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35 posts

Geek


# 69126 3-Oct-2010 14:20
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Hi all,

I am trying to scope out my next purchases and could really do with some help! 

My current setup consists of:
- Old 29" CRT
- XBOX with XBMC
- Sky Box
- Linksys WRT54G providing wireless link to PC.

I am looking to shortly upgrade to a 40" HD TV and I would really like to be able to record content. The thing I am struggling with is, i'd mostly like to record Freeview content but would also like to occasionally record a cricket game or two off sky. I don't mind if recording off Sky has to be 'manual'. 

A Tivo looked really promising, but I don't believe this can record from any external inputs (ie Sky Box). I don't think I want to give Sky any more money for a MySky box. 

I would probably prefer a box to an HTPC, but would definitely consider either as I don't mind setting things up (as per Xbox). 

Can anyone give any suggestions as to what would be the best option for my setup? 

Thanks heaps and I look forward to your responses! 

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374 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 387587 4-Oct-2010 10:44
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If you're getting Sky via satellite, the best option is a Vu+Duo. It will accept a Sky card, so you'll get all FreeView and Sky channels through that box, with the ability not only to record, but to transfer the recordings off the box and onto a PC, and from there to a DVD if required.

It's not the cheapest option, but it's certainly something worth considering. Think of it as pretty much a HTPC packaged like a MySky box.




Things are LookingUp....  A photo from my back yard :-)
http://www.astrophotogallery.org/u141-rodm.html 


2078 posts

Uber Geek
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Subscriber

  # 387695 4-Oct-2010 14:41
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Tivo Series 1 is another option except it can only record a single channel at once. It records from your sky decoder and changes channels as necessary.

Picture is not HD but is very high quality given the right input signal (e.g. a freeview HD decoder)

 
 
 
 




35 posts

Geek


  # 387810 4-Oct-2010 18:54
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Thanks LookingUp and GraemeH for your replies.

I have looked at the Vu+Duo a little and am aware of Dreamboxes. There is a couple of things (other than the price) that put me off a bit:

1) I've got a Gold 17XX Sky card and i'm not sure that it will work
2) Anyone who owns one seems to be constantly tinkering etc. I don't mind doing that once of but I would like it to just work after that. How stable are they?
3) I can't get HD without paying Sky for it (even free channels). However, I do see it may be possible to use a USB Terrestrial card. 

As for Tivo Series 1 boxes, I haven't really looked into them but I will now. I guess the lack of HD and multiple tuners has put me off a little.

Maybe I shouldn't have posted this in the Freeview section, because I guess a lot of the issues surround sky not Freeview.

I'm also interested in HTPC options after doing a little more reading. To have a quiet simple box in the lounge, I guess I will also need a workhorse server somewhere else?  I am interested in XBMC etc, but my understanding is that lite nettop options are for playback not recording.

Thanks!
 



35 posts

Geek


  # 387823 4-Oct-2010 19:15
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I did forget one point - It would be nice to have a solution that works for ripped content (avis etc) and for recorded live content.....

 

63 posts

Master Geek


  # 391107 12-Oct-2010 22:27
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Hi. Per previous comment whether you are UHF or Sat Freeview.  

I've got a Ultraplus Sat Receiver HD980 and its brilliant. It upscales the SD to a degree we are quite impressed with it.

I've just this week configured Tivo at our other place and I dont see too much difference in the picture.
Its a reasonable option at around $420 Retail and allows PVR to an external drive and play back of content.

I played .AVI formated files for example, music and so forth.

I bought a 640Gb external USB powered drive for $135. So rather than the HD900 option at around $800 its $300 cheaper getting your own external USB drive.

The unit is a great unit with impressive user interface for PVR and setup. Downside is there is only one tuner so watching and recording is limited to the same transponder. I think dual tuners push you up to about $800-900.

It was a satisfactory compromise for me.  I've had no issues with it.




