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SAGEM PVR 7280T Top Up - First Review

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by richwill, Sep 3, 2005.

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  1. richwill

    richwill
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    Just purchased this machine from Argos (£179.99). I decided I'd give this a try as a foree' into the PVR market (will probably see how the Humax9200 develops when it's released).

    My first impressions are as follows:

    It came in a small box, very neatly packaged. Removed ALL the contents which included a powerlead which runs into a AC/DC Converter, RF lead, Scart Lead.

    The box was a doddle to set up. Just plugged in and waited for the initial install to start. The Manual (morelike a sheet of paper, which could be improved upon) is only just adequate but covers the basics. The unit is slightly noisy especially when changing channels which take somewhat longer than the BUSH DFTA1 it's replaced.

    I've tried the timeslip recording (though I believe I need alot more practice at this) and it's currently undertaking a timer recording as I submit it. It does pad out the recording either side when the timer recording is selected from the 7 day Electronic Programme Guide (EPG). I manually went into the timer recordings after and edited it down to a more reasonable level.

    The remote that came with it (whilst similar to the manual) is labelled incorrectly, but now I've sussed out most of the buttons it appears to be working fine. I'll contact their technical support on Monday to see (a) what type of service I get, (b)what they'll do to rectify this obvious error.

    on a scale of 1-10 it's a definite 8 so far. I took back a LiteOn 5260 DVR due to appauling picture quality but will probably purchase a DVD Recorder to save the numerous programmes I'll store on the 80GB disk.

    There is a Top Up TV slot on the base of the unit, though I don't have the card necessary and am not sure whether it would be worth the extra money (any comments would be most welcome on this aspect).

    If there's anything else you'd like to know, just ask.

    Regards

    Rich
     
  2. Dune

    Dune
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    The Top Up TV slot is interesrting as I do subsribe to the service. It isn't that great overall as a service but currently with the cartoon channels for the kids and several other channels it is jus aout hanging on there as worthwhile for us.

    Not many PVR's support TOTV because they simply do not have a slot for the card. Does it require a CAM to accept the TOTV card?

    Dave
     
  3. richwill

    richwill
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    Dave, not sure what you mean by "CAM". On the underside of the unit is a recessed slot where I imagine you just slide the Card in. I'd assume it locks itself in place. As for it's suitability for me? Not sure I'd get much out of the current list of extra channels but for those that do? it would certainly allow them to record for viewing later.

    Rich
     
  4. richwill

    richwill
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    I'd thought I'd post this as an addendum having lived with the unit a little bit longer. The units hard drive is constantly on the go as by default it starts to record whatever channel you're watching (to allow timeslip to function). I think I'd rather be able to watch a channel and then if i want or need to pause it, I could press a button and then use the timeslip features. With the amount of disk activity it makes me wonder how long the disk will last.

    I can only compare this units functionality to the BUSH DFTA1 which I still owe. Some features I'd like to have seen is to be able to choose subtitles with a single button, Aspect ratio change with a single button and the ability to select the EPG and review the various channels without the timeslip restarting upon each channel selection (I see this as a minus as if i wanted to check something using the EPG by selecting another channel I'd miss the item i was previously watching.

    Putting subtitles on a channel takes between 3 and 5 key presses. I've also noticed that interactive services (RED button) are ok but news multiscreen doesn't appear to work (I'm not sure how the firmware would treat this with respect to timeslip).

    If there's anything else you want to know? Just ask

    Rich
     
  5. richwill

    richwill
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    Called the main Sagem number which promptly advised me to call another (premium rate one @ 15p/min). The premium rate number transferred me to a call centre in India where I explained the issues about the remote control being mis-labelled. My number was taken and I was told they would call me back after checking their manuals. I'll let you know how it goes

    Rich
     
  6. richwill

    richwill
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    Well the folk in India called me back (why have companies stopped offering support from the country where they sell the kit?) It took some 15 minutes of explanation yet again that the control I received with my unit, bore no similarity to the one in the manual. They further told me that this unit CANNOT record two programmes at the same time. This is in direct contrast to the writing that's on the box which states

    " watch and record two programmes simultaneously". They're going to phone me back again once they've decided what to do about the remote. Can't say I'm too impressed so far.

