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43 posts

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# 214008 23-Apr-2017 21:13
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Hi, I am new to this, and would appreciate ANY advice you'd like to give me.

I have ditched sky (too expensive) and currently have a laptop with bluetooth stereo hooked up to my non-smart TV. (Why ditch a perfectly good TV just because it's not smart I figure? But do feel free to put me right there...) So sky has been replaced with on demand, Netflix (cheaper) and YouTube. We have a rarely used DVD attached too.

I had an accident with the laptop (shoved a ruler into my bag holding it and lifted off several keys and damaged the TouchPad left/right click buttons). Still fine with wireless mouse and wireless keyboard, but not good for traveling with and working with all this extra paraphernalia. But seems to be good for various viewing options on the TV.

The things I miss about sky is recording, series link and watching or recording more than one channel at a time.

The other thing the original sky installer did for me was put a wee plug in box thing that made sky available on every TV in the house (not fully functional, no channel changing etc, just replicated audio visual) ... but a second sky installer had a huge grump at me about it (when he installed a second decoder in a different room) so it has crossed my mind that it may not have been 110% above board. But it was certainly a happy thing at our place so I kept my mouth shut when grilled by the second sky installer. Lol. We also had two strange triangle boxes that we could make the channels change with between rooms if they were all lined up right (IR?) But I suspect that there are now far far better options available?

But where I am going with that train of thought is that we have multiple TV sets and although budget is certainly a constraint, it would be good to be able to watch everything on more than one TV set in the home.

We have also have a very basic sleep out which is not connected to the house TV circuit and has no TV connection in it. (I am guessing on demand / Netflix etc is going to be the only affordable option there? But again, all comments appreciated.)

We have unlimited broadband, if it is relevant.

I have been looking at box top sets for satellite - I am not in a main centre so presumably satellite is my best option?

Most Freeview box top sets seem pretty average looking and pretty poor review wise here in the nz market.

It would seem the vu+ series might be good, but I am rather bamboozled by it. I have been leaning towards the Solo 2, but don't really understand it all.

I am a frequent online shopper, including from overseas. Would buying something from overseas cause me issues (aside from an international power plug adapter)?

I am aware of the vu+ clones/copies coming out of China so will stay clear of those.

What I especially don't understand about the vu+ range is:
- do they connect to to WiFi without a dongle?
- do they need an "operating system" and software to be purchased in addition to the unit, like a computer does?
- Are they relatively easy for a newbie (although an intelligent newbie) to set up?
- would a vu+ replace the need for my laptop to be connected?
And there are probably a whole raft of other questions that I haven't even thought of.

Then we've got the whole "what shows can we watch" thing. By this I mean can I watch BBC on demand if I get something that keeps my location secret?

And I was looking at a snazzy Panasonic Blu-ray Recorder with Freeview, but presume that is for terrestrial only, so no good for me?

I would be so appreciative of any comments, a advice or help you are able to give me. I find it really hard to get unbiased local advice as the retailers just want to sell you what they stock (you can't blame them for that) and I don't know anyone techy enough to ask.

Thanks ever so much!
:)

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  # 1769431 23-Apr-2017 21:56
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1. how many screens are looking for content? we have 4 people in the house, and multi-screen is quite common even in same room

 

2. what sort of content? free to air, movies, sport, etc?

 

 

 

 





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Geek


  # 1769445 23-Apr-2017 23:13
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Not sure on screens - one main one and two extra TVs plus devices. Probably only 2-3 screens max at one time. But usually only one screen at a time really. We usually manage a 1 screen Netflix account quite well but occasionally upgrade to 2 screens.

We are a family of 3 kids (1 - 10 years of age) and 2 - 3 adults. Viewing would be young kids programmes, pre-teen kids shows, family movies & shows, movies and shows for the adults, free to air and possibly sports (rugby, motorbike racing game etc), but presumably sports puts the cost up so may have to be excluded.

Unfortunately we have to keep costs down as low as possible. Currently Free To Air, On Demand, You Tube and Netflix is a good combo for us cost wise.

Thanks for your help.

PS if anyone wants to give me some comments on Apple TV, chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire etc, that would be fab too

 
 
 
 


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  # 1769471 24-Apr-2017 00:56
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One option would be to just add a couple of USB tuners to the laptop and use it to record free-to-air TV.  Using MediaPortal under Windows would allow other PCs or laptops on the network to also run the MediaPortal frontend.  They would be able to set up recordings and play them back.  You would probably need a larger hard drive as well - does the laptop have a USB 3 or eSATA port you could put one on?

 

Alternatively, you could switch the laptop to running Linux and use MythTV, which is even better than MediaPortal, but more complicated to install.  Or run minisatip and have the tuners available to any SAT>IP clients anywhere on your network for whatever they wanted to use them for, such as live TV, or recording.  I believe MythTV and MediaPortal can both use SAT>IP tuners to record from, but the setup is a pain.  There is SAT>IP software for tablets and phones.

 

The tuners do not need to be on that laptop - you can use any old PC for the job, as long as you can get the TV aerial to the tuners and it is on your network on an Ethernet connection.


