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121 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 335308 26-May-2010 22:56
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richms: How about changing to non approved firmware to remove them from needing to adhiere to crazy limits on what you can copy and what you can skip?

IMO having freeviews name on the box is more of a warning than a feature.


Yep will add features but will sell hardly any PVRs. I know that loads of us, especially those on the forum, will buy non-approved receivers from online resellers if they have the features and work well. But the reality is that it is just not enough people for a big manufacturer. The only way they can sell enough to make it pay for itself is to have Freeview approval and sell it in the retail stores.

Catch 22!!! There are other options of course but none are quite as good as the approved ones because the approved ones sell enough to allow the manufacturers to add Mheg-5 and the booking features that come with it. But these same approved models have the other restrictions that Freeview is obliged to demand, obliged by the broadcasters/content providers.
 



133 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 335331 26-May-2010 23:46
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yes i agree. most general public would only buy freeview approved products from major retaliers.
actually the reason i bought the magictv is because it is a freeview approved product.

 
 
 
 


283 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 335366 27-May-2010 08:12
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Mac2008:
Gemini: Do Magic monitor this thread? Any way we can find out what they might have in store?
Would be great to have some sort of jumping forward feature as well as copying to USB.


I don't know if they still monitor this thread like they did in the beginning, but I have had some answers from them on a few things.

FFwd - they are working on making it better, expect an update.

FFwd Jumping - they can't, Freeview restrictions, if/when this is lifted or changed/reduced, Magic will change it. Freeview limits it because the broadcasters demand it so that they can still have the advertisers paying for us to watch free programs - advertisers do not like ad skipping. Its kind of hard to find a balance in this. We want to skip ads, but we don't want to pay Sky, and ads mean we don't pay for TV channels. Freeview has no more choice than Magic does, both have to comply with what is demanded of them. Of course an entire topic could be made ranting about the political annoyance of this, but these are the facts for the moment.

Copying to USB - they intend to release a firmware update to allow USB copying of any "copy freely" tagged content as soon as the system of tagging content is in place. Although I would give them a bit of time to get the test streams and engineer the process before we see an update. Again although we would love to blame Freeview, it seems this comes back to the broadcasters again. Even with this new system of tagging the content, it is the broadcasters who will decide what tag is given to what content, and so therefore what we can do with it.

Mac 


Sounds good and makes their offering more attractive.

Will they keep you up to date with progress?

57 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 335448 27-May-2010 12:11
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I'm still in 'pre-purchase mode' for a PVR, so thanks everyone for a very informative thread! The MagicTV 3600 seems to be the dominant recorder, and I guess the proce won't drop until it has 'real' competition?
I was interested in comments regarding the perception of buying only Freeview approved. Are there products that have the same recording quality and MHEG5 capability that have more flexible skipping features and/or usb record capability? (for less money?) MAgic TV still seems to have best look and features...cheers   Theo

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 335477 27-May-2010 13:08
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theobrandt: I'm still in 'pre-purchase mode' for a PVR, so thanks everyone for a very informative thread! The MagicTV 3600 seems to be the dominant recorder, and I guess the proce won't drop until it has 'real' competition?
I was interested in comments regarding the perception of buying only Freeview approved. Are there products that have the same recording quality and MHEG5 capability that have more flexible skipping features and/or usb record capability? (for less money?) MAgic TV still seems to have best look and features...cheers   Theo


If you want MHEG5 then you're stuck with Freeview approved. If you don't go for MHEG5 then there's no EPG, like the Panasonic recorders currently on the market.

Regarding price make sure you go in and bargain. You shouldn't be paying more that $700 for a MagicTV and some people have been getting them cheaper when on special etc.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 335502 27-May-2010 14:05
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theobrandt: I'm still in 'pre-purchase mode' for a PVR


Shameless plug for my own product here!....
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=77&topicid=61516

PROS:
Records from either sat or terrestrial.
Gives access to channels you can't get on HD only, eg SBS HD from Australia etc.
Gets EPG from sat service so you can have an HD recorder and an EPG.
Allows all recordings to be transferred off the hard drive.
Price!

CONS:
Single Tuner Unit Only.
Requires additional Hard Drive purchase if you don't have something laying around.
Requires a sat dish if you want sat shows and EPG data.

35 posts

Geek


Reply # 335612 27-May-2010 18:56
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That is shameless!

An external HDD hanging off permanently is a pain, one more thing that requires power and would get knocked about by me. What I like most about the MTV is it's compactness. If they fixed the few bugs it'd be perfect. I reserve the right to bleat in the meantime.

If I was a first time buyer I'd like to trial the Homecast 9200 and compare, esp with the alternative firmware that allows backups...

