Nokia 221T

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by bobones, Jan 23, 2003.

  1. bobones

    bobones
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    Does anyone know who has stock of the 221T? Are they significantly better than the Grundig box that Curry's sell for £99?
     
  2. Costas

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    The 221T is well above all £99 other offerings in terms of performance, quality and features. Unfortunately most of the big chain shops tend to offer one box this week another next week.
    Try www.brymar.co.uk and www.satelliteshop.uk as alternatives.
    If you buy one, be aware that a software upgrade will happen on January 31st and will be available for download until the 3rd of Feb.
     
  3. bobones

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    Oh well. I've just bought a Thomson DTI1000 from Miller Bros because they said I could return it if it didn't work with my communal aerial. It has 2 scarts, analogue audio out and RF loop through. I do think it looks a bit prettier than most of the others I've seen.
     
  4. bobones

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    I've now had a chance to try out my box. Better results than I expected with my communal aerial, but I don't get good reception on muxes 2 and A (ITV and channel 5).

    I bought a signal booster hoping it would improve things, but it appears to have made no difference at all. I have also bought an indoor aerial, but haven't had the chance to try it out. Any tips for aligning the indoor aerial?

    Finally, is there a chance that the Nokia 221T will give me good pictures from the muxes that are marginal on my Thompson DTI1000?
     
  5. avanzato

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    I have the Grundig GDT1000 which is the earlier model to your Thomson. AFAIK these boxes are quite good in marginal signal areas and I don't think the Nokia will be any better.

    The signal to my house isn't too strong and the bit error rates are in the yellow to red area on the metre. Still I only get breakup occasionally when a car drives past or someone switches on a flourescent light.

    It might be that the communal aerial isn't of the correct band to pick up the mux's that you are having problems with.

    I've read of people having success with a set top aerial when the roof one doesn't. I think you just point it in the same direction as all the other aerials in the street but I'm not an expert.

    Setpal claim that their box works well in a low signal area but I couldn't find one for sale anywhere.

    Mat
     
  6. Costas

    Costas
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    Although I have an extrenal aerial, the area where I live is not even officially considered as capable of receiving digital terrestrial. My post code is just outside the 70% of UK that it is covered. The old Nokia ON Digital box was struggling with many channels. The new Nokia 221T has been a pleasant surprise. The tuner seems to be picking up every and the picture will very rarely break or freeze. I have actually seen two reviews mentioning its strength with weak signals.

    The 221T has also Digital audio out in addition to standard stereo outputs.

    In my opinion it will be hard to improve with an internal aerial except if you have a very strong signal. Some aerials incorporating boosters for digital reception might just do it.
    If you know anyone near you that has a 221T you may want see if you can borrow to try. Perhaps returning the Thomson could be the solution if the 221T works like in my case.
     
  7. bobones

    bobones
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    I now have a Nokia 221T in my possession. I have yet to try it out, but if it's better than the Thomson, then the Thompson will either go back to Miller Bros or I'll sell it to my girlfriend.

    I'm learning about this DTT all the time. It seems the MUXes I have problems with are both 64 QAM, whereas I get no problems with the 16 QAM MUXs. I think this is quite a common problem and we'd all be better off if these muxes were changed to use the more robust 16 QAM scheme. The problem with that is that fewer channels can be transmitted in 16 QAM and, as ITV have only one MUX, they're reluctant to change.

    Here's hoping the 221T will get better results from the 64 QAM MUXs (but I doubt it).
     
  8. Costas

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    You are correct about the QAM levels. Anyway you may find out that the Nokia 221T improves things a little bit....let us know!
     
  9. bobones

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    Well, on first tests the 221T doesn't appear to improve reception on the 2 64 QAM muxes I have problems with. I haven't spent a lot of time comparing the two boxes, but there definitely isn't the major improvement I might have hoped for: ITV and Channel4 are almost watchable, but with blips every 20-30 seconds; however, Channel 5 and QVC squirm and swarm under constant digital noise.

    All in all, I can't say I'm overly impressed by the Nokia box. It's a huge, ugly beast compared to the Thomson, and won't stack on top of my dvd player because it's so deep. The build quality is plasticy compared to the DTI1000, which has a unobtrusive metal case, shaped not unlike a 5 port network hub or switch and around the same size.

    The Nokia is considerably more expensive than the Thomson (around £40-50 more), and to me the extra features don't justify the cost. I could easily live without digital auto out, RF modulation and the games. The Nokia navi system is easy enough to use, but I really do prefer the tv guide on the Thomson where you can see a minature picture of what's on the selected channel as you browse. The Nokia has further additional features to do with possible subscription channels, but how useful they will be remains to be seen.

    I can't say I prefer one remote to the other. I'll end up using my pronto anyway. However, channel switching seems to be more positive and quicker on the Thomson, while the Nokia gives you the impression that your keyclicks are being lost somewhere. One really annoying thing I've noticed is that the Nokia always makes the screen flash a couple of seconds after a channel is changed or the navi menu is switched off. Hopefully this flaw will be fixed with the coming software update. If subtitles are important, then it's worth noting that the Nokia has a button to switch them on, but the Thomson requires some navigation through its menu to enable them.

    Both machines seem reasonably stable, but the Nokia more so. I haven't needed to reset the 221T at all, but I've locked up the Thomson a couple of times by moving too quickly through the channel guide.

    In summary, I'd say these were both good quality STBs but I'd give my vote to the DTI1000 for it's size, looks and nice program guide facility.
     
  10. Costas

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    Good review bobones. For me the only thing I do not like about the Nokia is the box shape / style. At the end one can do his choice having evaluated both like in your case. It is unfortunate that your fundamental problem remains. Are you considering to do any anything on the aerial front?
     