    Rich
     
  7. Dune

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    Some bits of hardware require you to put the TOTV card in an adaptor and place the adaptor into the slot on the hardware. I think the Toppy may work like this and some of the TV sets with built in Freeview worl like that also.

    My Thomson 2305 STB does not require a CAM and if the Sagem does not either that is a plus point since the CAM's cost about £30.

    What is the EPG like?

    The Thomson is not popular in our house as the EPG only shows one channel at once displaying "now and next" before after a short time displaying the entire days TV schedule from first thing in the morming for that one channel! Very annoying.

    The old Pace doughnut STB I have (sadly bust) would display several channels down the left with programs for each to the right so you could compare what was on several channels at once.

    Does the Sagem work like that?

    Coincidentally, subtitiles also require several button presses on the 2305 as well. Up arrow to bring up a menu, navigate to the top entry (which is subtitles), right arrow to switch them on followed by exit.

    Dave
     
  8. richwill

    richwill
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    Dave,

    There was no "CAM" in the box so I assume you don't need one. I don't have top up tv so it's of no real importance to me (was just for any others that were considering it).

    Regarding the EPG - It's an 8 day EPG with a small Display in the top left hand corner showing the selected channel. The channel list is under that stretching to the bottom of the screen. Right of the small display is the program information and underneath that is the selection of the channel's programmes. There is a small bar at the bottom of the programme list which allows you to change day. This is better than my BUSH DFTA1 insofar that displays the selected picture of the channel you're looking at. However, if you move down or up a channel it changes the display to that channel and consequently changes the default timeslip recording which is ALWAYS ON!

    Regarding subtitles - I can only compare it to my previous decoder (BUSH DFTA1) which just had a subtitles button on the bottom of the remote. This allowed you to switch subtitles on and off for the channel you were watching. It was a doddle. There was similarly a button to change the aspect ratio of the screen between 16:9, 4:3 and 4:3 Pan/Scan. Which is useful if like I do you're watching on an older CRT model (4:3) for getting the wider view. I'd like the sagem to be able to do that too.

    any more info or questions just ask

    regards

    Rich
     
  9. Dune

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    So if you decide not to change channel and revert back to the channel you were watching, you have missed a chunk of the program and it has not been saved for you via timeslip?

    Do other PVR's go into timeslip mode if you go to the EPG as a rule?

    Dave
     
  10. richwill

    richwill
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    Dave, sorry i probably haven't been too clear on this. I actually see this as a bit of a faux pas by Sagem. The moment you switch the unit on (it takes 28 seconds to get to displaying a tv channel and 17 to go into standby), the timeslip function runs automatically (ALL THE TIME!) so you can imagine the thrashing the hard disk will get.

    the issue is that if i'm watching BBC1 for example, the moment i go to any other channel the timeslip that's been saved is lost and starts afresh on the new channel. If I go into EPG each time i move between channels (to get the list of programmes coming up) the timeslip starts again.

    I've just been speaking to the UK Sales manager at Sagem who wasn't really aware of this "Feature". I told him it's something I'd like to be able to switch on and off at my convenience. The only other bug-bear and it's one that's making seriously think about returning this unit is that it states on the box it can record two channels simultaneously, IT CAN'T! :nono: i'm sure that's not right under advertising standards or sale of goods act so he's going to talk with their people in France to see if it needs changing.

    If you want to know anything else just ask :)
     
  11. Mr_dave

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    I bought this box this week 25th Jan, but I was under no illusion that it would record two channels.
    The top-up-tv card does not need a cam it just slides into a slot in the bottom of the case.
    Sadly my arieal is rubbish as shown by the signal strength/quality meter facility.
    The arieal man cometh soon.
     
  12. Mr_dave

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    Right, now we have a good aeriel with 98% on the quality meter.
    The box does all they say it should even if it is a little slow in responding to the handset, recordings from the guide work a treat and the box adds 5mins to the start and 15 mins to the end, so you shouldn't miss any progs that run late.
    Top up tv works fine with this unit but I am very dissapointed at the hours you can get certain channels like TCM (My wife wanted this in particular),See TUTV website for times.
    The paper sheet that came mascerading as a user guide is C**P, its printed in blue and you need a magnfying glass to read it (At least i do!).
    Apart from that we are pleased with our purchase.
    Dave
     
  13. Ambient Fish

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    My GF bought one of these last week and had to take it back yesterday, the main fault is that it cannot record two programmes at the same time tho it claims it can, every time you switch it on it detects new channels in the flow and wants to resave them, it locks up at the least excuse, it is noisy, I have a Thompson PVR and it blows the Sagem away in every aspect of performance except for the Top Up TV slot.
     
