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118 posts

Master Geek

#40288 27-Aug-2009 23:28
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Hi All,

With all of the new hard-disk only based PVRs slowly coming on the market at the moment, one thing I've been wondering for a while is what exactly are you meant to do if you want to watch a programme you've recorded, on another TV in your house?

We will often record programmes on our VCR and then either the wife or I take the tape to a second VCR connected to a second TV to watch while the other person then watches another programme that has been previously recorded to tape also, on the main TV.

With the hard-disk PVRs, how are you meant to 'transport' your recording around the house to watch on another TV?  I know some hard-disk/DVD players allow you to transfer the recording off the hard-disk to a DVD(-RW, ideally), but it's not quite as quick and easy as just taking the tape out... (although of course the picture quality is a lot higher on a DVD, and there's no wear on a tape).

What are you meant to do with a hard-disk only device, e.g. MySkyHDi, the various MyFreeviewHD recorders that are starting to appear, TiVo etc etc?

I'd be interested to know what people are doing to get around this problem (unless it's not done any more?), or am I missing something really obvious?!



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  #251199 28-Aug-2009 08:43
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If you are only after video tape quality to your second TV, then use a wireless video sender/receiver pairing between the recorder and the second TV.

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  #251200 28-Aug-2009 08:45
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Short answer is you can't.

For Disk based recorders you record to disk and move the disk around like you did the tape.

MySkyHDI - you can't.  You either move the box or get two and record similar shows on both.

What you can do is use video senders/video distribution systems that take the video signal and move it around the house (structured cabling etc) these allow you to watch content in multiple places, but it's like being in front of the box - you your wife wanted to go to bed and watch something, she'd take over the record box and you'd have to watch the same thing.

The only other way to do it is with a computer/media device that allows watching of videos (be them recorded/downloaded/ripped/streamed online).

Personally I've gone this last way (specs below), a single device in the lounge can record anything (FreeviewHD, Sky Decoder etc) and those files are accessible from the lounge, bedroom, laptop.  The other main advantage is that I can be watching show a, and the wife show b, and the laptop show c.

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  #251202 28-Aug-2009 08:48
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It's easily done with PC based PVR's. You simply have mutliple devices on your home network hooked up to a TV and can play recordings on any of them.

It can also be done with mutliple Tivo's - I'm not sure however if the NZ model will support this.

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  #251220 28-Aug-2009 09:57
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What you've mentioned is something that's been overlooked or at least not advertised much. You're not going to find sales people willingly mentioning this in the stores for instance. Most set top box type PVR's have no connection to the outside world, so you can't move a file off the unit to take elsewhere. This is especially annoying if you have more than one tv in the house as, as you have mentioned, this was a feature that previous units did have, be it vcr or dvd recorders.

I'm not sure, but this may even be part of the freeview specs to satisfy the copy protection side of things, not sure on this. Kinda similar to the must disable the hd on component video outputs if it's an approved freeview unit etc.

The way around this is either to find a unit that has a copy to usb or network ability via ethernet/wireless, or go about creating your own computer based unit which allows for this.

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  #251224 28-Aug-2009 10:08
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The Magic TV 3500 DTR (DVB-T HD) can export recordings to be watched elsewhere (play on your PC, or convert/burn).

Plenty of solutions out there...


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Master Geek

  #251616 29-Aug-2009 20:32
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

Looks like the options are either get a PVR and accept that recordings can only be viewed on the TV it's connected to, or build a HTPC then! The latter's very tempting from the challenge perspective, but probably won't get wife approval, will take me ages to build and configure, and will no doubt be too complex/frustrating for her to use, unlike a big-brand PVR. But then since the PVR recordings can't be taken from one room to another, that's probably not going to go down well either!

So maybe the two VCR's are going to be around for a little while longer, unless the NZ model TiVo ends up having the desired functionality (see sbiddle's post above) when it gets released. Here's hoping it does!

I will add though that I did try using the PS3MediaServer software on my PC last weekend, connecting direct to our DLNA capable Sony TV (no PS3 itself involved), and that worked amazingly well, so transmitting video over a network certainly seems to be the way to go. If only there were more DLNA capable TVs (especially small one's for bedrooms), or devices that could sit in the middle between the network port and a non-DLNA TV, and DLNA itself was a bit more settled - I tried 2 or 3 others pieces of software first, before getting PS3MediaServer to work. Of course this option though only allowed me to view the video files already recorded on the PC - not actually schedule them via the TV-tuner cards timer, which is what I guess a full HTPC would allow me to do.

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Ultimate Geek

  #251719 30-Aug-2009 12:53
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Dingbatt: If you are only after video tape quality to your second TV, then use a wireless video sender/receiver pairing between the recorder and the second TV.

I use a wireless AV Sender/Receiver for viewing on a second TV, something similar to this - Dick Smith Wireless AV Sender

It's not a perfect solution because it's only SD rather than HD, and composite video at that. But it does let me watch recorded material in the bedroom and use a remote - so it's better than nothing.

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  #251730 30-Aug-2009 13:37
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I run a simple gbpvr setup. The PC is connected to a flat screen TV. I don't usually watch the content using the PC - usually use a PCH which has mapping to the PC drives.

But on occasion when the family is watching something I can watch content on the HD just using a network share and another PC in the house. Just picked up another PCH so I plan to use that to view content recorded on the PVR but on a projector in another room - this time using a media server on the PVR.

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