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195 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 188029 7-Jan-2009 15:16
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Well, I popped in to see Stuart this afternoon. The first thing he said to me was something like "You must have been riling up somebody." He then proceeded to tell me about a phone call he had received from one the the ET importers. However, Stuart's good knowledge of technical information won the guy over.

On further discussion with Stuart, it turns out some units work better in some parts of NZ than others. For instance, ET may work just fine in Auckland (but I don't know, just guessing here) but not so well in Christchurch.

So far as I understand, Pete is part of a firm of importers - they don't actually make the units or write the software. so most of what he says here is salesman's talk.

For now, I'm holding off on buying Freeview. I've been told there's some things in the works that may make it better to wait though I couldn't get details.

51 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 188114 7-Jan-2009 21:58
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Well im not currently happy with my ET but to be fair im going to get this upgraded cable in before i pass final Judgement on the ET. I think its still good that peter is prepared to come on this forum and talk to customers about the problems, but i certainly feel that some of the comments from both sides of the fence are not helping us all get our issues resolved. I came on here for some constructive advise and have a bit of a laugh but i figure slagging off people or other equipment is not a very positive direction to proceed.

I have appretiated the comments from people with other STBs and giving us some hope if they are indeed getting good pictures and stable sound when im in line of sight and no more than 10kms from the main signal source for our city and i have pixilating images much like watching the movie Alien. I have seen heads that turn on a movie with no other movement in the image and the head blurrs just ike the image cant keep up or is slow to form i even wondered if it was a fault with my Phillips LCD HD tv.....But now i know its not my tv, its not the 3rd new Aerial I have fitted, it could be losses in my cable and the fact that our local transmission signal distribution has faults, but im happy to TRY and get to the bottom of the problems and maybe sit down with a cold beer and watch a movie before the end of summer and be happy i got freeview like the people on the freeview adds Smile

If i cant acheive this then i think i will be asking for a refund too as it would have gone far beyond what i would consider a reasnable effort to get it right when i was told it should work fine with my existing setup and thats certainly not the case!


 
 
 
 


32 posts

Geek


  Reply # 188146 8-Jan-2009 08:33
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Having been sitting back and watching this conversation for awhile now, I figure I should make a comment. 

I don't get the regular pixilation that many seem to get. Yes occasionally I see some pixilation maybe once every couple of days, and only for 1 second, but that’s not really a worry, and probably to do with the signal and my aerial setup (will explain later). I get ~50% signal strength and 100% on the quality bar. 

I do get audio drop outs on C4 using the optical output but not on other channels I haven't tried any of the other outputs as I usually just have sound through HDMI to TV. This is a little annoying but again not a really big issue. 

My aerial setup is just an indoor aerial pointed vaguely at the Skytower in Auckland. I live in Sandringham and Mt Albert blocks our view of the Waitakeris, but have line of sight to the Skytower. I don’t even get prime or any other analog signals. I spent ages trying to get the aerial on the roof to get a good reception and couldn’t. Probably due to being an old aerial and cabling. I’m pretty certain I should be able to get a better signal if I had a new aerial/cabling but the signal is fine through the indoor one at the moment. The only time it seems to be a problem is if its blowing hard and the signal seems to degrade. I think this could be due to the fact the Skytower moves quite a lot in high winds does that seem right.

One problem with the E.T receiver that I have noticed is that if I fall asleep watching TV (TV set to turn off) then usually it has crashed in the morning and needs a full power off cycle to sort out. I don’t fall asleep like this very often so only occasionally do a hard reboot.

I haven’t noticed any other problems with the unit and have been happy with the performance for the price. Although I will say if I had seen some of Pete’s comments in this forum before buying I might have thought otherwise.

  

195 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 188148 8-Jan-2009 09:06
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The thing is, if it is crashing, then it is unreliable for recording off.

205 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 188152 8-Jan-2009 09:18
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highspeedsteel:

Having been sitting back and watching this conversation for awhile now, I figure I should make a comment. 

I don't get the regular pixilation that many seem to get. Yes occasionally I see some pixilation maybe once every couple of days, and only for 1 second, but that’s not really a worry, and probably to do with the signal and my aerial setup (will explain later). I get ~50% signal strength and 100% on the quality bar. 

I do get audio drop outs on C4 using the optical output but not on other channels I haven't tried any of the other outputs as I usually just have sound through HDMI to TV. This is a little annoying but again not a really big issue. 

