Is there an "unlocked" PVR

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by fatbrunty, Aug 22, 2013.

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  1. fatbrunty

    fatbrunty
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    Hi I'm a newbie here but have faffed about with digital video for years. I've got a Panasonic telly that records freeview & freesat to a usb disk, but only one at a time and it locks the tuner. Then if I want to copy off a program to watch on the train, I can't, the USB disk is encrypted and it even disables the analog video during playback.

    I'm not complaining about the telly, the recordings are good, and I use a virgin TIVO most of the time, but I'm going to get rid of the cable TV so I thought I'd buy a proper PVR instead, rather that go media centre or mythbuntu.

    Is there a PVR that will just let me copy the recordings off it, so I can reencode to play on whatever device I happen to be carrying? or do they all assume I'm pirating content?

    Is there one for freeview and freesat combined?

    Is there one that'll record to my readyNAS (virgin disable this in their tivo).

    I don't mind tinkering or configuring or cabling or converting, in fact it's kind of my thing.

    I've never bought a PVR box so I'd appreciate your comments, save me from buying some buttoned-down locked-in idiot-proof thing that I'll regret.

    Ta.
     
  2. petrev

    petrev
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    Humax HDR Fox T2 with the Custom FW added is about as unlocked and customisable as you will find with a FreeViewHD EPG in the box.

    Some FTA Sat boxes can have T2 tuners added but getting the equivalent of FreeSat/FreeView EPGs on them seems like a chore (if it's possible ???)

    Get it while you can - Seems to be about to be replaced . . .
    Pete
     
  3. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    If you want Freesat the Foxsat-HDR is similar also using custom firmware.

    Unlike the HDR FOX T2 which you have to decrypt HD recordings after recordings a patch to the makers firmware persuades the box to record HD content encryption free.

    For ultimate satisfaction get one of each :rotfl:

    In both cases you can copy recordings direct to a PC over a home network.

    The HDR FOX T2 has an advantage that it can play back suitable content stored on other devices without conversion, the Foxsat needs additional files to do this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
  4. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Does that mean the Fox T2 can work as a media player too (without much help), streaming from a NAS? Or can all PVRs do that?
     
  5. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Yes the HDR FOX T2 can stream content from a remote HDD if a DLNA server is available on it. I don't have a nas drive but afaik many have this capability (often using Twonky Media). Don't expect the kind of file compatibility you get with a dedicated media server though.


    Only a few pvr's have built in DLNA client capability, playback of external content even by a directly connected usb device is hard to find.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  6. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    You mean 'media streamer' right?
     
  7. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  8. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Looks like I too will be buying either the HDR Fox T2 or the Foxsat-HDR

    Is the main difference between the two whether they use a standard aerial or satellite for their signal?
    Since I'm stopping Sky, I will still have the satellite inputs, so I guess I have the choice. Are their any advantages of one over the other? I was going to keep my Sky box for watching BT sport, so that might mean I'd be better with the HDR Fox T2?
     
  9. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    The main difference is that the Foxsat-hdr won't play any external video files at all unless you create the required sidecar files using Raydon's AV2HDR.

    There is a version also for the HDR FOX T2 which also creates sidecar files, you don't need these for playback but if present gives the native transport controls you get with an internal recording.

    Also note the channel line up is different between Freesat and Freeview
     
  10. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Thanks. Not sure there's much in it (as I get a decent reception).
     
  11. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Quite a few posters miss channels like Dave which isn't on Freesat.

    You are correct for the main channels though, freesat has one extra HD channel
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  12. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Thanks - I did a side by side comparison of the two and missed that.
     
  13. fatbrunty

    fatbrunty
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    I started this thread so I thought I'd let you know how I got on and say thanks for the excellent information.

    I bought a 500gb FOXSAT-HDR off ebay, did a HD format and a factory settings then loaded up raydon's bundle firmware, I had to do this twice because google sent me to the old release that doesn't nasmount.

    The box works good on one tuner (I'll run another wire to the LNB when I get 'round to it), no complaints about the recording or picture although the colour is a bit less saturated than the telly or the tivo.

    The web interface is really good, with an old-school html feel that's good to use in a way that the new styles aren't. I'm starting to feel like an old fogey now. EPG in a browser is so much better than a STB, and browse media with the VLC plugin is a really good way to manage recordings.

    What I wanted to do, copy recordings to transcode is a breeze, samba over my workgroup and straight into virtualdub (needing ffinputdriver plugin). Then anything I want, although the audio always needs offset.

    nasmount sees my readynas, I can copy FOXSAT files to the readynas and play them on the FOXSAT, the as-recorded .ts files also play fine in VLC.

    twonky didn't work very well the box kept freezing, mediatomb does work tho, amusingly playing recordings from on the FOXSAT via wifi and skifta on my android mobile mobo player. pity my phone's too weedy to software decode the stream smoothly, still, a bit of fun. mediatomb is recognised by the panasonic viera media server on the telly and plays FOXSAT recordings, but not all of them and I don't know why, the telly is a bit fussy about what it'll play and they all stream ok to VLC. I'm not likely to find this a prob as the FOXSAT is also connected to the telly via the HDMI cable...

    I had a go at AV2HDR and couldn't get the auto FTP to work, this looking lile a PC issue as I can ftp manually. I processed a home movie MOD file (which is a ps) but had to rename it to .ts for AV2HDR to pick it up, the FOXSAT played it fine over nasmount (audio out of sync again), but after copying it to the FOXSAT's disk (samba or ftp) it wouldn't show up in the recordings list on the telly although fine in mediatomb or the web interface. Hmm.

    I fancy learning about multi-channel audio, grahamlthompson mentioned that HD recordings can be accessed with a patch so I'll look for that next rainy day.

    Anyway, Thanks to this forum I think I got what I wanted!

    Cheers.
     
  14. petrev

    petrev
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    UPDATED INFO :

    The latest HDR T2 boxes are shipping with a new FW revision that will not allow downgrading and which has not been made available for download so there is no Custom FW option for these boxes as of now !

    Good job you chose the FoxSat model !!!

    Pete

    http://wiki.hummy.tv/wiki/Firmware_Downloads
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013

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