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280 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 82836 6-May-2011 09:55
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I'm trying to find a good all-in-one unit that meets the following needs:

- Freeview HD (twin tuners) + Recording, PVR, EPG
- Internal HDD
- DVD or Blu-ray/DVD player
- Network/LAN interface (wifi a bonus)
(ability to play music/videos/photos stored on home PCs or home Server, + internet access, youtube etc)
- web browser a bonus

So far I have only found the following:

Panasonic DMR-XW380GZK
- DVD recorder with twin freeview HD, 250GB HDD, network
Cons: Only has DLNA network streaming, a one-way relationship, so a PC can access units HDD to play recorders/JPEGs, but not the other way around (I want to be able to sit in front of my TV, and use unit to access records on other PCs/server)

Samsung BD-C8200 / BD-C8900
- Blu-ray/DVD player, freeview HD, 250/500GB HDD, network
Pros:
- Can access internet services (youtube etc)
- Can access home network PCs & server
Cons:
- Don't think these are retailed in NZ, would have to purchase overseas
- Only single Freeview tuner, so can't record one channel and watch a differnet one at same time


I have looked at going the HTPC route (e.g. XBMC on a PC), but would prefer an all-in-one out of the box product first, to keep things simplistic, and of course easy for the wife :)
Not to mention the boot up times with an HTPC have put me off for now (until SSD's come down in price)
I don't think the wife (or visitors) would be a big fan of having to wait 30 seconds before being able to watch TV.

Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance.

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497 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466067 6-May-2011 10:02
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Hi,

Have you considered using a computer?
It might be slightly more expensive (although I don't know how much the units you mention retail for) and less "Integrated" but it is way more flexible and future proof.

A computer would meet all your requirements and possibly much more.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 466070 6-May-2011 10:03
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I've just ordered one of these:

http://www.freeviewnz.com/html/vu__duo.html

Apart from the Blu-Ray drive, it has everything on your wish list.  I'm putting a 2TB hard drive into mine, so it should have plenty of recording capacity.

Given the way Blu-Ray drives have plummeted in price over the past year, you will be better off buying a standalone unit, and teaming it up with the Vu+ Duo.





 
 
 
 




280 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466074 6-May-2011 10:07
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gcorgnet: Hi,

Have you considered using a computer?
It might be slightly more expensive (although I don't know how much the units you mention retail for) and less "Integrated" but it is way more flexible and future proof.

A computer would meet all your requirements and possibly much more.


Thanks gcorgnet, but see my last paragraph from above, staying away from a PC for now, mainly for WAF.
snowfly: I have looked at going the HTPC route (e.g. XBMC on a PC), but would prefer an all-in-one out of the box product first, to keep things simplistic, and of course easy for the wife :)
Not to mention the boot up times with an HTPC have put me off for now (until SSD's come down in price)
I don't think the wife (or visitors) would be a big fan of having to wait 30 seconds before being able to watch TV.




280 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466075 6-May-2011 10:09
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grant_k: I've just ordered one of these:

http://www.freeviewnz.com/html/vu__duo.html

Apart from the Blu-Ray drive, it has everything on your wish list.  I'm putting a 2TB hard drive into mine, so it should have plenty of recording capacity.

Given the way Blu-Ray drives have plummeted in price over the past year, you will be better off buying a standalone unit, and teaming it up with the Vu+ Duo.


Does that unit come with FreeviewHD (UHF) though? I only see satellite tuners.

727 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466095 6-May-2011 10:41
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As shipped, the Vu+ is a satellite receiver, but there are many people who have had success with adding a USB DVB-T tuner, and I even seem to recall one thread I read about a person attaching two such devices. Support for this may depend both on the chipset used in the USB tuner, and the firmware "image" loaded on the Vu+.



280 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466103 6-May-2011 10:51
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Ok I have found the LG HR699D unit, which has:
Twin HD Tuners, DNLA network playback, 500GB HDD, Wifi, Blu-ray/DVD, NetCast (youtube).

Seems to have everything I need.... BUT I can only find it on the Australian LG web site, and Australian online shops, not NZ.

Anyone heard of this model before?
Is it easy buying and importing stuff like this from Australia?

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  Reply # 466104 6-May-2011 10:52
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snowfly:
grant_k: I've just ordered one of these:

http://www.freeviewnz.com/html/vu__duo.html

Apart from the Blu-Ray drive, it has everything on your wish list.  I'm putting a 2TB hard drive into mine, so it should have plenty of recording capacity.

