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88 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 4


Topic # 105959 15-Jul-2012 09:24 Send private message

Hi all,

The time is coming for getting rid of Sky (basically never watch it these days).

We're in a poor UHF reception area, so will be looking at Freeview through the Sky dish. So what I'm after is a relatively simple decoder but would also be able to play media files as well (primarily avi and mp4).

Do you have any recommendations? Budget is around $100- $150, PVR not really important, HDMI would be nice but not essential. I've been looking at the Dish TV S7070R, but not sure about the media player aspect.

Any suggestions would be great.

Thanks

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727 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 7


  Reply # 656015 15-Jul-2012 15:41 Send private message

There are some units that claim to combine the functions of satellite decoder and media centre, but I know of none that do both well. I recommend that you consider separate units, each good at its particular function.

Those more knowledgeable of what's out there may of course know of a unit that *does* do both things well, so stay tuned.

There are no good cheap satellite boxes, and few good expensive ones, for that matter.

As for media players, while I myself found the Western Digital products (Live, HD, whatever) to be inadequate and flawed, others find them to be OK. The best option still seems to be a jail-broken Apple TV 2 with XMBC installed.

1370 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 274


  Reply # 656029 15-Jul-2012 16:23 Send private message

xarqi: There are some units that claim to combine the functions of satellite decoder and media centre, but I know of none that do both well. I recommend that you consider separate units, each good at its particular function.



+1 A proper standalone media player will nearly always be better (range of files it will play etc) than the fairly awful media player functions they are grafting on to TVs and other devices to try and tick more boxes in the showroom.

Unlike xarqui, I like the WD players - cheap and, while the menus are a bit clunky and ugly, unlike the Apple TV you don't have to jail break them and you can directly attach USB drives.

You budget is somewhat on the light side for what you want. Figure $100-150 for a decent stand-alone media player, plus $80-130 for a basic satellite box (somewhat more if you want one that records and is halfway decent). In my experience it's not worth saving a few tens of dollars by buying inferior kit, after much annoyance you usually wind up junking it and buying what you should have got in the first place.

4788 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 126

Trusted

  Reply # 656053 15-Jul-2012 17:33 Send private message

JimmyH:  In my experience it's not worth saving a few tens of dollars by buying inferior kit, after much annoyance you usually wind up junking it and buying what you should have got in the first place.


+1
Often in the satellite world cheap really does = nasty.
A few dollars more can make all the difference.

118 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 656120 15-Jul-2012 19:36 Send private message

jesterz: Hi all,

The time is coming for getting rid of Sky (basically never watch it these days).

We're in a poor UHF reception area, so will be looking at Freeview through the Sky dish. So what I'm after is a relatively simple decoder but would also be able to play media files as well (primarily avi and mp4).

Do you have any recommendations? Budget is around $100- $150, PVR not really important, HDMI would be nice but not essential. I've been looking at the Dish TV S7070R, but not sure about the media player aspect.

Any suggestions would be great.

Thanks

I've been pleased with my Openbox S10 which does have HDMI. It supports DVB-S2 and HD which was important when Channel 9 was broadcasting on a transponder that we could receive in NZ. The PVR works well enough, but doesn't support all of the codecs that you might want if you've got content from elsewhere.
Apparently Channel 9 are again testing some special channels on Optus D1 for use during the olympics, so I'm hoping that my DVB-S2 and HD capability will again be of use.
I've recently bought a Philips media player which can access my wifi and the internet. It seems to play all codecs and means that whatever shortcomings the Openbox has...  don't really matter anymore.

4788 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 126

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  Reply # 656135 15-Jul-2012 19:56 Send private message

silverlake:  Channel 9 are again testing some special channels on Optus D1 for use during the olympics, so I'm hoping that my DVB-S2 and HD capability will again be of use.


3D no less....

118 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 656162 15-Jul-2012 20:21 Send private message

Jaxson:
silverlake:  Channel 9 are again testing some special channels on Optus D1 for use during the olympics, so I'm hoping that my DVB-S2 and HD capability will again be of use.


3D no less....

Yeah, but I'm not buying any 3D kit just on the off chance that we might get to watch a few Ozzies win a few medals in 3D! I'm more interested in any 2D transmissions there might be.

255 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 20


  Reply # 656788 17-Jul-2012 02:07 Send private message

There are 2 transmission on the transponder. One a 3D HD feed the other in 2D




118 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 656827 17-Jul-2012 08:10 Send private message

Yes, I have tuned in to them.
Not entirely sure what the message about being on air from 11:00 - 16:00 with 3D highlights means.
Will the channels show regular Channel 9 coverage at other times?



88 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 4


  Reply # 659276 20-Jul-2012 18:14 Send private message

Thank you all for your replies ... need to do a bit more thinking before taking the plunge!

118 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 659307 20-Jul-2012 20:21 Send private message

jesterz: Thank you all for your replies ... need to do a bit more thinking before taking the plunge!

Well, if you are interested in the Channel 9 3D or 2D Olympic channel then you need to take the plunge quickly and by a DVB-S2 capable box.
If you are not interested in the olympic stuff... get a decent media player and download a load of content from someone like Kim Dotcom!

17 posts

Geek


  Reply # 659315 20-Jul-2012 20:34 Send private message

Look for a box/pvr with digital video output ie hdmi. DVB-T ones usually have this, but not so often for DVB-S. The digital upscaling from Freeview standard definition to a 1080 panel is fairly okay. The analog signal from a set top box is poor. Fit for only a CRT.

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