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393 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 12867 10-Apr-2007 22:18
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I have been looking at set top boxes in the UK at

http://www.radioandtelly.co.uk/freeviewboxes.html

and notice they are a dam site cheaper than over here (especialy when I can get someone to bring one over for me post free) but will they work?

I have been told that all they need is a plug change apart from that the system is the same.

I was just looking at a basic set top box in the 25-35 GBP range.

So does anyone know if they will work or not?

cheers

Bernard

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77 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 66762 10-Apr-2007 23:27
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As always, it depends.

While NZ and the UK both use DVB-T, the UK uses MPEG-2 for 576i transmissions (and MPEG-4 only for the London test HD streams). Hence, as long as you're using MPEG-2 then I'd expect no problems. If you end up wanting H.264 support, however, you'd be buggered.

You probably also want to be wary of connectivity - we're fond of SCART over here, and most boxes will do RGB over SCART output if you have a compatible telly. S-Video is more uncommon, and composite just looks rubbish. So do be careful.

Cheers,
James

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Master Geek


  Reply # 66764 10-Apr-2007 23:37
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Having looked at Wikipedia, I'd say no, they probably won't work:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeView

TVNZ said digital terrestrial will be broadcast in MPEG4 and satellite broadcasts will be in MPEG2. This means people who took part in the Auckland digital trial using terrestrial DVB-T MPEG2 receivers will need to change their receivers to DVB-T MPEG4 to receive terrestrial FreeView once officially launched in late 2007/early 2008.
Given the only MPEG-4 STBs I know of in the UK were produced as part of the BBC London HD-OTA trial I'd think it unlikely you'd find one, and even more unlikely you'd find a cheap one. Sorry.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 66769 11-Apr-2007 06:25
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If you can get a box from the UK that supports MPEG4 then it probably should work. Most cheap boxes doesn't do MPEG4 however and this will be the broadcast method used in NZ.

It's pointless even looking at boxes now anyway - DVB-T broadcasts don't even start in NZ until February or March 2008. The Freeview launch next month is DVB-S (satellite) only.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 66780 11-Apr-2007 11:01
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Can't believe i bought an aver e506 for my laptop and it wont work in NZ!

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  Reply # 66790 11-Apr-2007 13:41
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Might be ok with the pc recievers since they just use software to decode the mpeg, and there are loads of mpeg4 codecs that you could install to get that working, so long as the software is smart enough to use the correct codec. May take a software update and AV peripherals are probarbly the worst at never seeing newer software/drivers made for them.





Richard rich.ms

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Master Geek


  Reply # 66850 11-Apr-2007 19:43
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Indeed, you may be lucky. The PC receivers tend to come in two varieties - hardware decoding, generally found on PCI cards and the like, and software decoding, usually in the form of a USB stick. The former is nice and fast but more expensive and ties you to the hardware implementation. The latter is cheap and is merely a DVB-T decoder - it just passes the video stream to the OS which will decode it. Hence it depends on your software alone.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 66852 11-Apr-2007 20:42
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So would my e506r avermedia card work with the nz dvbt signal. On the box it says compatible with mpeg4 divx encoder its a pcmcia card.    http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop/customer/product.php?productid=1515&cat=133&page=1 
It says something about mpeg4 on the website

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  Reply # 66855 11-Apr-2007 21:25
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s.joseph: So would my e506r avermedia card work with the nz dvbt signal. On the box it says compatible with mpeg4 divx encoder its a pcmcia card.    http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop/customer/product.php?productid=1515&cat=133&page=1 
It says something about mpeg4 on the website


I'm not sure if it will work or not.

The MPEG4 encoding is for recording - ie recording Live TV to a MPEG4/DivX format.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 66867 11-Apr-2007 22:43
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Yea thats what i thaut. Im quite guttered

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  Reply # 66875 11-Apr-2007 23:20
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Chances are its just a tuner, with no decoder since theres little point doing that with cpus easily able to do the decode and most people not caring about accurate framerates and other niceitys of a hardware decode.

Write to the manufacturer and ask them what the case will be. the only mention of hdtv was in the footnote, but if the same card is sold in aus for hd reception then you should be fine since they use mpeg4 for hd over there.




Richard rich.ms

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 66886 12-Apr-2007 00:58
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Oh yea!!! I didn't know aus use dvb-t with mpg4 because i used the card there 2 years ago and it worked fine.

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  Reply # 66887 12-Apr-2007 06:58
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Australia uses the mpeg 2 format for terrestrial HDTV. Don’t buy a HD box from Australia as it won’t work here. We will be using mpeg 4.


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  Reply # 66894 12-Apr-2007 09:46
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Oh sh*t

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  Reply # 66897 12-Apr-2007 09:52
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Take it back to the retailer and ask for your money back because it's unsuitable for NZ. There are also plenty of people trying to flog off DVB-T MPEG2 receivers and both USB and PCI cards on TM as well to unsuspecting people.


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Master Geek


  Reply # 66898 12-Apr-2007 10:08
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Should it turn out to be just a receiver then H.264 isn't a great hassle, although you do need a decent CPU.

There is a discussion on the BBC HD test stream which deals with software decoding of MPEG-4 transmission - this may be helpful, but or may just confuse matters more :-)

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