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Pace Twin has arrived !!!

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by iwatkins, Mar 28, 2003.

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  1. iwatkins

    iwatkins
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    :clap: It's here.

    I'll get some photos up this afternoon and try and write some words later. But for now, I'm off to play.

    Cheers

    Ian
     
  2. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Cool.

    Hope it's great!:smashin:
     
  3. iwatkins

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    Yep, tis very cool :smoke:

    Right, took about 10 minutes to set up, mainly climbing over furniture to hook up cables.

    Anyway, is all in and working exactly as it says on the tin. Channel changing is fast and the recorder works. That is as far as I've got so far. One thing to note, it is very quiet even when recording. You can only just hear the disc is you put your head right next to the box.

    So, piccies below:

    What is in the box ?

    The remote

    The Twin

    Front of the Twin

    Back of the Twin

    Twin on TV rack

    Twin internals 1

    Twin internals 2

    Twin internals 3

    Twin Hard Disc (Fujitsu MHS2020AT)

    Link to Fujitsu site listing disc

    Cheers

    Ian
     
  4. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    That looks nice!!! I think your a brave man for whipping the case off so soon.
    I just wish it wasn't £350quid
    Let us know if you think its worth it.
     
  5. James45

    James45
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    just out of interest (sorry I know nothing about digital tv or STBs) but what's the card slot for if its freeview?
     
  6. leeb

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    Nice photos Ian, thanks.

    I noticed on the Fujitsu site that the difference in price between the 20gb and 40gb drive is just £30 inc VAT! Probably would be less if Pace bought in bulk so I'm very disappointed that they stuck with the 20gb drive. The small drive is the only thing putting me off buying the Pace. Will be interesting to see if it is possible to simply stick in a higher capacity drive, I'm sure someone will try it soon enough!
     
  7. sanderton

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    How is the IDE cable attached at the MoBo end? Would it be possible to add a second disk if you could get a double lead? The software might not support it I suppose.
     
  8. iwatkins

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    hornydragon,
    Doesn't everybody whip the cover off before they first plug it in ? No ? I must be a geek ;) Currently I reckon it is worth £350 (mainly because I've just paid that and hence am biased). But give me a few days and I'll probably revise that as the "Bought new box guilt" sets in.

    James,
    The slot is there just in case there ever becomes Pay channels available on the FreeView system.

    LeeB,
    I'm awaiting some more info. from Fujitsu with regards to the same disc but at 60Gb, which is currently listed out of stock. In theory you should plug the bigger disc in in place of the current one and it should work. It is whether Pace have written the software to handle anything bigger than 20Gb. I may take the risk anyway as my work laptop could do with a bigger hard disc anyway. If it works, great, if it doesn't I'm not left with a disc I can't use. The only other thing I can think which would stop it working is if the disc is specially formatted, but I feel that is unlikely.

    sanderton
    The Mobo end is a standard looking laptop IDE connector like the disc end. I also wondered whether a twin disc setup would work, plenty of space in the case. The only potential other problem other than the software not seeing it is whether there is also enough power available to spin up two discs.

    Cheers

    Ian
     
  9. Gordon A

    Gordon A
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    Couldn't help but notice the small blobs of red on the screws attaching the HDD! Obviously don't want you tinkering if you want to keep warranty intact!!
     
  10. cybersoga

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    Nice, i'm tempted to get one too (although I have the 221T & nebula digitv already!), if they get them in at john lewis i might not be able to stop myself...
     
  11. cybersoga

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    does it support digital text out the box?
     
  12. MartinImber

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    I WANT ONE
     
  13. Richard46

    Richard46
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    My Twin also arrived this am.

    Like Ian it seems to do what it says on the twin. No time yet to mess about with it. Just unplugged my old Pace ITV Digital box and replaced it with the Twin.

    Had assumed it would be bigger, its exactlly the same size. Picture seems darker but no problem. Sounds better, just my imajination probably. Only connected stereo tonight, will try it through ProLogic amp in the morning. Very simple to use, hardly had to look at the manual. Delighted so far.
    Remote is obviously sourced from same place as the Arcam DV88 remote. Very nice but I will not be using it once I have used it to teach my Arcam learning remote.


    Regards Richard
     
  14. rob@rar.org.uk

    rob@rar.org.uk
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    Ian or Richard, could you measure the size of the unit. Want to check it will fit into my cupboard.

    Regards

    Rob
     
  15. installer09

    installer09
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    Mines coming on monday £240 + vat trade price . How much is a mint condition Sky+ box worth? going to be selling mine.
     
  16. Richard46

    Richard46
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    Rob

    Its

    · Unit size: 65mm x 270mm x 355mm

    Which is on the pace site

    http://www.pacefreetoview.co.uk/02d.asp

    have checked it against my box, you will need more than 270mm (the depth) to accomodate connections possibly.

    Regards Richard
     
  17. simon1

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    Great pics, Ian - would love to see some screen shots.

    Seems like a quality piece of kit.

    Nice to see digital audio out.
     
  18. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Can you record via S-video and/or composite out from one tuner to a VCR and onto the HD from the other tuner simultaneosuly?

    Also..

    I believe it can't record IN via the scart, but does that mean no RGB loopthru?

    Thanks
     
  19. iwatkins

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    Only one problem found so far. You get an "All Channels" list that has everything it could find. So you get "CH 14, FourText, NTL" etc. which gets in the way of fast channel flicking. You can delete any channel from the "All Channels" list but after being on standby for a while *some* of them reappear :confused:

    No great shakes as you can set up your own channel lists and these work fine. Got my own list, missus has her own too.

