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Topic # 60184 21-Apr-2010 11:25
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I am looking to upgrade my HT3000 decoder to a PVR to replace my old DVD recorded which does not work in HD, but everywhere I look it seems the offerings in NZ are nothing but trouble.


I was looking at the new Homecast offering but after all the problems with my HT3000 I am reluctant to go there again.  TiVo looked awesome but that too is having its share of reliability issues (I don’t care much for the on-line content anyway).  When MagicTV came out it seemed that finally someone had made a quality product that was reliable, but alas reading these forums that does not seem to be the case as again they are full of so called ‘bugs’ that keep needing to be fixed.


I am beginning to think that Freeview is more hassle than its worth right now, and you need some kind of an IT degree and a couple of spare hours each week just to keep the thing upgraded and running (I am reasonably IT literate by the way).


Does anyone make a PVR that just works without all the hassles of firmware upgrades (which seem to create just as many problems as they fix), system crashes and restarts etc etc?  Jeez even my old laptop is more reliable than these things!


Any recommendations?

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The Overrated Raccoons
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  Reply # 321243 21-Apr-2010 11:48
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Ive got a Digistar box (DVBS) .... has a few little niggles but overall for the price I cant complain. Plug in a USB drive and record away......

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  Reply # 321246 21-Apr-2010 11:50
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I have a Tivo and it worked out of the box.  The only problem I have had is it skipping to the end of a show while fast forwarding.  This seems to have stopped now so not sure what the cause was.

If you want to transfer files between the Tivo and your pc then Tivo Desktop is a bit of a dog.  Your better off using pytivo and kmttg but they can take a bit of mucking around to get going.

The only other thing is a lack of a epg for Prime and Maori tv.  Since I have had the Tivo there has only been one series I wanted to record on Prime and I did this through a manual recording, so it does not worry me.


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  Reply # 321298 21-Apr-2010 13:21
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I've had the JC Matthews DVR320T for about 6 months now and haven't had any issues with it. From what I can tell it's a re badged Zinwell with a bigger HDD and it's usually a bit cheaper. It's more basic than the Magic TV or Tivo but seems to work very well and I've seen them for as little as $550 at Harvey Norman.

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  Reply # 321309 21-Apr-2010 13:50
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scuwp:  I am beginning to think that Freeview is more hassle than its worth right now, and you need some kind of an IT degree and a couple of spare hours each week just to keep the thing upgraded and running (I am reasonably IT literate by the way).

Not necessarily.

We took an old unused box here and turned it into a Freeview dual-tuner PVR, it did take alittle fiddling around initially but now it works with no maintenance (and runs WinXP on bugger all RAM!)

davidcole and sbiddle are a wealth of knowledge on here, and they helped us get it up and going.

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  Reply # 321318 21-Apr-2010 14:02
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TiVo looked awesome but that too is having its share of reliability issues (I don’t care much for the on-line content anyway). 

My TiVo has had no reliability issues whatsoever, and it is a fantastic device to use.
I agree with you re the CASPA content, I have not used it since purchase, other than an initial test to see how it works.
If you're not getting Sky, and you can get Freeview HD, I would highly recommend getting hands on with a TiVo to see if you like it.
I use mine every single evening [that I watch TV], and I have not once watched the News, Campbell Live etc while they are being broadcast live since I got the device.
It has totally changed how I watch TV... put the kids to bed, check the news, skip to interesting bits, watch Campbell Live, skip the dross. The seamless "resume playing" works so well, I don't even think about it, I can pick up a movie from where I left off etc.

I would also recommend buying the Premium Glo Remote, this is such a nice piece of kit, and a real pleasure to use, far FAR superior to the standard remote (I've previously posted about Premium remote, I do not have the slightest regret buying it from the US).

If you want a device that is set-and-forget, and does not require any maintenance time, then it could be for you.
Oh and price has just come down too!

No PRIME or Maori TV EPG is a pain, but not a deal breaker for me.

I've only once intentionally power cycled my TiVo since purchase last year. (It recovers well from power cuts also).

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  Reply # 321322 21-Apr-2010 14:06
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Thanks jofizz, you have just restored some faith....

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  Reply # 321332 21-Apr-2010 14:52
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dare we mention Telstra's new and not yet available Homemedia PVR? if you have access to Telstra's Cable service they have been promising a pretty cool looking device, but it's about a year over due now, so could be another year at this rate. Price is going to be around the $500 mark + subscription charges.

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  Reply # 321341 21-Apr-2010 15:12
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i see that freeview shop has the jc matthews dvr-320t for $529. great price.

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  Reply # 321425 21-Apr-2010 19:21
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scuwp: I was looking at the new Homecast offering but after all the problems with my HT3000 I am reluctant to go there again.  

I have a Homecast HT9200DTR and it has been working well for me. It's simple to use and I have done some wonderful things to get my files out. I cannot say much about the HT3000. I bought the Vantage HD6000 instead of HT3000 as I wanted PVR capability. My view would be not to write a product off because some other model in the brand did not work well. It's like a teacher judging a pupil based on a sibling's performance. 


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Reply # 321474 21-Apr-2010 21:50
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I purchased a Magic TV Freeview HD PVR/DTR unit in December 2009.  I considered the TiVo very seriously and also looked at the Zinwell but decided the Magic TV would be my best choice.  It works and has kept working just fine with no firmware updates until last week.  I downloaded firmware v3.12 and put it on a USB thumb drive.  The firmware updated from 3.09 to 3.12 and was easily done.  I can not say that I see much difference although the EPG may load faster and the video playback during FF x2 or x4 is a bit smoother.

During the setup of the remote for controlling my TV on-off, sound volume and input selection I had some trouble and emailed Magic TV support.  Back came a useful reply within 12 hours on Deceember 27.  Great customer support by a Raglan based distributor that has been around for quite some time.

I have had no real issues setting up single or series recording.  I often am recording two programs while watching a previously recorded program.  The quality of picture (HD) and sound over HDMI is great.  The OSD menus are very good but not great.  I am not sure how much of this is due to Freeview dictates or Magic TV design choices.

The documentation is first class and useful.  The remote is a good one and the ability to control what I need to do on my TV means I rarely use any remote other than the Magic TV one.

I do use the EPG on Prime and Maori TV so I am glad they are available on a Freeview approved box.  I am a systems engineer (electrical), by education, and like to tinker but glad to have a device that just works and does so well.  My wife can even use it and does without my assistance.

I would buy again and recommend it to my friends.  I bought mine at a small Bond & Bond store and the price was very negotiable.  You do not need to pay the RRP of $799.  I expect that you can get 20 to 25% off that.  Good luck with whatever you decide upon.

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  Reply # 321669 22-Apr-2010 13:44
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Thanks for all the responses, combined with a good couple of hours of brousing other posts I have decided to go with a TiVo unit.  Current deal is competitive and it seems (arguably I am sure!) the most stable product, also helps that I am a Telecom customer anyway so I can get the extra content (for what its worth).   Cool

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