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Loewe integrated Digital Tuner Upgrade

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by markfraser, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. markfraser

    markfraser
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    Just had a look on the peter martin site and found this

    DVB-t
    Digital Tv integrated into your Loewe TV set - EPG programme guide - dolby digtial output.

    Works with any Loewe Q2500 chassis tv

    Has anyone got one of these fitted on their Loewe set?
    Just wondered if it is simply an on-board version of a set-top digital box and what the advantages are over the latter. Apart from the Dolby Digital output, being able to use PiP more effectivley and reducing the clutter, why would I want to spend £300 on this? Is DD especially unusual on DTV boxes perhaps? I guess this is important to me - it's the reason I bought Sky+ after all, but are terrestrial programmes even broadcast with a Dolby Digital soundtrack?

    Any information would be appreciated.
     
  2. crooksm

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    I would be interested in hearing from anyone with this upgrade also. I have been thinking about getting this.

    Also, terrestial digital does not broadcast DD. I don't know if it is capable of doing it or not but I haven't seen it so far...
     
  3. Londondecca

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    £300 seems very expensive to watch Freeview especially considering a normal box costs between £50 and £100.

    Maybe I am simply not rich enough to consider such things for my Aconda.
     
  4. crooksm

    crooksm
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    Ah! But one less box...
     
  5. MartinImber

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    Go for it - in general IDTVs are better than seperate boxes - easier to use and the integration is so much better.

    HOWEVER

    I used to use a VCR as a tuner with my old TV because even through composite the picture was better - plus I had NICAM converted the VCR.

    But IDTVs of most makes appear better for PQ than seperate boxes
     
  6. markfraser

    markfraser
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    Well, it gets fitted next week!
    I've got an engineer coming out next Thursday to do the installation but I'm already thinking that I have spent a very large amount of money in doing this. Hope it's worth it!
     
  7. jayss

    jayss
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    I think you'll be happy with it. I went to Peter Martin to demo some sets and they had a Nemos with the DVB-t upgrade next to an Articos running off an external digital box. Out of the two, the Nemos definately looked better. The picture just seemed to have an extra sharpness to it, and things like metallic surfaces looked more realistic. I think it must have been down to the internal box.
     
  8. nickj24

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    can u give me link 2 peter martin site.regards nick
     
  9. markfraser

    markfraser
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    http://shop.petermartin.co.uk/acatalog/Upgrades.html
    is the link for the upgrades page which includes the above
    you should be able to get to the main shop from there if you want to look elsewhere and I think there's probably a link to the main site (not the shop) too
     
  10. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    Same with my Sony

    IDTVs are brilliant
     
  11. markfraser

    markfraser
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    Well, it's been fittted. It took the engineer 3 hours (he'd never seen one before let alone fit one) and it's really very nice indeed. The picture quality is excellent. As good as SkyD generally. I haven't had the time to really compare properly yet. Audio is fine too. I'm using a digital coax connection out of the new board on the TV now. I have the full freeview line up but no Radio which I should probably look in to but haven't yet. The EPG is okay but not nearly as intuative as the Sky one. It's presented in a different format with emphasis on the programmes rather than the chanel is that makes sense. I'll have aproper play with it again today but I'm very happy so far!
     
  12. captainhook

    captainhook
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    How are you getting on with your digital upgrade now, Mark, after a couple of months?

    As a result of this topic, I purchased the upgrade from Peter Martin, and with some trepidation, installed it into my Aconda last month.

    The upgrade took me about 2 hours, with some of the cables being extremely fiddly to get in! Instructions supplied with the kit were very good.

    Once I'd remembered how to get the menu language back to English, I was away! It's fantastic to have the EPG working on the TV, although it's not quite as well thought out as my Sony Digibox.

    Sadly, the Loewe upgrade does not support MHEG, and aparantly Loewe have no plans to integrate this into the TV software (they say it would be a major re-write). This basically means that the upgrade is not compatible with digital text, cannot see stations not currently broadcasting (does not pick up the text screens showing when the channel next broadcasts) - meaning one has to re-scan every time a different channel broadcasts in order to get them all stored initially, channels such as BBC Parliament do not work at all, the "Press Red" functionality is non existant (meaning one can't access the 4 small screens for BBC News 24 etc, or BBCi stuff (although channels 701, 702 do get found). It also means that channels are not stored on the correct numbers, when scanning, only in order of being found. I have got around this by creating blank channels and moving the real ones onto their correct positions, then hiding the blank ones with the "favourites" function.

    Slightly more baffling is the tuner's inability to find the "abc1" channel, whilst my digibox picks up a perfect service. I have absolutely no idea why this is, and have tried everything in the "manual tuning" menu.

    The CAM slots provided as part of the upgrade ARE compatible with Top-up TV, although you have to buy a CAM module (£40) and obviously then subscribe! There seems to be no information about this compatability anywhere else.