    The digital optical link works fine, got that hooked up to my amp. and we watched some "World Music" Awards thingy on BBC Four tonight. The sound was just excellent using PLII, we were engrossed.

    The box also successfully recorded Coronation Steet and Eastenders for the missus while we were out this evening and the pause live TV works fine (needed a tea break during Friends and couldn't wait until the ads)

    cybersoga ,
    Come on, just do it, you know you want to ;) I didn't have a Freeview box on the TV before, but already had the DigiTv. Best of both worlds.

    No Digital text yet, firmware upgrade over the air due in April (apparantly).

    Richard46
    Nice isn't it ? :D

    simon1
    Screen shots, erm, I'll give it a go. Digital audio works, see above. Sounds great.

    Kevo
    I'll have to look at that. I know you can record to HD from Tuner 2 while watching/recording something on Tuner 1 via SCART 1 (to TV, VCR etc.). As to the usage of S-Video or Compo, I'll take a look once I find my bag of cables (buried in the garage somewhere) and once I've read the manual properly. ;)

    Someone else asked me about loop through. I don't know as I'm hooking it up as TWIN SCART 1 (RGB) > DVD (which has RGB loop through) > TV SCART AV1 (RGB). TWIN SCART 2 is currently not connected to anything, but will be connected to my VCR. TWIN SCART 2 is defo not RGB.

    The manual suggests that both SCARTs are used for output only, no mention of loop through and certainly no mention of inputing a source to be recorded to the HD (which I don't think is possible anyway).

    Cheers

    Ian
     
  20. cybersoga

    cybersoga
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    I very much doubt you will be able to record from other sources, because that would mean they would have had to included a anologue to digital converter and mpeg encoder on board, which wouldn't be needed for the main function of the box - and you guessed it those parts arn't free... the simple way that the Pace digital recorder works (without any anologue conversion until it's output) means that it should be cheap to make compared with Tivo, and you should get perfect digital recordings that are indistinguisable from live broadcasts, similar to using the Nebula DigiTV or Hauppage Nova-T in a PC.
     
  21. Dave Taylor

    Dave Taylor
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    Thanks for the images and details, can you tell me your opinion on how noisy the HDD is.
     
  22. cybersoga

    cybersoga
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    I wonder if the serial port can be used to access the files on the HDD, even though it's going to be a slow way of doing it... Would have been nice if it had some sort of high speed interface to connect it to a pc...
     
  23. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Any chance you'd be doing a power buy at that price???


    Go on you know you want to;)
     
  24. Richard46

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    Dave

    With the volume off and my ear against the box, I think I heard a click as the HD started to record, after that I am not sure I could hear anything at all.
    Regards Richard;)
     
  25. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    I think the card slot is so that the receiver can be sold in other DVB-T countries that may be running with conditional access / subscription services. I suspect the box has been designed for sale across Europe (and possibly further afield) so has to be quite flexible, and able to cope with encryption as it might be used in other territories?

    (In other words the receiver is not just built for the UK Freeview service.)

    However in the UK it does seem unlikely that ITV/C4 or SDN/C5 will launch any DTT encrypted services. The Beeb can't and Crown Castle, who operate the other two Freeview muxes would have to go back to the ITC to do this. (And have no interest in doing so...)
     
  26. James45

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    installer, I second a powerbuy request at those prices!! Please!:D
     
  27. iwatkins

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    I've checked my laptop can run the 60GB version of the hard disk, so if it doesn't work in the Twin I can use it in my laptop. So, I've ordered a 60GB disk this evening so I'll be able to report back in a few days if it works in the Twin OK.

    Update on usage: Missus has worked it all out now, without reading the manual. I.e. press all the buttons and see what happens ;)

    Nothing else to add really. It just works, no tweaking or fiddling necessary.

    Cheers

    Ian
     
  28. Dave Taylor

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    Ian

    I was sent a technical review of this unit a month ago and I remember reading that when a new drive is fitted the unit reinitialises itself, suggesting that there should be no problem in upgrading the HDD.

    I will try and find the review to confirm this.

    PS what is the approx cost of a 60G HDD as I am expecting my Twin next week.
     
  29. iwatkins

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    Dave,

    Yes, the disk is initialised at startup and can be done again at any time. So in theory a larger disc should be OK.

    Only two potential problems:

    1) The firmware can only reference 20GB of disc space. This I feel is unlikely. I also think it is unlikely that the firmware has actually been "told" how big the disc is as it actually reads the disk to see how many minutes are left. On an empty disk this is 10 hours, 18 minutes, not 10 hours exactly. Sounds like it is actually checking to me (he says hopefully).

    2) That the disk installed at factory has some special formatting. Again, I feel this is unlikely as it would make support issues more difficult for Pace.

    The disc I've ordered is from the exact same range by Fujitsu, but 60GB. Electrically (load etc.), it should look to the system the same as the 20GB disk, just bigger.

    I've ordered it from Dabs at £167.

    Cheers

    Ian
     
  30. swarrans

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    Oh God, another piece of electrical kit I "have to have"!
    How does the picture quality compare to Sky and Tivo? I have to say that although I love my Tivo, two things irritate me about it - 1) slightly poorer picture quality due to MPEG encoding and 2) I can't use the digital sound connection from my Sony Sky box because of the lip sync problem, also caused by the encoding.

    I presume the Pace box won't suffer from either of these problems, so I can feel a purchase coming on!
    Now I need to look at eBay about selling my 2 month old Tivo!

    Simon
     

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