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231 posts

Master Geek
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  # 112866 25-Feb-2008 11:02
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Procase 100                $88.00
MSI w/on board HDMI   $148.78
MCE Remote                $60.00
AMD 4200 X2 CPU        $105.75
1GB DDR2                   $45.86
HVR-3000 x 2              $314.00
160 GB Hard Drive        $82.13
Vista Home Premium    $157.50
BDC-220 Blueray Drive  $220.00
                                  $1,222.02

All except the BDC-220 from a single NZ retailer. 

So thats a dual tuner (with ability to input/record Sky), HTPC fully licensed all in one box with one power supply.  Add $150 if you don't like the onboard ATI video (does play h.264 just fine, and $5-80 if you want PowerDVD.  Above prices would reduce with a lower cost DVB-T only tuner (couldn't find a price in 30 seconds).  Above box will support DVB-S, DVB-T, and Analog.  Warranty included.

Now lets see what Play TV really costs when it gets here, and what Sony NZ official HD upgrades cost ie ones that don't void your warranty/online support.  That'll pay for the Xbox 360 Arcade to use as a games machine/extender.



Thats not a bad price, couple of things though...

Theres no such thing as a official sony PS3 HDD, any 2.5" Sata HDD is acceptable and the PS3 comes with instructions on how to do this.

You didnt include the price of the 360

Where did you find Bluray drives for that price?a quick look on pricespy showed nothing below $400

1 benifit i guess is you have all the functions of a pc (unless your a linux geek which then the ps3 can do so also)


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Ultimate Geek
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  # 112868 25-Feb-2008 11:09
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Blu-Ray drives are much cheaper in Aust.  Plenty of online retailers that will ship here at that price.  Writers are still pretty expensive though.

 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek

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  # 112883 25-Feb-2008 11:40
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halfbaked:


Thats not a bad price, couple of things though...

Theres no such thing as a official sony PS3 HDD, any 2.5" Sata HDD is acceptable and the PS3 comes with instructions on how to do this.

You didnt include the price of the 360

Where did you find Bluray drives for that price?a quick look on pricespy showed nothing below $400

1 benifit i guess is you have all the functions of a pc (unless your a linux geek which then the ps3 can do so also)



Just found a Nova DVB-T 500 for $125 in NZ, so that knocks another $192 off the price.

Final price $1030 incl  Add the XBox 360 arcade $420 and your up to $1450.  I'm sure if you spend the time you could knock another $50-100 off the pricing I used.

Like Walt12 says - you just need to hunt around, as long as you don't want a writer - but who does.  Someone on here got one for $180 but I couldn't find one that cheap in the few minutes I spent.

Once you add the 'real' price of Play TV once it gets here, your in the same ballpark.

I certainly know which combo I'd rather have.

Mad Scientist
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  # 112894 25-Feb-2008 12:08
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hey guys got a real dumb question regarding connecting hd box to tv

about connecting a pc to hdtv - do you use dvi-to-hdmi cable?

my so called hdtv capable radeon xt1300 only has a dvi output ... will it be able to send the same signal to the hdmi input of my sony grand wega tv as say a ps3's hdmi?




Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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Master Geek
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  # 112899 25-Feb-2008 12:22
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If your after a new pc anyway then sure this sounds like a good way to go, just maybe
not for the average not-so-tech-savvy family.

PlayTv will do what its suppose to do out of the box, a media pc with 360 extender is guaranteed
to have plenty of setup fun for the owner.

The 99 pounds for playtv may not be the exact release price for NZ but i doubt they will add ~$300 to put it in the
same ball park as your combo.
And if it happened to be much more then im sure "hunting around" and maybe sourcing from the uk could prove cheaper.

I certainly know which combo id rather have, the one that costs less, the hardware and software are made for watching NZ Freeview and the one that my gurlfriend can sort out herself while im at work posting rants on geekzone!

But regardless, in the beginning i was just curious as how you'd get it all for the same price and with the information available you cant.

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 112900 25-Feb-2008 12:31
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joker97: hey guys got a real dumb question regarding connecting hd box to tv

about connecting a pc to hdtv - do you use dvi-to-hdmi cable?

my so called hdtv capable radeon xt1300 only has a dvi output ... will it be able to send the same signal to the hdmi input of my sony grand wega tv as say a ps3's hdmi?


HDMI=DVI-D + audio.

The only issue in hooking up a HTPC to to a TV via HDMI is pixel-mapping.  If the TV does not support 1:1 pixel mapping then you will have to deal with overscan and jaggy text.  Some people live with it, others who can't revert back to D-SUB with the only caveat being that HD material is not supported at full resolution over that type of analog connection.

