1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Reccomend me a Freeview Box for under £100

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by 9761, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. 9761

    9761
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    499
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +2
    Hi, :lease:

    Want a nice freeview box to go in my room and to use it with my Toshiba 32ZP48P TV.
    It needs to have a good picture and sound, Optical port on the back and must be horizontal shape casing (something like the sony but horizontaly).

    Any ideas?

    Oh and if I found a Freeview box that can output component would I get a better picture than a RGB scart picture?

    Thanks
     
  2. Maff et1

    Maff et1
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    The sony has a removable stand, it can lie flat fine.

    Component doesn't give an improvement unless it's prog scan and the de-interlacer in the STB is better than the display.

    AFAIK there are no Freeview boxes with prog scan, a few do have component (my Topfield 5800 PVR does for one), but unless the signal handling for component is better than RGB in your TV it won't make a difference.
     
  3. MartinImber

    MartinImber
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Worcester
    Ratings:
    +21
  4. 9761

    9761
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    499
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +2
    That looks very nice, can anyone tell me what the Pace twin STB picture quality is like and is it as fast as the sony?

    Oh and what does the (puma) part mean :confused: ?

    Thanks
     
  5. Richard46

    Richard46
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,796
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London E7 UK
    Ratings:
    +120
    The Pace Twin is/was the first Freeview stb with a hard drive. It has an excellent epg and menu layout (still perhaps the best). It has a reputation for being unreliable; although mine is now totally reliable.(I have had one for over two years). Picture quality is fine. Do not know how its speed compares with Sony or why it is sometimes called the PUMA. I do not think anyone does. It records about 10 hours of TV which is considerably less than recent PVR's but infinitelly more than stb's that do not have a hard disk at all. :)

    Richard
     
  6. MartinImber

    MartinImber
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Worcester
    Ratings:
    +21
    Usability is first class, quality is almost as good as my IDTV tuner - probably because it is not using Scart but is soldered to the main chassis board!

    Reliability is quite good.

    Connectivity is excellent.

    It was £350 2 years ago
     
  7. 9761

    9761
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    499
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +2
    Hmmm does look nice, is that a top up TV slot on it?
     
  8. Starburst

    Starburst
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    17,838
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Ilkeston
    Ratings:
    +979





    PACE have "nicknames" for their products, PUMA was the one chosen for a class of STB's with digital tuner/s with or without hard drive recording. PUMA2 I believe was for dual tuner products with an integrated hard drive while the baseline PUMA just had twin digital tuners.
     
  9. MartinImber

    MartinImber
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Worcester
    Ratings:
    +21
    Not titsup - but that will go bust eventually
     
  10. Richard46

    Richard46
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,796
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London E7 UK
    Ratings:
    +120
    I never heard of that. did they actually make a model with twin tuners but no hard drive? The Twin (which has two tuners; obviously; and a hard drive) is somtimes reffered to as the Puma but I never heard it reffered to as the Puma2.
     
  11. 9761

    9761
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    499
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +2
    Does anyone know where the cheapest place to get this from, cheapest ive seen is £115 inc del is that good?
     
  12. BigJonnyBravo

    BigJonnyBravo
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    40
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Worcester
    Ratings:
    +2
    Not sure on the prices now but I paid £180 18 months ago, so it sounds reasonable.

    I'll back up what has been said about PQ.... excellent.
    Mine has crashed probably about half a dozen times over those 18 months.... simple remedy... pull out the plug and turn on again. Worked every time. However this has got better as time has gone on... whether this is as the updates have remedied things as time has passed I'm not sure.

    The hard disk is small by todays standards but I don't record too much and never to keep to its fine by me. I guess it may be an issue if u do record stuff and it takes u a while to get round to watching it.
     
  13. Starburst

    Starburst
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    17,838
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Ilkeston
    Ratings:
    +979



    I recall hearing the name when the exisitence of the DTT unit was just a rumour, not long after SKY+ had been released actually.

    I don't think PACE ever released a twin tuner Freeview box but they do operate in global markets so it's possible that variants of the basic design were sold to other countries and the PUMA name just migrated to the only box they sold in the UK.
     
  14. 9761

    9761
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    499
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +2
    Do you think I will notice any picture and sound improvement than my Goodmans GDB3 STB?

    Its currently connected into Scart socket 1 on my TV (Toshiba 32ZP48P, RGB socket 1) via QED P2110 SQART cable.

    Thanks
     
  15. BigJonnyBravo

    BigJonnyBravo
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    40
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Worcester
    Ratings:
    +2
    hmmmm...... not sure, never having seen the Goodmans GDB3 STB!
    I reckon that if you'll find the hard disk useful it may be worth it, but if not then I reckon probably not... but as previously said thats not based on any real evidence!
     
  16. MartinImber

    MartinImber
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Worcester
    Ratings:
    +21
    The Twin is a joy to use however - the operating system is very well designed
     
  17. MartinImber

    MartinImber
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Worcester
    Ratings:
    +21
    OH and the ability to do recordings IDENTICAL in quality to live broadcasts is brilliant
     
  18. 9761

    9761
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    499
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +2
    Well Thanks guys,

    I will be looking to order one of these this week sometime.