    After all this, it is great to have albeit somewhat limited IDTV functionality. I was particularily impressed when I set the TV to record some programs using the EPG. You can adjust the times to add extra at the beginning and end of the recording, and the TV literally just switches on the tuner inside, for the recording, leaving the screen off. This is particulaly useful for me when recording Top-up TV programs, as my Digibox (normally now just used for recording RGB signals directly into the DVD recorder) does not have Top-up TV compatability.

    The digital TV upgrade kit requires up to date software in the TV to start with, and I was pleased to benefit from the improvements in this (Peter Martin also sell these upgrade chips) The chip I purchased was version 6.16 (£50)

    I'd be very interested to hear if anyone else has experience of this (rather expensive) upgrade kit. It seems a shame that Loewe are unwilling to develop the software further (according to Linn), especially with such an expensive kit. It worries me slightly that there is absolutely no was of finding out if there are ever future upgrades to the DVB software available... My DVB software currently says it is v2.3.0. My guess is that Loeww will change this occasionally, but would almost certainly not pay to broadcast the upgrades, although the sets are capable of downloading them!
     
  13. markfraser

    markfraser
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    Great post.

    My experience is the same as your really, although I had an engineer do the install. There a few peculiar aspects to the upgrade as you point out. Getting it to search for channels is a pain - especailly as it's not in an obvious place - well not at first anyway. You have to scan for Radio in a different menu too, I didn't discover that for a few weeks. The picture is very, very nice indeed, though my ariel lets things down a little. The EPG is not intuative at all but it's all very nice to have the TV working in that way I must admit. However, if I'm honest, it was a upgrade I didn't really need and often do not use. I tend to just watch my Sky+ all the time anyway.
     
  14. markfraser

    markfraser
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    NIGHTMARE!
    This morning, when I switched on my TV, a message appeared saying the 'Digital TV Module has no functioning software' It tried to search for it, failed and told me to turn off, then on, then try again. Still nothing. Oh dear. Call to the installer on Monday I think but I can see no clear way of resolving - anyone got any ideas?
     
  15. captainhook

    captainhook
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    Yipes!!!

    Hope you got this resolved, Mark! How did you get on?
    No problems like this with mine yet, touch wood!
     
  16. ianh64

    ianh64
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    Ah, but it does D-sat as well as D-Tv. Thankfully it won't work with $ky so I won't be contributing to their millions or funding over paid drug taking footballers. Will be getting some local advice on what range of FTA programmes are available on other satellites.

    Im surprised at the £50 for the firmware upgrade. My installer said that any future upgrades for my set he would fit at no cost. I had noticed that Peter Martin were quite pricy for their add-ons. My Xelos SL was much cheaper through PM, but by the time I added DR+, DTV, installation and delivery there was less than £70 total price difference compared with 'Linn at Harrods' who I purchased from. After it looked like something being £300 cheaper from an internet supplier, I was prepared to pay slightly extra since I was buying from a known source where I could view the product in person and, being from the company responsible for distributing in this country, I mistakenly thought I would get good quality support.

    -Ian
     
  17. Mstislav

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    How easy is it to install the decoder oneself?

    Is the basic £150 decoder as good as the £300 decoder which has a CAM slot for TUTV?

    Is a new remote control needed?
     
  18. captainhook

    captainhook
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    The instructions supplied were fairly good, but one or two ove the connections were extremely fiddly to get in! The whole process took me an hour and a half, but I'm used to fiddling inside pieces of electronics... The most scary bit was removing the old software eeprom from the TV for exchange with the new one... I didn't have a removal tool in my toolkit, and was frightened of damaging other components nearby when levering the chip out of the socket with a screwdriver...

    I didn't know about a basic upgrade for £150. I think this must be the DVB tuner for the german market, that has been available for ages. This does not work in the UK, if it's the one I'm thinking about. Mine is the one with the CAM slot (which works fine with TUTV)

    The existing remote is OK with everything - the TV software gets a fairly major upgrade to work with the DVB upgrade (you would have to purchase this as well - the DVB card requires software above a certain version to work!)
     
  19. ianh64

    ianh64
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    Had news from Loewe today that the guys in Germany have a fix for the ABC1 problem and will be available shortly. I couldn't however get an answer on how it is upgraded. I have a feeling that, short of having a sat dish pointing at Astra, it will be in the form of a prom upgrade.

    Further to my earlier comments regarding Loewe technical support, ie Linnsight, now that I am using a different email account to send (I think my free email account was geing blocked), their support is responsive and if they do not know the answer to something, will actively try and find out of you.

    -Ian
     
  20. supersonic87

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  21. Rojo Habe

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    Couldn't ask you to elaborate on what these improvements are, could I? My Vitros is V4.3.

