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cyril7
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  #378180 9-Sep-2010 12:14
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I don't think you need the HD ticket to get 1,2,3 in HD, though you do need the mySkyHDi box. The HD ticket is for Sky material.


This is correct the HD Ticket only adds the movie and sports in HD assuming you subscribe to Sky Movies and Sport in the first place. If you have MySkyHDi TV1,2,3 in HD come part of that at no further cost.

Cyril

 
 
 

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Jaxson
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  #381170 17-Sep-2010 11:49
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For those who have purchased these, what's the vibe on them?
Perhaps a review maybe?

Thanks

Spinynorman
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  #382089 20-Sep-2010 01:04
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Well... if other purchasers are having the same experience as I am then they are still waiting on the unit to be delivered. I paid for one two months ago with the expectation that they would be available at the end of july and here we are mid sept with nothing. I'm not even getting replies to emails inquiring about the status of my order.

I have no doubts that it will arrive eventually; but I have noticed that are a lot of auctions for these on TM and other auction sites where they appear to be be able to provide the unit now (i.e. you're not bidding for a pre-order).

How are other people getting on??

Spiny...




xarqi
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  #382090 20-Sep-2010 01:20
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Spinynorman: Well... if other purchasers are having the same experience as I am then they are still waiting on the unit to be delivered. I paid for one two months ago with the expectation that they would be available at the end of july and here we are mid sept with nothing. I'm not even getting replies to emails inquiring about the status of my order.


I could have written that myself.

Jaxson
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  #382578 21-Sep-2010 08:35
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Does anyone here have one of these yet?

How are they to use. I'm thinking basics like:

How easy is it to go to the EPG and book a show to record?
How easy is it to go to the saved recordings and play them back?
How easy was it to set up?
How fast/nice are the menus?
Any problems/hangs/weird behaviours etc?

Thanks.

xarqi
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  #384438 26-Sep-2010 00:08
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After an extremely frustrating and increasingly worrying couple of months, I've finally taken delivery of my Vu+ Duo, not, I must say, from the supplier I initially paid my money to, who stopped replying to communications about 3 weeks ago.  That's a story for another thread, but in summary, I'd advise against trying to do business with Dylan Blair, sole shareholder and director of Grey Electronics Direct Ltd in Greymouth.

---
The Vu+ Duo itself is looking very impressive so far - if things continue, it'll rate maybe 9/10 or higher on the xarqometer.  I was somewhat apprehensive having been stung by a bug-ridden unit that promised much and delivered very little, the Ultraplus 980.  The Vu+ appears to be in an entirely superior class in all respects - an order of magnitude better.

I have not explored all of the Duo by any means, but so far it's handled everything I've tried, including some things I really didn't expect.

Connection is trivial - plug in LNB feed coax, HDMI, power, ethernet, and an external USB drive (more on this later; the Duo I have doesn't have an internal disc).  Turn it on - it goes.

The unit is preloaded with Freeview, Sky, and SBS channels, and matbe other I don't recognise, so I didn't even have to do a scan.

Image quality is excellent: there's a discernible difference between SBS HD and the SBS ONE SD channel.  Sensitivity seems fine - no break-up with a 90cm dish.

It took a while to work through the menus to arrange a set of favourite channels so as to avoid the clutter of all of the SKY stuff that is loaded.  (I don't have Sky).

Network configuration took a bit of time - maybe an hour - to figure out.  Now I'm happily recording to a 1TB drive attached to my iMac.

I had to alter the tuner configuration to separate the A and B tuners as I have a dual feed from the LNB and was initially greeted with a "no free tuner" message when I tried to change service while recording.  It took a couple of minutes to find the place in the menus to fix this - not a design issue, just unfamiliarity.

Now - the surprises - all pleasant.  Once I had the samba file sharing sorted on my Mac, my video files were visible from the Duo.  It played whatever I asked it to: TS, AVI, MKV, MP4, MPG, FLV, DivX, Xvid - hasn't stumbled at all.  Just as it should be.  (That's a HUGE contrast to the Ultraplus that choked on 4/6 movie trailers from the 'net (an experiment to exclude me as a factor in the problems), and nearly all DivX/Xvid files, often needing to be restarted to recover).

So far, the biggest glitch I've found is that the mute button is ineffective when using the media player to play from the network.  That's OK - the TV remote has a mute button too.

Oh - the external disc thing.  No joy there, but it was a long shot.  It's a drive I'd formatted on the Ultraplus before it went back as a sad joke.  There are some recordings on there that would be nice to retrieve, but whatever format the Ultraplus used, it's not one that can be mounted either by my iMac or by the Linux system in the Duo it seems.  That's a little odd as the Ultraplus is also Linux based.  Further investigation may reveal a "trick" to get it to mount, but there's no urgency since network recording was up and running so easily (again in SHARP contrast to the horrendous issues I had with the Ultraplus).  If all else fails, I'll just reformat the drive in the Duo and carry on.

At the moment I see no need to experiment with alternative "images".  The one that is in there is doing everything I need, and doing it well.

 Probably more to come as I learn more myself, but so far, I'm favourably impressed.

--
P.S.
About the only question you asked that I haven't covered Jaxson is the EPG thing.  It's there and it's fast and it works.  To record from the EPG, highlight the program, and push the green button twice.  Job done.
No hangs or crashes yet.  Directory list updating across the network was slow at times, but that may have been because I was recording two events and playing back another at the time. 

BigMal
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  #384454 26-Sep-2010 07:10
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Beautiful! Thanks for the review.

HAve you tried to Season Pass / Series Link anything? Does that work? 



xarqi
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  #384475 26-Sep-2010 09:56
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BigMal: Beautiful! Thanks for the review.

