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Topic # 195291 14-Apr-2016 11:38
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Hi all,

 

 

 

I need something that's super easy, for a family who's becoming less mobile and less able to fault find.

 

 

 

I got them a Dish TV PVR S7090 or something like that.  That won't record anymore and is full of half English error messages such a "Media is not alive" or other such BS.

 

 

 

We're not a big market, I get that, and as such you can't get a known name brand Sat PVR here (no Sony/Panasonic/Samsung etc) and only some rebadged Chinese box with limited NZ contributions to tailor the firmware.

 

 

 

Does anyone know of anything Sat PVR ish that just works, and keeps working, and is simple and not super complex?

 

 

 

If not, I'm considering Sky on that basic freeview only channels thing they do.

 

 

 

Any ideas?

 

 

 

Please and Thanks,

 

Jaxson.


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  Reply # 1532984 14-Apr-2016 12:22
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I have a Vu Duo and Vu solo2 great boxes and lots of support, and with the right info u can also use ur valid sky card in them too




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  Reply # 1533003 14-Apr-2016 12:53
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Mavarick:

 

I have a Vu Duo and Vu solo2 great boxes and lots of support, and with the right info u can also use ur valid sky card in them too

 

 

 

 

Are they simple from the outside?

 

 

 

I need something that's as simple as Freeview advertises itself to be, but with the simple user interface and reliability of a brand name job.

 

 

 

Thanks.


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  Reply # 1533016 14-Apr-2016 13:23
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Another vote for Vu+ Duo or similar models.  I've had one since 2011 and it just works, year in and year out.  Running Linux and it shuts down the hard drive unless recordings are being made, so the drive lasts for many years, unlike MySky which runs the drive continuously.

There are various skins you can install on top of the Enigma firmware that it comes with.  My favourite is Black Hole.  It's very configurable and you can make the interface simpler or more complex as you so desire.

My wife learnt to use it and she refuses to have a smartphone because they are 'complicated'.  That gives you some idea of how easy the Vu+ Duo are to use.

Nowadays, I just use the Vu+ Duo to make recordings as we hardly ever watch live TV.  I copy the recordings via the network to my Plex server and play them using a Roku box.  Interestingly, the Roku makes the SD video from Freeview appear crisper than if played directly from the Vu+ Duo.  I suspect that the Plex server is doing some upscaling as it serves the file to the Roku.






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  Reply # 1533023 14-Apr-2016 13:34
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I got my in-laws a S7090 about 18 months ago (maybe 2 years), and it has crapped out - Check HDD cable, and the Front Panel stopped working. They have sent it back to DishTV a couple of times, they fixed the Front panel, and the Check HDD cable message, but the message has come back and now DishTV are saying it is environmental (say what? Not Check HD cable, check HDD as in Hard Drive I assume). It worked well for them, so I have now got them an S8200. I am installing it this weekend.

 

It should do the job. I just hope it doesn't get any dodgy error messages. I got my parents one about a year ago, and they are fine with it.

 

I may still send the S7090 back to DishTV for a third time - I believe a unit like that should last more than 18 months/2 Years.


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  Reply # 1533026 14-Apr-2016 13:38
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Any basic DVD Recorder (or even VCR) is capable of recording satellite using the Composite A/V outputs from a Sat Box to the Composite A/V inputs on the recorder. I use my Panasonic BWT720 to record Sky channels this way occasionally from my Basic Silver Sky box. Just have to remember to set the channel I want on the Sky box beforehand and use Timer record on the Panasonic. It would work just the same using a Freeview Sat box but I don't have to as I'm in a UHF reception area.

 

 

 

P.S. And I've never ever had a dodgy Chinglish error message pop up on the Panasonic.


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  Reply # 1533031 14-Apr-2016 13:44
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B1GGLZ:

 

Any basic DVD Recorder (or even VCR) is capable of recording satellite using the Composite A/V outputs from a Sat Box to the Composite A/V inputs on the recorder. I use my Panasonic BWT720 to record Sky channels this way occasionally from my Basic Silver Sky box. Just have to remember to set the channel I want on the Sky box beforehand and use Timer record on the Panasonic. It would work just the same using a Freeview Sat box but I don't have to as I'm in a UHF reception area.

 

P.S. And I've never ever had a dodgy Chinglish error message pop up on the Panasonic.

 


That's an extremely messy and complicated way to make recordings!  It sounds as though the OP's friends want something they can set and forget with just one simple remote.  Who wants to mess around with DVDs when an HDD will hold 100s of hours worth of video?

Who wants to watch stuff recorded via Composite any more either?  Yuck!








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  Reply # 1533034 14-Apr-2016 14:04
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grant_k:

 

It sounds as though the OP's friends want something they can set and forget with just one simple remote. 

 

 

 

 

This.




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  Reply # 1533036 14-Apr-2016 14:06
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trig42:

 

I may still send the S7090 back to DishTV for a third time - I believe a unit like that should last more than 18 months/2 Years.

 

 

 

 

Yeah I will go back and find out how old it is, but I wouldn't want it fixed anyway, as it's a pile of .  They all are actually, I cringe when I see the pages of crappy boxes you know are just imported to make a dollar, with little comeback or local input.

 

 

 

I'll check out the Vu+ units.  It's been years since I looked at these and I see that newer S8200 is out, but are we expecting better things from it?


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  Reply # 1533047 14-Apr-2016 14:30
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I have Vu solo2 - great box!


