PVR for £100

GavMJM

Novice Member
Hi,

First things first, many apologies for asking something that has no doubt been asked before.

So, I'll keep it short and to the chase.

Is there a decent twin-tuner Freeview PVR for £100 or thereabouts? Features and storage aren't big concerns, ease of use and stability are.

Also, I did have a look around for some Freesat PVRs, there only seems to be one, and that's the beefy HD one @ £300, is this true?

Many Thanks,

Gav
 
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clemenzina

Active Member
I think there is only the one Freesat model, reckon it's best to wait for "development".

For your basic Freeview twin-tuner PVR, there seems to be a lull in the market, nothing new and interesting emerging :( If you have an Argos, get whatever Vestel they have in stock except TopUp TV, which are different from the standard Vestels and not as good (it seems that no TUTV models are much good).

This is the forum for Vestel advice:

Digihome - Digital Spy Forums

Argos's stock was very low, nil on some models, when I last checked. You're looking for Digihome, Hitachi, Sharp, (some) Wharfedale - pick what you're interested in and then ask on that forum if it fits the bill.

Otherwise, try this Humax refurb, direct from manuf and with guarantee:

Buy Humax Products Direct from HUMAX - LCD TV - Digital TV - PVR TV - DTR TV - Flat Screen TV - Flat TV - PVR - tv recorder - Personal video recorder - video - television - LGB - DZT - DTT :HUMAX DIRECT Ltd:

I hate Humax because of bad features which they won't amend, but others LOVE them.

parthena
 

GavMJM

Novice Member
What do you mean by bad-features?

All I want in one is something that can be used by 'n00bs'.

Thanks
 

creddish

Novice Member
What do you mean by bad-features?

All I want in one is something that can be used by 'n00bs'.

Thanks
Humax PVRs are not the easiest units to use. The Humax is let down by poor location of frequently used buttons on the Remote Control. The Timebar functionality is very useful but it is not simple and intuitive to use. It's very easy to press the Play button inadvertently whilst the Timebar is still displayed during Playback after a previous action and find you are dumped back to the start of the programme. Generally the user interface lacks helpful prompts on actions that are available in the various screens. Other PVRs noteably those made by Vestel (excluding the Top Up TV versions as Clemenzina said) are much easier learn how to use IMO. The Humax has a very pretty looking Manual but it is very badly written.

Colin
 

Bayden Rank

Novice Member
I agree with some of the adverse comments made regarding Humax controls but this Klutz and his wife have managed to sort out all we need out of the capabilities after less than a week. In other words we can record - play back - skip adverts and everything else that we need for our enjoyment. The firmware updates were downloaded whilst we were asleep so no annoying fan noise.

I have no doubt that some devices will have some things that are better but this one suits us fine.

Note 1 - we are not technophiles nor technophobes just somewhere inbetween. I was just relieved I did not need to call on my Grandkids to sort it out.

Note 2 - To put that into context I am still discovering what my 'new' mobile phone can do and I bought that in October '08.
 
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GavMJM

Novice Member
creddish, are there any particular models that you'd recommend?

I was under the impression Vestel stuff got rebranded.

Bayden Rank, which Humax box is it that you have please?

Thanks
 

creddish

Novice Member
creddish, are there any particular models that you'd recommend?

Thanks
I hessitate to make any specific recommendations as that depends on what each users requirements are. Personally I want a) a fast reponding user interface, b) accurate Accurate Recording, c) correctly implemented Series Link, d) flexible Skip facilities, e) RF Modulator, f) good range of other user facilities, g) an acceptable level of overall reliability and h) a lowish price.

Unfortunately no single PVR that I have found meets all these requirements to an acceptable level. The Humax 9200 meets most of the above requirements and is more pleasant to use than any others I have used so I use it as my main PVR. But it's poor Accurate Recording performance is not acceptable to me. So to cover for the poor Accurate Recording performance of the Humax I use a Vestel PVR (Wharfedale LP250HDMI) as a back-up to the Humax for important recordings as the Vestel does AR much better than the Humax. It's also useful to have 4 tuners available as I record virtually all the TV programmes we watch.

I met the price criteria by getting a Grade A Humax 9200 from Humaxdirect and the Wharfedale on clearance from Argos. Both were just under £100 each. I would be reluctant to pay the current price for the Humax 9300 particularly as the 9300 lacks the RF Modulator that the 9200 does have.

I was under the impression Vestel stuff got rebranded.
Yes that is correct. Vestel do not supply PVRs directly to the retail market but supply through brand names such as Wharfdale, Digihome, Hitachi, Sharp and other brand names used by particular retailers.

Colin
 

GavMJM

Novice Member
Thanks, all that is very helpful.

The person I'm getting the PVR for needs it to be simple above anything else.

Just an EPG and a record button would be ideal, series link could be used but it's not a priority. Super accurate recording isn't a major priority either, as long as it gets the program in.
 

creddish

Novice Member
Thanks, all that is very helpful.

The person I'm getting the PVR for needs it to be simple above anything else.

Just an EPG and a record button would be ideal, series link could be used but it's not a priority. Super accurate recording isn't a major priority either, as long as it gets the program in.
Having Series Link makes operation much simpler IMO. Setting a complete Series such as the evening soaps (if you watch them ;)) just once and forever saves a lot of effort setting each episode individually. Actually setting Series Record usually involves only one extra button press to choose that option rather than record just the one episode.

