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Topic # 214589 19-May-2017 01:06 Send private message quote this post

With the death of Tivo in October drawing ever nearer, I'm interested in finding a replacement both for myself and family who are also currently using a Tivo.  Can anyone offer any suggestions?

 

Key Tivo features I'm looking for in a replacement:

 

  • Terrestrial aerial input (DVB-T)
  • At least twin tuner (record two separate channels plus simultaneous playback of a third recording)
  • Season pass / series link
  • PVR
  • Archival (transfer recordings over ethernet to a PC, such that they can be deleted from the PVR and still watched on the PC)
  • Reasonably long life expectancy
  • Simple menus that a non-geek 80-yr-old can drive

Ethernet is the preferred form of archival.  Copying to USB hard disk would be ok, as long as it's not in a weird format and can still be read by a PC.  Burning a disc is not ok, unless it supports rewritable discs.

 

Ability to play videos from a DLNA/Plex media server would be nice but not essential.  Bonus points if it can do DVB-S as well as DVB-T, especially both simultaneously, but that's also only wishful thinking.  Ability to schedule recordings from the Internet would be nice but not essential.

 

I'm not really looking to build a media PC solution (I would be ok with that but the family just wants a plug & go).

 

From the official brands, is myFreeviewPlus worth a look?  What's the best one available?  Do they support archival?  (I know that was rare in the certified boxes in the past.)

 

Or is there a non-certified but still good box that would be a better fit?


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13 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 1784520 19-May-2017 01:25 Send private message quote this post

Oh, also auto-delete.  My Tivo tends to be full all the time and it auto-deletes the oldest thing I haven't watched yet to make way for new recordings.  Occasionally I miss something that way but mostly it's the things I wasn't really watching anyway, so it's more helpful than harmful and I'd like to keep it that way.


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  Reply # 1784538 19-May-2017 07:43 Send private message quote this post

You are unlikely to find anything that meets your requirements . At least when I last checked.  Season pass / series link need a decent data feed to enable these features.

 

Probably better to split your list into mandatory and optional requirements. 

 

The box that most people seem to recommend is the panasonic, but the user interface is tragic. 


 

 



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  Reply # 1784579 19-May-2017 08:32 Send private message quote this post


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  Reply # 1784924 19-May-2017 19:54 2 people support this post Send private message quote this post

I think one of the Panasonic units will be your best bet. I recently upgraded a DVD recorder that dies with the BWT840 for $399 on sale, which has a 1TB hard drive (3x the TIVO).

 

  • Terrestrial aerial input (DVB-T) - yep they will do that
  • At least twin tuner (record two separate channels plus simultaneous playback of a third recording) - A qualified yes. They are twin tuner. But I think the only way to record two channels AND watch a third is to have the Panny recording two, and use the tuner on the TV to watch the third. Is there, realistically, enough on Freeview where three things you want to watch are likely to be on at once. I struggle to find one thing a week.
  • Season pass / series link - Yes they will do series link.
  • PVR - Yes.
  • Archival (transfer recordings over ethernet to a PC, such that they can be deleted from the PVR and still watched on the PC) - My windows 10 PC is on the same network as my Panny. It can see the hard drive and all the files on it, and a straight copy/paste will transfer them. The transfer speed off the Panny is, however, slow (about 4.3 MB/sec, 34mpbs). The files come over as standard MPG, which VLC will play and Vidcoder will transcode.
  • Reasonably long life expectancy - No idea. I had one die on me after about 6 years. Another I got in 2004 still works, but is analog only so gets very little use now.
  • Simple menus that a non-geek 80-yr-old can drive - Probably marginal. The UI is, how shall I put it, somewhat non-intuitive and kludgy. The hardware performance of the unit is, however, fine. You do get used to the clunky menus after a while.

 


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  Reply # 1784930 19-May-2017 20:23 Send private message quote this post

Another vote for a Panasonic DVR from me.  We bought one when we escaped from Sky about 3 years ago and it's been faultless since.  I can't understand the angst about the UI - if I was using it (the UI) for a couple of hours a day, it would be a PITA but for recording and viewing programmes, it does the job.  Recordings are grouped by series, which is an improvement on the MySky it replaced.

 

We can watch recordings on mobile devices via the app, and on a WDTV box on the LAN.  Sound and visoe quality is (to me) as good as the original


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Reply # 1784954 19-May-2017 21:43 Send private message quote this post

  • Terrestrial aerial input (DVB-T)      Yes
  • At least twin tuner (record two separate channels plus simultaneous playback of a third recording)    Yes. Record two and watch a recording at same time.
  • Season pass / series link   Yes
  • PVR   Yes
  • Archival (transfer recordings over ethernet to a PC, such that they can be deleted from the PVR and still watched on the PC)   Yes. Dead easy but slow.
  • Reasonably long life expectancy    4+ yrs and counting.
  • Simple menus that a non-geek 80-yr-old can drive  Yes. Just read and follow the Manual.

Yep. My Panasonic BWT720 ticks all those boxes.




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Geek
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  Reply # 1785022 20-May-2017 09:33 Send private message quote this post

How does the archival work on them?  I was looking through the manual but it only seems to mention DLNA, which I thought only supported streaming, not copying.  There's no mention of FTP or CIFS that I can see.

 

And the section on connecting USB HDDs (for copying TV recordings) suggests that it uses a weird format (must be formatted before use and can't be used on another device after that).

 

Also, the manual suggests that timer recordings (including series links) are limited to 32 entries.  That seems really small... with the Tivo I have probably about a hundred series link entries (including shows that have finished, so it will record the next season of a show whenever it starts again, ignoring repeats).

 

There's a review of another Panasonic device here; it claims it's pretty slow to use, among other things.  Is that still the case in the newer models?


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  Reply # 1785038 20-May-2017 11:34 Send private message quote this post

uecasm:

 

How does the archival work on them?  I was looking through the manual but it only seems to mention DLNA, which I thought only supported streaming, not copying.  There's no mention of FTP or CIFS that I can see.

 

 

 

 

There's nothing in the manual about it.

 

Once you connect the Panasonic Recorder to your Network then a Windows 8.1 or 10 PC will see it as just another HDD on the LAN and files can be copied from the Recorder to the PC. Doesn't work with Windows 7 though which requires some kind of Server to be able to copy files. I used Twonky Server which did the same job before I upgraded to Win 8.1

 

Connecting a HDD via USB is a waste of time as it must be registered to the machine it plugs into and will only work on that machine.


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