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399 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 610280 16-Apr-2012 23:13 Send private message

JimmyH:


   


/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



I don't think that was the case. Their most highly rated terrestrial PVR was the Hyundai AH-3110 at $450, which they state is Not Freeview approved, the EPG only shows the current and next programme, and it has a single tuner. If this is the case, forget programming series links and advance programming.

They state it also has a satellite tuner and the 7 day EPG is "not easy to use" 

Oh, and it needs an external hard disk, so of course it's standby power consumption is only 3.61W.

Would anyone here seriously actually buy such a machine instead of a TiVo?  

 

792 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 610328 17-Apr-2012 08:47 Send private message

mattwnz: 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.


Somebody with access should drop a link to this thread in their comments feature. It would be interesting to see what the "Research and Testing manager" has to say to the issues raised in this thread as well...

I would be disappointed if they chose to censor any negative comments about their review by deleting any post that was made in this manner.

I'm not trying to be nasty. As a organisation that reviews other peoples products and put their conclusions out there which can influence the success of these products, I think it's fair enough that their review gets a similar treatment.

399 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 610501 17-Apr-2012 13:15 Send private message

dolsen:
mattwnz: 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.


Somebody with access should drop a link to this thread in their comments feature. It would be interesting to see what the "Research and Testing manager" has to say to the issues raised in this thread as well...

I would be disappointed if they chose to censor any negative comments about their review by deleting any post that was made in this manner.

I'm not trying to be nasty. As a organisation that reviews other peoples products and put their conclusions out there which can influence the success of these products, I think it's fair enough that their review gets a similar treatment.


I've just placed a link to this thread in the comments area for that review.

There are a few others starting to vent their displeasure at their conclusions. It's a pity it's only available to subscribers, and it costs a lot to buy a single review. 

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  Reply # 610533 17-Apr-2012 14:32 Send private message

dolsen:
mattwnz: 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.


Somebody with access should drop a link to this thread in their comments feature. It would be interesting to see what the "Research and Testing manager" has to say to the issues raised in this thread as well...

I would be disappointed if they chose to censor any negative comments about their review by deleting any post that was made in this manner.

I'm not trying to be nasty. As a organisation that reviews other peoples products and put their conclusions out there which can influence the success of these products, I think it's fair enough that their review gets a similar treatment.


I am a fan of the consumer magazine, and do use it when looking at products. I don't necessarily go with their recommendations nor agree with everything they say, but I do know people who do place heavy reliance on them when choosing an appliance. But I do think they need to compare apples with apples when recommending one thing over another. A device that doesn't have a harddisk, and season pass roceording shouldn't be getting rated above something that has a huge number of additional features, and is largely marked down due to it consuming more power. If it does a lot more, and records to a mechanical harddrive 247, then it will obviously use more power.

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  Reply # 610560 17-Apr-2012 14:58 Send private message

The Hyundai can not do terrestrial and satellite at the same time. It's essentially a single tuner unit, and that is a huge waste for me. I have owned this unit by the way, but not any more....

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  Reply # 610566 17-Apr-2012 15:02 Send private message

Jaxson: The Hyundai can not do terrestrial and satellite at the same time. It's essentially a single tuner unit, and that is a huge waste for me. I have owned this unit by the way, but not any more....


I don't see the point of having both built in, unless the satellite tuner was picking up channels that UHF freeview didn't have, such as SBS and BBC.

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  Reply # 610584 17-Apr-2012 15:16 Send private message

Agreed.

I used mine in conjunction with a big 1.8m satellite dish. Nowadays you're only talking SBS 1 & 2 and possibly some one off feeds on a typical 60cm sky dish.

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  Reply # 610747 17-Apr-2012 19:15 Send private message



I don't think that was the case. Their most highly rated terrestrial PVR was the Hyundai AH-3110 at $450, which they state [...] Would anyone here seriously actually buy such a machine instead of a TiVo?  

 


Yes, some would. I briefly looked at this model. It has a couple of points over the Tivo which might be relevant to some people:
  • it has a satellite tuner, Tivo doesn't, and not everyone gets terrestrial coverage
  • it used to be significantly cheaper than the Tivo (not now)
  • it isn't FV approved and has a guide for converting its recordings (incl HD recordings) to other formats, without restrictions or a need co connect to a network or purchase the HNP etc. The approved T1020 boxes etc won't let you do this.

If I saw one cheap enough, I still might buy it. My terrestrial coverage is patchy (can't get the Kordia Mux reliably) and I detest the lock down on the approved boxes on principle.

