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Topic # 100512 12-Apr-2012 17:52 Send private message

I've had a read of Consumer's most recent issue that has a test of PVRs (well, Freeview boxes, many that have PVR functions). While I'm not terribly trusting of Consumer's electronic reviews (I mean they apparently weren't able to find out how larger the hard drive on the Tivo was!), but interestingly they claim a power consumption in "stand by" of 22.6 watts, just a bit more than measured earlier by Slolink back in January.

Consumer fails to mention the reason for this and some other relatively high readings (eg My Sky HD) compared to some others in the test, and penalises high-use units for this in the overall results (standby power counts for 10% of the final mark).

If interested, Tivo gets a 72% overall result, lowest equal of the terrestrial PVRs tested (no Magic - I guess reflecting their scarcity at the moment).
 
I see they include the DishTV T1020 which records to an external drive, and apparently allows two channels to be recorded. Does this really come with dual tuners or is it like my old Vantage which allowed two channels on the same mux to be recorded (a far more limiting feature)? If so, they really need to clarify this.

 

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  Reply # 608382 12-Apr-2012 17:58 Send private message

jonathan18: I've had a read of Consumer's most recent issue that has a test of PVRs (well, Freeview boxes, many that have PVR functions). While I'm not terribly trusting of Consumer's electronic reviews (I mean they apparently weren't able to find out how larger the hard drive on the Tivo was!), but interestingly they claim a power consumption in "stand by" of 22.6 watts, just a bit more than measured earlier by Slolink back in January.

Consumer fails to mention the reason for this and some other relatively high readings (eg My Sky HD) compared to some others in the test, and penalises high-use units for this in the overall results (standby power counts for 10% of the final mark).

If interested, Tivo gets a 72% overall result, lowest equal of the terrestrial PVRs tested (no Magic - I guess reflecting their scarcity at the moment).
 
I see they include the DishTV T1020 which records to an external drive, and apparently allows two channels to be recorded. Does this really come with dual tuners or is it like my old Vantage which allowed two channels on the same mux to be recorded (a far more limiting feature)? If so, they really need to clarify this.

 


I have both a Tivo and a T1020, Tivo has dual tuners. T1020 has a single tuner but can record two channels providing they on the same frequency. (Forget about recording Tv1 and Tv3 at the same time)


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  Reply # 608400 12-Apr-2012 18:31 Send private message

Yeah one mux carries a lot of channels, and smart software can write more than one of these channels to disc at a time, and show another channel on the TV at the same time. Not many systems have software and or the processing power to allow this, but it's technically possible. So no, not a real twin tuner unit unfortunately.

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  Reply # 609777 16-Apr-2012 01:29 Send private message

I was so disgusted with Consumer's conclusions i.e. rating TiVo and MySkyHDi right at the bottom because of their 22W standby power usage due to their 30min constant buffering, I made it clear in their comments area.

It seems that MySkyHDi's incredible popularity in NZ is a big mistake. I rejoined Consumer for a dollar when the opportunity arose, then reluctantly extended for 6 months but I constantly despair at their lightweight and "out of touch with reality" conclusions. If anyone else here is a Consumer subscriber, please consider adding your 2c worth at: http://www.consumer.org.nz/reports/digital-tv/comments

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  Reply # 610016 16-Apr-2012 13:54 Send private message

Spong: I was so disgusted with Consumer's conclusions i.e. rating TiVo and MySkyHDi right at the bottom because of their 22W standby power usage due to their 30min constant buffering, I made it clear in their comments area.

It seems that MySkyHDi's incredible popularity in NZ is a big mistake. I rejoined Consumer for a dollar when the opportunity arose, then reluctantly extended for 6 months but I constantly despair at their lightweight and "out of touch with reality" conclusions. If anyone else here is a Consumer subscriber, please consider adding your 2c worth at: http://www.consumer.org.nz/reports/digital-tv/comments


Yes I joined consumer for $10, and then extended for another 6 months. I cancelled my membership partly because of the cost, but also because I found it so tiring constantly replying to technically incorrect reviews and comments.

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  Reply # 610020 16-Apr-2012 14:00 Send private message

jonathan18: I've had a read of Consumer's most recent issue that has a test of PVRs (well, Freeview boxes, many that have PVR functions). While I'm not terribly trusting of Consumer's electronic reviews (I mean they apparently?weren't able to find out how larger the hard drive on the Tivo was!), but interestingly they claim a power consumption in "stand by" of 22.6 watts, just a bit more than measured earlier by Slolink back in January.

Consumer fails to mention the reason for this and some other relatively high readings (eg My Sky HD) compared to some others in the test, and penalises high-use units for this in the overall results (standby power counts for 10% of the final mark).

If interested, Tivo gets a 72% overall result, lowest equal of the terrestrial PVRs tested (no Magic - I guess reflecting their scarcity at the moment).
?
I see they include the DishTV T1020 which records to an external drive, and apparently allows two channels to be recorded. Does this really come with dual tuners or is it like my old Vantage which allowed two channels on the same mux to be recorded (a far more limiting feature)? If so, they really need to clarify this.

