Which budget Freeview PVR?

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by BigFella, Aug 31, 2005.

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  1. BigFella

    BigFella
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    Bought a Digilogic Freeview box from Tesco’s at the weekend and will be returning it this weekend as it has all the problems reported throughout the various forums (sound dropouts, slow button response, missing information in now and next and seven day guide etc.)

    Despite the problems it has convinced me that Freeview is worth having so I will be replacing it and like the concept of a PVR….but which one should a tight wad like myself choose?

    The obvious choices are the Sagem and Fusion boxes, which would people recommend and are there any others to consider?

    My main criteria are:

    Audio output to HiFi for Radio listening (Nice if volume is adjusted via remote, and if able to record radio broadcasts, and must be able to use without TV truned on)

    7 day guide that is actually useful (I found the 7 day Digilogic guide of very little use due to its structure and because you cannot compare channels)

    Record one channel and watch another, preferably whilst still be able to access interactive features and pause live TV etc.

    20 hours recording time will be plenty of recording time (If I have to record that much when am I ever going to have time to watch it?) but price is an issue as we have a video and she who must be obeyed can’t see why we should spend £100+ to get Freeview when a non PVR box shows the same channels.

    Your knowledge and wisdom will be appreciated.
     
  2. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    Or a Pace Twin off Ebay for just over £100
     
  3. LV426

    LV426
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    Beware the Twin!

    I'd say the Digifusion 200 (Dixons Group, John Lewis, GBP180) is probably the best bet right now.
     
  4. figoagogo

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    Humax - but only single tuner at the moment!
     
  5. BigFella

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    Can't say I am keen on the Pace Twin route, although it is a thought. Looking at some of the comments in various forums it's not without it's problems and it would be used. For a n extra £25.00 I could get a new Fusio n or Sagem box.

    The Fusion boxes are looking most likely at the moment, I will have to venture into town and see one in action. Hopefully find a bargain on the 100 as it has enough capacity for me (I manage to keep reusing one 3hr VHS tape a present and still never get to watch everything I record...but that's the joy of work and kids!)

    It's a shame that Humax don't have twin option as I almost purchased an 8000 several months back but put it off as I really wanted a twin tuner and it seemed an expense stopgap.

    Are there any notable differences between the Fusion 100/150/200 boxes?
     
  6. LV426

    LV426
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    The 150 & 200 have 80gb HDD; the 100 is 40gb.

    From what I gather, the 200 is more reliable overall than the 100 and 150. Software is reckoned to be a step or two ahead.
     
  7. richwill

    richwill
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    I thought the Humax 8000T had twin tuners and is available in currys etc for around 180.00? I was considering buying one today but will probably hold off for the 9200T due out the end of this month.
     
  8. LV426

    LV426
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    The Humax 8000 only has one tuner. It has a very, very basic feature list, but (perhaps because of this) is probably the most reliable PVR there is.
     
  9. ROYOLD

    ROYOLD
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    Humax was the PVR I originally considered but they have dithered for ages on bringing out a twin tuner. Purchased the Digifusion FVRT 150 from Argos for £180 over six months ago. It has updated automatically when left on standby overnight and it records two programs simultaneously when also left on standby. It downloads the 14 day day EPG overnight in standby. Most others have just a 7 day guide. I also have the Topfield 5800t PVR which has been a pain lately in downloading the August firmware update by USB on the PC. You need the
    Altair programme downloaded first and also the USB TFDN driver loaded first. Fine if you have a PC next to the PVR - I don't.

    The Digifusion hasn't given me a single problem in the six months of use so far. It is in fact - perfect.
     
  10. Dune

    Dune
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    Does the digifusion have a cam slot for a top up TV card? I know the toppy can record and play back scrambled channels if a media card is in the cam slot but what about the digifusion?

    Dave
     
  11. pr1uk

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    My list-
    Humax (but only one tuner)
    DigiFusion
    or read this forum and if (and only if) pace do another software upgrade then get a cheap pace twin from Ebay

    have to say not owned a Toppy as yet
     
  12. ROYOLD

    ROYOLD
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    Dune - The Digifusion 150 does not have a slot for a top up TV card. Cannot say if the 200 model has or hasn't but I would think not. I have three of the original Pace omelette shaped freeview single tuner boxes (the first ones they brought out with the output on the end of a single scart plug lead. These have a slot for a top up TV card so if I wanted
    it I could use one of these. However, since E4 has now come on the Freeview channels I have no interest whatsoever with top-up-TV. For what's available on this it isn't worth it and I certainly will not be using this with the Topfield.

    These original Pace boxes are pretty good, and unlike the Pace twin, they are reliable.
    On an original aerial (not wideband) the Pace will pick up channels which the Toppy will not but this could be due to the toppy splitting the aerial between two tuners. This is on an amplified signal from TV aerial signal boosters. If you can obtain one of these original Pace boxes then do so. I certainly will not be letting any of mine go.
     
