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203 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 29813 20-Jan-2009 13:09
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 it is almost 12 months now since dtt started transmiting.
and we still dont have a (any )  stb's  with pvr function.
ones that work reliably with meheg5 middle ware that is .
 
i challenge any forum member to prove that there are free view meheg5   enabled pvr's   that function as advertised.

i know there are plenty of satellite pvr models that work quite well but none of them are meheg5 enabled .


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  Reply # 190784 20-Jan-2009 13:33
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The Zinwell ZMT640 has been available for well over a month now.


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  Reply # 190791 20-Jan-2009 13:52
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Yeah odd that there's no official Sat based PVR either.
Also lets not forget that Prime is not on freeview, so a lot of people don't want to ditch their existing hdd/dvd/vhs setup just yet.

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  Reply # 190797 20-Jan-2009 14:13
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sbiddle: The Zinwell ZMT640 has been available for well over a month now.

I think the implication is that it doesn't "function as advertised".

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  Reply # 190801 20-Jan-2009 14:34
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bazzer:
sbiddle: The Zinwell ZMT640 has been available for well over a month now.

I think the implication is that it doesn't "function as advertised".


Well that depends on what your defintion of that is. Apart from the known audio issue affecting some people and the fact it doesn't go back into sleep mode after a scheduled recording if the box was turned off the box performs everything "as advertised".

As for the lack of DVB-S units with MHEG5 support it's really a question that needs to be addressed by manufacturers. Freeview have been very slow off the boat but most other importers don't seem interested in paying huge amounts of money to have MHEG5 implimented in their boxes and ~$14000 to get a box certified when the DVB-S service already has an 8 day EIT EPG and works fine.


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  Reply # 190805 20-Jan-2009 14:43
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sbiddle: Well that depends on what your defintion of that is. Apart from the known audio issue affecting some people and the fact it doesn't go back into sleep mode after a scheduled recording if the box was turned off the box performs everything "as advertised".

As for the lack of DVB-S units with MHEG5 support it's really a question that needs to be addressed by manufacturers. Freeview have been very slow off the boat but most other importers don't seem interested in paying huge amounts of money to have MHEG5 implimented in their boxes and ~$14000 to get a box certified when the DVB-S service already has an 8 day EIT EPG and works fine.

I can't comment as I haven't had a chance to try one.  However, if what you say is true then sounds like you've won wiredr's prize... except first you have to prove it!



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Master Geek


  Reply # 190809 20-Jan-2009 15:08
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well chris and steve  you are both wrong . the zinwell zm640  does not qualify because the audio is controlled by the meheg5 virtual engine . any fault that can be related to the operation of the meheg5 middle ware will rule out that machine .

so subject closed on thew zm 640 pvr ..,


next contender please . ?

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  Reply # 190811 20-Jan-2009 15:16
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wiredr: well chris and steve  you are both wrong . the zinwell zm640  does not qualify because the audio is controlled by the meheg5 virtual engine . any fault that can be related to the operation of the meheg5 middle ware will rule out that machine .

so subject closed on thew zm 640 pvr ..,


next contender please . ?


Hold on a sec...you've confused possibly yourself, but definitely me Undecided  Are you trying to track down a unit that uses MHEG5, and works. Or a unit that doesn't use MHEG5, and works?

I guess what I don't get it the reason you say the Zinwell doesn't fit.......

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  Reply # 190828 20-Jan-2009 16:43
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wiredr: well chris and steve  you are both wrong . the zinwell zm640  does not qualify because the audio is controlled by the meheg5 virtual engine . any fault that can be related to the operation of the meheg5 middle ware will rule out that machine .

so subject closed on thew zm 640 pvr ..,


next contender please . ?


What makes you think this is an MHEG5 issue? It's the first I've heard about the audio issue being blamed on MHEG5.

If we are talking about the commonly reported bug which is a loss of audio after watching a TV3 recording until the box is rebooted it is simply a bug in the handling of the audio due to the multiple audio format(s AAC and AC3) in the TV3 TS stream.

The box seems to give precedence to an AC3 stream if it's present within the TS on playback but then fails to switch back to AAC on subsequent recordings if no AC3 stream is present within the TS. This has nothing to do with the MHEG5 support.

Or are you talking about a different bug here?



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Master Geek


  Reply # 190860 20-Jan-2009 17:55
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sbiddle:
wiredr: well chris and steve  you are both wrong . the zinwell zm640  does not qualify because the audio is controlled by the meheg5 virtual engine . any fault that can be related to the operation of the meheg5 middle ware will rule out that machine .

so subject closed on thew zm 640 pvr ..,


next contender please . ?


What makes you think this is an MHEG5 issue? It's the first I've heard about the audio issue being blamed on MHEG5.

If we are talking about the commonly reported bug which is a loss of audio after watching a TV3 recording until the box is rebooted it is simply a bug in the handling of the audio due to the multiple audio format(s AAC and AC3) in the TV3 TS stream.

The box seems to give precedence to an AC3 stream if it's present within the TS on playback but then fails to switch back to AAC on subsequent recordings if no AC3 stream is present within the TS. This has nothing to do with the MHEG5 support.