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Ultimate Geek

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  # 112949 25-Feb-2008 15:21
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halfbaked: If your after a new pc anyway then sure this sounds like a good way to go, just maybe
not for the average not-so-tech-savvy family.

PlayTv will do what its suppose to do out of the box, a media pc with 360 extender is guaranteed
to have plenty of setup fun for the owner.

The 99 pounds for playtv may not be the exact release price for NZ but i doubt they will add ~$300 to put it in the
same ball park as your combo.
And if it happened to be much more then im sure "hunting around" and maybe sourcing from the uk could prove cheaper.

I certainly know which combo id rather have, the one that costs less, the hardware and software are made for watching NZ Freeview and the one that my gurlfriend can sort out herself while im at work posting rants on geekzone!

But regardless, in the beginning i was just curious as how you'd get it all for the same price and with the information available you cant.


OK I give up - I can't match the price.  My pricing is real in todays dollars.  No matter how hard I try I can't compete with yet to be released pricing.  Sony have never humped up prices in NZ in the past, theres no way they'll do it this time.  :)

Same for user interface.  MCE is hard to use, my 2 1/2 year old gets stuck with it all the time.  He quite often needs to ask my 5 year old for help. 

Play TV wins because it does everything.  Or at least it will until its actually released. 

Good to hear it works with Freeview as well - where I can see it going?

Only question left is where can I buy one?




 
 
 
 


231 posts

Master Geek
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  # 112965 25-Feb-2008 16:23
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your pricing is real in Todays dollars? Is adding on 2-3 hundy to the "expected release price" a fair representation of todays dollars? Although it may not be fair on your pricing, 99pounds is the only price that can be given based information available today, it may well be released here slightly higher but we wont know until then huh?!

PlayTv doesnt pretend to do everything, it just (apparently) does what it does do well.

Wow ill be impressed if your 2 1/2 yr old can use MCE with only help from a 5 yr old, just hope they dont have to do that reg mod you describe in the "Hauppauge WinTV HVR 3000 help with setting up freeview/MCE" thread.
I realise its the older MCE and for DVB-S but its what i was getting at, there would be nothing like that to do with playtv

here you can view the video and read a brief review of playTv:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/technology/2008/02/ps3_takes_on_slingbox_and_wins.html
This ones better suited for your 5 yr old:
http://threespeech.com/blog/?p=828

btw where did you see that BR drive for 220?My friend is building a HTPC and is looking for one.


Its funny, this thread started off as a $550 for a dvb-t box whinge and we both came up with examples that cost twice that!


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Uber Geek
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  # 113033 25-Feb-2008 19:47
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I still believe that many of the "Pro" MPEG4 only camp are firmly focused on the fact that the hardware will substantially drop in price over the next three years, something I hope will be the case.

To me I think having a dual MPEG2 SD and MPEG4 HD MUXes is a good idea and a great way to bridge the gap between the two technologies.

Pros:

1)Cheap boxes = high user acceptance & faster user acceptance
2)High User acceptance = "easier" possibility to switch off Analogue sooner (if every household has a DTT tuner, or could get one subsidized etc, that means we have a whole lot more bandwidth to play with). As is the case in Aus, pick one up from the supermarket for less than $50.
3)Gives customers the options to choose between cheaper box or more expensive box depending on their TV. There will still be a vast majority of people within NZ that still have old CRT TV's come 2011 (only 3 years away!). I wouldn't want to tell an old grandma on the pension that she needed to shell out $300 (they could drop more, but it's a punt!) to keep on watching TV after 2011 or whatever date the govt aims for!

My bet is unless a large EU country adopts and deploys MPEG4 DTT within the next 3 years I doubt there will be a substantial drop in box prices.

Cons:

1) Need to support legacy MPEG2 SD transmission network for years to come, I personally doubt that within 5 years even 25% of the NZ population will have a HD capable TV. I think 50% within 10 years will be quite optimistic, TV's made within the last 10 years are pretty reliable and unless their TV broke down why would they buy a new one?
2) Double the bandwidth required as every channel would be transmitted twice. IMHO I don't see this as such a great issue, if we turn off Analogue due to having cheap boxes then we have stacks of bandwidth.

Saw this article as well posted on the nz_freeview forum: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4414001a28.html as others have noticed, no mention of the expected "off the shelf" cost of a DTT box being $550.... Humm strange they talk about DTH/DVB-S prices, yet not even a flicker on what DTT prices will be.