  14. Mr_dave

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    Still people think this device can record two channels!
    If you bought from Argos this is what they say about it :-
    "Twin tuner allows you to watch one programme and record another simultaneously."
    This box is a bit let down by the 4 digit 7 seg display they use , as a result messages look most peculiar.
    A few quid spent on a flouescent display would have been money well spent.
     
  15. Dune

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    Well I have bought one of these from Dabs for £130 delivered. My appalling Thomson 2305 packed up over the weekend :rolleyes: so I bit the bullet and went for this PVR. A special offer due to the box not being pristine. The unit is brand new, not used.

    Argos have stopped doing them and virtually everywhere I looked was out of stock so I was lucky to get one.

    I specifically wanted a PVR that worked with TUTV and this fits the bill nicely. It replicates my old VCR functionality in that I can watch one channel and record a different one so that is fine and for £130 that is about half the price of a toppy or humac 9200 by the time you have added the cost of a CAM for TUTV.

    However that said, it may be going back (to be returned under distance selling regulations).

    There is an irritating noise from the unit that is intrusive. It is just loud enough so I can hear it sat over on the sofa and it is distracting in quiet passages of a program.

    It isn't the hard disc thrashing. I think it is the fan. The only way I can describe it is as a sort of "clatter" as it isn't a constant whine or anything like that but sounds like something is catching on the blades of the fan every now and again. The fact is has a sort of random nature to it makes it more distracting. If it was the constant noise of the fan spinning I am sure my brain would tune out the sound but because it comes and goes it draws your attention to it.

    I shall see (or rather hear!) what its like tonight before making the decision as to return it or not.

    Has anyone else who owns this device or any of the others from the same family of products experienced this sort of noise?

    Dave
     
  16. N.ick

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    If you send it back - consider getting the inverto - if it is still on discount at boots + a voucher it will not cost you much more.

    I have just got one and although it has some bugs it is incredibly quiet - the fan only comes on when needed and in fact mine only came on once for a few seconds (to my knowledege) and that is when it was first turned on.

    It allows you to watch 2 channels or 1 and record 1 etc and also the EPG is not lost when switched off ( so if you don't always need to see 14 days ahead can be switched off at night).

    The only real problem is the remote needs to be directed right at the machine and seems to have a very narrow angle range.

    has a few bugs e.g. PIP doesn't work correctly - but all liverable with until these things sorted out.
     
  17. Dune

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    Does it support Top Up TV?

    Dave
     
  18. N.ick

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    oops! No .. but it's damn quiet!!!!!!
     
  19. Mr_dave

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    In reply to Dune, i have the same noise it is the hard drive working, however since my unit is in a video cabinet it does not spoil things for me.
     
  20. Dune

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    Good plan! Well it will be if Dabs continue refuse the return I have requested :thumbsdow

    Mind you if I have to buy a voideo cabinet to shut the thing up I may as well have bought a Humax or Toppy in the first place.

    Dave
     
  21. sparky_paul

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    I have had a 6240T for quite a while now, which is essentially the same machine without the topup slot. The unit was reasonably quiet when it was purchased... but it is now quite noisy.

    The hard drive noise increased when the original firmware was updated, the hard drive activity was not obtrusive with the original firmware. The fan noise has also gradually increased over time, to the point where it is now becoming a problem - the fan really needs replacing.

    There are a number of issues with these machines, there are major bugs in the firmware - the latest OAD improved the user interface but each sucessive firmware update (there has been 4 versions so far) has made the unit more unstable. Another new firmware OAD is due next week.

    Owners of the 7280T report similar problems, as the firmware updates have been similar. I cannot honestly recommend these machines, the hardware seems good, but the software is seriously flawed. :thumbsdow

    Have a look at the user's support forum -

    http://www.pvrworld.co.uk/forum/index.php?board=19.0

    HTH
     
  22. Dune

    Dune
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    The 7280 is on its way back to Dabs. I bit the bullet and bought the Humax 9200T.

    Silence is golden. :smashin:

    Dave
     

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