Latest Freeview Box products ?

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by topgazza, Aug 16, 2018.

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  1. topgazza

    topgazza
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    Are there any latest and greatest ? I'm weighing up my options should it come down to keeping my Sky HD + box as FTA only, but is I miss pause live TV a Freesat box or a Freeview box. Looking at Panasonic boxes in JL and reading reviews there are the usual pros and cons as with the Humax Freeview boxes. Its quite hard to see what are the latest boxes on offer, assuming latest is best, and any reviews that I trust other than some of the usual websites which are non committed to say the least.

    Might as well read the manufactureres website in many cases. So any thoughts on a decent PVR for Freeview please ? Not bothered about masses of storage but obviously some would be good
     
  2. topgazza

    topgazza
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    In addition should I just get a Sony HDR Smart TV with FreeviewPlay & Youview and use a HDD as storage and pause device ?

    Wonder if they function the same or better/worse than a dedicated box. More so from the channel selection and daily use really ?
     
  3. TJT1

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    My Samsung 4k TV has a record facility, but it's not very good. It has recording, time slip and pause live TV, but for recording I use my trusty T2. The TV's recorded media list is pants. Not sure if it will series record or not, and if you have the HDD going for time slip/pause live, it constantly puts up a nag screen about time slip being on, "to do this switch off time slip", "to do that switch off time slip", "Time slip is on. The EPG might not be fully populated" etc. etc. it's a right pain in the butt.

    The Sony might be better at it, but I have no evidence of this.
     
  4. topgazza

    topgazza
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    I read that Sony is pretty good but you do wonder is anyone actually tests these products. I suspect they all have their little niggles
     
  5. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    I can't speak for other boxes.

    For Humax boxes before Freesat and Freeview/Freeview Play put their oars in and the ever increasing pressure on removing useful capabiltty like the following ( later boxes compensate with the full complement of catch up services, but these can be added by cheap extra kit)

    Scart RGB output sockets

    A front display that tells you what the boxes are actually doing,

    A stable and user interface.

    The peak for Freeview+ was the HDR-FOX-T2 which included the capability for free interchange of recorded content (HD And SD) for two boxes on the same network.

    For Freesat+ The Foxsat-HDR.

    In both cases the available custom firmware greatly advances the capability of both boxes,

    The latest Humax Freeview Box the FVP-5000T has 3 tuners and allows recording up to 4 programmes at once and watching a 5th subject to mux. Recording wise it's the most capable. It also has most all of the catch up and VOD services.

    However the UI has some odd foibles and the response to the remote can only be described as pedestrian.

    If you don't mind this, this is the most capable recording wise.

    For the full channel availability you do need to be in the service area of a transmitter carrying the two (temporary) MUX COM7/8.
     
  6. VisionMan

    VisionMan
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    What do you want out of a Freeview PVR?
     
  7. topgazza

    topgazza
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    Just the usual, but only delivered quickly and with well written UI. The market still seems to be the “geek” basic code in the bedroom place. With clunky slow and hit and miss interfaces and limited features. But I’ll settle for the best available before nirvana arrives ;)
     
  8. Fred Smith

    Fred Smith
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    If you told us which boxes have these issues then maybe we could recommend others.
     
  9. topgazza

    topgazza
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    Uh...... all of them. Hence going for the “best” one possible. Just looking for quick, smooth EPG & UI and failing that challenge, which everyone I’ve looked at fails, at least one that is the best. No one mentions Panasonic is that because of price ? You would hope they would be better than the rest but I don’t know. It seems to me to keep the price down manufacturers minimise cost on processing and software. Some of the older UIs a look like something out of a Atari of 40 years ago.

    If nothing else Sky interfaces are at least slick. To me it’s a shame that Freeview boxes have tended to be a bit Heath Robinson in design and execution. I’ll be checking out the Humax 5000 with a little hope. All JL has where I am now are the Panasonic’s
     
  10. Fred Smith

    Fred Smith
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    No can't "be all of them". You need to be specific. I have Freesat, Freeview and Youview boxes from five different manufactures and apart from one box all are fine with with the UI.
     