  13. Dune

    Dune
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    Well the cartoon channels for the kids, TCM and Eurosport make it just about worth it for me at the moment.

    I already have one but it is unreliable after being knocked off the TV! I am not sure how this solves the problem of watching one channel while recording another as the media card would only be in the STB, not the PVR should I buy one. The toppy seems the only solution although maybe the humax 9000/9200 will be an alternative.

    I replaced the Pace with Thomson 2305 STB that takes the TOTV card which isn't as good as the old Pace in many ways (EPG is rubbish) althought the picture is very good.

    Dave
     
  14. sambobo

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  15. BigFella

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    OK, Think I'm going to go for one for the Digifusion boxes.

    Does anyone know what the differences are between the 100, 150 (is this still available?) and the 200? I thought it was just disk size, but LV426 has mentioned that the software is different. Is this really the case?

    Best prices?
     
  16. ROYOLD

    ROYOLD
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    There may be some 150's still around but Argos have removed this from their current catalogue. I think they had kind of an exclusive deal on this one. Dixons have the 200 on sale at the same price £180. There are bound to have been some software changes and also hardware as the case front has changed. Its still a pretty slim and solid unit tho.

    Some illustrations of the inside of the 150 and some links to screenshots are shown on this website - I imagine the 200 is pretty much similar inside.

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/server2/digifusion/
     
  17. BigFella

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  18. pr1uk

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    As i said before IF pace release an software upgrade this month or next as promised then try one but the pace box is full of bugs at this moment in time. The card reader in the pace does not read top up but then again who wants to pay for top up.
     
  19. jerryq7777

    jerryq7777
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    I got a Fusion FVRT100 from TRIBAL a few weeks back
    I got it for £122 but price has gone up a few quid.Just back from a 2 week hol and it recorded everything i had set it for no problems.Takes a while to get used to it after coming from Sky box not as fast or user friendly but you soon get used to it.
     
  20. ROYOLD

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    Take note of LV426 warning in posting 3 of this thread.

    I see the Pace Twin only has a 20GB hard drive. The Digifusion 200 has an 80GB HDD.
    £140 as against £180. Personally I would pay the extra 40 quid.
     
  21. LV426

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    .....and the indications are that the Fusion actually works reliably.

    I cannot say the same for my Twin. Yes, it has probably the best UI and remote. But, I'm afraid, if it won't properly play back recordings reliably; if it won't reliably stop recording when the timer event tells it to, if it won't receive Freeview from a strong, line-of-sight signal without adding glitches to it......."junk" is the only right and proper term to use for it.
     
  22. Mr Sparkle

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  23. BigFella

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    Well having done a bit of reading on all the various options (Pace Twin, DigiFusion, Thomson, Sagem) I am still not entirely convinced by any of them. How can these products all be sold and then upgraded with some many apparent flaw in the software.

    Given that what ever I buy now will be outdated in 12 months time I think I am going to buy the cheapest twin PVR I can find...and that at the moment looks like being a Fusion FVRT100 from Lowestonweb at £124.98

    http://www.lowestonweb.com/Products/DisplayInfoMain.asp?e=849A2CDA-27E2-4D0B-B2AE-843E7A675A72

    I can then always upgrade the hard-drive at a later date if I need to (can't imagine I will as I have survived with 3hr tape for years) and it hasn't cost me a fortune.

    Has anyone used Lowest?
     
  24. Texy

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    Before buying online, why not try your local dixons or currys, who both have sold the 100. £129 if in stock, but it has been rumoured that they can be had much more cheaply if they are nearly out of stock as it is an end-of-life part - eg Currys were selling them for £75 (very much branch dependant of course).

    Worth looking into, even £129 on the highstreet aint that bad (they were £200 when released).

    Texy
     
  25. ROYOLD

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  26. MartinImber

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    Yes the Pace is cheap on Ebay and it is a little unreliable.

    But when it comes to usage it is an absolute delight
     
  27. Texy

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    well paying extra £50 for another 40gig is not economic theses days.
    And 40gig was plenty large enough for my sky+, so I think it'll be large enough
    for anything else before HD comes along. I found having a smaller drive also forces the family to watch stuff as well, when its beginning to get full.

    Texy
     
  28. jerryq7777

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    £120 inc del from TRIBAL now for the Fusion 100.
     
  29. LV426

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    Its my understanding (from what I've read elsewhere) that the 200 has a slightly better (read: more reliable) software stack than the 100 and 150. If true, this alone would make it worth an extra few quid IMO.
     
  30. Cyril

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    It would be great if someone had done a survey of all these budget recorders and got some statistics as to which were the most reliable.
     

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