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  # 113042 25-Feb-2008 20:23
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BarTender: I still believe that many of the "Pro" MPEG4 only camp are firmly focused on the fact that the hardware will substantially drop in price over the next three years, something I hope will be the case.



To me I think having a dual MPEG2 SD and MPEG4 HD MUXes is a good idea and a great way to bridge the gap between the two technologies.



Pros:



1)Cheap boxes = high user acceptance & faster user acceptance


True, but define cheap. We will have a whole bunche of freeview=free at launch from consumers.



2)High User acceptance = "easier" possibility to switch off Analogue sooner (if every household has a DTT tuner, or could get one subsidized etc, that means we have a whole lot more bandwidth to play with). As is the case in Aus, pick one up from the supermarket for less than $50.


Nope.. Same problems in the UK and US. In the end you get down to 10-15% of the population who expect a TV to last a lifetime.


3)Gives customers the options to choose between cheaper box or more expensive box depending on their TV. There will still be a vast majority of people within NZ that still have old CRT TV's come 2011 (only 3 years away!). I wouldn't want to tell an old grandma on the pension that she needed to shell out $300 (they could drop more, but it's a punt!) to keep on watching TV after 2011 or whatever date the govt aims for!


Issues with AU model was dual casting., Your SD + HD solution would also require dual casting. Would you buy an SD stb that didn't provide TV 1 + 2 + 3?




My bet is unless a large EU country adopts and deploys MPEG4 DTT within the next 3 years I doubt there will be a substantial drop in box prices.


Norway already for HD and France for SD. New STBs for Cable and Satellite in US are H.264 and European satellite is going H.264 for HD. Prices will plumet.




Cons:



1) Need to support legacy MPEG2 SD transmission network for years to come, I personally doubt that within 5 years even 25% of the NZ population will have a HD capable TV. I think 50% within 10 years will be quite optimistic, TV's made within the last 10 years are pretty reliable and unless their TV broke down why would they buy a new one?


Doesn't have to be a HD tv to use the network, despite what some shops are saying.


2) Double the bandwidth required as every channel would be transmitted twice. IMHO I don't see this as such a great issue, if we turn off Analogue due to having cheap boxes then we have stacks of bandwidth.


First up the old network won't be used for TV, it will be sold off for other commercial uses like the UK

Secondly you can't dual cast and offer new channels. The HD H.264 channels are 8 Mbit, the SD MPEG 2 channels are 6 Mbit.



Saw this article as well posted on the nz_freeview forum: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4414001a28.html as others have noticed, no mention of the expected "off the shelf" cost of a DTT box being $550.... Humm strange they talk about DTH/DVB-S prices, yet not even a flicker on what DTT prices will be.



I'm sure we will find out quite soon, and then the imports will arrive.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC a Technology Evangelist and Product Manager. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.


324 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 113043 25-Feb-2008 20:33
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BarTender: I still believe that many of the "Pro" MPEG4 only camp are firmly focused on the fact that the hardware will substantially drop in price over the next three years, something I hope will be the case.



To me I think having a dual MPEG2 SD and MPEG4 HD MUXes is a good idea and a great way to bridge the gap between the two technologies.



Pros:



1)Cheap boxes = high user acceptance & faster user acceptance

2)High User acceptance = "easier" possibility to switch off Analogue sooner (if every household has a DTT tuner, or could get one subsidized etc, that means we have a whole lot more bandwidth to play with). As is the case in Aus, pick one up from the supermarket for less than $50.

3)Gives customers the options to choose between cheaper box or more expensive box depending on their TV. There will still be a vast majority of people within NZ that still have old CRT TV's come 2011 (only 3 years away!). I wouldn't want to tell an old grandma on the pension that she needed to shell out $300 (they could drop more, but it's a punt!) to keep on watching TV after 2011 or whatever date the govt aims for!


The Govt will announce the switch off date at either 2012 or 75% uptake of digital, whichever is sooner.  At the current rate of digital uptake (and with DTT STB box prices), 2012 is likely to be the soonest.  That's 4 years away, and more than likely a decent percentage of household will have upgraded their TV's in those intervening years.  They key is those new TV's will most likely have DTT tuners integrated, so the whole STB thing will be moot.

Even in 2012, the Govt will only announce the switch-off date - they are likely to give households at least another 2-3 years to be ready for digital-exclusive broadcasting.

My bet is unless a large EU country adopts and deploys MPEG4 DTT within the next 3 years I doubt there will be a substantial drop in box prices.