    £300 is a bit much to pay for the lack of MHEG, but I might just go for the software upgrade on its own if it's worth having.

    Shame, really. Ever since I bought the telly I've been waiting for this module, and I knew it would be expensive, but now it turns out they've only done half a job. :(
     
  22. captainhook

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    Check out this thread over at Digital Spy:

    http://forum.digitalspy.co.uk/board/showthread.php?t=160820

    It seems there are cheaper ways to obtain the upgrades!

    Also check out this link:

    http://www.tvandvideodirect.com/section.php?xSec=96

    These guys sell two versions of the upgrade - the full version I bought, with a CAM slot for a top-up-tv card reader, or a much cheaper version with just the digital tuner, and no PC card slots.

    The software upgrade depends on how recent a version you have already in your set - for me, it added a function called "zap to text", which I've never used, and various tiny other improvements - when setting up AV sources, there was now a DVD recorder option, etc Support for the home automation upgrades was also new. Can't think of anything else major.

    I hate the lack of MHEG for the price I paid - at the time I had no idea that there were cheaper places to get it. However, it's so useful to access the EPG directly on the TV, which is supported with DVB-T. I often now set the TV up to record Discovery channel, as my digibox I use for recording has no topuptv compatibility. When setting the TV to "record" a program, it can turn it's tuner on quietly without turning the TV on, sending the program out of the scart to the recorder. It's good that no on-screen graphics generated by the TV if you are watching it are relayed through the scart. It's great having the TV prompt you with the name of the programme when you change channels - generated by the EPG.

    There's been no news other than the post above by ianh64 (and an email I also received from linn) about the upgraded version to recieve ABC1. Still waiting - maybe it's about time I dropped them a line again.

    Hope this helps
     
  23. Rojo Habe

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    I have to admit, those are all compelling reasons to go for it, even if it does mean manually rescanning every time a new channel is launched. Interactive isn't such a big selling point for me (although News24 multiscreen would have been nice - it never worked on my old Sony iDTV either), but the lack of over-the-air software updates might be a bigger issue.

    I got my telly from Audio-T. They're not the cheapest by a long chalk but they are local. I'll pop in and have a word, see what they can tell me.

    Most of the other features you mentioned (Zap2Text, DVDR support) appear to be present and correct on my V4.3 software - maybe I'll be able to talk them into giving me the upgrade for free if they want to sell me a DVB-T card ;)

    Oh, one last thing: does it support the 7-day EPG, or is it just Now and Next?
     
  24. captainhook

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    Yes, it is 7 day epg, depending on whether it's available where you are. Yup I think over air software updates are my biggest issue too. The set supports them, but I can't imagine Loewe ever paying to broadcast one on freeview!

    I spent a fair bit of time re-organising the channels after tuning, to put them in the correct freeview number slots (another MHEG feature sadly missing) - which was easy enough with a bit of fiddling. Only the 700 channels are on the wrong numbers now.

    The radio is fairly useful - the TV shuts itself off after a preset time if you are listening to a DVB radio channel.
     
  25. Rojo Habe

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    ...as opposed to the potential screenburn you get from the radio stations on Cable. Yes, that is useful.

    When I originally bought an iDTV, it was purely so I could watch digital off-airs while recording Cable. I sacrificed that in favour of a better TV set, and it's amazing how you miss it when it's gone.

    300 quid though... hmmm...
     
  26. markfraser

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    I finally got my tuner replaced today today after a 4 month struggle which isn't worth going in to here but I'm delighted it's now working again. Not that I'll be using it that much. Having sky+ connected to it, there's no real need to revert to the digital tuner other than for the purposes of being able to watch different channel is differernt rooms (the sky+ has a transmitter on it to 'broadcast' to other rooms) I suppose it will be used more when it is 'demoted' to the second tv in a couple of years, though I have yet to fully explore the possibilities of using videolink plus with my loewe vcr. I think I can record off the EPG so that's probably useful.
     
  27. captainhook

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    Glad you got it fixed, Mark - sounds like a nightmare! Mine has been bullet-proof so far. I had a similar nightmare with a tube problem on the set last year - took months to get the warranty company to get a proper repairman!
    Can the set now tune in ABC1? Curious as to whether there's more recent software in the card now...
    I'm considering a Sky+ installation now, as freeview's quality seems to get less everytime they try to squeeze more from the bandwidth. It would be nice to have discovery channel in anamorphic widescreen too...
     
  28. markfraser

    markfraser
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    There's no ABC1 on my EPG. What's the sofware version on yours?
     
  29. captainhook

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  30. markfraser

    markfraser
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    I have 2.4. I have not had the chance to look around yet but on the surface it seems the same at the previous one I had. If you want me to look for anything specific in this version, let me know and I'll be happy to do so.
     

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