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Geek


  Reply # 610863 17-Apr-2012 22:34 Send private message

Whilst Consumer's reviews generally make my blood boil because they are often so superficial (in fact I intended to cancel my sub but they helped themselves to a renewal from my credit card before I did so), I think that anyone who knocks the review based on just one aspect of it is being just as sloppy as Consumer often is.

The overall rating is made up by weighting scores on different attributes. For PVR devices, the power consumption contributes only 10% to the total, and fully 70% of the rating comes from two attributes - ease of use, and recording. In the case of Tivo, they scored it 7.4 and 7.8 respectively on those two attributes; MySky HDi scored 7.5 and 7.6 for the same attributes. They say that ease of use is itself a composite based on nine sub-categories.

Not having any experience with those machines I can't comment on those ratings, but their ratings for the devices I have had experience with (Sommet SHD-NZ3, Panasonic DMR-XW380 and DishTV T1020) all seemed roughly right. Well, they rated the Panasonic standby power consumption on the assumption that it is set up for rapid start, whereas I am willing to put up with a slow start to keep power draw to the minimum, so I'd say it is better than they found; and I didn't think they penalised the DishTV heavily enough for pixellation, which I thought was pretty bad, but at least they did point out the problem. 

Personally (and it surprises me greatly to find myself defending Consumer) I commend them for giving some weight to energy consumption, though I would actually have given it a higher weighting. Having spent a couple of years and invested heavily in building an energy efficient house, Consumer's conclusion that the high standby power consumption is unacceptable in 2012 is exactly how I see it. Of course I'm biased, but which is more important in the end - that our children have a habitable planet in future, or that we all squander power for dubious and meaningless conveniences like being able to view whatever garbage happened to be on TV for the last 30 minutes before sitting down in front of the thing? Every little bit helps. Maybe in 3 years these things will have SSD disks as standard, and we can have convenience as well as energy efficiency, but in the meantime I will avoid them.

532 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 610905 18-Apr-2012 00:11

I own the Hyundai AH3110 and I can't believe that anyone would rate it above a dual tuner device. It is still available but is old. It has no Mheg or IP epg so it can't do any series link functions. To set the epg to record a dtt program in the future, you need a dish attached just to get the 7 day epg from dth and then you need to change the timer channel number to a terrestrial channel... What a nightmare.

Having used several boxes, my order would be MySkyHDI or Tivo followed by Panasonics dual tuner DVD / Bluray devices. Any single tuner box would be way down the list.

I have agreed with other reviews by Consumer on HD IDTVs... What were they thinking?




don't mess with me.... i'm the hd insider....

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Geek


  Reply # 610936 18-Apr-2012 08:09 Send private message

Good point about dual tuners. That led me to have another look at the article and I see that for non-PVR devices, 70% of the total score goes to Ease of Use (because they don't score them for recording). So a competent but very basic STB like the Sommet NZ3, awarded 7.9 for ease of use, appears almost as good as the vastly more capable Panasonic 380.

It would have been much smarter to have had two different scoring scenarios: one for people who want to record stuff on a schedule, and one for those who just want to watch live. Mixing PVR and non-PVR scores up in this way is unhelpful and misleading. The only reason I've tangled with a few different devices myself is that too many of the things on the market have serious compromises when it comes to scheduled recording (I started out trying to use a HDD DVD recorder plus STB, and/or STB with USB disk).


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  Reply # 610973 18-Apr-2012 08:47 Send private message

I think this thread is a bit overblown. Everyone has there own rating system, Consumer has what they feel is best, rightly or wrongly. Its up to each of us to read it and decide. To me I looked at the picture quality, I dont care about price or power. Tivo and MySky got 9.5, a Panny got 9.6, thats all I need to know. From there "my" rating is picture and features only. Thats just me. Others will see power as important, others will see tuner numbers.

Forget one persons bottom line score, look at what you see as important.

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  Reply # 611007 18-Apr-2012 09:47 Send private message

merlinz: Personally (and it surprises me greatly to find myself defending Consumer) I commend them for giving some weight to energy consumption, though I would actually have given it a higher weighting. Having spent a couple of years and invested heavily in building an energy efficient house, Consumer's conclusion that the high standby power consumption is unacceptable in 2012 is exactly how I see it. Of course I'm biased, but which is more important in the end - that our children have a habitable planet in future, or that we all squander power for dubious and meaningless conveniences like being able to view whatever garbage happened to be on TV for the last 30 minutes before sitting down in front of the thing? Every little bit helps. Maybe in 3 years these things will have SSD disks as standard, and we can have convenience as well as energy efficiency, but in the meantime I will avoid them.

