A high definition journey

The Magic that keeps giving...

, posted: 19-Nov-2009 17:50

It's been a couple of weeks now and really I am loving the Magic TV unit. I find it simple to use and fantastic to just be able to record what I want and watch TV when it's convenient for me, not TVNZ or whoever.  I have always found Friday night fantastic TV night and previously this has dictated me staying in a bit more than I would like, but having the DTR has allowed me to watch those shows whenever I want.

I have had few issues with this unit on the whole really. Although I think something funky happened last night as the picture kept cutting in and out – but I am blaming this on my television as after turning it off and on all was good in the world of Freeview again.

I have been trying to fill my hard-drive as quickly as possible to see how well it will handle it. Every time you go into the recordings it gives you the hours left to record in both standard and high definition, which is really handy. When full this unit will automatically start deleting old shows. First from your deleted items, which is really a recycling bin folder for your set top box.  Once these are all deleted it will start deleting the oldest shows first. There are multiple options to save those shows you really love, so you can always protect that movie you just can’t get enough of, or a really funny episode of 7 days.

What else is there to say? I will keep testing this unit even if it means spending time watching even those terribly trashy shows, like Rock of Love, over and over again – all for Geekzone and not my own guilty pleasure of course. What I would love to know though is if there is anything that you fellow geeks are particularly interested in knowing? Let me do the testing before you decide whether this unit is for you.

About the author: Suzi Heath is a 20 year old university student studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration majoring in Information Systems and E-Commerce. As a retail electronics sales consultant, she has spent many an hour explaining the finer points of Freeview to customers, but up until now has not dabbled much in it herself. Suzi is looking forward to feeding her currently dormant trashy television habit and also showing everyone that you don’t need an abundance of testosterone and long career in IT to take charge of some technology!



Testing the Magic TV DTR: grandparents

, posted: 9-Nov-2009 16:40

A couple of days in and so far the Magic TV is really awesome. Recording have a buffer/delay options so you can choose to start recordings a couple of minutes early and finish them a bit late too, which is perfect seems nothing runs on time. It's easy to access and play the recorded movies and I can also be watching a previously recorded show while recording two new ones!

I decided to bring in my mother for the “Grandma” test. I reset the machine, unplugged her and let her loose. She found the plug in instructions very easy and only got stuck on the part of the setup involving the video formats and admitted at this stage she would have asked for help. She then went on to have a play with timeshift and easy record which again she breezed through (Once I taught her what a pause button looked like)

Next we had a try at recording from the guide and here we had a bit of a hitch – the buttons they suggest you use on screen, and the actual buttons are different shapes – as you can see from the pictures below (see arrows) the record, next day and next week are in square boxes, but they correspond to the coloured circular buttons at the bottom of the remote.



Most of us here would work this one out for ourselves but this did have my mother stumped. Once we sorted out the button matchings though she was zooming through the guide and setting up recordings like a pro. This unit gets two thumbs up for me on the beginner users test, as my mum is very beginner and even she felt confident using it.

I must admit though there have been teething issues.

- The first autoscan did not pick up prime tv, the second scan try didn’t make it to the autoscanning screen but the third scan did it. Not sure why this happened but it did.
- A couple of my recording moved folders on me, they have been put in a user1 folder but I thought I had placed them in comedy. I can not be 100% sure on my folder accessing skills, but as they are series I will be interested to see where the next recordings end up.

About the author: Suzi Heath is a 20 year old university student studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration majoring in Information Systems and E-Commerce. As a retail electronics sales consultant, she has spent many an hour explaining the finer points of Freeview to customers, but up until now has not dabbled much in it herself. Suzi is looking forward to feeding her currently dormant trashy television habit and also showing everyone that you don’t need an abundance of testosterone and long career in IT to take charge of some technology!



The Magic MTV3600TD arrives!

, posted: 4-Nov-2009 09:07

So the Magic TV box has arrived… and at first glance this thing is, well sexy! I love how it looks, very sleek black box, which matches my tv and PS3 perfectly. The unit is run through the remote only, so no buttons defacing the LCD panel. Which brings me to an interesting point – this unit has one slight problem, if your remote is broken or MIA, you are unable to use it.

On Sunday I plug it in, very simple instructions for how to do this which even the least technical minded people could do, I may even test this theory on my anti-technology mother and lo and behold, my remote seems to be DOA. Bummer.

Today I had a lovely Scottish fellow (who is on Geekzone) come and set up an aerial, as I discovered my aerial only connects up to half the house… the wrong house. At the same time he managed to work some “magic” of his own on the remote, no idea what he did but it’s alive!

