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PVR to replace DTH7000 - recommendations?

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by WebReaper, Oct 30, 2005.

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  1. WebReaper

    WebReaper
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    Hi all. :)

    I've currently got a Thomson DTH7000 DVD/PVR jobby, which I've had for a bit over 2 years. It's had its problems, but generally it's been okay. However, a couple of weeks ago it crashed, and since then the HDD is screwed - it'll record about 4-5 hours of stuff and then every time you try to record it fails with an error. I've tried the DTH Explorer software, and reformatted the HDD (not low-level) but it still happens. This, combined with the other annoyances with the unit mean I'm going to replace it (if anyone's interested in it who reckons they can sort the HDD problem, give me a shout).

    So, I'm looking for something new to replace the Thomson. Absolutely essential must-have features are:

    * HDD-based recording with live pause, etc.
    * DVD player (ideally that can play AVIs/DivX etc directly, as I download a lot of stuff from UKNova).
    * Works reliably (i.e., records when I tell it to, doesn't 'lose' programmes).
    * Simple to operate, so my techno-phobic wife can watch/record stuff.

    Important features which I'd ideally like:

    * The ability to archive stuff I've recorded, either by burning to DVD-R/RW, or ideally by copying it off the HDD via USB/Ethernet (or, is it possible, wifi?)
    * Some sort of EPG, so setting up recordings is fairly simple. Nothing with a subscription fee though - the teletext-based one on the DTH7000 was nice and free. :)

    Nice-to-have features that I could live without if I had to:

    * Dual-channel, so I can record more than one programme at a time.
    * Freeview digital decoder - I'm in the Scottish Borders, and whilst I can't get digital yet, I'd like to be able to record when it becomes available.

    I've seen the Kiss products, which seem to do a lot of this (including the ethernet, etc) but the reviews seem mixed and the prices high.

    I'm ideally looking to spend less than £300, but I don't know if it's possible. So what should I consider (or what should I buy?). Oh, and I think the ideal solution for me is a media centre PC which I could hook into my wifi LAN, but I think getting one that's quiet enough to run in the lounge would be far too expensive.....

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. WebReaper

    WebReaper
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    Just as a follow up, I've seen the Kiss box (http://***********/6eov8) and I've seen the Reelbox, and both look excellent and appear to tick many of my boxes. Any reasons why I should or shouldn't go for either of these units?
     
  3. Cyril

    Cyril
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    I don't see why not if you have the cash as they are pricey! I will get one myself when the price drops somewhat.
     
  4. WebReaper

    WebReaper
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    I figure the Kiss DP-558 is the one to go for. I'll get the 80Gb version, and spend some of the extra £100 (when compared to the 200Gb version) on a wireless access point so I can connect to it over my wifi LAN. That way I can make the most of the 0.6Tb of storage on my server to archive stuff off.

    What I want to find out though is whether anyone's actually bought/tried one of these Kiss units, and if so what's the feedback like?!
     
  5. Cyril

    Cyril
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  6. WebReaper

    WebReaper
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    Hey, I'm a software developer, so deal with crashes all the time. ;)

    That's why I'm trying to find people who actually own one though, to find out whether the new firmware updates are improving the reliability. I don't mind so much if it crashes now and again, as long as it doesn't lose programmes.

    I know it doesn't record DVDs, but given the networking/ftp ability that's not an issue, I'll just archive stuff off to my server and potentially burn it to DVD there.
     
  7. WebReaper

    WebReaper
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    Having just found this forum: http://***********/a5eyj I'm now backing away from the KiSS unit (in fact, I've scratched it from my list). Apparently it can't record from the TV at the same time as playing a DVD. what the fudge?!?!?!
     
  8. Cyril

    Cyril
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    As is the case with many so-called PVR products the software is still in its infancy.

    If you hadn't guessed, I also write software for a living.

    ReplayTV and TiVo have the best PVR software right now, with Windows MCE coming close. Freevo, MythTV, Snapstream and the others are catching up too.

    I guess Sky+ and Topfield will catch up in 5 to 10 years time, and the others Kiss, humax(non-TiVo), Pace, Digifusion another 6 to 12 years time.
     
  9. WebReaper

    WebReaper
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    So, what the hell do I buy then? I can't see myself getting a WM PC set up for less than £600. What a PITA.
     
  10. Cyril

    Cyril
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    A TiVo and a seperate cheapish DVD DivX player or another Thomson DTH7000 DVD/PVR .

    What you want is not available (yet) for your budget.

    Luckily, my toy budget,sorry, "expenses required for software development" is somewhat large :)
     
  11. WebReaper

    WebReaper
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    What sort of budget do I need then?
     
  12. Cyril

    Cyril
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    I'd say 700 to 1000 for a HTPC or WM PC with twin Freeview.

    Or 450 to 600 for a networked TiVo, 150 for a DiVX player or another Thomson DTH 7000, 50 quid for a newish Freeview STB which is TiVo supported. So 650 to 800 total.
     
  13. WebReaper

    WebReaper
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    Somebody suggested the Topfield TF5000. It's only USB instead of Ethernet, but it sounds like that might do the trick.

    Anyone got one?
     
  14. WebReaper

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    D'uh. Just realised the Topfield is digital only.

    Looks like what I need just isn't currently available. What a PITA. I've managed to get the DTH7000 working somewhat, so I'll just stick with that for the moment and see if anything's changed in the next few months.
     

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