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  # 1770041 24-Apr-2017 23:10
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Chromecasts are simply excellent. I've been using them since they first came out (currently using the Chromecast 2) and also ended up grabbing some to hook up my parents TV's. There are many many video services and apps out there with full casting support and the few that don't can be cast using Google Chrome. They're also very good for music playback. Strongly recommend especially due to the cheap price.

 

There is also Plex and Videostream (Chrome extension) that have full Chromecast support for your local media as well as Netflix, Lightbox and Neon. TVNZ On Demand don't yet support Chromecast however I normally just cast via Google Chrome. I know this doesn't answer the question in regards to Live TV support but you could potentially look at getting a small Plex server up and running (with Plex DVR) along with using a HDHomerun device.







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  # 1770045 24-Apr-2017 23:48
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michaelmurfy:

Chromecasts are simply excellent. I've been using them since they first came out (currently using the Chromecast 2) and also ended up grabbing some to hook up my parents TV's. There are many many video services and apps out there with full casting support and the few that don't can be cast using Google Chrome. They're also very good for music playback. Strongly recommend especially due to the cheap price.


There is also Plex and Videostream (Chrome extension) that have full Chromecast support for your local media as well as Netflix, Lightbox and Neon. TVNZ On Demand don't yet support Chromecast however I normally just cast via Google Chrome. I know this doesn't answer the question in regards to Live TV support but you could potentially look at getting a small Plex server up and running (with Plex DVR) along with using a HDHomerun device.



Cheers! Best bought ex US or just as good here in NZ? I am all ears as to any entertainment solutions I can tap into.

Can anyone chat to me about location hiding services that allow me to tap into extra uk/us content?

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  # 1770504 26-Apr-2017 09:52
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On line streaming of our FTA channels are infested with unskippable advertising.

 

TV1 and 2 are not too bad - seems there are less adverts as compared to broadcast, but Prime, geeze, same number of adverts for streaming as there are broadcast.

 

I'm probably a bit old-school, but I do like the linear TV broadcast, and it is recorded so I can ship adverts, but occasionally I may miss an episode, or accidentally delete, so have to stream the missed episode.

 

Cant really justify Netflix or Lightbox, as FTA generally fills my viewing requirements, and I really dont want to spend every bit of free time watching content. I have other more boring stuff to do.

 

I generally watch 2 episodic TV series an evening, maybe the news. Maybe a doco or two.

 

I have a skybox for recording, but only as a "Decoder Rental" only - that's about $30 per month, and I also have a USB DVB Satellite tuner hooked into a NUC, and then transfers recording to a central server, and those recordings can be picked up anywhere in the home using whatever tech suits - I have used laptops, Raspberry Pi's etc,

 

I use the Skybox as there a couple of channels that are not on the freeview channels, but am trying to wean off it altogether, once I get the recorded content to a minimal level ..

 

 





My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government


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  # 1771285 27-Apr-2017 14:21
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SS - what USB DVB-S tuner do you use? I have bought a Beebox and am considering a USB tuner, as am missing my nightly news. Thanks


 
 
 
 




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  # 1771547 27-Apr-2017 21:05
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password1:

 

SS - what USB DVB-S tuner do you use? I have bought a Beebox and am considering a USB tuner, as am missing my nightly news. Thanks

 

 

 

 

We are currently missing the nightly news too!  I am keen to know what USB tuners are good ... can anyone guide us here?


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  # 1771748 28-Apr-2017 10:56
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I am using the AverMedia 3D DVB-S2 USB tuner, as found here:

 

http://avermedia.com.tw/product/ProductDetail.aspx?Id=544

 

No longer available - I chose it because i read a blog post by an ex-pat english migrant, living here in NZ, and advised this device integrated well with Windows Media Centre.

 

Very rarely it stops receiving channels - I've had to power off / on the turner twice in the last 12 months. It could be anything - USB ports power down, MS Updates, I havent pinned down a reason why.

 

I use the EPG collector program for the TV Guide, and a program called Recorded TV manager to transfer files to the server. Basically a folder watching / move application.

 

And it also does 3D, and also has a CAM slot for using a SkyTV card. I have used neither of these two features.

 

It only handles 1 channel at a time, so a bit of juggling with the +1 channels is in order.

 

I have also purchased an additional DVB-S2 USB tuner, but havent utilised it yet:

 

www.aliexpress.com/item/GENIATECH-Mygica-HDStar-DVB-S2-TV-Box/699117215.html

 

 





My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government


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Master Geek


  # 1771766 28-Apr-2017 11:23
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Thanks. My Tevii S480 PCI card started having similar issues, not finding channels and announcing errors. A restart would fix it but it was getting to be a pain. I'll look further at the second USB tuner you lined to.

 

 


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  # 1772128 28-Apr-2017 20:16
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I'm a newbie found Apple TV 4 simplest for us to use for overeseas tv e.g BBC , few Aussie and american channels. not too bad for NZ with Lightbox,fanpass , tv 3. We use airplay for tvnz seems better quality than our chrome cast but I do only have the first one. I like chrome cast as well but miss not having a remote. The Apple TV I find is easier for overseas tv apps as you can get them from the apple App Store whereas for chromecast you can't download from store and I end up on Apk sites to try and find apps. I have found more content on chromecast but harder for my wife and kids to use than the Apple TV.

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