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1519 posts

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  Reply # 298236 12-Feb-2010 08:45
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Py99ajh: Thanks everyone. Fat format sorted it!! My general impressions of the magic box are a bit dissapointing to be honest. I have been using a topfield in the uk on freeview and it's 5yr technology and ui is still way superior. Suggestions for magictv folk I'd they're listening:



- epg is dreadful! changes need to be made. If it means losing the freeview certification then it should be dropped like a stone! To start tneeds to be a grid version. Now and next is useless. This could surely be easily done by scraping epg data and populating it locally. If this was done would also allow searching of epg data for programs to record. Eg on topfield boxes you can enter in search term 'home*' and it would automatically record all future episodes of home and away (as well as everything else starting with home) in the future. (bad example, sorry).



There are 2 choices with DVB-T - the freeview EPG or no EPG. Yes the freeview EPG is hideous but there is no alternative. NZ TV listings are copyrighted so scraping is not a viable alternative for a company as well as not being at all possible without an internet connection. That's why Tivo doesn't have EPG information for Prime or Maori TV. There have been lots of discussions about the lack of EIT data on DVB-T if you have a look in this forum. No one disputes it's crap but it' what we've got and it isn't changing.

So no Freeview EPG means to EPG at all much like the Panansonic recorders. Personally I'll put up with the crappy Freeview EPG to keep series link functionality.



- when you are recording a show it should be integrated into the same menu as the recorded programs menu, rather than hidden in recording > recording options menu. You could just show recording in red, to allow to start watching from start.


It is in the recorded programs menu in red.


- when you goto a program that is currently recording it should start automatically at the beginning, not where it's currently at in it's recording! Who wants to breifly see the a plot or sports game score when you want to start at the begining?!?


You get the option if you press OK rather than play.



- user program forward timeshift set time period. Eg red = forward 10, green f 30, yellow f 90sec , blue = back 30 sec. I read this is a nz freeview thing. See earlier comment on dropping like a stone!!!



Yes it's a freeview thing and it ain't gonna change anytime soon because the broadcasters don't want it to.

I understand your sentiments around dropping Freeview certification but in reality to get sales most PVRs need Freeview certification. Without it they can't get into the retail channell (Harvey Norman, Bond and Bond etc) and most "mums and dads" won't buy something that's not certified. Asking a company to drop certfication for the geek market is completely unrealistic.

By and large the companies that are importing these boxes aren't large corporates with big advertising budgets or the ability to force the broadcasters to let them use their EPGs (ie Tivo).

If you don't want to deal with Freeview's inherant issues then a media centre PC with it's associated problems is your alternative.

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  Reply # 299734 17-Feb-2010 12:21
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I'm wondering if anyone else has had this happen?

The Pixel Magic logo (a star for want of a betetr description) is appearing on screen when I press the big button on remote in a corrupt format. The original star shape looks okay but it would appear as if paint is flaking off it. The small irregular sharply defined polygon shapes are red in colour. I've restarted the box but they re-appear exactly as before. It would appear that some data corruption has taken place. I would have assumed if data corruption that it might change over time, however the restart hasn't changed it look. I'm currently on the 3.06 firmware version, however could change to a newer version, but don't think now is the time to do so whilst this is occurring.

Any ideas anyone?

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 299762 17-Feb-2010 13:50
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NO IT ISN'T it is decorated for Chinese New Year and was decorated with christmas lights around christmas. Just one more thing that makes the Magic TV better.





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  Reply # 300010 18-Feb-2010 08:03
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Ha ha! That'll teach me for blanking out the extraneous stuff, just as I do the ads (read fast forward here). I never got closup to the screen (read sitting back lounging around), but I did last night to confirm this, not that I didn't trust you, honest (read I thought you were pulling my leg!).

At least I'm glad the system isn't corrupt. Now maybe I should update the firmware or are there a few more "easter eggs" in that version as well?

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  Reply # 300177 18-Feb-2010 16:52
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Is there any way to prevent MagicTV from recording the "encore" screening of a series linked show eg 24, Lost, Flashforward. Who knows why tv channels feel they need to screen the same show twice in a week when everyone can just record it anyway.

That Chinese New Year logo thingy threw me when I first saw it too!

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  Reply # 301674 23-Feb-2010 21:54
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Standby Power Consumption

MagicTV MTV3600TD 16W
Homecast HT9200DTR 8W
Zinwell ZMT-640 < 3W
JCMatthew DVR-320T ?W
UltraPlus F-9000HD 1W
Panasonic DMR-XW350 0.7W

Why is this important? For the individual MagicTV owner maybe it isn't but it only takes 86 MagicTV's in standby to consume one million watts per month.
1,000,000 ÷ (16 × 24 × 30) = 86 By comparison it would take 2000 Panasonic's
to consume the same amount.

From the Features page at magictv.co.nz
 Environmentally sensitive
Lead-free electronics throughout and an innovative and intelligent power-saving
mode help reduce the environmental impact. 

Well it may have Lead-free electronics but the rest is nonsense and deliberately misleading. They don't seem to know about The New Zealand Fair Trading Act.

