that doesn't do the job. I intend this to be our main VCR with the Aiwa just for playing the kids' stuff. This being so the twin tuners will be essential. The Humax is cheaper, but one tuner will not do the job. The Fusion sounds good, but seems to be at least 3 months from launch. We really need to buy now.

    Does the Pace record radio channels? That could be useful.
     
  12. blindlemon

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    You can get a TiVo on eBay for around £150-200, a Freeview box for £50 (LODOS, from Sainsbury's) or less, and a TiVo sub for £10 per month.

    I know this is more than you're looking to pay, but I guarantee you won't regret it. TiVo is so much better than any other DVR device (including Sky+) that IMHO it would even be worth waiting a while and saving up for :eek:

    Nobody I know who has a TiVo would EVER consider going back to something less. That kind of says it all, really :smashin:

    ps. it has a 14 day EPG (for Freeview, 20 days for Sky) and records radio channels, too ;)
     
  13. hornydragon

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    Steev other option would be a DMRE50 with a couple of FV boxes (twin would better function ality depends if you want to record 2 FV channels or BBC and UK history for example. Just an Idea
     
  14. alwyn

    alwyn
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    Are the tivo boxes on ebay second hand? also,can you record in 5.1 on tivo? and last ,how is tivo so much better than sky+
     
  15. steev

    steev
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I just had a quick look on eBay and Tivos are going for £200+ or a fair bit more with a lifetime sub. There's even a few with extra disk and network. Of course there's not much in the way of warranty on any of them.

    In our case the Twin is an alternative to just getting a normal STB. We don't watch masses of TV and don't really want to. We want to record things now and then and be able to find them again easily.

    At the moment the Tivo option would cost about twice as much with a lifetime sub. I always thought the monthly rate was a bit high for what is basically an EPG. If I get the Twin I could always get a Tivo later. Maybe they will come back on the proper market again.

    So for now I still want to know if the Twin is usable for what I want.
     
  16. sdh500

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    It's pot luck with the twin. I, for example have only experienced one or two of the minor problems posted on that bug site and am very happy with it, whereas others on the Digital Spy site sound extremely frustrated with their box.

    If you do decide to get one, whatever you do, don't judge it on the March software, Pace have definitely improved it with subsequent updates.
     
  17. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    go for the twin i think some on DS are overly critiical of the unit.
     
  18. blindlemon

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    alwyn,

    I assume from your questions that you have Sky+ - and so you already know the answers ;)

    When you can't live with your mistake any longer, have a look at the tivo community forum for the latest news on TiVo in the UK. :smashin:
     
  19. MartinImber

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    Yes very happy - it does work on a daily basis, I have missed one recording since I bought it - may have been a mis set timer I don't know.

    Since I use it as a video recorder mainly (great for Hits classics - record while playing back and getting music onto MD via TOSlink) I have missed a couple of problems, but each update improves the box more.

    The Twin is now an essential piece of kit - apart from PVR it also has digital sound out - to go to AV amp, RF out for my 20 year old Sony 14" portable I use in the caravan. The library facillity is great and it also supports 7 day EPG (when they tested it a couple of months ago)

    I have only used the SLHF950 once for recording since I bought the Twin
     
  20. alwyn

    alwyn
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    Well I have only had sky+ for a matter of weeks,so am no vetran,but up to now I have not had any problems,and it was because of that I asked the question.
     
  21. steev

    steev
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    Well I decided to go for it. Order has been placed. I'll report in when I've had a chance to try it out.
     
  22. steev

    steev
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    The Twin arrived today. It's a little smaller than I expected and quite light. The lightness of the box may be partly explained by the lack of a manual!

    I didn't let that put me off. I soon had it plugged in the the kids are watching CBeebies. It found a load of channels with no problems. Had a quick play with the pause. Seems to work okay, but I see there are different settings for this.

    Picture quality is okay, but it's only on composite for now.

    The EPG is only showing now and next as expected. More would be nice.

    I've scheduled a recording for this afternoon. It's saying 10:18 available on the disk, but much more for radio. I'd be tempted to record a few comedy and science programmes from R4.

    So far I'm happy, but it's early days.
     
  23. ferris57

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    Why didn't I buy a tivo when they were £99 :(
     
  24. twarde

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    I have just bought a Pace Twin from digital direct. Its on the March software. I hope this is the cause of a couple of problems.

    1. All though Scart 2 is enabled for SVideo, it doesn't output it.
    I have proved this with another Svideo source. The mini din socket does outpt Svideo but I need it on the scart for my SVHS VCR.

    2. The picture quality is poor. Its soft and there is a lot of pixelation on BBC1 during the football than from BBC1 on DSAT.

    Should I wait for the software update next weekend or send it back?

    Thanks

    Tony
     
  25. colin_e

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    twarde-

    I just received my Twin (in this case from 24-7 electrical, almost exactly the same price as the others posted here).

    Again I have the March firmware, and although the box does many things well I have seen the common bugs, and reported them to Pace.

    The problem with S-Video to the second Scart is a known issue.
    I have a a Super-VHS VCR and need this. Pace say the next update
    will fix it, and postings on the forums indicate the earlier updates
    do already fix the problem so I think that's pretty certain.

    On my ~3 yr. old 28" Hitachi TV I really don't notice the soft picture
    issue. But to be honest on this TV you can't tell the difference
    between RGB and Composite at normal viewing distances. Again
    forum postings say this is fixed with an upgrade.

    I have also experienced the minor glitches in playback of recordings,
    plus more obvious problems with recordings in general (mostly when
    they stop part way through the programme).

    Overall though the box does many basic things well, and I believe
    the problems are fixable. Just getting Ch. 5 reception at the same
    high quality as the other 4 channels is very useful to me! My one
    worry is reading the reports that say the interactive text features in
    the most recent update actually make the box less stable. Lets hope
    the coming update addresses that.

    I can see a number of other firmware issues or places where
    enhancements would make the box a lot more useful. I'll post these
    separately. If these are things other Twin owners agree with let's
    make sure Pace know about it.

    Regards: Colin
     
  26. Chris 1000

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    Digital direct are selling the twin for £199.99 today!! Bought mine yesterday for £209.99!!
     
  27. steev

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    Chris 1000,

    Are you sure about that. I still see it at £210. They did sneakily extend this offer which is a bit off.

    I'm still finding my way around mine. If anyone got a manual, is it any good? Is it available as a download anywhere?

    I think I have noticed a slight softness in the picture compared with our ntl box. It's by no means a bad picture. Mine has the March software too.

    I've been busy elsewhere over the weekend so haven't played as much as I'd like.
     
  28. Chris 1000

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  29. twarde

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    Thanks for the info. I will wait for the next software update.

    I happened to notice that the box my twin came in had a code number 532/0228 on the side.

    This happens to be the code for the Pace Twin at Argos.

    I wondered if Argos has returned a batch of Pace Twins it couldn't sell, hence the old software.
     
  30. LV426

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    The software update DOES improve the picture - removes the softness.

    As for SVideo enabled SCART - why not forget SCART and use the dedicated SVideo and Audio outputs (which DO work properly).
     

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