Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




35 posts

Geek


Topic # 57551 17-Feb-2010 07:16
Send private message

Hi, first time on here (go easy).

I saw a similar thread here, and was just going to post there, but see that you guys prefer new threads not to confuse issues.

I'm looking for a reliable FreeView HD PVR STB, with a large built in hard drive that I can backup recordings from (e.g. backup to PC). Full 8 day EPG would be nice but not essential. I just want to be certain the unit will record the shows I program, and be able to do basic things like fast forward HD recorded content smoothly, or time slip (like my old Panny EH67).

It's really hard to tell what these units are like to use in reality just going off the sales blurbs, spec sheets, or even the pdf manuals.

It sounds like the MagicTV 3600 is a favourite on Geekzone. The only catch with these freeview approved sets is the lack of backup to PC ability. I think I heard mention of this possibility on the Homecast 9200 by doing frequent firmware flashes with a old or hacked version (less than ideal). Does any other PVR STB allow this? I've eliminated several older (non approved) PVRs as they have such poor recording and playback capabilities (not reliable), or require an external USB drive (often only smaller FAT32 formats). Maybe I missed a good one?

I've also been looking at the TViX 6500 (playing media would be a nice extra). The trouble is even with a dual tuner card, they seem extremely limited as a PVR and have many firmware/reliability problems. e.g. overheating, freezes, slow search, can't view a recording while recording, etc.

Perhaps better going for a proven brand like the Panasonic DMRBW850? It seems to be the only big brand recorder that allows backup of recordings (to BD). The DMR-XW350 will compress HD content to fit on DVD (not ideal). Pretty damn expensive models, and perhaps still a bit buggy?

Any personal experiences or tech advice appreciated.

Andy

Create new topic
26201 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 5797

Moderator
Trusted
Biddle Corp
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 299662 17-Feb-2010 07:32
Send private message

If backing up data is a key selling point then the easiest way to do this is to go down the HTPC path - no clumbersome backup procedurees are required and you get the same functionality.


17 posts

Geek


  Reply # 299672 17-Feb-2010 08:45
Send private message

katipo: I think I heard mention of this possibility on the Homecast 9200 by doing frequent firmware flashes with a old or hacked version (less than ideal).


The solution I found for me with HT9200DTR is like dual booting PC with different OS. Except in HT9200DTR case I have replaced firmware which takes about 5 mins. I can keep my recordings with the Vantage HD6000T/NZ but there is no EPG like HTPC. My best compromise is to swap firmware which I do once a while when I really need to save something. My recommendation is definitely HT9200DTR, its simple to use with NZ firmware and you can make it complex by changing the firmware.

Kilaru

 
 
 
 


Try Wrike: fast, easy, and efficient project collaboration software
6601 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 531

Trusted

  Reply # 299693 17-Feb-2010 09:50
Send private message

There may be one other option....

Can't TIVO do this with the networking package?

http://www.mytivo.co.nz/whatistivo/accessories/homenetworking/myworldthrutivo/



35 posts

Geek


  Reply # 299844 17-Feb-2010 16:44
Send private message

sbiddle: would prefer not to do a HTPC

kilaru: sounds interesting, wonder how many times you can keep flashing? Does it turn the unit into a drive you just connect to PC via a USB cable? Is it just an old official firmware, or a modified/hacked one?

Jaxson: also very interesting. I'd assumed that TiVo was protected, but it does say "Transfer TiVo recordings to your PC". Can't see the extra cost. Sounds a bit proprietary (like most things TiVo) with custom media access keys and software. I wonder if it works if you just bought the TiVo box (no online subscription service). This could be really good yet if there's no strings... Has anyone tried this yet?

26201 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 5797

Moderator
Trusted
Biddle Corp
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 299852 17-Feb-2010 16:53
Send private message

katipo: sbiddle: would prefer not to do a HTPC


For what reasons exactly?

IMHO there are very few compelling reasons against not having a HTPC. A year ago I would have argued the opposite but right now a small machine such as the Dell Zino's or Ion machines with a powerful GPU and Windows7 delivers far more functionality and features than most PVR's do, at a similar pricepoint.






35 posts

Geek


  Reply # 299854 17-Feb-2010 17:05
Send private message

For what reasons exactly?

Can I just say I don't want to build a HTPC, and be fiddling with the OS and software packages.

17 posts

Geek


  Reply # 299871 17-Feb-2010 18:25
Send private message

katipo:kilaru: sounds interesting, wonder how many times you can keep flashing? Does it turn the unit into a drive you just connect to PC via a USB cable? Is it just an old official firmware, or a modified/hacked one?



Your are writing to normal memory so don't think there are limitations to how many times you can flash. Not like old times with EPROMS. The firmware used is official firmware from Homecast for their Australian model. I just changed the model number and software version to load it. There is no code change. Homecast gives client software that allows you to transfer the files. You can see the PVR HDD and recordings in the client software which you can transfer.




35 posts

Geek


  Reply # 299915 17-Feb-2010 19:58
Send private message

Thanks for the info on the Homecast. If it wasn't for the mucking about required to transfer content, I may have chosen an official Freeview box.

