There's so many threads on the best PVR

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by mickyd67, Mar 23, 2006.

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  1. mickyd67

    mickyd67
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    Can I get a definitive list?

    I need to buy a PVR for my mum, and there are so many opinions on here I am not sure where to start.

    What should I buy?

    Thanks

    Edit: By the way, I want a twin tuner version
     
  2. snail

    snail
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    Take a look at this site.

    Snail
     
  3. mickyd67

    mickyd67
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    Cheers for the site.

    Any more folks? Any personal stories - i.e. avoid at all costs or get this one...?
     
  4. LV426

    LV426
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    It really is all here for you to find.....
     
  5. happyhiker

    happyhiker
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    I have done a fair bit of research lately so heres my opinion but it is only 1 opinion.


    Tivo is still the best I have 1 and its brilliant. However you can only get second hand ones and they cost over £300 and by the time you get a lifetime subscription that could go to 450-500.(also it doesn have twin tuners but will work with sky)

    The topfield is probably the next best, but you have to configure it using taps (programs you run on it) to make it work the way you like - you could just use out of the box, again its fairly expensive.

    Next is the Digifusion FVRT200, this has a poor user interface but is reliable and is what I plumbed for in the end.

    Finally theres the Humax 9200 which has lots of good features but doesn't do chase play and is apparently unreliable at times.

    there are others but the abovve seem to be the best. However I'm sure people will disagree with these choices, so at the end of the day you have to make you're own mind up.

    If you're getting 1 PVR for you main watching I'd say get a tivo and damned the expense.:D
     
  6. LV426

    LV426
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    Sorry - I can't support the age-old TiVo argument here.

    To work beyond the good old five channels, a TiVo is going to need help from another device - Freeview or Sky box, say, and this is probably not going to be a mum-friendly setup. (No disrespect intended to mums).

    Topfield does NOT need configuring with TAPs to work. That said, TAPs can improve the UI but they aren't necessary.

    The Fusion's UI isn't up to the standard of TiVo nor the Pace Twin (both of which are discontinued). The patterned backgrounds aren't liked by many. Beyond that, it is actually easy to use, reliable and well featured.

    Frankly, I'd discount the rest at present. The next choice on the list might be Inverto, but I don't see much comment (perhaps not many users) so it's hard to say whether or not they enjoy high levels of reliability.

    The Humax 9200 is missing one or two essential features and reports indicate it to be buggy. Humax are slow at producing fixes. Their 8000 is reliable but is extremely basic - only one tuner and no internal multi-tasking - it won't even play back whilst its recording.

    And don't be swayed by the brand names here. The only "reputable brand" PVR is Panasonic's. Avoid it.
     
  7. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    Im sorry It has to be sky+ or The Telewest TV Drive.
     
  8. LV426

    LV426
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    Excuse me? So you're assuming these people want to shell out a fortune on Subscription Television? Maybe so. Maybe not.
     
  9. happyhiker

    happyhiker
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    Ah.. but I'm guessing you've never actually owned one !

    - Yeah I know cheap shot, but the TiVo really did chnage the way I watch telly, the Digifusion is just a fancy VCR that you record by picking the program from a schedule rather than entering the times, it doesn't really do much more than that(apart from twin tuner and HD instead of tapes I suppose). Theres not much in terms of gadgets I'll rave about, the ipod's pretty cool, I like my HTC Wizard phone but neither are life changing, the TiVo was, albiet it a really shallow and meaningless way(ie I don't do adverts or watch crap I don't want to any more)

    either way I think you're agreeing with me here LV426, that the DigiFusion is probably the best of a bad bunch, or did you think the toppy was worth the extra ?

    Also worth pointing out here for the OP, None of the above will record sky except the tivo or sky +
     
  10. ROYOLD

    ROYOLD
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    The original poster said he wanted to select a PVR for his mum. He didn't say that she had sky. I don't believe that many pensioners do because of the monthly subscription charges.

    The main advantage of the freeview twin tuner PVR's is that they cost nothing to use after the initial purchase.

    BTW - you can record by timer setting on the Digifusion without needing the epg. Just select the RECORD option in the menu and set your options.
     