?

What boxes did they test. Did they test the Telstra T-box?
Did they also say what the tivo cost. It will be interesting to read. I would think the tivo would rate quite well, as it is easy to use, cheap, and if it's isn't DOA, they are reliable.

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  Reply # 610081 16-Apr-2012 15:37 Send private message

They didn't test the Telstra box but anyone can see which models they tested here: 
 http://www.consumer.org.nz/reports/digital-tv/models-we-tested

It seems that power efficiency on standby was more important than anything, despite some of their top models needing an external hard disk to operate as a PVR. It seems that the power required for this was forgotten.  

For terrestrial models they recommended Sommet SHD-NZ3 (no PVR function), Hyundai AH-3110, Panasonic DMR-XW380 (PVRs)  and DishTV T1020 in that order. 

Right at the bottom, and not recommended were the TiVo and MySky HDi. Many of the quoted specs are just wrong. They say they contracted "One of the most experienced TV Broadcast engineers in the country and developed the rating scheme in consultation with him." I wonder who that was?

Their Research and Testing manager had this to say

"Tivo and MySkyHDi were both penalised for their excessive standby energy use. In a world where almost every TV sold uses less than one watt on standby, an appliance that the supplier says should stay on 24/7 at more than 21 watts is simply unacceptable. Our top rated PVR uses 0.8W and benefits in our rating model as a result.

We stand by our recommendations."
 

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  Reply # 610086 16-Apr-2012 15:47 Send private message

It seems I am loosing confidence in this consumer magazine.

Penelizing for excessive standby use? The Tivo has no real standby feature, thats because its a Tivo, its constantly recording. In a world where people seem to have gone green crazy they simply forgetting that being green is not always the best. Actually I could not care how much power my Tivo is using – Show me a simular product for that price that offers the same features. To me its acceptable, but to rate the T1020 (which I also own) higher. These guys are missing the point.

 



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  Reply # 610089 16-Apr-2012 15:53 Send private message

Spong: 
Their Research and Testing manager had this to say

"Tivo and MySkyHDi were both penalised for their excessive standby energy use. In a world where almost every TV sold uses less than one watt on standby, an appliance that the supplier says should stay on 24/7 at more than 21 watts is simply unacceptable. Our top rated PVR uses 0.8W and benefits in our rating model as a result.

We stand by our recommendations."
 


Enough said - confirms what many of us have said re Consumer and their tests of products outside of the basic such as vacuum cleaners and dish washers... 

A number of years ago I applied for a job in this part of Consumer, and didn't even get an interview... that I can spot numerous (and often fundamental) mistakes in such tests  as this one of PVRs just further annoys me about being looked over for the position. I may have a relatively superficial knowledge of these things compared to many on Geekzone but Consumer's writings makes me feel like a genius!

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  Reply # 610108 16-Apr-2012 16:32 Send private message

jonathan18: Enough said - confirms what many of us have said re Consumer and their tests of products outside of the basic such as vacuum cleaners and dish washers... 

+1
Their testing, plus subscriber reviews were excellent for selecting a vacuum cleaner.
When I saw they were testing smartphones, I got a sinking feeling.

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  Reply # 610113 16-Apr-2012 16:46 Send private message

Spong: They didn't test the Telstra box but anyone can see which models they tested here:?
?http://www.consumer.org.nz/reports/digital-tv/models-we-tested

It seems that power efficiency on standby was more important than anything, despite some of their top models needing an external hard disk to operate as a PVR. It seems that the power required for this was forgotten. ?

For terrestrial models they recommended Sommet SHD-NZ3 (no PVR function), Hyundai AH-3110, Panasonic DMR-XW380 (PVRs) ?and DishTV T1020 in that order.?

Right at the bottom, and not recommended were the TiVo and MySky HDi. Many of the quoted specs are just wrong. They say they contracted "One of the most experienced TV Broadcast engineers in the country and developed the rating scheme in consultation with him." I wonder who that was?

Their Research and Testing manager had this to say

"Tivo and MySkyHDi were both penalised for their excessive standby energy use. In a world where almost every TV sold uses less than one watt on standby, an appliance that the supplier says should stay on 24/7 at more than 21 watts is simply unacceptable. Our top rated PVR uses 0.8W and benefits in our rating model as a result.

We stand by our recommendations."
?


Both Mysky and tivos are totally different devices from other PVRs, as they are constantly recording onto a harddrive with spinning platters, and that is the benefit they offer over other types of PVR. The fact that TVs use 1 w while in standby isn't good in itself, as they aren't doing anything why in standby, unlike tivos, which are recording tv. That is why you can turn on the tv and skip back to the beginning of the program that it is displaying, it is a big benefit. I am not even sure why they are rating mysky , as it isn't a device you own, it is only rented. I hope sky have a go at them too, as rating it down due to power use, when it isn't being rated against comparable systems, apart from the tivo, isn't good. They need to compare apples with apples, not apples with lemons.

