Would you pay more for a better Box

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by GasDad, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. GasDad

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    This is really aimed at those who've had HD a while.

    If sky gave us the option, of say an upgraded HD box, built by say Denon, to the level of of one of their midrange DVD players would you buy it if it was say £450?

    Assume it has a 1TB and handles 5.1 over HDMI
     
  2. Naaktgeboren

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    I wouldn't, my only reason is that the sky monthly cost's are pretty high and for the cost I will be paying, I would already be expecting a flawless service.

    Realistically, I know I will not get it :D

    Would not be worthwhile as it's only of use as long as you are with sky. If you ditched the service it would be OTT for a freeview box.
     
  3. derek500

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    I'm more than happy with my 2007 vintage, problem free, Thomson.
     
  4. nigelb

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    I would be prepared to pay more for a better box but the specs you list would not be enough for me. If I had the choice at the start it would have been different but I have already paid out a lot.

    Although there are clearly problems with the hardware (I am on my second HD box), I believe a lot of the problems are down to the software and this would not change.

    I would want a larger disk but I would also want it to make use of a reasonable amount of flash or other solid state memory and just transfer between here and the disk when necessary. This means that the disk would not be in use most of the time. It would also mean that a fan is not necessary so it can be silent for almost all the time.

    I would also want improved fast forward and reverse performance but solid-state memory whould make this easy. Frame by frame viewing would also become practical.

    A connection to my ipod so I could watch recordings on the move would be great but that would also need software changes.

    If we were to get enhanced software with it, basic editing capabilities (remove adverts etc before archiving to DVD) would be high on my priority list.

    With all of this I would certainly pay more. With some of them I might do.
     
  5. mjcairney

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    Ditto. :thumbsup:

    Cheers,

    Martin.
     
  6. Bachstrad

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    Me too with my 2006 box! .... but I could be tempted with an HD TiVo at any price!

    ATB

    Max
     
  7. danmc_82

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    I would if the hardrive was around 2TB, would also be hady if the box could wash the pots to :)
     
  8. Cyril

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    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  9. Inked

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    Nope, just had my launch day (so nearly 3 years old) box swapped out for a new one for a cost of £15 as it wasn't holding signal.
    If this one lasts another 3 years and has to be replaced for the same sort of cost then I'll be more than happy!
     
  10. NicolasB

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    There are a number of features that a more expensive box could have that would be useful in high-end systems. The most useful would be:

    - Ability to output a clean 576i signal via HDMI.

    - Option to output in 4:2:2 component colourspace.

    - Option to force component (rather than RGB) output when connected to a DVI device.

    - And (ideally, but implausibly) HD-SDI output.

    I'd also like a bigger hard drive, and the ability to download material onto an external disc (ideally BD). You'd have to keep the restriction that the disc could only be played back on the Sky device with the viewing-card in place, of course.

    I dare say some people would like a box that does 1080p output, with good-quality deinterlacing of 1080i; but the amount that would add to the cost of the box would probably pay for an external video processor anyway. :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  11. paul_round

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    What I would like is the ability to move the drives from box to box, maybe a removeable disk caddy of some sort. With VHS you could always decide to watch your taped program in a different room, now THAT I would pay more for.
     
  12. HDCriticalFan

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    Whilst I have every sympathy with many of the posters here, a lot of the requests are wishful thinking (come on guys, be honest !).


    I would be more than happy to pay quite a bit more for a box which :

    - was well built (good, stable, long-lasting power suply and quiet operation)
    - had a choice of disk sizes (like engine size when buying a car)
    - had a better de-interlacing chipset (and/or would ouput SD in 576i)
    - did FFWD and RWD properly (Thomson, I'm looking at you !)


    I would also expect that manufacturers would differentiate their offerings with "extras" like a clock and/or channel name display on the STB (like Pace analogue boxes back in the last century !). The consumer would have a degree of choice in style too (silver/black, size/shape).

    Is this really too much to hope for ?

    I have owned a number of pieces of A/V kit over the years. Pretty much all of my DVD players, VCRs, TVs, amps and other HiFi components have lasted well over a decade without failing. In fact, when a VCR recently started jamming whilst loading I was quite annoyed ... it was "only" 11 years old after all !

    Do we really expect most 1st gen Thomson boxes to last over ten years ?


    Even the comments by people in this thread who think that the current box is "good enough" bear review :-

    1. " nearly 3 years old ... box swapped out"

    That's just not good enough. I have never had a VCR or DVD player stop working within 3 years. Even if they had, they wouldn't have erased all of my DVD collection or tape library on the way !

    A Sky box is often the unique hub of an A/V system. It should be MORE reliable than the other stuff. If a TV fails, most of us have another one somewhere in the house we can swap in temporarily. If the amp fails, we can fall back on the TV speakers. If the DVD fails, then we just don't watch DVDs for a few days. And so on. If the Sky box stops working, we are up a very unpleasant creek without any obvious means of propulsion.


    2. "I am on my second HD box"

    Nuff said.




    Regards
     
  13. Bachstrad

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    Why shouldn't we? :confused:

    My September 2006 Thomson HD box is still working just fine and my ten year old Thomson TiVo has never missed a beat!

    ATB

    Max
     
  14. GasDad

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    Out of interest, how much was your TiVo ?
     
