Looking for a PVR

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by themitch, Nov 15, 2004.

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  1. themitch

    themitch
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    Hi

    I'm looking for a PVR that is not Sky+, however, I would like it to have as much of the Sky+ features as possible. Why am I not buying Sky+, it's a sorry story and I shan't bore you, but suffice to say, I've thought it through from every angle and I just can't get it.

    The features I'd like in the PVR are:

    1. Minimum 80Gb HDD (essential)
    2. DVD recorder (desirable)
    3. EPG with series link functionality to record programmes (essential)
    4. Easy to operate and use as other half not too technical (desirable)
    5. Network compatible (pref wireless) and able to play DivX, AVIs, etc (desirable)
    6. Timeshift, pause live TV, etc (essential)
    7. Control my Sky set-top box.
    8. Shouldn't be too expensive either < £500-£600 (essential)

    Any ideas? I have looked at www.kiss-technology.com as they have something similar to the above spec, but a) not sure if available in UK and b) not heard any reviews about it.

    Also, what about Microsoft Media Centre, is that anygood? Or is that too much for what I'm looking for?

    Any thoughts would be gratefully accepted.

    Thanks

    M
     
  2. inabsentia

    inabsentia
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    Still can't understand why you won't go for Sky +, it fits all of your essential requirements.

    I don't think you are going to get everything you want in all honestly-not yet anyway.

    I have an Auvion PVR that runs on a removeable hard drive (120gb in my case) and has a USB connection for transferring files to and from a PC-it's compatible with all video formats, and the DVD player inside is also also capable of playing back Divx and all it's variants. I paid £130 0ff ebay for one brand new from Auvion themselves (They hold regular sales and auctions on there).

    No EPG or anything like that, but it's a great way of getting any kind of footage onto my PC for editing or burning to disc, and it's also ideal for transfers of downloaded footage too-put them onto the Auvions hard drive and playback like any other recording.

    It's not without it's faults, it's not difficult to use, but it takes a few days to get to grips with it's little quirks, and there's a few things missing that it really needs (Something as simple as an OTR button for switching the thing off at a certain point would be nice!) including a quieter fan as it's a noisy little beggar, but it's rendered my DVD recorder redundant since I got it. The recording quality is superb on any of the four 'modes' and I've got it hooked up to a switch box so that I can record from any of my other sources (Sky+, Freeview, video, DVD).

    For the money, I'd say it's the best AV purchase I've ever made-the time it's saved me converting old video footage means it has paid for itself several times over already!
     
  3. Spok

    Spok
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    It's obvious why he doesn't want to go for Sky...

    (1) High monthly subscription rate.
    (2) Channel after channel of garbage.
    (3) Poor picture quality.

    In other words - Sky is a rip-off and, with the advent of Freeview, it is only just beginning to dawn on the general population.

    Every unfortunate Sky subscriber I have known has admitted to only ever watching/recording just a handful of channels, usually the ones available for free and at a higher quality on Freeview.

    All the big American series, like The Sopranos, The West Wing, etc, end up on Channel 4 anyway. There is just a delay period, which is irrelevant if you have always watched them on Channel 4.

    All the really big sporting events, such as Wimbledon, World Cup, Olympic Games etc, all have to be freely available by law.

    When the analogue signal finally gets switched off and Freeview becomes universal in its coverage, Sky will be in for a tough time. Can anyone think of a good reason to join/stay with Sky?



    Spok.
     
  4. shoehorn

    shoehorn
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    Agreed... but don't forget Sky are one-third of Freeview - so they'll have (they do have) a big input.
     
  5. AMc

    AMc
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  6. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    AFAIK TiVo is the only other option if you want to avoid Sky+

    1. Minimum 80Gb HDD (essential) put whatever sized HDD (or 2) you want in it. Come as standard with a 40Gb drive
    2. DVD recorder (desirable)If networked with a PC you can burn the files to DVD that way (instructions available if you know where to ask ;) ), but no built in burner
    3. EPG with series link functionality to record programmes (essential) TiVo was the first and does it best
    4. Easy to operate and use as other half not too technical (desirable) press the EPG button, highlight program (or channel you want to change to) and press select. Thats all you need to do
    5. Network compatible (pref wireless) and able to play DivX, AVIs, etc (desirable) adding a wired or wireless network card gets your TiVo on a network. Can now even set TiVo to record via the internet if you have broad band
    6. Timeshift, pause live TV, etc (essential) yes, yes, probably just about anything you can think of
    7. Control my Sky set-top box. by IR or RF (extra hardware required for RF control
    8. Shouldn't be too expensive either < £500-£600 (essential) TiVo boxes sell for around £200. Networking can be added for about £50. Large HDD for well under £100. If lucky you may get one with all the upgrades done for you already.

    Mark.
     

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