So far only the TViX seems to be completely flexible device for connections, and allows large NTFS drive partitions, no transfer software required. I just was seeing so many complaints on mpcclub.com that I was put off. Sounds like several issues were fixed, and you can't keep everyone happy. However, there's nothing like having a proper trial with a device before buying and finding it's not so great.



35 posts

Geek


Reply # 300001 18-Feb-2010 07:01
Send private message

I'd completely forgotton about PlayTV for the PS3. Even though not officially sold by Sony NZ yet, it looks like several people have imported the UK model, and it seems to work great. The only negatives are the limited EPG, which doesn't bother me. Also, you can only record one thing at a time (shame), but I'm also used to that. I use the PS3 for it's terrific BD playback, also increasingly as a media player. So no more boxes required to plug into the TV.

The main thing is, it looks possible to save recordings to an external USB drive. Which is a big surprise for a Sony device! I was certain this wasn't going to be allowed. Also, it switches on and off automatically from standby just like a proper PVR. I just need to track down the cheapest place to get one from and then upgrade the PS3 2.5" HDD. Hopefully there are no other catches. Looks like a minimal outlay compared to what I might have had to spend. Smile

Jaxson, if you read this, I found your 15 page post on PlayTV (plus some other online reviews), but didn't see if you'd actually tested transfering files from the PS3. Are you still using yours sucessfully?

6601 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 531

Trusted

  Reply # 300385 19-Feb-2010 14:06
Send private message

katipo:
Jaxson, if you read this, I found your 15 page post on PlayTV (plus some other online reviews), but didn't see if you'd actually tested transfering files from the PS3. Are you still using yours sucessfully?

That question has just been asked on that other post.
In essence it's a complete no go there.  If you're after transferring the files I honestly think you have 2 serious options...

1) Build a HTPC.  I'm about this far away from doing this myself as I've had a gutsful of all these products promising stuff in theory but not delivering in practice.  As sbiddle says, with Win 7 out now natively supporting NZ HD DVB-T broadcasts and the full EIT data being available via the freeview satellite service it really is in the same price bracket.

2) Opt for a satellite PVR.  I know it's a bit out there, but it's broadcast as MPEG2 which is DVD format so you can natively write this to DVD and give it to someone else.  You could use this box for anything you are going to record for someone else.

3) Buy the someone else a PVR anyway, ha then you don't have to transfer your recordings...

No the PlayTV saves it's files inside the software, so to watch back a recording you have to start PlayTV.  Once in there you can export it to the video section of the main PS3 menu/XMB which deletes it from PlayTV.  The problem though is that most HD recording in NZ are over 4GB which is the maximum FAT32 filesize you can copy off the PS3, so really it's just not going to work.



35 posts

Geek


Reply # 300475 20-Feb-2010 07:31
Send private message

Thanks Jaxson.

Damn, just when I thought I'd found the best option. Will have to think about it some more...
It's a hard road finding the perfect PVR. 

26201 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 5797

Moderator
Trusted
Biddle Corp
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 300477 20-Feb-2010 07:56
Send private message

I know you've already said you don't want to go down the HTPC path but IMHO to get what you seem to want it is the best option by far.

With the range of small form factor machines that are now available and Windows7 you can be up and running with a rock solid PVR solution in less than an hour. The only thing that does take time to configure is an EPG if you're using Freeview|HD as you'll need to use an application such as BSE to import an XML file.

I've used GB-PVR for all of my TV viewing and recording for close to 3 years now, to me it's just normal and is a rock solid system that never fails.

1081 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 176


  Reply # 300495 20-Feb-2010 11:02
Send private message

The thing with an HTPC is that if you want it to do something you can make do it but with an STB if it doest have feature x well too bad. Sorry to sound condescending but if you don't think the 8 day epg is that important then I would argue that you don't know what's best for you! ;)




Create new topic



Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

TCF and Telcos Toughen Up on Scam Callers
Posted 23-Apr-2018 09:39


Amazon launches the International Shopping Experience in the Amazon Shopping App
Posted 19-Apr-2018 08:38


Spark New Zealand and TVNZ to bring coverage of Rugby World Cup 2019
Posted 16-Apr-2018 06:55


How Google can seize Microsoft Office crown
Posted 14-Apr-2018 11:08


How back office transformation drives IRD efficiency
Posted 12-Apr-2018 21:15


iPod laws in a smartphone world: will we ever get copyright right?
Posted 12-Apr-2018 21:13


Lightbox service using big data and analytics to learn more about customers
Posted 9-Apr-2018 12:11


111 mobile caller location extended to iOS
Posted 6-Apr-2018 13:50


Huawei announces the HUAWEI P20 series
Posted 29-Mar-2018 11:41


Symantec Internet Security Threat Report shows increased endpoint technology risks
Posted 26-Mar-2018 18:29


Spark switches on long-range IoT network across New Zealand
Posted 26-Mar-2018 18:22


Stuff Pix enters streaming video market
Posted 21-Mar-2018 09:18


Windows no longer Microsoft’s main focus
Posted 13-Mar-2018 07:47


Why phone makers are obsessed with cameras
Posted 11-Mar-2018 12:25


New Zealand Adopts International Open Data Charter
Posted 3-Mar-2018 12:48



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.