  11. topgazza

    topgazza
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    Nope, all of them. I meant it as a generalisation but maybe I’m being harsh and the original question remains as to what is the best box for Ui and EPG PERFORMANCE ? rather than go through every single permutation of service, manufacturer out there I accept that there will be different opinions. Sky I regard as excellent and I would think some others are as well in comparison. If you think your boxes are fine then that’s great. I suspect I will get used to any perceived or real “slowness”.

    But I’m. Still appalled by how,IMO, these interfaces are not slicker for the sake of a faster processor and better code
     
  12. Fred Smith

    Fred Smith
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    I could recommend some of the boxes I have, but I expect you would shoot them down without knowing if you had seen them or not. You have obviously seen some you did not like so name names and models as they can vary even from the same manufacturer. Then as I said above we could suggest others.
     
  13. topgazza

    topgazza
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    Looking at the Humax 5000 I’m more than happy with that. Bit slow to load but once it’s there it seems to function fairly quickly. Certainly quick enough for me
     
  14. Fred Smith

    Fred Smith
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    Well you have answered your own question then.
     
  15. topgazza

    topgazza
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    Indeed but I still don’t know if there is anything better. Mind you it’s quite hard to find retailers with decent setups to demo or even a decent range. I had to twist JLs arm to try a few for me. Not a lot of choice either but then I suppose dictated by demand to date
     
  16. Abacus

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    If you are looking for something that is comprehensive, intuitive and quick, then Sky is the only option, the rest (Including Virgin) are dinosaurs in comparison, so you will just have to accept this.

    There hasn’t been anything new from Panasonic for ages (Relatively speaking) so if you don’t like the others, it’s unlikely you will like the Panasonic either.

    There 3 main services which are implemented by manufactures are Freeview+ which is old but passable and mainly on cheaper products, Freeview Play which is as close as you are probably going to get to Sky (But still a long way off) for comprehensiveness and Youview which is probably the most intuitive but not exactly quick or comprehensive.

    The only thing you can do is try a few out to see which you get on best with, just don’t look for anything like Sky as you won’t find it.

    Bill
     
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  17. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    A G2 Freesat+ box can do anything that a Sky+ box can do and more. You can't watch a 3rd channel while recording two using a Sky-HD box, you can using a G2 box. You can also use both tuners with only a single cable. Also the box has a DLNA client so you can view content on your home network or stored on usb.
     
  18. Abacus

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    Freeview and Freesat are 2 separate platforms, my post purely related to Freeview, which is what the OP appeared to be leaning toward. (Don’t think Panasonic even does a separate Freesat box)

    Bill
     
  19. topgazza

    topgazza
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    This thread is proving to very informative to me so thanks to all for that. Freesat is a possibility with Freeview edging ahead mainly because of 4HD and I assume All4. Mind you I cant remember the last time I watched Channel 4 :facepalm:

    I managed to get JL to connect a Panasonic box up, well I did it for them, it looks OK but the proof is in the daily use. If there is one thing the Sky box has got right is the functionality and use of the box. Some of that is familiararity of course but it is quick and works well especially navigating the EPG, setting up series links and recording in general and of course pause TV. I do use it as a benchmark when judging others because of that but yes I do accept that others are not as "good" and I'll get over that. The Humax was OK and whilst a little slow was certainly OK. I'll look out for a FOX Freesat+ box and they had a couple of Freesat boxes in JL but didnt have a sat lead

    Product range is a bit limited I suspect because its a free service and built down to a price and I wonder if anyone would pay £250 to get a super high quality bullet proof PVR.... if such a thing could ever exist. But as they say it is what it is
     
  20. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    You can watch (but not record) Channel 4 HD on a G2 box by using non freesat mode. Installation wise it couldn't be simpler basically connect your two existing coax cables and the HDMI cable. Connect to your network using the connection of choice. The only G2 box now available new is the HDR-1100S and this has built in WiFi.

    Recently added to Freesat is Bloomberg and Quest in HD.
     