Given the way Blu-Ray drives have plummeted in price over the past year, you will be better off buying a standalone unit, and teaming it up with the Vu+ Duo.


Does that unit come with FreeviewHD (UHF) though? I only see satellite tuners.

Yeah good point, I missed that.

As Xarqi says, there are USB Tuners available which resolve that shortcoming.  This is not important to me as I live in a rural area which doesn't have FreeView HD, and is not scheduled to get it anytime soon :(

If you want to read a lot more about the Vu+ Duo, there is an excellent UK support forum here:

http://www.world-of-satellite.com






727 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466106 6-May-2011 10:59
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snowfly: Is it easy buying and importing stuff like this from Australia?

Easy, yes, but you need to be very careful that it will be compatible with the NZ system.  I understand that the channel spacing is different between the two countries, and some units may not be able to be set up appropriately outside of their intended market. 

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  Reply # 466107 6-May-2011 11:00
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snowfly: Ok I have found the LG HR699D unit, which has:
Twin HD Tuners, DNLA network playback, 500GB HDD, Wifi, Blu-ray/DVD, NetCast (youtube).
...
Is it easy buying and importing stuff like this from Australia?

I looked at going down this route too, but decided against it because of the difficulty and expense in obtaining warranty support if you need it.

Late last year there was a discussion thread entitled "Wish-list for new Sky decoder" or something like that.  Various people asked Sky why they don't put a Blu-ray/DVD drive into their decoders, and the person from Sky replied that these would be the biggest single point of failure, thereby creating a support problem for them.  Next biggest point of failure with MySky has been the hard drive apparently, which is backed up by our own experience, having had one fail last year.

So I would advise against getting an all-in-one unit, especially from overseas!





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  Reply # 466123 6-May-2011 11:30
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Do not get an Australian unit. Or do but prepared to be seriously disappointed.

Panasonics UHF HD twin tuner with bluray units are the closest things currently available.

HTPC is the only option to do it all. WAF when working will be fine, when it's not your are screwed though obviously. It does seem like Windows 7 and a bunch of improvements in hardware/software have really improved the HTPC experience of late though so that's a positive.

If you do get separate units you can link them altogether with a harmony remote etc so you don't need to realise you're dealing with different units. Takes more space though than a single unit.

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  Reply # 466189 6-May-2011 13:29
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I've just got a Panasonic DMR-BW880 plus an A C Ryan Playon HD2 media player.
Does all you want but in two packages not one.
The BW880 is only $794 at JB HiFi. Used to be $1999 last year. Only a few dollars dearer than the non Bly Ray version. Seems to be the only Blu Ray recorder available in NZ. Don't get any overseas units or your Freeview won't work.

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  Reply # 466205 6-May-2011 14:02
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What about a PS3 with PlayTV.. it seems it will do everything you have asked?

Plus it plays games.




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  Reply # 466231 6-May-2011 15:00
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LennonNZ: What about a PS3 with PlayTV..


It's not a true twin tuner unit for recording purposes if that is an issue.
Doesn't have a full EPG.
Doesn't series link? - Or have they addressed this one?

If it's wife acceptance factor I wouldn't recommend PlayTV unless you have the harmony remote and bluetooth adaptor.

With this $800 Panasonic unit out now I don't know why you'd go for a magic TV etc now?



280 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 466236 6-May-2011 15:07
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B1GGLZ: I've just got a Panasonic DMR-BW880 plus an A C Ryan Playon HD2 media player.
Does all you want but in two packages not one.
The BW880 is only $794 at JB HiFi. Used to be $1999 last year. Only a few dollars dearer than the non Bly Ray version. Seems to be the only Blu Ray recorder available in NZ. Don't get any overseas units or your Freeview won't work.


Can the DMR-BW880 run as a network client? Does yours pickup other network share drives/
e.g. pull music/video/photos off another PC/server on the home network?

Or is this not possible at all, and is why you have the Playon media player?

76 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 466270 6-May-2011 17:03
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Snowfly

Friends recently bought the Panasonic and love it. Easy to use and does everything well. The only comment was that it was a bit slow to start up when you first power it back on...

I suspect Bigglz has the AC Ryan Playon as it will happily browse the network and play all sorts of content from your PCs.... Ie provides the other half of your requirements for about another $200. They are also fairly small and will hardly be noticed alongside the other stuff. If you put a Hard disk in them (optional) then you can even store the movies locally and make them available from there to other devices if you want.

Apart from needing to switch between HDMI inputs for TV vs Movies it seems like a fairly easy solution. Good Luck

Cheers



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