Thinking of going digital

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by RHardaker, Oct 11, 2002.

  1. RHardaker

    RHardaker
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    I'm thinking of going digital via a set top box (not Sky or Cable). I know a few people who had ITV digital and complained of the boxes locking up and bad pixelation (despite good location to transmitters etc.). Do these problems still exists with the current free to air services. Are there any particular boxes to avoid? I've seen the Pace ones in Argos and some Nokia ones in Curries.
    I pick up very a very good analogue signal from Emley Moor (a large main transmitter) so I am not expecting problems with the digital signal. Can I distribute the signal to other TVs?
    Are there any other things I should consider.
    Thanks for any help.

    .Richard (A newbie here).
     
  2. LV426

    LV426
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    I, too live within good range of Emley.

    Originally I had a Nokia box from ITV-D (was On-D). Utterly dreadful. Locked up requiring reset 2-3 times a week - don't ever ask it to do anything at all (including changing channels) with 2 minutes of power up, nor within 30 seconds of the last thing you asked it to do. Every time any electrical appliance was switched on/off, pixellation and audio break up. AFAIK, the Nokias on sale at Dixons et al are all the same model. If so, AVOID.

    I currently have a Pace 735 and a Pioneer (both ex-ITV-D boxes). These work just fine. I retuned them both yesterday and now have 55 channels (mostly 'coming soon' only). If you can find one of these on sale at, say, £50/£60 I'd say they are a good buy. They have 2 Scarts and a recording timer. Most useful. One caveat - they may not work with some forthcoming enhanced interactive-type services, but they will receive the channels.

    Can't speak from personal experience about the 'new' boxes - the little Pace, the Grundig, and Panasonic for example. But I gather they are quicker than the two I have. I also gather that they have less on-board features (such as the timer). And the connectivity of the little Pace is VERY limited.
     
  3. RHardaker

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    Did you actually use the Nokia box on the current free to view offerings or just ITV-D? - just wondered if the service provider made any difference?
    When you say very limited connectivity - what do you mean?

    Thanks again.
     
  4. LV426

    LV426
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    The Nokia went back to On-D whilst they were still up & running. But AFAIK, it isn't the signal - it is the firmware in the box that is [email protected]

    The little pace adapter has a permanently connected SCART cable from the back. The plug on the end goes into a TV. This plug also has an aerial socket on it and a power socket. You connect the aerial into this, instead of the TV.

    1) No RF loopthrough therefore, no analog TV reception.
    2) Can only supply the signal to one device (eg the TV) - can't share it with a VCR.

    I can't speak for the Grundig or Panasonic offerings.
     
  5. MartinImber

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    DTVA is pretty good but best for picture is Sony IDTV
     
  6. Squirrel God

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    I have a DTVA as well and love it, but I think buying a whole new IDTV just to get the digital FTA channels is a bit extreme Martin ;) :p

    Richard - Don't forget to check your postcode on the FTA site to check the reception. There's a link from the Dixon or Curry's web pages.
     
  7. jim.rae

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    The little PACE FTA receiver is a gem, if you can live with its very basic conections.

    The old ITV Nokia Mediamaster box is good at delivering most pictures, but it does freeze up worse than a Windows 95 computer several times a week.

    On balance. new boxes are better than old ones, despite the price difference...
     
  8. RHardaker

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    Well, bit the bullet and went for the Panasonic box (TUCT20 - quite a new box I believe). £99.95 from Empire Megastores. The main reason was I have a Panasonic TV and hopefully I would benfit from a single remote control etc. People seem to have varying views on all boxes so just went for it.
    It's very compact indeed - it's about 210 wide by 30 high and 160 deep (these are only guessed but not far off). Auto setup was a doddle, just plug in and turn on - if you use the scart lead connection (obviously recommended as you get all the DTV benefits - wide screen, RGB etc.) - you see a screen where it is scanning for the stations - it took about 5 minutes to find 55 (most of which are launch soon). I set the widescreen mode and that was it. Tuned my TV and Video to the analogue signal from the box and it was all done in about 15 minutes.
    All I can say is what an excellent picture - DVD quality. I've not had any pixelation (except when my wife used a hairdryer!) - but you should of seen the mess that made of the normal TV!
    My remote does indeed control the volume and mute on the TV so that is good.
    The only other comments about the box are that there is no digital audio out (only phono). Also the RF signal to the video / tv is not Nicam (think this has been covered on other threads). Not so sure what sound I get if I record from the TV via scart on the video when the TV is watching the RGB source though - any ideas anybody?

    .Richard
     
  9. RHardaker

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    Well, bit the bullet and went for the Panasonic box (TUCT20 - quite a new box I believe). £99.95 from Empire Megastores. The main reason was I have a Panasonic TV and hopefully I would benfit from a single remote control etc. People seem to have varying views on all boxes so just went for it.
    It's very compact indeed - it's about 210 wide by 30 high and 160 deep (these are only guessed but not far off). Auto setup was a doddle, just plug in and turn on - if you use the scart lead connection (obviously recommended as you get all the DTV benefits - wide screen, RGB etc.) - you see a screen where it is scanning for the stations - it took about 5 minutes to find 55 (most of which are launch soon). I set the widescreen mode and that was it. Tuned my TV and Video to the analogue signal from the box and it was all done in about 15 minutes.
    All I can say is what an excellent picture - DVD quality. I've not had any pixelation (except when my wife used a hairdryer!) - but you should of seen the mess that made of the normal TV!
    My remote does indeed control the volume and mute on the TV so that is good.
    The only other comments about the box are that there is no digital audio out (only phono). Also the RF signal to the video / tv is not Nicam (think this has been covered on other threads). Not so sure what sound I get if I record from the TV via scart on the video when the TV is watching the RGB source though - any ideas anybody?

    .Richard
     
  10. graham.myers

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    Richard you Muppet. Stop pressing back on your browser and it wont post twice:clown:
     
  11. jim.rae

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    From both the phono and the SCART sockets, you'll get digital stereo sound which will also carry Dolby Prologic Surround coding if you have something to decode it, although not 5.1 or DTS.

    Note that it's not NICAM, which is firmly attached to the analogue sound reception, but it's still pretty good.
     

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