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  Reply # 1533058 14-Apr-2016 15:08
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grant_k:

 

That's an extremely messy and complicated way to make recordings!  It sounds as though the OP's friends want something they can set and forget with just one simple remote.  Who wants to mess around with DVDs when an HDD will hold 100s of hours worth of video?

Who wants to watch stuff recorded via Composite any more either?  Yuck!

 


No mention was made of recording to DVD. Any DVD recorder and Blu Ray recorder I've ever owned had inbuilt HDD. It's actually quite simple and I never missed a program due to EPG glitches and timing overruns etc. Timer Record always works.

 

Unfortunately Composite A/V is the only way to record from external equipment on my Panasonic. I only mentioned the method as a cheap option. I do agree though that the Composite A/V definition is definitely yucky compared to HDMI and HD.

 

However these days it's so much simpler to just download programs in HD and stream to TV and other devices. No ads either.




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  Reply # 1533062 14-Apr-2016 15:18
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B1GGLZ:

 

However these days it's so much simpler to just download programs in HD and stream to TV and other devices. No ads either.

 

 

 

 

Ha my wife and I laugh when we happen to watch something with adds, and remember what life used to be like...


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  Reply # 1533068 14-Apr-2016 15:37
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Jaxson:

 

B1GGLZ:

 

However these days it's so much simpler to just download programs in HD and stream to TV and other devices. No ads either.

 

 

Ha my wife and I laugh when we happen to watch something with adds, and remember what life used to be like...

 


My wife has recently started asking me to let her watch some of the ad breaks rather than skipping them with the Roku remote.

We mostly watch stuff from iPlayer with no ads so the occasional programmes recorded from Freeview with ads are becoming a bit of a novelty.

How times have changed!






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  Reply # 1533072 14-Apr-2016 15:43
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Another vote for the Vu+ Solo2. Had one that's been running 24/7 for the last 3 years without a hitch. The thing just works!

 

 

 

Only small thing is that there is no 'series link' type feature (just a repeated timer record) so when programs get moved 10-15 mins from their usual slot (as both TVNZ and Mediaworks seem to do regularly these days) you may miss the start or end of shows. This is easily solved however by putting big time buffers at either end (like 15-25 mins). You can do this easily because you can make overlapping recordings of channels on the same transponder using just one tuner. The second tuner can then be used to watch or record another transponder. Given that almost all Freeview channels are on just two transponders (except Four plus 1, Edge TV and Prime) this means you can watch and record just about anything at any time. I've actually had six things recording at once while watching another just to try it out!  


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  Reply # 1533123 14-Apr-2016 17:11
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tangerz:

 

Only small thing is that there is no 'series link' type feature (just a repeated timer record) so when programs get moved 10-15 mins from their usual slot (as both TVNZ and Mediaworks seem to do regularly these days) you may miss the start or end of shows. This is easily solved however by putting big time buffers at either end (like 15-25 mins). You can do this easily because you can make overlapping recordings of channels on the same transponder using just one tuner. The second tuner can then be used to watch or record another transponder. Given that almost all Freeview channels are on just two transponders (except Four plus 1, Edge TV and Prime) this means you can watch and record just about anything at any time. I've actually had six things recording at once while watching another just to try it out!  

 


If you don't have that functionalilty, it might be time to look at a revised image.  My Black Hole image has 'Auto Timers' and so did the VIX image I used before that.

Auto Timers scan the EPG for occurrences of the same programme name and record any that are in the matching time slot, plus or minus whatever interval you specify.  Very occasionally I have to use a repeated timer where something doesn't match, but at least 9 times of 10, the Auto Timer picks it up.  By looking at the list of upcoming recordings you can see that everything is working as you expect.

Thus you get the equivalent of series link with a whole lot more flexibility thrown in.  I also leave a 10 minute buffer at the end, and a 2 minute buffer at the start, just in case.  It hardly ever seems to be needed these days with the programmes I record, but a few years ago it was different.






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  Reply # 1533161 14-Apr-2016 18:55
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grant_k:

 

tangerz:

 

Only small thing is that there is no 'series link' type feature (just a repeated timer record) so when programs get moved 10-15 mins from their usual slot (as both TVNZ and Mediaworks seem to do regularly these days) you may miss the start or end of shows. This is easily solved however by putting big time buffers at either end (like 15-25 mins). You can do this easily because you can make overlapping recordings of channels on the same transponder using just one tuner. The second tuner can then be used to watch or record another transponder. Given that almost all Freeview channels are on just two transponders (except Four plus 1, Edge TV and Prime) this means you can watch and record just about anything at any time. I've actually had six things recording at once while watching another just to try it out!  

 


If you don't have that functionalilty, it might be time to look at a revised image.  My Black Hole image has 'Auto Timers' and so did the VIX image I used before that.

Auto Timers scan the EPG for occurrences of the same programme name and record any that are in the matching time slot, plus or minus whatever interval you specify.  Very occasionally I have to use a repeated timer where something doesn't match, but at least 9 times of 10, the Auto Timer picks it up.  By looking at the list of upcoming recordings you can see that everything is working as you expect.

Thus you get the equivalent of series link with a whole lot more flexibility thrown in.  I also leave a 10 minute buffer at the end, and a 2 minute buffer at the start, just in case.  It hardly ever seems to be needed these days with the programmes I record, but a few years ago it was different.

 

 

True. It's been a couple of years since I tried the 'Auto Timer' plugin which at the time I found quite unreliable. Hadn't really bothered looking at it again as the added start/end buffers did the trick. Obviously things have changed so might have to take another look!


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