New to PVRs Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by Leyland, Mar 28, 2006.

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  1. Leyland

    Leyland
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    I have been pondering changing over to digital drives for a time so I took the leap and looked at a Humax 9200T in a retailer near. I have looked at numerous reviews and this seems to be the one to get.

    Question. I have looked at the stickies and have asked the questions with the retailer but it seems to me that £220 is a lot of money to pay for what is simply a digital reciever, (and only for normal terestial channels).

    My old VHS, god bless it, records all the sky channels so why cannot the PVR?

    I did glance at the HDD DVDs but I was not aware of the difference. If I want to record the sky channels, (not Premium), as well as normal terrestial, and HDD DVD is the only way are there any reccommendations regarding make/model?

    Leyland
     
  2. LV426

    LV426
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    Freeview has a range of channels, some of which are not Free on Sky. I'm not sure if this is what you meant by "normal terrestrial channels".

    All Freeview PVRs record only Freeview. They have no ability to "encode" video into a digital form; they take the already digital broadcast and simply write it to a Hard Drive. No conversion. This is why they can't record from external sources such as a Sky box.

    What they can do, though (depending on model) is record two different things at the same time, whilst allowing you to play back a previous recording. In some cases and with limitations, you can record two and watch a third one live. You can't do any of this with a VCR nor with the alternative which is......

    If you want a Hard Disc recorder that will record from an external source (such as a Sky box) then the only type currently made and sold is a HDD-DVD machine. This brings with it the added ability to archive things onto DVD if you want to keep them. But they can only record one thing at a time. And your Sky box can only receive one programme at a time, so you can't watch one Sky while recording another.

    Then there's Sky+. This is a twin-tuner PVR or Sky only - won't record anything else. And it's never free to use. You always have to subscribe.

    And then there is the obsolete PVR - TiVo.

    As to whether or not you think Freeview PVRs are good value - up to you of course.
     
  3. Leyland

    Leyland
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    Many thanks for your qiuck reply, LV. It does seem that I have had the wrong idea. The old VHS is standing up well, (and to tell you the truth, the missus is not exactly a technically minded person), but I was looking for the new generation of programme recorders.

    I watch with baited breath.:thumbsup:
     
  4. LV426

    LV426
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    If your main purpose is timeshifting (watch and erase) and the Freeview channel lineup is enough, then a good* Freeview PVR is easier to use and much more flexible than a VCR ever could be. Even the wholly non-technical (eg my elderly female neighbour) can use one with greater ease than a VCR.

    * DigiFusion or Topfield.
     
  5. Paul Shirley

    Paul Shirley
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    The reviews tell a rosy tale of what the 9200 will be like if Humax ever write decent firmware for it and indeed when it works its a very nice machine.

    The problem is a lot of the time it doesn't work, in particular tuning to any BBC channel at the moment seems to crash it. It also has a nasty habit of losing or disguising recordings and the USB feature is an exercise in frustration.

    Don't consider buying one until Humax release a full update for it and I recommend waiting a month or so till the poor sods currently using it confirm the update is safe. Best guesstimate for that update is June, though Humax have BSed customers with 'update in a few weeks' since Nov 2005, missing every date so far.
     
  6. jpgreenwood

    jpgreenwood
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    I,m very happy with my DIGIFUSION FVRT145 from ARGOS £124.99. It is twin tuner and 80gb hard drive (instructions say 40gb but I will never use that space in a month of sundays). Just beware that no matter what pvr you choose, an aerial upgrade will probably be needed if you have a standard analogue type. Add this to your budget. Mine was £60 supplied and fitted. See my Digifusion fvrt145 thread.
     
  7. LV426

    LV426
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    There is no such thing as a "standard analogue" or "digital" aerial despite what retailers and installers might say. They are all fundamentally the same. However, depending on which transmitter you receive from, how far you are from it, and the terrain in between, you may need a new aerial.

    This is simply because
    a) some (but not all) transmitters use a wider range of frequencies for Freeview than for analogue and, for such a transmitter, an aerial optimised for a narrow band (as used for analogue) may be weak for the frequencies used for digital. However, this is no different than the situation that arose when Ch5 was first introduced. Again, in some places, Ch5 was on a frequency so different from the other four, that for good results, a wideband aerial was needed.

    b) digital transmissions are on much lower power than analogue ones, so you may need a more sensitive aerial.

    As jpgreenwood says, if you get poor or patchy results, the next thing to do is consult a good local aerial contractor. They will have the local knowledge and experience to provide you with the right solution for you and your location.
     
  8. Bat-man

    Bat-man
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    I live in an area where Freeview is 'officially' not available.
    I am using the arial I have had for ages (twenty years or so) and, with a signal amplifier, get a clean signal at around 70% strength.

    Also a question:
    As PVR's record a digital signal, why doesn't my Digifusion have a digital out? (eg HDMI.)
     
  9. chrise

    chrise
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    Perhaps because currently DVB-T does not transmit in high definition (unlikely until after 2012 switch-off) and you would need a new PVR to handle the signal.

    In anycase most screens have only one or two HDMI inputs so there cannot be much demand as those inputs will be needed for HD TV sources (eg SkyHD)and HD-DVD players rather than SD equipment.

    If you do need to tidy up the cabling you can invest in a amp or video processor that can upscale the signal and then use that to switch the signal to a single HDMI ouput from there but whether the picture would be improved depends on the hardware.

    Regards
     
  10. father alice

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    Me too!!

    Using a bog standard 8 element aerial, and a MHA which has been up for 20 years, I get 80% + on all muxes - again in a non reception area.

    The advice is always to try it and see - a cheap box is only £25, if you can't borrow one.

    Also, check wolfbane - as this seems to give the best indication of what your aerial will recieve.
     

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