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User friendliness of MCE/DVB-S

onebc

Standard Member
Hi there

First time posting. Have done a lot of reading but despite lots of tech info I can't quite work out what I need to know.

Current Scenario
I've an MCE 2005 box in the living room, connected to a SKY PayTV set-top box via S-Video and IR-Blaster. My partner and 9-year old use MCE for recording and prefer the EPG to SKY's crap effort, but the general stability of the MCE/SKY box via external connections and IR is pretty shabby and has resulted in many tears over failed recordings.

Desired scenario
So, I'm happy to invest in a more savvy DVB-S solution, but I can't tell if the resulting set-up will be user friendly enough for my partner and son to use efficiently. The new set-up would have to use the main MCE EPG for guide listings and recordings. The current Technotrend DVB-S and Ci combo for 85 Euros looks a bargain. However, whilst I understand some of the tech-heavy posts here and could probably get everything set-up [with a little effort... or great effort], I need to know whether this techiness would be hidden from the eventual experience or whether this is still very much in the realm of the geeky early adopter?

Additionally, if the resulting experience is good, what is the best route to go? The Technotrend PCI solution seems way cheaper than the FloppyDTV option but is it as cleverly integrated into MCE? All these posts about using other software to manage/update EPGs etc are fine if it's a one-off but it's gonna be a be a big no-no for my partner and son if it's a part of weekly usage.

Thanks very much for your help.

Ben
 

nigelbb

Distinguished Member
I know that I started the thread at the top of this forum & recommended the Technotrend card as it was then the only game in town. However today I would not recommend it for MCE use. The FloppyDTV unit works far, far better & there is much better support from the manufacturer. It's more expensive but worth it. Incidentally it is much cheaper to buy direct from the manufacturer http://www.digital-everywhere.com for 150 Euros than from the UK outlet http://www.firedtv.co.uk/ for 130 pounds (195 Euros).

I am all for encouraging others to muck around with DVB-S & CAMs but if you are happy with Media Center picture quality & it's just the unreliable channel changing with the IR bug that is causing you grief then I would recommend one of these devices for just 22.90 pounds (35 Euros) including shipping http://www.pacelink.co.uk/rf2link.htm It replaces the IR bug & uses the RF2 outlet on the digibox to change channels with 100% reliability.
 

onebc

Standard Member
Thanks Nigel, that is the perfect rationale/response that I needed but couldn't have arrived at myself. I'll definitely go for the Pace device initially [credit card in hand already] and, whilst it may mean postponing my chance to play around with DVB-S cards, it will alleviate me of the partner/son wrath of a missed recording of either Sex & the City or Yu-Gi-Oh. :thumbsup:

Many thanks.

Ben
 

doublej

Active Member
....just have to mention www.dvbviewer.com it's technically excellent DVB-S (with my technotrend dvb-s AND Hauppage DVB-T).

The interface isn't a slick as MCE......but, in HTPC mode - does have a nice interface and reasonably straight forward to program.

the full version costs 15 Euro - so worth a punt i would think :)
 

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