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# 18891 28-Jan-2008 16:39
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Hi all.  I'm a new member, so I hope this is the correct area for my query.

I've just revamped my entertainment system with a new Sony home theatre receiver, and this encouraged me to purchase a Sony DVD recorder.  All of this gear goes extremely well, so now I'm looking at upgrading my satellite equipment.

The SKY guy will be here tomorrow to check out the decoder, but I think I need a Freeview unit also, as we can't get channels 2 and 3  here in Arrowtown on our regular aerial, and 1 isn't much better.

My question: I notice that the Freeview shop has a fairly large selection of  receivers; which one should I  buy?

The Hills HSM075 seems to get good raps, but there are other, cheaper units that may be just as good for all I know. Also, I notice that the Hills comes with a splitter, while other units seem to have an inbuilt looping system.

As I said, we have a SKY dish and reception is good, but I would like to be able to get 1,2,3 independently to allow more recording flexibility.

Advice would be appreciated.

Thanks :-)




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Hawkes Bay
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  # 107236 28-Jan-2008 19:24
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By all accounts the freeview certed decoders are all awful, and you should buy a topfield brand (I think there were a couple of other good brands mentioned here at some stage too).

People seem to be having all sorts of problems and restrictions with the certed boxes, but on the plus side, they get to pay extra for these issues...

Certed boxes: They may be problematic, but at least they're expensive...







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  # 107278 28-Jan-2008 22:02
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I prefer Strong, however the Topfields are good too. The Strongs have good component video support and excellent firmware.

Cyril

 
 
 
 




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  # 107293 28-Jan-2008 22:48
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Thanks Tony and Cyril for your comments.  At this stage, I don't have a lot of inputs to spare, so I'd probably bring the Freeview signal into my DVD Recorder via one of its spare s-video\ audio inputs. In which case I guess a SCART socket would help.

Re sharing the input from the SKY dish, I'd always understood that splitting an aerial input resulted in a slight degradation of signal.  Is this likely and is it significant?

I note that some STBs use an external splitter, while others rely on looping, with the signal coming from the dish to the STB and thence to the SKY decoder.

Are there any issues to be aware of here?

Thanks again :-)




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  # 107330 29-Jan-2008 07:00
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Splitting the signal is fine, there will be a reduction in signal level, however the STB has more than sufficient dynamic range to deal with a very large reduction. If your total dish to STB cable length is under 40-50meters (infact 2x that) then there is no issue.

The loop through that some STBs have is just a splitter that is housed within the tuner assembly of the STB, so whether you use an external one of the intergral one matters little.

Cyril

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  # 107335 29-Jan-2008 08:05
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Thats the other brand i was trying to think of!!







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  # 107339 29-Jan-2008 08:23
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Should point out that the differences between the cheaper and dearer Strong SRT465?X models is just what Conditional Access carding system they are supplied with. In your case you dont want any so the cheapest is all you need. All the Strongs use the same CPU board, they just vary by what CI card option is plugged onto that board.

Cyril

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  # 107359 29-Jan-2008 11:42
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Plus you could always go for a Dreambox DM500 instead :)... which does Component and Composite, and is a tiny little box to boot.  I have detailed the ability to stream / record over the network since it has a Network port in there as well as well in various posts and on my blog as well... Plus the boxes cost around the same as the Strong / Topfield.  Connecting it up to a NAS disk (or going for a DM600) means you can record direct digital recordings off the satellite onto the disk for playback later, or record your DVD's and stream them over the network to the Dreambox... hours of fun :)....

However making changes to the configuration does require a certain level of technical skill with editing files, linux, ftp, telnet etc.

The image I have put on them lets you get the other FTA channels on Optus D1 that you can't get through Sky (TVNZ6/Imparja/NITV).... Plus it mostly works out of the box for you...

PM me if you are interested in one.





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