HAve you tried to Season Pass / Series Link anything? Does that work? 

I haven't come across that option yet, and I suspect that it isn't supported (but maybe there's a plug-in).
What you CAN do is set a timer to record the same slot every week.  Easily done - with a few key clicks from the epg.

Another minor bug:
Deep Standby is broken.  The first time I tried it, I could not get the box to wake up and had to cycle the main power.  The second time it started, sort-of.  The "Starting..." message appeared on the front panel, which then changed to "Star ing...", there was a minutes long delay, then the picture came up.  The panel stayed the same and the box didn't respond to the remote control.

Jaxson
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  #384789 27-Sep-2010 10:20
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Mate a HUGE thank you for putting this review up here.

Extremely glad you got a unit up and going as I know you had some significant work to do behind the scenes to do after dealing with that seller.

Good to hear the networking thing etc got sorted fairly easily and proved to be more than you were expecting. I had heard that the networking setup was a potential criticism of this unit but you seem to have it sorted.

That EPG looks to be the best Sat based one that I have seen yet.  I have the Ultraplus 980HD unit right now and this looks a lot better really from the screen shots I have seen.  Actually feel free to post some menu pics if you could, that would be cool.

Good point about the different images.  I really keen to hear if there is much to be gained by swapping to others here in NZ.  From what I've seen it looks like in Europe etc you may get access to other potentially pay to view type stuff but here in NZ there doesn't seem to be that sort of opportunity to view extra free stuff!


xarqi
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  #384953 27-Sep-2010 14:25
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Let's see if I can get these images uploaded.

The first is the single service EPG screen, then the multi-service screen for my "favourites".  Note the icons showing that a recording has been set.  The partial icons for the adjacent programs are because I've added a 3 minute margin before and aft (that's a preference you can set for all recordings).

Next is the list of recorded events (the double entry for one is my fault - I interrupted it unintentionally, but the box was smart enough to restart it!).  The icons show which have been partially watched (it remembers where you were up to, but you can reset this).

Last is the list of other video files in the folder on my Mac.  It'll play all of these.

Vu+ Duo single service EPG screenshotVu+ Duo Multi-service EPG screenshotVU+ Duo Recorded file listingVu+ Duo Movie directory listing

Jaxson
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  #384958 27-Sep-2010 14:39
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Not sure about anyone else, but that looks really clear to me.
What do you think xarqi, better EPG than the Ultraplus?

What does a zap (red key) do on the EPG?

What image does it ship with here?

Great pics/review, thanks.

xarqi
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  #384963 27-Sep-2010 14:50
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Teletext is a better EPG than the Ultraplus.
Sure, the graphical layout of the UP is attractive, but the thing is so bug-riddled as far as integration with timer scheduling is concerned. It loses track of what's already scheduled, so you lose the icon on the EPG - you think you've forgotten to program it, so try to set another record event, and it tells you there is a timer clash, because you are already recording the same event! Mind you, if you look in the timer listings, chances are it's got the wrong program data attached to it.

There is a thing called "crossepg" that I think does a graphical layout. There are signs that it is there somewhere on the Duo, but I'm not sure what is what with that.

"Zap" means change the currently tuned service to the one highlighted and clear the on-screen display. In other words: "Yup - I want to watch that thanks".

Image is openpli - 2010-05-21. There are two "skins", but pffft - I'm not fussed what it looks like as long as it works.

As for clarity, it's even better than these screenshots show. The onscreen display is 1080i.

xarqi
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  #384966 27-Sep-2010 14:57
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Oh - one quirk with the multi-service EPG.
As you step forward, it displays the next program for each service, which is quite reasonable really. The thing is that since they may be of different lengths, the various services in the listing go out of synch, time-wise.

This isn't a criticism at all, just a quirk.

---
In other news - I had a go with the Mytube plug-in. There is provision for selecting or searching for Youtube content, but every one of about 20 things I tried to play gave me a "This video is unavailable" message. I note enclosed with the box says this is probably due to copyright issues, but some of the things I tried to watch were movie trailers, and I can't for the life of me see why a movie company would complain to Youtube about somebody promoting their product!

Jaxson
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  #384975 27-Sep-2010 15:23
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xarqi:  I can't for the life of me see why a movie company would complain to Youtube about somebody promoting their product!
Ha true but ask freeview and SKY that about their EPG data!

Thanks for the heads up on this stuff.  I can't see the benefits for different images here in NZ.  As I understand it the card sharing etc that goes on overseas isn't compatible with SKY TV here anyway, so I don't know why one would be hugely any better than the default one here.

xarqi
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  #384989 27-Sep-2010 15:42
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Most of the chatter on the Vu forums about images is often about relatively minor issues (to me) and differences in "style". One area of potential concern is in the reliability of the media player in some images, with some problems needing addressing apparently.

I had a bit of a glitch last night, but I'm not sure it wasn't me. First up, it took me some time to figure out how to tell the box to restart from the beginning of a file that had been partially played. It's simple really - when you know how. The "Menu" button brings up a set of options. What puzzled me though was that what I was sure was a 1 hr recording was incomplete at 14 minutes only. I can't be certain quite what happened there. When I look at the file on my computer, sure enough - 14 minutes. Now, either I've done something to it at some point, and forgotten, which is not impossible, or the Vu+ chopped the end off for some reason. That's not impossible either as it does have editing facilities built in, and I do now see a .cuts file there.

Also on the image thing - when I picked up the unit from the importer, he looked me in the eye and said in no uncertain terms: "Don't load any other images on it. We've got this sorted for New Zealand". When I said I was interested in trying some others out he shrugged and said he'd be happy to send it off to his technician to fix when I screwed it up. Or words to that effect.

So far though, to reiterate, the openpli image is doing the business.

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