    Thanks
     
  19. LV426

    LV426
    Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    12,754
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Somewhere in South Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +4,908
    I'm sorry to pour cold water on this, but I thought I'd better offer an alternative experience. First up - my Freeview signal is of high quality; I'm pretty well line of sight to Emley Moor about 25 miles away. Other boxes give me 100% glitch free reception.

    BUT: The twin creates it's own glitches. Despite having partly dismantled it and improved the internal earthing, when both tuners are tuned to the same mux, they will interfere with one another and massive increases in the bit error rate are the result.

    I'd echo the comments on the User Interface - it is good. And when it's behaving, the received and recorded PQ is excellent. But, I'd say - you simply can't rely on it.

    A recording may be perfect. Most are.
    Or - it may have massive glitches in it (see above)
    Or - worse still - whilst it was recording, it may well have hung, meaning it has continued to record, filling up the HDD. The only way to recover is to disconnect power. This act renders the said recording unwatchable, so the only thing you can do is delete it.

    Overall - unreliable junk.
     
  20. NX3

    NX3
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Messages:
    3,488
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Ratings:
    +332
    I'd recomment the Sony, it is designed to be vertical or horizontal. Its a well made box, nice menus, fast interactive, fast channel changing and Sony do updates to the software until quite a few other well known brands.
     
  21. MartinImber

    MartinImber
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Worcester
    Ratings:
    +21
    I tend to get one lockup a year, except for May 04 software which just did not work

    If you get a reliable one they are great - most of them are!
     
  22. 9761

    9761
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    499
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +2
    Oh dear, all these problems are tempting me not to go for one now :(

    But it just looks soo cool and that I just may have to order one :p
     
  23. LV426

    LV426
    Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    12,754
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Somewhere in South Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +4,908
    If you can stretch your budget, you may find a Dixons or Currys with the original Humax 40gb box on sale. They are reduced as Humax have reworked it with a bigger HDD. So the old 40gb ones are about GBP120 IIRC. Now these are very basic, single tuner, but are nigh on 100% reliable.
     
  24. Richard46

    Richard46
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,796
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London E7 UK
    Ratings:
    +120
    I am not reccommending you to get a Pace Twin but at this price point these seem to be the options.

    1 a single tuner STB. Admittedly at this price you can get the best but at the end of the day how much can an ordinary STB do whatever it costs.

    2 A Pace Twin; With 2 tuners and an admittedly very small hard disk. It is long in the tooth but most of them are not complete junk; mine has perhaps lost a dozen recordings (max) in the last 2+ years. Not perfect but compared with something that does not record at all; its not a difficult decision IMO. You may get a dodgy one of course but that applies to any piece of kit.

    Increasing the budget would complicate things a lot of course. With your criteria (a freeview box under £100) the twin has got to be a contender if they are going for that kind of money.

    Richard
     
  25. MartinImber

    MartinImber
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Worcester
    Ratings:
    +21
    As a Twin owner for over 2 years I can state what the reliability is like.

    I have had a couple of power off lock ups but not recently May 04 was rubbish, October 03 and Late 04 were both reliable.

    How to increase reliability

    Make sure it has free air flow.

    Use a clean power supply (even one of those 6 way blocks with filters in)

    Allow the unit to do what it wants - ie don't go press press press - do press - function - press - function. Mad button pressing can confuse it.

    Do not leave it recording with tuner 1 on ITV/C4 ect or SDN multiplexes - both are dodgy with EPG data which the Twin uses when recording. I find BBC1, 2, News24 are all good channels to leave it on.

    Most lockups are due to my wife turning it off when on ITV rather than BBC

    The usability of the Twin is the best of the PVRs it is very user friendly and well featured.

    I will be buying one of these £100 recorders when they are relisted.
     
  26. 9761

    9761
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    499
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +2
    one thing I need to ask before I order one of these,

    How fast is the menu etc? almost instant would you say?

    Thanks
     
  27. 9761

    9761
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    499
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +2
    Bump ^^^^


    Oh I will be using a IXOS 0.75m RGB Only Scart and a optical cable for this, is that the best I can get from this or is there any better?

    Thanks!
     
  28. LV426

    LV426
    Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    12,754
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Somewhere in South Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +4,908
    When it's behaving itself, the Pace Twin has an excellent and responsive UI and menu. The only thing that's laboriously slow is the EPG, which isn't cached or downloaded overnight, etc. When you first select it (following a switch on) it can take upwards of 10 minutes to fully populate. Turn it off, and you've another long wait the next time.

    When it's behaving itself.............. (which in my experience, is most, but nowhere near ALL of the time).

    Contrary to what others have said, in my experience you simply cannot rely on it to always successfully make timed recordings.
     
  29. 9761

    9761
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    499
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +2
    I hardly ever use the EPG tbh. I only use the Program + & - to switch channels and I probably hardly ever use the recording timer.

    What would you say about the cable issue would a Top quality RGB only scart and optical out be good or is there any other better ways of connecting my TV (Toshiba 32ZP48P) to the Pace twin?

    Thanks!
     
  30. MartinImber

    MartinImber
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Worcester
    Ratings:
    +21
    Decent RGB Scart and digital optical sounds fine
     

Share This Page

Loading...