  11. bobones

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    Hi Costas, I'm really in the hands of my building's factors when it comes to the aerial. I live in Glasgow where I can pick up signals from Black Hill and Darvel. Our aerial is currently directed at Darvel which is a much lower powered transmitter than Black Hill. The only advantage I can see is that the same narrow band aerial used for analogue is capable of picking up all MUXs from the Darvel transmitter, whereas a wideband aerial is needed for digital from Black Hill. It may be simply that a larger aerial and better head end amplifier will improve things enough to get decent reception from the 64 QAM muxes from Darvel. Then again, we may be better off retuning every thing over to the Black Hill transmitter. I guess my next move is to write to my factor (a housing assoc) and request information regarding the current specification of the aerial and cabling and seeing what our options are. Many thanks for your advice in this thread.
     
  12. bobones

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    Just thought I'd follow up my initial comparison of the DTI1000 and 221T now that I've had a bit more time with both machines.

    Firstly, contrary to my initial impressions, it seems the Nokia does indeed pull in the ITV channels better than the Thomson as picture and sound breakup is much less frequent and disrupting; so much so that these channels are more or less watchable. Channels on the other 64 QAM mux are still pretty much unwatchable. (Has the 3db power increase on that mux taken place yet?)

    Also, my main gripes with the Nokia have been fixed in the software upgrade: widescreen switching bugs and screen flashes are gone.

    The upgrade also changed the default on the navi bars to non-icon mode and dropped the Free TV and Free Radio bars making the concept much more appealing. I've now set up several channel lists (All Active, Main, News, Music, Documentary, Info, Light, Childrens) and I've grown to love channel surfing with this feature. (Pity you can't do anything with the radio lists though and I know this separation into tv and radio causes tivo owners nightmares). Some sort of mini - picture of the current program will browsing the navi bars (like the DTI1000's program guide) would be a nice feature here.

    On the downside, I still get the occasional MHEG related crash where pulling the power cable is required to get it working again, but I can live with that.

    So finally, it seems the 221T is at last showing its true colours, and it looks as though my girlfriend will be getting the Thomson, ( which is still a great little box in its own right).
     
  13. Costas

    Costas
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    Glad to hear the better news on the 221T. This is in line with my experience where the move from the old On Digital Nokia box to the 221T had a major improvement on reception. As you recall I am in a relatively weak signal area on the country map. Furthermore, and since your last update, my neighbour has changed from the Panasonic to the 221T and can now see Ch4, ITV and Ch5.. I think we got enough good evidence to say the Nokia 221T is the winner :clap: !
     
  14. BigAde

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    Bobones - seeing as you have had experience of both the Nokia 221T and the Thomson DTI1000, you seem to be the best person to ask....

    Apart from the extra 'features' that the Nokia offers (which to me don't justify the extra cost and bulk of the unit), is there and discernable difference in picture and sound quality between the Thomson and Nokia boxes? I live in a strong signal area, so I doubt I will benefit from the extra sensitivity of the Nokia box.

    Also, if there any use for the digital out from the Nokia, when (I believe) there will only ever be stereo out for digital terrestial?
     
  15. bobones

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    Big Ade, I would say that both boxes perform equally well in terms of picture and sound quality. I have connected the digital audio out from the Nokia but I prefer the analogue sound as it seems lesh harsh and silibant. I don't really see any real benefit over the analogue audio outputs of the Thomson.

    My main gripe about the Thomson is that it does tend to fall over whenever you switch channels rapidly (with or without the tv guide). Hopefully this will be fixed in the software update of Feb 10.
     
  16. BigAde

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    Thanks bobones.... (again!) :smashin:
    I think that's convinced me... if I can get the Thomson for £82, I can hardly justify another £50-60 for the Nokia if the picture quality isn't any better...

    Even if I have to upgrade the Thomson after a while, don't think I can go to far wrong at that price. Thanks again. :)
     
  17. Costas

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    I agree on the digital output performance on the 221T. However, this is not related to the receiver but to the limited bandwidth of transmission. The broadcaters are aware and hopefully they will improve. People who bought just new digital radios for the home and cars have similar problem ... they have strongly probed BBC and et al!

    As mentioned before, there is a matter of personal preference. However the Nokia spec on the 221T is the best spec available and mostly justifies the higher price... If it olny looked a little better..ha!
     
  18. BigAde

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    Best spec or not, if I can't see or hear the difference for the moment, it don't make no difference to me! Seriously though I take your point, but I'm sure the technology is going to move on in the next year or two and I'll want to upgrade the box by then anyway. Maybe if the Nokia was slightly more gainly in appearance I could consider it! :D
     
  19. headache

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    This is a great thread. Do you guys have any comments on setting the boxes up for VCR. Are they a pain (or not) and is one better than the other in this respect?

    Thanks in anticipation for the info.
     
  20. Costas

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    I am not sure about the Thomson (but bobones will tell you).
    The Nokia does has two SCART sockets TV and VCR, so it is extremely simple to use. No issue at all. You could be watching digital and recording an analog channel and vice versa.
     
  21. w3dal

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    Hi,

    I have borrowed a Thompson 1000 unit for the weekend off i chum and it seems to be working well, this one also crashes when you flick between channels quickly, although since i did a re-install of the channels it seems to of fixed this.

    Im still not sure whether tio purchase the Nokia box or buy one of the 99 pund jobbies.

    I dont think much of the TV guide on the Thompson i seen the Panasonic and Nokia menus/guides and they look much better.

    Iam also out of the FREEVIEW aera but i seem to pick up everything, and so i need to decide on which box.

    Has anyone used the Panasonic box???

    The Nokia does look ugly, but it seems to have a better menu system than the Thompson.

    Dal :rolleyes:
     

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