So onto the actual setup of the machine, to be honest this has to be the easiest setup menu I have ever seen. It is highly user friendly and very quick. Choose your language. Choose your viewing quality (options in both 50 and 60Hz). Choose your aspect ratio and then it auto scans all the channels in for you! What more could you want?

That’s the setup done really, 10 minutes and I am happily watching Freeview|HD either natively or upscaled to 1080p. The channels have ~3 sec delay when changing channels which seems pretty reasonable.

I wish there was more to say, but there really isn’t any more setup to it so nothing more to write! Time to begin the road testing me thinks! If anyone has anything in particular they would like to test chuck a comment and I will try my hardest to give it a go.

 About the author: Suzi Heath is a 20 year old university student studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration majoring in Information Systems and E-Commerce. As a retail electronics sales consultant, she has spent many an hour explaining the finer points of Freeview to customers, but up until now has not dabbled much in it herself. Suzi is looking forward to feeding her currently dormant trashy television habit and also showing everyone that you don’t need an abundance of testosterone and long career in IT to take charge of some technology!



Introducing Suzi Heath, MyFreeview|HD reviewer

, posted: 28-Sep-2009 07:00

As you all know the lovely folk at Freeview have given us three MyFreeview|HD approved DTR devices to be reviewed. I was approached by Mauricio and jumped at the chance to be reviewing the high end Magic TV 3500 DTR model.

Freeview is the name given to New Zealand’s free-to-air digital television and radio service. There is a one off initial cost to this service though which is the setup of a UHF aerial, if your house is not already equipped, and a set top box. I will not go into any more detail as my fellow reviewers have already done such a brilliant job.

I love technology, but I sometimes feel like it’s a bit of a love/hate relationship. Up until now I have only had one (unsuccessful) attempt at getting Freeview. I tried going through a computer PVR (Personal Video Recorder) setup and after a confusing session of downloading software, codecs and goodness knows what else I discovered that half of my house is not wired for the UHF aerial! After this rather unsuccessful attempt I have been pondering buying a UHF aerial for my part of the house but never got round to it, and once Prime came to Freeview my better half laid claim to my unused TV Tuner card.

As a busy university student I always find that the programs I want to watch are on at the times you are never really home and am looking forward to having access to a program guide and pre-booking my shows.

Also Friday night television is fantastic at the moment, but there is always a dilemma at 8.30pm as to whether I should be watching Rove on TV3 or “Thank God you’re Here” on TV One. At the moment Rove normally wins, but once I have the DTR up and running I can watch one and record the other. Or if I feel so inclined record both.

I am hoping that the Magic TV’s “Step-by-step guided setup, clear menus, 8-day electronic programme guide (EPG) and 'at-a-glance' front panel display, all combine to provide easy operation for the whole family” will prove true. Although I have a couple of offers for help already (I think Sbiddle is eying up my unit already) I plan to go it alone from day 1.

The idea of set and forget time slot record option really appeals to me and I will be interested to see if it looks for the program name to record, or just the time slot i.e. if a program has a 2 hour special will it pick this up? This may be a hard one to test, so if anyone knows of any 2 hour specials, or changing of a television series time slot give me a heads up so I can put it through its paces.

About the author: Suzi Heath is a 20 year old university student studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration majoring in Information Systems and E-Commerce. As a retail electronics sales consultant, she has spent many an hour explaining the finer points of Freeview to customers, but up until now has not dabbled much in it herself. Suzi is looking forward to feeding her currently dormant trashy television habit and also showing everyone that you don’t need an abundance of testosterone and long career in IT to take charge of some technology!





What is this blog about?

Welcome to MyFreeview|HD Review! It’s almost like a “reality show” online. For the next four weeks we are going to follow three people experiencing high-definition digital TV, recording their experiences with three different MyFreeview|HD devices. This blog is sponsored by Freeview but the blog posts are by no means influenced by the company. Here is how it works: I had to chose three people from the Geekzone community to try and report their experiences with the devices, broadcast quality and anything else related to using the service. So I found my three candidates and each received a different model, courtesy of Freeview. Here are the reviewers: Suzi Heath (Magic TV 3500 DTR), Tony Hughes (Homecast HT9200DTR), Scott Palmer (Zinwell ZMT-640 PVR), and Nick Parfene (JCMatthew DVT-320T).

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Previous posts

Other features of MyFreeview|H...
Using the MyFreeview|HD JCMatt...
MyFreeview|HD JCMatthew DVR-32...
The Magic that keeps giving......
Introducing Nick Parfene revie...
Testing the Magic TV DTR: gran...
The Magic MTV3600TD arrives!...
Reliability of the Homecast DT...
Freeview reaches 300,000 New Z...
Unpacking and Installing the Z...


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