Cons:



1) Need to support legacy MPEG2 SD transmission network for years to come, I personally doubt that within 5 years even 25% of the NZ population will have a HD capable TV. I think 50% within 10 years will be quite optimistic, TV's made within the last 10 years are pretty reliable and unless their TV broke down why would they buy a new one?


Actually look at the estimated lifetime of your average plasma and it's more like 6-7 years max.  Most CRT's bought 10 years ago will be entering the final throes of their lifetime right now.  LCD's have a somewhat longer lifetime provided you get the backlight replaced in time (which doubtless many will not do, choosing instead to go for the latest and greatest).

I would suggest that there would be a good chance that 30-40% of households will replace/upgrade to a 720p capable TV between now and 2012.

2) Double the bandwidth required as every channel would be transmitted twice. IMHO I don't see this as such a great issue, if we turn off Analogue due to having cheap boxes then we have stacks of bandwidth.



Saw this article as well posted on the nz_freeview forum: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4414001a28.html as others have noticed, no mention of the expected "off the shelf" cost of a DTT box being $550.... Humm strange they talk about DTH/DVB-S prices, yet not even a flicker on what DTT prices will be.



$550 is the early adopters price.  Note that unlike DVB-S, Freeview are not specially licensing/annointing certain manufacturers this time around.  The market will thus be flooded eventually with cheap boxes, some of dodgy quality naturally, but none will be seen to hold the reserved/official status which the Zinwell and Hills did at DVB-S launch which had the effect of keeping prices higher for longer.

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  # 113060 25-Feb-2008 21:15
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walt12:

Actually look at the estimated lifetime of your average plasma and it's more like 6-7 years max. Most CRT's bought 10 years ago will be entering the final throes of their lifetime right now. LCD's have a somewhat longer lifetime provided you get the backlight replaced in time (which doubtless many will not do, choosing instead to go for the latest and greatest).



We looked into some of this when producing myPVR and the "typical" consumer can be quite different from manufacturer numbers

Expected lifespan of a modern CRT TV might be in the the range of 10 years, but a lot of consumer still expect 15-20 years use. Likewise we were approached by customers who'd had 15+ years use out of a VCR and wanted a PVR that would last atleast as long, and preferably quite a bit longer.

Steve




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC a Technology Evangelist and Product Manager. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.


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  # 113070 25-Feb-2008 22:09
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walt12:

Actually look at the estimated lifetime of your average plasma and it's more like 6-7 years max. 


Virtually every Plasma produced in the past 3 years has a panel with a half life of around 60000 hours. That 6-7 years would be running a Plasma screen 24/7 for that time. Considering that the average person probably has their TV on considerably less than 24 hours per day then a statement like that is incorrect.

I know of places with early generation plasma (circa 2000) that were replaced after 5 years of 24/7 service and still worked perfectly with the exception of significant burn due to the image in use. They were still bright despite having done well over double their estimated half life.

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  # 113139 26-Feb-2008 12:58
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Norway already for HD and France for SD. New STBs for Cable and Satellite in US are H.264 and European satellite is going H.264 for HD. Prices will plumet.


Agreed, if within the next 2 years digificant penetration of DTT (not Cable or Satellite as most of those STB's are subscriber boxes and are subsided by the providers) reaches critical mass by govt intervention in Norway/France/NA to a point that manufactueres are makeing 1Million+ H.264 boxes then yes we will see a price drop.

My main issue with exclusivly choosing H.264 and not the Dual Casting option is that NZ is a very small country, with a very small number of TV channels and the UHF/VHF spectrum is large enough that NZ could go down dual casting.  Then we could turn off Analogue faster (with the 10-15% of society getting very cheap STB's)... death to analogue.

This way it all gets dragged out for longer, much like the turn off of AMPS by Telecom, unless the transition is reasonably in-expesnive it may take years to switch off Analogue, and not free-up the available bandwidth.

Sky currently has 55k (as per their annual report) UHF customers, surely if sky pulled finger (or when do the licenses expire?) and moved everyone off Analogue onto Satellite then this would also open a massive range of UHF bandwidth.  A lot more than 1+2+3+4.  However as we know Sky / Prime are not in bed with Freeview so this could drag it all out longer than necessary.






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  # 113141 26-Feb-2008 13:10
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The Govt will announce the switch off date at either 2012 or 75% uptake of digital, whichever is sooner


If you read the release that came it notes that 75% digital uptake includes Sky. As Sky has already reached near on 50% of homes the gaps not that great to make up.

Cyril

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