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  Reply # 301748 24-Feb-2010 09:49
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Just an update to show why I was confused about the capabilities of the Magic
with regard to being able to save content to a USB drive.
This image

https://cdn.geekzone.co.nz/imagessubs/blog7ec429e1473e8876d5e8df6a6495b6c8.jpg

is a screen capture of one of the FAQS from the current NZ Magic tv support page
(http://www.magictv.co.nz/support.html).  It explicitly states that you can save
edited programs to a USB HDD.

I guess the FAQ never got updated when the firmware got crippled.

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  Reply # 301968 25-Feb-2010 08:42
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Interesting power consumption figures, but I wonder if they are correct. 16W does seem a big large for the Magic Box in standby, I'd believe that figure for normal use, but not on standby. Has anyone got one of those power meters that they could plug the Magic Box into to check this as I'm afraid I'd disbelieve it until it was checked.

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  Reply # 301984 25-Feb-2010 10:16
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rosswakelin: Just an update to show why I was confused about the capabilities of the Magic
with regard to being able to save content to a USB drive.
This image

https://cdn.geekzone.co.nz/imagessubs/blog7ec429e1473e8876d5e8df6a6495b6c8.jpg

is a screen capture of one of the FAQS from the current NZ Magic tv support page
(http://www.magictv.co.nz/support.html).  It explicitly states that you can save
edited programs to a USB HDD.

I guess the FAQ never got updated when the firmware got crippled.



It looks like a mistake when they copied and pasted from the Hong Kong site. It does say further down the page that you definitely can't save to USB. 

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  Reply # 302138 25-Feb-2010 15:21
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terryr: Interesting power consumption figures, but I wonder if they are correct. 16W does seem a big large for the Magic Box in standby, I'd believe that figure for normal use, but not on standby. Has anyone got one of those power meters that they could plug the Magic Box into to check this as I'm afraid I'd disbelieve it until it was checked.


My Measurements:
MTV 3600TD Power Consumption (measured at 12V DC output)
(voltage varies according to load - taken into account)
Not entirely sure whether all power ratings are usually taken at AC input or DC output voltage, but due to varying supply voltages output measurement was used, the SMPS efficiency factor shouldn't be too large.

(Output voltage: 12.14V - 12.33V)

S/by      11.7W
Startup  34.8W (peak)
Live tv   18.4W
Play      16.2W
Rec       20.8W

The reason the Panasonic rates so well is that it has two standby modes: Power Save (0.7W) and Quick Start (10W). The MTV s/by is approx equiv to the Panasonic's Quick Start mode.


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  Reply # 302159 25-Feb-2010 16:11
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Thanks for that info, my oh my the Magic Box is a hungry little beastie!
Of course most systems only have AC in, so they'd be tested at that. With Magic Box, having an external adapter means either location. The AC figures should be larger across the board as there are inefficiencies in AC-DC conversion. Even the best converters only get %s in the mid 90s I think.

So "doug3", I'm sorry I doubted your figures!

It does suggest then that the brochures don't reflect reality when wattages such as 11W on standby are given. I suppose we can but attempt to try better when we look at new technology to purchase. I admit I used reliability and other user reviews (worldwide) as my criteria, oh and a good read of the online manual first to determine true capability before considering to purchase. Now I'll have to add in the power consumption!

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  Reply # 302184 25-Feb-2010 16:46
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I used the DC results as my AC current clamp wasn't very accurate, and the AC startup current exceeded my multimeter range limits . Perhaps someone with quality clamp (or better multimeter) could give AC power ratings. Hmm, even 90% efficiency would be still be pretty close to my readings. (11.7 -> 12.9W)

I'd say many people with the big brands of STBs would leave the default quick start mode on anyway. When you enable it on my old Panny HDD recorder the time display disappears. I didn't even realize it had the extra low power mode till enabled in the menu.

I agree that the MTV is a bit hungier than I would like on standby. I'm more concerned about how hot it gets in operation. It gets extremely hot with little ventillation. I certainly can't use it inside my usual cabinet like the panny. It desperately needs a fan fitted!

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  Reply # 302309 25-Feb-2010 21:03
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Agreed about the heat, although I had a Sommet Freeview decoder (not PVR, I think model is SDHNZ1) which also got very warm. In fact I think the heat from it was enough to generate hard lockups on an irregular (2-4 day) cycle. In between it would get a slowdown of the internal clock, something I think should never happen. Sent it in twice to get checked (on the 2nd occasion I even listed out the issues and the scenario around it) but each time it came back (too early for my liking) as being no fault.

I've checked on net and not much info on it, faults or otherwise so stuck with it I think. I was grateful to get the Magic Box to replace it. A pity really as it had some good features in it that i would have used had it been more reliable. Actually seeing as I'm stuck with it it might pay for me to stick a fan in/on it to see if that fixes the problem.

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  Reply # 302341 25-Feb-2010 23:02
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Only got my MTV yesterday, so am still testing. It's a cooler day today anyway, but the MTV feels cooler running outside of the cabinet (only semi enclosed). It's still way too hot after using for a short period. The HDD in particular gets roasting hot (the CPU/MB less so), but the HDD is semi isolated from the case so heat transfer is minimal.

IMO they should have designed a better drive cage and installed a fan. There's room for a small fan near the power switch. It needn't be high RPMs, just enough to draw the hot air out. I would expect a much shortened drive life if the drive continues to run this hot (could barely touch it).

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  Reply # 302354 26-Feb-2010 01:32
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Barely touch it is only 50?C or so - not massivly hot at all.





Richard rich.ms

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