  15. Bachstrad

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    emmmm! Job to remember now, it was after all 1999 when I bought it. :eek:

    It was £250 or thereabouts, might even have been £299. Which is why I had no issues with buying into Sky HD at £299 nearly seven years later in 2006! This is probably why I also find people arguing the toss over the current price of Sky's twin tuner, mpeg4 HD box quite amusing too! :D

    EDIT: I may have paid as much as £399 for my TiVo, I certainly paid £199 for lifetime subscription to the EPG, that is definitely correct. That's the trouble with age, I can't remember what happened yesterday let alone ten years ago!

    ATB

    Max
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  16. quattro

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    Ditto :thumbsup:
     
  17. Ragnarok

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    I would be happy if sky didn't give me another thompson with the same faulty deinterlacing chip thats in every thompson box or a box that outputs 576i in auto mode over HDMI. The HD as at least upgradeable.
     
  18. simon194

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    Same goes for my 2006 vintage Thomson, although I did change the PSU.
     
  19. crawffy

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    I would like to be able to series link a program from the planner after the program has recorded. I wouldn't pay more for it though!
     
  20. Bachstrad

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    I think that's a feature that's coming with the new EPG, which is due soon now and won't cost you anything apart from, I suspect, a little aggravation as the bugs appear! ;)

    ATB

    Max
     
  21. Siamese Cat

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    Yes I would pay more for a better box.

    What I would like to see is a range of boxes from different manufacturers with a range of features. As happens with every other item in our home cinema set - ups. We don't have one model of a 42" screen where everyone has to have the same thing. There's a wide range for people with different interests and different depths of pockets. Where it's one design for everyone inevitably it's going to be a fairly basic design, built to a price to keep it cheap and available to most people. If there was competition then they'd be competing on price, features and build quality.

    One further thought that I know wouldn't work for some but could work for others. At the moment Sky subsidise the cost of the box. Of course its not really Sky that subsidise the box; it's us, the price is built into the subscription. If you bought a full price unsubsidised box then you should get a cheaper subscription.

    Probably best if I don't hold my breath waiting for that one.
     
  22. HDCriticalFan

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    Well, I actually agree with the "Why shouldn't we ?" comment. We should expect these boxes to last for for ten years ... but the truth is that they most probably won't.

    Since my last post Simon194 has added that his first Thomson lasted less than three years before the PSU gave out.


    BTW - This is not an attack on Thomson - they CAN produce good kit. I actually have two Thomson TiVos which haven't missed a beat (other than HDD upgrades). I think I got them in 2001 - so they have been going 24/7 (remember, TiVos have no standby) for over eight years.

    Wait a mo' - I thought that I got my TiVos very shortly after the UK release (which was at the tail end of 2000). Bachstrad, are you sure you bought yours in 1999 ? Or did you buy US kit ?



    I also strongly agree with the comment from Siamese Cat about there being a need for a "range of boxes from different manufacturers with a range of features". That's the way it should be. Then we can vote with our feet as regards the price we are prepared to pay for a given feature set.

    Does anyone remember the old monopoly days of BT when the only choice of phone handset was between half a dozen different colours of the identical dial phone model ? After the privatisation we were able to buy all sorts of phones from high tech push-button ones to the decidedly chintzy onyx faux-vintage sort.





    Regards
     
  23. Bachstrad

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    You may be right, it's a long time ago! I know I thought I first saw TiVo whilst on a golfing holiday in the States in 1998, (but I was there in 1999 too) and vowed if it was ever released in the UK I would have to buy one. It was the stop and pause live TV that initially caught my eye. I was fairly sure I bought my TiVo from Curry's towards the end of 1999. My son was working for Comet at the time and they didn't stock them, so I had to forgo my extra discount! However it could have been 2000, which makes my TiVo nine years old and not ten, if that's the case! :)

    ATB

    Max
     
  24. simon194

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    But it is still the original box and I replaced the PSU more as a preventative measure when I put a bigger HDD in it.

    I will admit the box was showing some symptoms of a failing PSU (uneven signal strength and occasional hard drive wiping) but there were no bulging capacitors on old PSU I took out.
     
  25. HDCriticalFan

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    Hi Simon194,

    I take your point that it is still the original box, but (like me) you have changed the PSU and HDD. I'm not an electronics expert, but I reckon we have changed out about 90% of what can go wrong ! I assume that even cheap fans are sufficiently "old tech" to be pretty reliable and if a "computer" motherboard works ... then it is not likely to stop working. The capacitors in the PSU and the moving parts of the HDD are surely the bits that were going to fail.

    That said, you have actually helped me to make my case by saying "the box was showing some symptoms of a failing PSU". I for one would be prepared to pay a bit more for a box which didn't do that before its third birthday.

    And of course all of us who have spent money putting a larger HDD into our boxes are effectively "voting with our feet". Surely nothing says more eloquently that we are prepared to pay more for a box with a bigger HDD !



    Regards
     
  26. -Ad-

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    So could the Thomson actually be one of the good boxes, once the PSU has been replaced with the new caps?

    Samsungs seem to be very picky with 1TB drives, Amstrad seem to have pretty pants SD quality and other problems, then there are the PACE boxes that people go on about soo much.

    I wouldn't pay for a better box as these things should last a good 5yrs or so at least anyway, a lot of electrical appliances do anyway.
     
  27. Miss Chief

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    My HD box is an Amstrad and even Setanta on the footy last night looked OK. Just Ok, not great, just OK. I can't say I've had a problem with SD content on it and most of my viewing and recording is in SD.
     

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