My aerial setup is just an indoor aerial pointed vaguely at the Skytower in Auckland. I live in Sandringham and Mt Albert blocks our view of the Waitakeris, but have line of sight to the Skytower. I don’t even get prime or any other analog signals. I spent ages trying to get the aerial on the roof to get a good reception and couldn’t. Probably due to being an old aerial and cabling. I’m pretty certain I should be able to get a better signal if I had a new aerial/cabling but the signal is fine through the indoor one at the moment. The only time it seems to be a problem is if its blowing hard and the signal seems to degrade. I think this could be due to the fact the Skytower moves quite a lot in high winds does that seem right.

One problem with the E.T receiver that I have noticed is that if I fall asleep watching TV (TV set to turn off) then usually it has crashed in the morning and needs a full power off cycle to sort out. I don’t fall asleep like this very often so only occasionally do a hard reboot.

I haven’t noticed any other problems with the unit and have been happy with the performance for the price. Although I will say if I had seen some of Pete’s comments in this forum before buying I might have thought otherwise.

  


  My experience has been very much like highspeedsteel's but without the regular crashing.  All I seem to get is the very occasional breakthrough of other channels and the laggy clock.  Both of which it would seem can be addressed by software updates.  I haven't had to reset the box in about a month since I got the aerial and cable sorted out.  Before that lockups, pixellation etc were a regular occurance.

  We get a reasonable signal from the Waitaks.

  That's just what I've seen.

INSGDT

6508 posts

Uber Geek
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Trusted

  Reply # 188163 8-Jan-2009 09:44
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Above description is basically me too.  Occasional pixelation but this is very rare for me.  The ET box is my daily runner for freeview and works fine, until it requires a reboot.  Probably needs a manual reboot once a week to fix all sorts of things like channels won't change, banner wont go off screen, no sound, weird show a frame or two from a previous show etc.  Coax/Opt audio drop outs are basically gone from the TV3 5.1 shows, which is all I normally use it for, but still there if you want to crank up your stereo on C4 for example.  Pity it doesn't do 5.1 over hdmi.

I'm beginning to think it really might be signal related and you need an oversized uhf aerial and a dedicated run of good shield RG6 to the box alone.  The fact remains that the official Zinwell doesn't require such special treatment.  I agree that the comments here could sound blunt to anyone recently contributing but you must remember that we've been providing feedback on this for months now and too be told the problems don't exist is rather, well you get the idea.  As I've said though, I use this for all my TV viewing now (bar stupid sky and their prime) and just reboot it when there's an issue.

32 posts

Geek


  Reply # 188164 8-Jan-2009 09:47
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I should say the crashing isn't "regular" just seems to happen when left on overnight (only actually done this 3 times), put it in standby and its fine. I can see how this could be a problem when/if we get recording ability. I should do a test to see if its regular or not, won't be hard, just don't turn it off over night or during day while at work.
The clock hasn't been an issue since the last update. 

195 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 188171 8-Jan-2009 10:22
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Some of us already have a hard disk recorder and so we can hook the unit into one of the recorder's external slots. That's why, for someone like me, it is most defintely a concern.

BTW, there are other digital hard disk recorders out there besides the new Zimwell - they're just not official.

2663 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 188185 8-Jan-2009 11:28
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RustyViewer: BTW, there are other digital hard disk recorders out there besides the new Zimwell - they're just not official.


While there are certainly satelitite PVRs (eg Topfield), the only other PVR that receives/records DVB-T HD signals that I know of is the Hyundai, which has both satelite and terestrial tuners. Are you aware of any others currently available?

And am I correct in assuming that there is currently no model of receiver with PVR function (ie, uses external HD/flash ram) that uses the MHEG 8-day EPG for programming? I know that Peter has indicated the ET's PVR functionality would provide this, but going by what else he's said and promised, I'll believe this when (if??!!) the firmware allowing PVR functionality is released.


205 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 188188 8-Jan-2009 11:33
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jonathan18:
RustyViewer: BTW, there are other digital hard disk recorders out there besides the new Zimwell - they're just not official.


While there are certainly satelitite PVRs (eg Topfield), the only other PVR that receives/records DVB-T HD signals that I know of is the Hyundai, which has both satelite and terestrial tuners. Are you aware of any others currently available?