I entirely agree that energy consumption is important, and it's great they included it in their review. The weighting system is a bit stupid, because if a PVR consumed 2kW it could still score 90% overall. However if a PVR is hard to use and has poor feature set, then who cares how much power it saves as it shouldn't be purchased anyway.

I'm not sure why people are focussing on HDD power consumption. Of the ~20W a TiVoHD consumes, only about 1-3W of that is the HDD, most of the rest is in the CPU and video processing chips.

It is very stupid that Consumer mixed PVRs with just plain STBs. Being able to schedule recordings is where the TiVo and MySky really shine. How can you compare the 'eas of use' of something that only allows you to change channels compared to something that does so much more?

Maybe I should re-subscribe just so I can express my disagreement with them.

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  Reply # 612063 19-Apr-2012 18:29 Send private message

Skolink:
merlinz: Personally (and it surprises me greatly to find myself defending Consumer) I commend them for giving some weight to energy consumption, though I would actually have given it a higher weighting. Having spent a couple of years and invested heavily in building an energy efficient house, Consumer's conclusion that the high standby power consumption is unacceptable in 2012 is exactly how I see it.?Of course I'm biased, but which is more important in the end - that our children have a habitable planet in future, or that we all squander power for dubious and meaningless conveniences like being able to view whatever garbage happened to be on TV for the last 30 minutes before sitting down in front of the thing? Every little bit helps. Maybe in 3 years these things will have SSD disks as standard, and we can have convenience as well as energy efficiency, but in the meantime I will avoid them.

I entirely agree that energy consumption is important, and it's great they included it in their review. The weighting system is a bit stupid, because if a PVR consumed 2kW it could still score 90% overall. However if a PVR is hard to use and has poor feature set, then who cares how much power it?saves as it shouldn't be purchased anyway.

I'm not sure why people are focussing on HDD power consumption. Of the ~20W a TiVoHD consumes, only about 1-3W of that is the HDD, most of the rest is in the CPU and video processing chips.

It is very stupid that?Consumer mixed PVRs with just plain STBs. Being able to schedule recordings is where the TiVo and MySky really shine. How can you compare the 'eas of use' of something that only allows you to change channels compared to something that does so much more?

Maybe I should re-subscribe just so I can express my disagreement with them.


Totally agree. They should have done two separate reviews. One for proper PVRs with built in storage, and one for STBs. The STB one could include those boxes with very basic PVR functionality or needed addon drives to record to. The fact is that some TVs now and more in the future will have PVR functionality and Free iew functionality anyway, and they will be as good as many STB's with some PVR functionality, but they won't yet replace a proper PVR with a built in harddrive.

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  Reply # 612092 19-Apr-2012 19:32 Send private message

tdgeek: I think this thread is a bit overblown. Everyone has there own rating system, Consumer has what they feel is best, rightly or wrongly. Its up to each of us to read it and decide. To me I looked at the picture quality, I dont care about price or power. Tivo and MySky got 9.5, a Panny got 9.6, thats all I need to know. From there "my" rating is picture and features only. Thats just me. Others will see power as important, others will see tuner numbers.

Forget one persons bottom line score, look at what you see as important.


Absolutely! Who cares how much power a unit uses or whether it's easy to use if the picture quality is rubbish - as it won't be switched on or used. Good PQ should be the main consideration for all buyers. How much weight you give to ease of use and power saving/use is a more personal thing based on personal perspective (technical literacy, needs other users, budget, environmental conscience etc), but these should only be considered once the choices have been narrowed to better PQ.

The standby power use thing can be a bit over done etc. Just for interest, I did a rough back of the envelope calculation:
- assume the unit is on (being used, scheduled recording etc for 8 hours a day)
- assume, for sake of argument, power draw is identical when units are in use
- assume efficient unit draws (say) 2W in standby when not recording
- assume inefficient unit draws (say) 22W while in "standby" because of constant buffering etc
- assume power costs around 20c a kilowatt hour
- assume all units switched on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Extra power draw = 116.8 KwH/year - ie (22-2W)x16x365
Extra power cost = $23.36/year

While it's worth avoiding it's not exactly wallet-destroying in the scheme of things (45 cents a week), and certainly not worth trading off an appreciable difference in picture quality or performance to achieve. Given most of our power cones from renewables, the annual environmental impact probably equates to one trip to the shops?

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