  21. topgazza

    topgazza
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    Quest HD is useful Graham as is the ability to get C4 that way

    Plan is to use the Sky box initially for a few weeks as Freesat and see how we get on. The wife really isnt bothered by TV too much and she generally watches BBC2 & 4. Given that we both think the channels on Sky are 90% utter tosh the transition shouldn't be too hard. As before not overlly bothered by recording but pause is useful so in reality we would get both.

    I'm guessing that Sky,Virgin and BTs dominance precludes a wider range of mainstream PVR boxes as the volume is not there. But more and more people I know are dumping those players and moving to Freeview and Freesat. The trend amongst my son's and daughter's friends is all streaming via netflix and prime and some dont ever watch broadcast TV at all.
     
  22. VisionMan

    VisionMan
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    Have you tried a YouView T2000 or T2100? I have both. There quick but don't come with any PVR bells or whistles. It also has all the Catch Up players, plus Netflix.
     
  23. topgazza

    topgazza
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    I'm going into Richer SOunds next week and have a play for a couple of hours so if they have one...I'll try it
     
  24. topgazza

    topgazza
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    So I've spent some time playing with boxes and whilst I'm not much clearer really I'm going to try Freesat if I can find a G2 box. Freeview HD + if I cant find one but both seem available on ebay.

    My view, which Fred seemed to hate, is that the market IMO is a mess. Very small range or poorly displayed devices in retailers and widely varying reviews and tests. In fact my perception is that "reviews" on the usual websites seem to prefer YouView because you can bolt on Sky and BT crap.... the very thing I'm getting away from !

    Its actually quite hard to specify a box other than ask here what do people recommend and then check. Very little advancement in technology/processor/memory or painfully slow improvements and a dearth of high quality boxes. In fact I would say no quality boxes comapred with,say, the receiver market. There seems to be a price point/quality standard that precludes that. Probably driven by Sky, BT, Virgin all producing boxes and being the majority of the market either give them away of sell them cheaply. But talking to colleagues a lot seem to be getting rid of the big 3 and going Freeview or Freesat. Saving a fortune and discovering more flexibility and avoiding the utter rubbish thats on 95% of the 3 billion channels Sky pump out .... all very much IMO of course

    At least I've got a choice.... I think :facepalm:
     
  25. davemurgatroyd2

    davemurgatroyd2
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    Can it record on demand/catchup services - I think not. Can you view those services without buffering on a slow internet connection? Can you view catchup services from Channel 4, Quest, 5 US and 5* in HD?. All available on a SKY sub box and a Sky Q box can record up to 6 channels and view another- you get what you pay for.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  26. topgazza

    topgazza
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    I cant think of 2 let alone 6 channels I would want to record on Sky at any time let alone at the same time :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:;)

    Which is why I've cancelled. As before I will use the Sky Box for a few weeks as a FTA box. Then have a think....

    Not all that impressed personally, by YouView or Freeview Play, they are OK and they have their fans I know. So its either Freeview HD+ or Freesat HD +
     
  27. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    You forgot to mention all this comes at a considerable on going cost. The freesat box option costs nothing other than buying the box. Without a subscription you cant record anything at all using a Sky-HD box,
     
  28. Bl4ckGryph0n

    Bl4ckGryph0n
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    I’m running Sky Q in Parallel with BT Vision UHD box. There is no material difference other than some more money in my pocket over time when I give up Sky. The UI is slick and fast.
     
  29. VisionMan

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    @topgazza -
    So you want to get away from SKY, BT & Virgin and not impressed with either Freeview Play or YouView. If you'll forgive me for saying it seems you are limiting your own choices. And from the minority number that are left, you may not be impressed by them either. Because theres always a reason why the minority are in the minority. And thats usually because they aren't very good.

    Final stab from me - have you tried the Freetime from Freesat Humax 1010s? As its the top rated Freesat receiver - try the expertreviews.co.uk review. We're not allowed to post links (sorry).
     
  30. VisionMan

    VisionMan
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    Sorry for being pendant but theres no such thing as a BT Vision UHD box.
     

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