  I had a look at that Hyundai one that the Freeshop is selling.  The problem with it  is that it has no support for MHEG5.  Only EIT.  Thus if you do not have a satelite dish set up, you loose most of the PVR functionality as it is unable to receive the EPG.

  There are a couple on trademe that supposedly work as a DVB-T PVR with MHEG5 support.  However I haven't heard any comments about them.

104 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 188198 8-Jan-2009 13:00
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I have a Vantage receiver and it is awesome, records perfectly fine with a full PVR remote, not sure how the ET will function without a PVR remote, the Vantage is only 299 aswell

2663 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 188199 8-Jan-2009 13:09
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ventolin: I have a Vantage receiver and it is awesome, records perfectly fine with a full PVR remote
...

... but can't use the MHEG-carried EPG for setting recordings. In other words, in reality it functions like a standard hard-disk recorder, using a timer function. It may be more reliable and have less issues than the ET, but still it doesn't have the true easy of use which digital TV should provide - and that's what I'm holding out for... 

481 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 188264 8-Jan-2009 18:23
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pete9321: More rubbish from Zinwell... Poorly written manual
Though to be honest, anyone who has seen the Extra Terrestrial manual wouldn't be awarding that any prizes for clear English.

25 posts

Geek


  Reply # 188273 8-Jan-2009 18:57
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Well mines playing up again as I try and watch tv3 news.  Channel indicator is stuck on the screen and lots of "bad pixilation becuase of a bad antenna or cable, or mistuned channels"........

mmmm strange the pixlation is another image trying to break in,  and its a pair of fingers holding something white.  BUT i've seen exactly the same image 12 times, no 13 now, in the last hour!!!.  Now thats a long time for the channel that Im mistuned to to be breaking in to be screening the same bit of video over and over and over...........

 Well time to put the box out of its misery and power cycle it......


Well its 15 mins latter and not a single pixilation........mmmmm   next time I think a youtube video ....

30 posts

Geek


  Reply # 188274 8-Jan-2009 19:00
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InspectorGadget:
jonathan18:
RustyViewer: BTW, there are other digital hard disk recorders out there besides the new Zimwell - they're just not official.


While there are certainly satelitite PVRs (eg Topfield), the only other PVR that receives/records DVB-T HD signals that I know of is the Hyundai, which has both satelite and terestrial tuners. Are you aware of any others currently available?


I had a look at that Hyundai one that the Freeshop is selling. The problem with it is that it has no support for MHEG5. Only EIT. Thus if you do not have a satelite dish set up, you loose most of the PVR functionality as it is unable to receive the EPG.

There are a couple on trademe that supposedly work as a DVB-T PVR with MHEG5 support. However I haven't heard any comments about them.


Good summary as this is exactly the point I came to (Hyunda good but no MHEG5 without a dish), and apart form the new $1k Zinwell, no others that have HD and PVR capability on Terrestrial right now - except the Trademe claimed ones - which will likely need their own forum like this - although whether there'll be any support is unlikely.

So the best bet must be to get an ET and hope that this forum continues to do its work! (If we are early adopters - then that's our risk).
And, hey, I can always flick back over to analog on my tv, and record on my vcr (hehe)


Just looked again at a few other options

The Topfield (Sattelite SD) has a good review at:
http://www.tone.co.nz/reviews/tone-test-topfield-70
but they too, are promising a HD T pvr:
"Topfield plans to release a digital terrestrial receiver for the Freeview|HD service. As the Mpeg-4 video and AAC audio on the Freeview|HD service is slightly different to most other countries, Topfield is continuing to adapt and update the firmware of the TF7700HTCI receiver to suit the Freeview|HD broadcast."
However, this TF7700HTCI has usb only and no ethernet.



I see the Diginet offering has RS232 USB and ethernet MII (Media indendant Interface) - claims connenctivity to PC for media playback), and future PVR to external USB harddrive... http://www.playtech.co.nz/product.php?action=showdetail&id=5940

The Terrestrial JCMatthew Model: DVBT901is Freeview approved and states that it is
Fully compliant with H.264 MPEG4 and MHEG5. It too has RS232, ethernet, and USB, but no mention of PVR now or coming.

The Sommett Freeview Approved Digital Terrestrial Receiver SHDNZ1-HC has only RS232, and the promised PVR is no where to be seen.

Bugger it - I have published my summary spreadsheet here http://www.findasensor.com/personal/pvr.htm
and the pdf including images here: http://www.findasensor.com/personal/pvr.pdf

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