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Nokia or Netgem? (can't watch Pace Twin any longer)

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by Rob100, Apr 20, 2003.

  1. Rob100

    Rob100
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    I know there are numerous threads like this, but I really can't decide which way to go or how much more time I can "waste" on this.

    Basically my experience of Freeview boxes has been poor. I started out with a Panny TUCT20 which has great picture, but the sound is terrible. I watched and waited and bought a Pace Twin within the 1st week of release - great sound, but awful picture.

    So the time has come to return the Pace Twin (and possibly Sky+) and get another Freeview box, but I can't decide between the Netgem or the Nokia. I don't care for the remotes that come with them as I will be using my Pronto, but my top priorities are something like (in this order).

    1) Picture quality
    2) Sound quality
    3) Fast channel change
    4) 2 x Scart
    5) Discrete IR codes, or at least a way to switch it on other than the standby button?

    Can either of these boxes give s-video from the VCR scart? What I really want is RGB and s-video at the same time.

    Thanks,

    Rob.
     
  2. Fernsehman

    Fernsehman
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    The Pace Twin gives an excellent picture so I suspect that your problems are caused by an incompatibility with your TV set. This is quite common so it's important to ensure that you buy a TV set which is compatible with your Digital Receiver in all respects.

    See a demonstration - either in a shop or in a friend's house. It's probably not wise to go on recommendation without seeing/hearing it yourself because everyone has his own perception of what looks/sounds best.

    Be sure to see both RGB and composite pictures and be sure to listen to stereo sound, not just mono.

    Once you've seen/heard a combination that pleases you, buy it as a complete system. If you keep trying the "mix 'n' match" method you are likely to be disappointed.

    Fman
     
  3. Dave Taylor

    Dave Taylor
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    I don't think a lot of Pace twin owners (or Ex-Owners like me) would agree with you.

    There has been a lot of talk about why the Twin has a soft picture, Hardware, Picture Scaling (software) but never compatibility.

    IMHO be it, composite, S-video or RGB you don’t have compatibility problems causing a soft picture.

    My very old Panasonic (13 years) TV had RGB on its scart and my DVD was offset and dark but not soft. I put this down to older TV having RGB for games / computers to plug into not DVD & STB’s

    I have asked the question before, are their different Twins about. Some with a soft picture some without.

    Comments please?

    Add to the list

    1) Picture quality
    2) Sound quality
    3) Fast channel change
    4) 2 x Scart
    5) Discrete IR codes, or at least a way to switch it on other than the standby button?

    + Display on the front showing channel number
     
  4. Rob100

    Rob100
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    My "TV" is a Panny 42PW5 plasma connected to a JS Tech RGB2VGA converter. All my scart cables are QED AV21/41's and my VGA cable is a VD red series.

    I have tried the s-video from the Pace and the picture is "brighter" and possibly less soft (I wouldn't say sharper), but the Twin's pic is bad compared with my ancient Grundig Sky box and terrible compared with the TUCT20.

    Pace even acknowledge there is a problem, but can't confirm if hardware or software. 1) I can't watch crappy pic any longer and 2) I'm not prepared to take the risk of it being hardware and Pace saying "sorry, but that's the way it is".

    Maybe there are different batches of Twins - who knows. Fernsehman - what's the serial on yours - also where made? I'll check mine and post for comparison.

    Rob.
     
  5. Fernsehman

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    I only have a BSKYB2200. I was watching a SKY+ at a friend's house but he lives on the other side of the country and I don't think he'll want to drag it out of his cabinet to read the label.
     
  6. Dave Taylor

    Dave Taylor
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    Fernsehman

    So what Pace Twin are you on about when you state "The Pace Twin gives an excellent picture"

    Do you own one?

    I am confused?
     
  7. Rob100

    Rob100
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    Dave,

    I think Fernsehman is getting confused between the Pace Twin and the Pace Sky+ box??

    Anyway I took the Twin back today and got a Netgem I-player. So far very impressed. PQ is superb and although I haven't done any "side by side" comparisons (yet) with my TUCT20 I'm 99% convinced the Netgem is slightly better.