Losing the cliffhanger end of a drama programme due to an Accurate Recording error can be very annoying IMO. Also missing the start of some programmes is almost as bad. The problem is you have no idea how much you have missed. On several occasions missing the last minute of one soap episode and the first minute of the following episode has caused the complete loss of the story line leaving one wondering what happened. :mad: .

Colin
 

Bayden Rank

Novice Member
creddish, are there any particular models that you'd recommend?

I was under the impression Vestel stuff got rebranded.

Bayden Rank, which Humax box is it that you have please?

Thanks
We went for the Humax 9300T so I am not sure how the controls compare with the smaller capacity versions.

The only error I tend to make is setting programmes to record when I only meant to look at them in the EPG but have finally realised what I am doing. Saves the awkward moments when asked why I have recorded Sexcetera.

It is the first PVR we have had but find it faster to get where we want than some Freeview set top boxes we have tried. And no worse than the BiL's SKY+ controls though admittedly we only visit occasionally as they are 300+ miles away.
 

Bayden Rank

Novice Member
Having Series Link makes operation much simpler IMO. Setting a complete Series such as the evening soaps (if you watch them ;)) just once and forever saves a lot of effort setting each episode individually. Actually setting Series Record usually involves only one extra button press to choose that option rather than record just the one episode.

Losing the cliffhanger end of a drama programme due to an Accurate Recording error can be very annoying IMO. Also missing the start of some programmes is almost as bad. The problem is you have no idea how much you have missed. On several occasions missing the last minute of one soap episode and the first minute of the following episode has caused the complete loss of the story line leaving one wondering what happened. :mad: .

Colin
Yes the ability to set a series seems quite good. How much of the loss is down to the PVR and how much to the TV station broadcasting it not sending the correct signal?
 

creddish

Novice Member
How much of the loss is down to the PVR and how much to the TV station broadcasting it not sending the correct signal?
Occasionally the broadcasters do get it wrong. But I have compared the recording start and finish times and checked the programme content on the Humax 9200 with my Vestel PVR and that proves conclusively that it is the Humax that gets its wrong. The issues are discussed extensively in the thread here.

Colin
 

hogweed

Banned
I’m stuck at home sick at the moment and have read every thread I can find on these things as I want to buy one. Having spent now 3 days or so driving myself slowly insane, I chanced upon a review somewhere which advised me that PVR’s with Freeview tuners built in can’t record Sky through the SCART socket!!!

Is that TRUE?
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
I’m stuck at home sick at the moment and have read every thread I can find on these things as I want to buy one. Having spent now 3 days or so driving myself slowly insane, I chanced upon a review somewhere which advised me that PVR’s with Freeview tuners built in can’t record Sky through the SCART socket!!!

Is that TRUE?

It's true, they can only record from the internal tuners (unless it's a TIVO)
 

GavMJM

Novice Member
Thank you everyone for your advice.

I've seen the Humax EPG, and I think it's certainly a case of Less = More. It looks so basic, but for what I want it for, this will be perfect.

I'll either be picking up the 9150T, or the 9300T. The TV is HD ready, so if I can get one cheap enough, I'll pick the 9300T, if not, the 9150T is more than adequate.

EDIT: I know this sounds stupid, but when I was googlin' earlier, I decided against the 9200T for some reason, and I can't remember what it was, any ideas? LOL

I also (during my research) discovered the Topfield TF8100, and I think somebody will be buying themselves a new toy :D
 
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clemenzina

Active Member
when I was googlin' earlier, I decided against the 9200T for some reason, and I can't remember what it was, any ideas?
Inaccurate "accurate recording"? Stoopid button placement on too-big remote?

clemenzina
 

GavMJM

Novice Member
That's reason enough.

£145 for the PVR9300T is a bargain as far as I can see, can't see any reason not to buy.

:D
 

creddish

Novice Member
EDIT: I know this sounds stupid, but when I was googlin' earlier, I decided against the 9200T for some reason, and I can't remember what it was, any ideas? LOL
Maybe you decided you wanted the HDMI port, or you prefer the appearance, or the larger Hard Drive (but there is a 9200TBX with a 320GB (or is it 360)). Or maybe you think there is a better chance of getting updates as the 9200 has been phased out of production. Of course there are several things in favout of the 9200.

Colin
 

GavMJM

Novice Member
Ignore above question, that's what you call a late-night question.

I'm going to have a look into the Vestel-based units now, if they're not what I want, it'll be either a 9150T or a 9300T :D
 

creddish

Novice Member
What's better about the 9200T then?
It has an RF Modulator, a working (in a fashion) USB Port. And can be bought from Humaxdirect (Grade A) for £100 as requested by the OP. Subject to limited availability. I'm sure there are other reasons but I forget what they are just now.

Colin
 

creddish

Novice Member
Inaccurate "accurate recording"? Stoopid button placement on too-big remote?

clemenzina
But unfortunately the Accurate Recording problems still exist on the 9300 and 9150. Humax are aware of it so there may be more of a chance of them sorting it out on current units.

Colin
 

GavMJM

Novice Member
Well I can get the 9150T for under £100, so out of the two (9150T and 9200T), the 9150T seems like the more logical choice. I'm not interested in the USB port, or the RF Modulator.
 

clemenzina

Active Member

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