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Master Geek


  # 391403 13-Oct-2010 16:41
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Mysky is a good option, its on special at $599 and you can use your standard sky supscrition on it (I think hd 1, 2 & 3 is free without the hd ticket)
If you are already paying for sky its a good quite a good price for a dual tuner system.

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Uber Geek


  # 391420 13-Oct-2010 17:13

Biggles69: Mysky is a good option, its on special at $599 and you can use your standard sky supscrition on it (I think hd 1, 2 & 3 is free without the hd ticket)

If you are already paying for sky its a good quite a good price for a dual tuner system.


 

But you don't own the box at the end do you? If you cancel your sky sub, they ask for it back. I think you are better to just pay monthly.

 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek
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  # 391442 13-Oct-2010 17:53
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Since the Ultraplus 980HD has been mentioned I feel morally obliged to point out that I tried one for a couple of months and found it to be a bug-ridden joke that should be recalled until it is fit to be released to the market. Mine went back after my list of dozens of bugs was met with abuse from the retailer rather than support.

Concerning the Vu+ Duo, which I bought to do what the Ultraplus promised to do but failed to deliver on:

No tinkering required, but plenty possible if you are that way inclined.

Buy one; plug it it; it goes.

It'll probably handle your multimedia needs, AVI, DivX, etc (a DAMNsite better than the 980HD, which chokes on many bog-standard AVIs), and DVB-T via USB is beginning to be supported. Two tuners is very nice too.

In passing, note that there is one HD FTA service available from Optus D1: SBS HD, and very decent it is too.

727 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 391443 13-Oct-2010 17:58
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Biggles69: Mysky is a good option, its on special at $599 and you can use your standard sky supscrition on it (I think hd 1, 2 & 3 is free without the hd ticket)

If you are already paying for sky its a good quite a good price for a dual tuner system.


No HD without my-sky-hd, the HD ticket, and the minimum channel plan. That's what Sky told me.
If you have a dish and an STB/recorder, that works out to about $100 up front for nothing of use, and $80 a month for use of a card to get what should be freely available to all. 

83 posts

Master Geek


  # 391722 14-Oct-2010 11:38
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xarqi:  
Biggles69: Mysky is a good option, its on special at $599 and you can use your standard sky supscrition on it (I think hd 1, 2 & 3 is free without the hd ticket)

If you are already paying for sky its a good quite a good price for a dual tuner system.


No HD without my-sky-hd, the HD ticket, and the minimum channel plan. That's what Sky told me.
If you have a dish and an STB/recorder, that works out to about $100 up front for nothing of use, and $80 a month for use of a card to get what should be freely available to all. 


Other people have stated on geekzone that they get TV 1,2 & 3 in HD with myskyhdi WITHOUT the Hd ticket (that is for sport & movies)

All i'm saying is that if you already have sky & are only interested in watching / recording tv its quite a good option.

727 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 391755 14-Oct-2010 12:14
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I was confused by the conflicting reports, so went straight to the source, Sky.  The answer was very clear.  No HD at all without myskyHD or whatever they call it.  No HD at all without an HD ticket.  No subscription to myskyHD without a minimum channel package.  The "downgrade" option won't get you HD on the Freeview content either.

Of course they may have given me completely erroneous information, for one reason or another, but what they told me was unambiguous.

23 posts

Geek


  # 393400 19-Oct-2010 00:06
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I have a panasonic DMR-BW850 which I bought on sale for $880, it has freeview, can record two programs at once, can record sky via AV1, plays bluray and dvd, and will record to bluray and dvd. It also does viera cast (youtube) and is a DNLA server. It does what I want, is easy to set up and use. I especially like how it remembers on all the programs I have recorded where I am up to (so I don't have to start from the begining if I have watched half of it) and you can delete a program whilst it is recording (these I couldn't do on my old DVR).

Check out this thread for more info http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=83&topicid=65557
For around $900 the dmr-xw380 will do most except play/record onto bluray.


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