If they removed the CRC check on the MTV firmware, we could "test" the HK version.

4 posts

Wannabe Geek


Reply # 335621 27-May-2010 19:17
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and only one tuner :-(

26 posts

Geek


  Reply # 335622 27-May-2010 19:27
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LennonNZ:
magictv: Sorry for the slow download problem. We are trying to put the firmware on a local server in New Zealand. Should be ready in a day or 2.


Hi Magictv.. you can supply the source code for the GPL Software used in your Unit?


I would also be interested in the source code - at least the Linux kernel is part of the firmware, and I would guess that busybox would also be in there...

I'm in contact with someone at GPLviolations.org - this might be an interesting test case(?)

Tom

2261 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 910


  Reply # 335652 27-May-2010 21:55
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The external hard drive thing is OK as long as its a USB powered unit and the box puts out enough juice to run it. You can get these at up to 750GB (albeit pricey) or $99 for 320GB at DSE. As long as I don't have to find yet another power socket to connect the HD as well as the set-top box it doesn't worry me- I have this with the Visione box and it tucks away neatly behind it. I always seem to need 2 more power sockets than I actually have at any point in time........

35 posts

Geek


  Reply # 335881 28-May-2010 17:56
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The manufacturers of these boxes always seem to recommend external PSUs for USB drives. You may get away with two USB connections inserted (twice the current), but the STBs don't always have enough juice. Also, when externally powered drives' PSUs blow (cheap Switchmodes), they can toast the drive and USB bus too. I lost a drive to that.

121 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 335921 28-May-2010 19:56
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alitom:
LennonNZ:
magictv: Sorry for the slow download problem. We are trying to put the firmware on a local server in New Zealand. Should be ready in a day or 2.


Hi Magictv.. you can supply the source code for the GPL Software used in your Unit?


I would also be interested in the source code - at least the Linux kernel is part of the firmware, and I would guess that busybox would also be in there...

I'm in contact with someone at GPLviolations.org - this might be an interesting test case(?)

Tom


So whats the deal there? If they use Linux they must release the source code? 

20265 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 335922 28-May-2010 19:58
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I thought they only had to release the source, not the method to get it onto the device, thus making the source totally useless to anyone other than to look at it.

Wasnt that why there was that big OS whiner bitchfest about tivo years back?




Richard rich.ms

66 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 4


  Reply # 335925 28-May-2010 20:03
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I got tired of the restrictions, so I took my MagicTV apart tonight and mounted the HD on a Linux box.


/dev/sda1               1          51      409657   83  Linux
/dev/sda2              52       60801   487974375   83  Linux

First partition is EXT3 and the second is JFS.
First contains some data files that when zipped up take up 147kB. Looks only to be database files of the recorded programs.
Second contains one directory called ts and it's full of ts files of recorded material.

I was thinking you might be able to get to the root filesystem, but I now believe that to sit in onboard flash on the MagicTV. I was hoping to enable some of the missing features (variable skip time and export) but it will not be so easy.

Still on the plus side, VLC plays the ts files no problem (on a fast enough machine).

I wonder what should the next step be? :-)

121 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 335926 28-May-2010 20:10
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Handle9:
theobrandt: I'm still in 'pre-purchase mode' for a PVR, so thanks everyone for a very informative thread! The MagicTV 3600 seems to be the dominant recorder, and I guess the proce won't drop until it has 'real' competition?
I was interested in comments regarding the perception of buying only Freeview approved. Are there products that have the same recording quality and MHEG5 capability that have more flexible skipping features and/or usb record capability? (for less money?) MAgic TV still seems to have best look and features...cheers   Theo


If you want MHEG5 then you're stuck with Freeview approved. If you don't go for MHEG5 then there's no EPG, like the Panasonic recorders currently on the market.

Regarding price make sure you go in and bargain. You shouldn't be paying more that $700 for a MagicTV and some people have been getting them cheaper when on special etc.


Yep Handle9 has good advice. It is a hard choice if you really really want good ad skipping or full freedom to remove all recorded files from your HDD. But you also have to balance up the fact that there is more features coming for Mheg-5 enabled (read Freeview approved) PVRs. One of the main ones is online booking, like Tivo has, which will have more search/booking options - choose to record anything of the same genre, choose by words in the title etc. And yeh I know we have been waiting for these 'extra' features for ages.

So weigh up the features before you buy: One side has more freedom (ad skipping/removal of files) the other has restrictions but extra features that are likely to be improved over time because the manufacturers are in it for the long haul (read loads of sales). What are you really wanting? And no so far we haven't fully found a way to have everything. :-)

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