  11. Richard46

    Richard46
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    My thoughts for what they are worth

    1 Tivo/ Sky+ Nigel and Royold have covered unsuitabiltiy of those options. In any event as far a TIVO goes the OP said they wanted twin tuners.

    2 My beloved Topfield I would not reccomend to the OP probably over featured and over priced for purpose.

    3 Digifusion; the obvious recommendation although menus rather garish; and dont ever use the compression feature. However availability of both FVRT200 and 145 seems to have become difficult of late. A guy over on DS could not find a 200 this week for love or money.

    4 Inverto; 14 day EPG; seems OK but perhaps a bit overpriced in comparison with competition. e.g. has 80Gb HDD but not much cheaper than 160Gb Humax

    5 Humax; has had problems and missing features (notably chase play) You can only set 20 timers at any one time which may or may not be a problem. However new software being tested which solves chase play problem but currently seems to introduce new problems. However this may end up as the best 'mid/high range' PVR. Looks like it is at the stage of development the Topfeld was at 7/8 months ago and Humax are working on it.

    6 Thompson; 14 day EPG; Despite being the oldest of the current PVRs still has aspect ratio problems on some channels. Ugliest thing on the planet.

    7 Sagem; there are two models; be careful the cheaper one does not record 2channels at once. Loading updates sounds like a nightmare and has a fair share of bugs. It is French :D .

    8 Panasonic; since update to software very conflicting reports; could still not recommend it.

    So if the OP cannot find a Digifusion or his mum cannot live with those awful graphics I think I would look at Humax or Inverto if budget goes that far.

    Warning all Freeview PVRs have 'bugs' and limitations (except the Topfield of course; well OK one or two little niggles :D) Personally would not be without one though.

    Richard

    PS I only have personal experience of Topfield and Digifusion so most of above just based on general impressions from too much hanging about forums.
     
  12. ROYOLD

    ROYOLD
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    quote :

    3 Digifusion; the obvious recommendation although menus rather garish; and dont ever use the compression feature. However availability of both FVRT200 and 145 seems to have become difficult of late. A guy over on DS could not find a 200 this week for love or money.
    quote :

    Guess the guy on Digital Spy did not look very far then : As at this moment in time Evesham have 34 Digifusion FVRT200's in stock.

    http://www.lowestonweb.com/Products/DisplayInfoMain.asp?e=57C4FC96-C7F4-48B4-9A42-42DC276BF67B

    AFAIK Argos have the FVRT 145 available to
    order by reservation for pickup at local store.
     
  13. Figment

    Figment
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    The Guy asked for recommendations from experience. I have the "toppy" and recommend it wholeheartedly, it does everything a PVR should do with considerable aplomb and ease of use and I don't use a single tap. Don't get me wrong taps are great but you need to remember extra input key pushes to use them and frankly I cant be arsed when it does all I want anyway. I think this could be the case for mum too. I dont know about the other PVR's mentioned but mum may also like the fact if you load her favourite music tracks as mp3's onto the toppy she can use it to listen to them too.
     
  14. Paul Shirley

    Paul Shirley
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    Couple of things to remember: whilst there are reputedly some bug fixes for the 9200 you'll have to beg Humax for beta firmware and have a PC with RS232 to install it, we're still at least 3 months away from the next guesstimated OTA date. They've missed all previous leaked dates though.

    With factory firmware its basically incapable of recording radio reliably, to the point where we gave up even trying a few months ago.

    My advice remains that you shouldn't even consider the Humax 9200 until a full OTA update has occurred *and been tested by users*. I would not risk inflicting the problems I've had on a relative.
     
  15. father alice

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    I would recommend the fusion - 145 from argos for £125 is unbeatable value.. The gui is garish, but can be changed with a little effort - well worth it imo

    It is pretty stable now if you avoid compression. It seems all pvrs require about 12 mths of field testing, and ota upgrades to iron put the bugs, so any new pvr is likely to be buggy for a while - thus my recommendation of the by now well tested fusion - nb NOT the 90/95, as this uses a different software, so is subject to the 12 mth teething problem period!!
     

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