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  Reply # 610114 16-Apr-2012 16:56 Send private message

mattwnz: I am not even sure why they are rating mysky , as it isn't a device you own, it is only rented. I hope sky have a go at them too, as rating it down due to power use, when it isn't being rated against comparable systems, apart from the tivo, isn't good. They need to compare apples with apples, not apples with lemons.


I haven't seen the review (not a member), but, from the comments, it seems that they don't really have a clue. Comparing them against other pvrs which need an external hdd, but then not including the external hdd power usage? really?
I thought they didn't test the telstraclear's t-box?
Wink

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  Reply # 610155 16-Apr-2012 18:16 Send private message

dolsen:
mattwnz: I am not even sure why they are rating mysky , as it isn't a device you own, it is only rented. I hope sky have a go at them too, as rating it down due to power use, when it isn't being rated against comparable systems, apart from the tivo, isn't good. They need to compare apples with apples, not apples with lemons.


I haven't seen the review (not a member), but, from the comments, it seems that they don't really have a clue. Comparing them against other pvrs which need an external hdd, but then not including the external hdd power usage? really?
I thought they didn't test the telstraclear's t-box?
Wink


Libraries will have a copy.

To rate things so strongly on power consumption, is like driving magazines or tv shows ranking cars on fuel consumption. So the top car will be so hybrid or diesel, and they wouldn't look at the features, it's safety, the reliability etc.

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  Reply # 610160 16-Apr-2012 18:25 Send private message

Spong: Their Research and Testing manager had this to say

"Tivo and MySkyHDi were both penalised for their excessive standby energy use. In a world where almost every TV sold uses less than one watt on standby, an appliance that the supplier says should stay on 24/7 at more than 21 watts is simply unacceptable. Our top rated PVR uses 0.8W and benefits in our rating model as a result.

We stand by our recommendations."
 


Anthropogenic climate change subscribers clearly. Maybe Consumer is owned by the Green Party?  I mean it doesn't appear much else was important to them.





 




Artificial intelligence is no match, for natural stupidity



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  Reply # 610205 16-Apr-2012 20:11 Send private message



Right at the bottom, and not recommended were the TiVo and MySky HDi. Many of the quoted specs are just wrong. They say they contracted "One of the most experienced TV Broadcast engineers in the country and developed the rating scheme in consultation with him." I wonder who that was?
 


/beginconspiracytheory

Maybe the chief engineer from the Freeview testing lab, who "coincidentially" happened to give the worst rating to the two boxes that weren't Freeview approved Wink

/endconspiracytheory

Conspiracy theory jokes aside, comparing PVR boxes with an internal hard drive to boxes with an external hard drive, ignoring the power draw of the external drive, and then ranking them largely on energy consumption seems more than a tad stupid. Comparing them to TVs which are a different product entirely is even dumber - it's like saying that my car is a poor model because it uses more petrol than the average kitchen blender. Whoever their "engineer" was, they should be hit hard over the head with a clue stick.

I do wish, however, that there was a way to disable the endless recording/buffering of the Tivo in the settings window if I wanted to. Buffering is not a bad feature if you want it (personally I don't), but it should be easy to provide a menu option to disable it for people who don't want it. It's one reason I power my TiVo off at the wall when I'm not actually using it or have a recording set up.

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  Reply # 610215 16-Apr-2012 20:32 Send private message

JimmyH:


Right at the bottom, and not recommended were the TiVo and MySky HDi. Many of the quoted specs are just wrong. They say they contracted "One of the most experienced TV Broadcast engineers in the country and developed the rating scheme in consultation with him." I wonder who that was?
?


/beginconspiracytheory

Maybe the chief engineer from the Freeview testing lab, who "coincidentially" happened to give the worst rating to the two boxes that weren't Freeview approved Wink

/endconspiracytheory

Conspiracy theory jokes aside, comparing PVR boxes with an internal hard drive to boxes with an external hard drive, ignoring the power draw of the external drive, and then ranking them largely on energy consumption seems more than a tad stupid. Comparing them to TVs which are a different product entirely is even dumber - it's like saying that my car is a poor model because it uses more petrol than the average kitchen blender. Whoever their "engineer" was, they should be hit hard over the head with a clue stick.

I do wish, however, that there was a way to disable the endless recording/buffering of the Tivo in the settings window if I wanted to. Buffering is not a bad feature if you want it (personally I don't), but it should be easy to provide a menu option to disable it for people who don't want it. It's one reason I power my TiVo off at the wall when I'm not actually using it or have a recording set up.


Wouldn't turning a tivo off at the wall a lot be bad for the the HD, as it is continuously writing to harddrive?

I think that any reviews should be open to open debate and feedback. A pity the consumer review and comments are all behind a paywall to prevent that happening.

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