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165 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 27206 17-Oct-2008 15:17
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Does anyone have any of the Freeview satellite PVRs that you can pick up on TradeMe?  The Digistar 810U for example.
If you do can you post short reviews of these boxes as I cannot find any info/reviews anywhere on the net.
How is the EPG on these boxes?
Can you plug in a USB key to record on as an alternative to a USB hard drive?
Can a USB hard drive be powered from the USB socket or does it always have to have external power?
How much storage is needed for 1 hour of recording, or does that depend on the channel?
Can you piggy back these on your single Sky cable from the dish and have both Sky and PVR working (I know you can only record Freeview, that's OK)?

We live in an area where terestrial Freeview could be a few years off so that's not an option for us.

Thanks

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g23

3 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 172939 23-Oct-2008 00:55
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I purchased a Digistar 810U a couple of weeks ago. This is the first stb I have purchased so I can't compare it to other models.
Overall I am very happy with this unit and it seems to work very well. With regards to your questions:
  1. EPG works well and you can check the program guide for the next week. 8 timers are available to set record times among other things. Its easy to record a program using the EGP menu. Manual timer setup is available and if you are watching a program you can press a button for instant recording.
  2. Memory stick or hard drive. Approximately 1hr recording will be a little over 2GB. I have an 8GB ADATA memory stick which is slow to write to memory. I had mixed results but think a faster write speed would solve the problem. If you expect to do a lot of recording then go for a hard drive. I purchased a USB 2.5" hard drive and made 2x 120GB (recommend max size) FAT32 partitions. This works well and I must say I'm impressed with the performance. The hard disk is powered from the USB port. Its great if you want to play AVI files through the stb. If you are going to leave the hard drive with the unit then buy an stb with built in hard drive.
  3. Not sure how the piggy back with a Sky box will work.
The negatives:
  1. Audio sometime not in sync with video (delayed). I press the recall button twice to fix the problem. I suspect this is a problem for other stb units as well. Likely related to the audio buffer not being flushed properly when changing channels
  2. No support for this unit available on the net. I've had a good look and found reference to a Samsat stb with the same board (BMUS-106(0502)). Unit appears to be a chinese ripoff and I do not believe it is a genuine Digistar product. I would love to know who the manufacturer of this stb is.
If you purchase this unit for a good price I don't think you can go wrong.

Regards

 

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  Reply # 172954 23-Oct-2008 07:33
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Thanks for the review g23, just a point, I presume this is a single tuner STB, so you can only record a channel within the current mux you are on (ie you cannot record TV3 while viewing TV1).

Neilinnz, most if not all FTA stbs have an IF loopthrough, so yes you can attach your Sky STB to the loopthrough and continue to use both with no ill effect, or alternatively you can get a splitter, same diff.

Cyril

 
 
 
 


g23

3 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 173219 23-Oct-2008 23:15
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Yes Cyril7 it only has a single tuner. It's a poor mans PVR. I don't record a great deal so it suits me well.

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  Reply # 173252 24-Oct-2008 07:16
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Yep same, our perfectly workable Pansonic VCR has sat motionless for years, about the onlytime our Dreambox throws files at our NAS is when her in doors is not at home during Shortland st, its actually quite good having the Dreambox servered to the internet, she can start it from work remotely, real cool.

Cyril

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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 173333 24-Oct-2008 12:19
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I spotted these today, and am interested to hear more about how the 'media player' aspects of the device work.

It can supposedly play AVI, VOB, MP3 and various other media files. Have you tried this? Does it support playlists (in any shape or form) or random play?

Probably asking a lot, but some pics of the interface would be great!

Pretty tempting for the price..

Thanks.

154 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 173690 26-Oct-2008 12:42
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I picked up a DIGINET CDVB9200A from TradeMe from this guy back in Feb. Came with a 250gb hdd, and dual tuners, and has a 2 hour record loop for rewinding/pausing live tv.

On the plus, yes you can record two channels at once while watching something pre-recorded, EPG works well for booking shows and you can schedule regular recordings.

On the minus, the graphics that go with it look like they were done by someone on P.

But overall, it has been great. In fact, I changed from my HTPC to this and a MediaGate 500gb hmdi media player for playing back my movies, etc.

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Reply # 173693 26-Oct-2008 13:23
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On the minus, the graphics that go with it look like they were done by someone on P.


I wonder what the penalties are in the PRC for using P.

Cyril

154 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 173698 26-Oct-2008 13:35
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1 year forced labour camp making graphics for cheap electronic components by the looks of it Laughing

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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 180187 25-Nov-2008 12:25
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Hi, I have just purchased a Digistar STB with PVR function for $130 (inc postage) off Trademe. Pretty happy with it overall. Easy to work and good EPG. I have had the same audio delays as mentioned below. Seems to do everything that I thought it wwould except for...


I am having trouble connecting an external harddrive though. I have reformatted my 160Gb Western Digitial harddrive to FAT32 but it wont recognise a USB connection... (there is a set of instructions written with the box saying to reformat it to FAT32 and change the jumper to on signal... I dont know what this jumper part means, i opened up my external harddrive and can see where a jumper might go, but am unsure how to proceed.



ANy help would be most appreciated. I am keen to try out the record function and play back of AVI's. mp3's etc etc.

Cheers

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  Reply # 180255 25-Nov-2008 17:58
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Do these PVRs generally have smarts around scheduling from the EPG. i.e. Record x program every time on this channel, every day/week at x time. pre/post record (e.g. start recording 5mins before and stop 5 mins after). Just wondering how they stack up against an HTPC?




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Master Geek


  Reply # 180280 25-Nov-2008 19:48
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Yes, mine does.

It'll record once, daily, weekly. And you can set the pre and post record times, I've got mine set to -1 minute and + 5 minutes to the EPG. Haven't missed a show yet Smile

I used to have a HTPC with MCE and sold it earlier this year for this and a mediagate hdd 720p hdd player, Very happy indeed. But it suits my purposes.

g23

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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 180575 27-Nov-2008 01:59
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Johnsets12

The partition should be no greater that 120GB. Check page 30 of the manual for more information. Suggest using a 3rd party format tool. Also defrag the drive every now and again. My hard drive works perfectly.
You shouldn't have any problems playing AVI's or MP3's.


Mcraenz

As per PromNZ comments the unit has a number of timer options. I wouldn't compare it with a HTPC.

Regards





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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 180600 27-Nov-2008 08:14
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Hi, mcraenz,

I think PromNZ has another type of unit (DIGINET CDVB9200A ), not a Digistar... I have since plugged in a Flash Drive (just a 1GB) to see if that works. It did pick this up no worries.

So I have had a play around with the timer settings, you can do once a day, once a week etc etc. It is not like a mythbox where it can pick up anything with say "rugby" in the title. And obviously you can only record one channel at a time. I guess it would be back to the UHF aeiral if I want to watch another channel while recording on the Digistar.

I played some AVI's and music and was really happy with the quality of these, I am yet to plug the Digistar into my Stereo system to try that out. It didnt pick up different files like Windows Media Files etc.

It accesses files similar to My Computer in Windows where you browse through to the file. In terms of playlists it just goes from the next file to the next file, I couldnt find a random button.

I can post some pictures of the interface if anyone is interested. This geekzone is really useful so happy to put in my effort. (for what it is worth)

Just reply.


Cheers
JohnSets



165 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 180605 27-Nov-2008 09:03
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Interface pics would be useful thanks.

5 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 180745 27-Nov-2008 19:18
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uh oh... cant insert pics... oops thought it would be easy to do.. have to have a url... which I dont.

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