Or are you talking about a different bug here?


here is an excerpt from an article published by www.impala.org titled how mheg-5 works

The MHEG-5 end-to-end system is simple and its client
software can be implemented in a wide range of low-cost
digital TV receivers. The client software consists of an
MHEG-5 engine (or virtual machine) that interprets MHEG-
5 applications and presents information delivered to it via
a broadcast fle system or via a ‘return channel’. MHEG-5
enables interaction between the user and the application
through the remote control and in some implementations
allows the application to exchange information with a
remote server via an IP connection.
MHEG-5 programming language broadly comprises
objects for presentation, links that respond to events and
Resident Programs. Presentation objects include video,
audio, lists, text and graphics. Events respond to input
from the remote control, a timer, a stream event message
in the broadcast or the result of a logical condition in
the application. Resident Programs are native functions,
defned in the Profle, that extend the basic MHEG-5 to
provide specifc tools to manipulate data, and can also
be used for market specifc profle extensions to enable
MHEG-5 to work with conditional access systems, PVR
control, Push VOD or an IP return channel.
The broadcast MHEG-5 profles have a simple life-cycle,
allowing only one application running at a time. One
MHEG-5 application can launch others but on doing
so the original is terminated. In a broadcast system, an
auto-launch application may be started when a service is
selected with which it is associated. The auto-launch can
then start other applications and select to tune to other
services. Information can be passed between applications
by making use of persistent store in the receiver.
An application is normally loaded from the DSM-CC object
carousel or optionally from the return channel or from a
DVB-CI module. Data loaded from the carousel can be
updated rapidly onscreen as the content of a data object
changes. Information is presented either as “included”
content, where the text or graphic is embedded in the
application, or as “referenced” content, which is acquired
from the carousel as required. A strategy of building
applications with predominantly referenced content enables
them to remain stable, with changing content and graphics
and even detailed layout, over an extended period.
MHEG-5 can be used, for example, to build an EPG
application that has data effciently delivered in the DSM-
CC object carousel and presented using MHEG-5. These
systems allow the user to tune to a chosen channel from
the EPG and this provides the platform operator with the
opportunity to provide a consistent EPG rather than rely on
receiver manufacturer’s implementations.
MHEG-5, when running, takes control over scaling and
presentation of video and presentation of audio. This
provides the means to tune to other services and to switch
between running video streams in the same multiplex.
This allows a broadcaster to show more than one view
of an event – for example different matches at a tennis
tournament, different players in a golf tournament or views
of a soccer match. Control of video and audio selection is
achieved using the MHEG-5 application associated with
the service,
not by the receiver navigator.

does the highlighted content make my point quite clear now.


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  Reply # 190864 20-Jan-2009 18:04
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I know exactly how MHEG5 works. What I'd like to know is if you are talking about the audio issue I mentioned above what leads you to believe that it is caused by the MHEG5 middleware?

Have you assumed this from reading the statement or do you have technical knowledge (such as an involvement with Next) to know that the issue is infact the MHEG5 rather than a simple bug in the firmware when detecting the audio format in the transport stream?

You wanted some proof the MHEG5 implimentation works. If we are talking about the same issue here I'd like some proof that the issue is MHEG5 related.



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  Reply # 190877 20-Jan-2009 18:58
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ok steve i admit you are probably more knowledgeable than i am on this subject but i think your defence of the zinwell zm640 is steering the topic away from its intended coarse.

what i was asking was for owners of mheg5 equipped pvr's to prove that their machines work as intended.
what is becoming evident from all the posts on the subject that  set top boxes with mheg5 middle ware are unreliable .
set top boxes using eit epg dont seem to have any were as many issues as the meheg-5 stb's
Free view nz's  decision to accredit only stb's with  meheg-5  epg control  has proved problematic. it is clear at this stage that this descision has not been of benifit to the nz public. 
have the manufacturers of set top boxes got it so wrong or has free view nz gt it wrong  ( again )  ?
the underying theme with free view and sky is control.
with sky it is via encryption
with freeview it is with meheg-5
the longer it takes for free view nz to have an effective mehg-5 equiped audience the easier it is going to be for other  manufacturers to to supply stb,s with 8 day epg that dont use meheg-5 . there is one such box for sale on trade me as we speak.

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  Reply # 190884 20-Jan-2009 19:40
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I'm not defending the Zinwell boxes because I don't own one and never will. The quality of the Zinwell products has only been very average with major quality issues and overheating problems affecting the 620 boxes. At present the Zinwell PVR is the only certified PVR on the market and it too does have some minor issues. These issues however are nothing to do with MHEG5.

The decision by Freeview to with with MHEG5 wasn't made just to annoy STB manufacturers. It was made to deliver customers a simplified end user experience and a common user interface across all devices that are Freeview certified. Any Freeview certified TV or STB will have the same 8 DAY EPG and the same program information available. This makes things extremely simple for people to use.

MHEG5 is now in use across a large number of DVB networks and has also recently been launched in Australia with their Freeview launch. Previously the broadcasters over there couldn't even co-operate and deploy a decent EIT based EPG. Virtually everybody who is rolling out new DVB networks is using MHEG5 - Ireland, the new UK DVB-T2 rollout, Hong Kong to name a few. MHEG5 is nothing more than a programming language which delivers an almost unlimited number of interactive service in the future. I'd go as far as questioning why anybody would not want to include it in their minimum requirements if they were rolling out a network.

The bulk of NZ's problem has been that were were very early adopters of H.264 and HE-AAC/AAC-LATM for our DVB-T broadcast. This has caused the issues - not MHEG5. I'm not aware of any significant issues with any of the IDTV's in the NZ market which all support MHEG5 but there is no disputing we have had issues with boxes. These issues have all typically been video or codec related. 

I'd go as far as suggesting the issues simply comes down to the quality the engineering in the first place. If large companies such as Samsung, Sony and Panasonic can launch IDTV's that don't suffer from many of the issues that have plagued the boxes then it reflects on the skill of those manufacturers.

Somebody needs to set minimum requirements for a new network and Freeview have done a great job at this. If you disagree then look at Australia as a test case of what happens when you create your own standard and think you know it all - it's probably the world's worst DVB-T network in the world.

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