    Before returning the Twin I did try it on a 14" portable (the only traditional "TV" I have in the house) and it did look okay. One thing I did notice was how "interlaced" the graphics etc were. I know on all boxes they are interlaced, but this looked more "flickery" than normal. The Netgem on the other hand has a very stable picture. Now obviously my Plasma is a progressive display and therefore it has to de-interlace the source, but maybe the more flickery the more problem it is for the Plasma. I'm wondering if those who are unhappy with the Twin's soft PQ all have Plasma's or 100Hz TV's - what are you running?

    One complaint many people seem to have with the 5 series Panny Plasma's is the flicker. Now I personally only see a flicker on a red logo (plus the jagged edge - chroma bug!) or on a solid white background. A couple of months ago I had an iScan Ultra on trial and this obviously made a much better job of de-interlacing that the internal chips as nothing flickered - the picture was rock steady - always. One place to easily and consistently see the red flicker is on Sky News - however this flicker is not seen with the Netgem - rock solid - marvelous :) I have every intention of purchasing an Iscan Ultra in the near future when funds allow, but for now the Netgem makes me very happy.

    Another bonus with the Netgem over the TUCT20 and the Twin is you can wake it by a key other than the standby, so you can do a similar trick (to Sky) to switch on and off with Pronto :)

    If only it had a din s-video socket :-(

    Rob.
     
  8. Dave Taylor

    Dave Taylor
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    Rob

    I have a 32in 50Hz panny 32PK1.

    Lt me know have you get on wth your new STB. Bugs and reliability

    I too have a Pronto and in the same position now I have taken my Twin back.

    I thought if I bought another STB and another VCR i would have a twin (without puse live TV)
     
  9. Rob100

    Rob100
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    Dave,

    Will post again with more thoughts on the Netgem - I guess I need a week of normal use to be conclusive.

    There goes my theory on the 100Hz TV then!

    If you buy a DMR-E30/50 or a HS2 you will have the facility to watch whilst you record. I have owned an E30 for 6 months or so and have had no problems with it. In all very good, but I do find the 2hrs in "standard" recording more to be a little small. I believe in the autumn there will be a new Panny DVD/HDD recorder out to superseed the HS2, supposedly with a bigger HDD and the ability to dub faster than 1x from HDD to DVD-R.

    I think I'm gonna give the Nebula freeview PCI card a go to supplement my recording needs.

    Rob.
     
  10. sirjohnofbalham

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    I have to agree with Rob regarding the picture quality of the Twin. On my Panasonic 4 plasma, the picture is very blurry and out of focus. This is particularly noticeable on close-ups such as a newsreader's face. I compared the Twin with a Pace NTL cable box and the cable won hands down. I am taking the Twin back for a refund.
     
  11. Fernsehman

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    Sorry, yes, I saw "SKY+" immediately after "Pace" and my brain went into automatic (or possibly into alzheimer mode!)
    Just ignore me. Everyone else does. :(

    Fman
     
  12. MAW

    MAW
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    We use the nokia box with the panny 5, JS VGA box etc, and have no complaints. It turns on with any channel number, if that helps anyone, but of course switches channels! If I find another way I'll post. The dig. sound out is the best bit, RGB pass through is hit or miss, depends on what you are passing through. Ours don't like Sony DVD players...
     
  13. gvh

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    I have the old Nokia box and the picture is fantastic. I use the spdif output to get excellent sound from my Arcam AVR100 (the only reason I went for the Nokia). Toy Story on the weekend looked close to dvd. Shame its so slow to respond to the remote, no idea if the new one is any better.
     
  14. MAW

    MAW
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    Ours is reasonable on the remote, not really slower than a pace 2000 cable stb.
     
  15. Wayne Moule

    Wayne Moule
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  16. Rob100

    Rob100
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    Dave,

    After a couple of weeks use I have to say the Netgem is superb. The only complaint that I did have is that the text (EPG etc) was a little blurry looking on my Plasma, but there was a software update (d/l over internet - no waiting for OTA) at the end of last week and they have changed the font and it's fine now. They also added many new features - USB ethernet support, USB HDD for viewing pics etc, VCR timer, plus lots lots more... Also digital text on BBC1 is lightening fast now...

    All in all I have to recommend the Netgem.

    Rob.
     

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