Best non Tivo PVR in UK?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by moomin, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. Jul 8, 2005 #1 of 43
    moomin

    moomin New Member

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    Nov 22, 2003
    Can any of you lot help me?
    My friend is after PVR but doesnt want a second hand TIVO.

    Whats the best PVR in the UK at the moment or coming soon?

    It needs to have duel freeview, and if possible a season pass type thing.
     
  2. Jul 8, 2005 #2 of 43
    sammoj

    sammoj New Member

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    Jun 22, 2001
    Cramlington,...
    Hi

    Tivo is still the best by far. However for a dual Freeview box (without Topup TV support) I would recommend the Thomson DHD4000. A superb machine that has proved well worth the investment since the recent software upgrade.

    Alas, no season pass facility but can do repeat recordings like a vcr.

    Good quality video, fast, good interface and easy to use. Gets my vote, after Tivo of course.

    Can get a little hot though, I would recommend that you prop it up on 4 feet to raise the height like I did, seems to run a lot cooler when higher up from the surface
    John
     
  3. Jul 8, 2005 #3 of 43
    alextegg

    alextegg Tall Member

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    May 21, 2002
    Kingston...
    Depends on budget too, I guess, as I'd argue the 'best' dual freeview solution at present would be MCE, but that's not cheap!!!

    Alex
     
  4. Jul 8, 2005 #4 of 43
    sammoj

    sammoj New Member

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    Jun 22, 2001
    Cramlington,...
    Ah...the words "best" and "microsoft" in the same sentance LOL :D

    Good point...assuming 2nd hand Tivo prices then the Thomson DHD4000 should be in the shops at about the same as a non-subbed box, £150.

    Digifusion are meant to be good as well, but had no experience of them.

    While on the subject of good Computer/Freeview boxes, my son has just purchased an Elgato EyeTV for his iMac and the quality is amazing. Only single tuner and must have a mac, but supports topuptv.

    I don't know of any consumer Freeview PVR with topuptv cam slot, anybody know one?

    John
     
  5. Jul 8, 2005 #5 of 43
    Ian_m

    Ian_m Active Member

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    Jan 9, 2001
    Southampton,...
    I know someone whose got a Topfield TF5800PVR, absolutely the mutt nuts apparently. Dual DTT tuner, can record two channels whilst watching something else recorded. It just works. Can do something like record two channels, display a 3rd and 4th as picture in picture as well. Oh has a CAM slot as well.

    He got this after being extremely disappointed after trying out numerous PVR offerings, Humax, Philips DVDR etc and others, tooks them all back (including Argos) and got full refunds (except Pace, which died). All suffered from crap interface, failed recordings, poor or non-existant EPG, limted capacity, ability to not watch something else whilst recording....etc etc.

    Anyway he is chuffed, but about £300 ligher off. Oh connects to his portable PC via USB allowing you to transfer recordings straight to hard disk. Can also upload MP3's etc. Hasn't really played much as it is used to record and watch TV !!!

    Anyway details here:-
    http://www.topfield.co.kr/

    UK user group here, + loads of add on modules.
    http://www.toppy.org.uk/
     
  6. Jul 8, 2005 #6 of 43
    Automan

    Automan Ex TiVo User

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    Oct 29, 2000
    South...
    Sky+
    Sagem PVR6240T (for Freeview)
    Or in 4 months time a Sky HDTV box.

    Automan.
     
  7. Jul 8, 2005 #7 of 43
    cyril

    cyril Active Member

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    Sep 5, 2001
    London UK
    Digitalspy forum guys also rave about the topfield.

    However I think I will wait 5 years for the Topfield to catch up in functionality with my TiVos, or until it drops to 50 quid or less.
     
  8. Jul 8, 2005 #8 of 43
    blindlemon

    blindlemon tivoheaven.co.uk

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    May 12, 2002
    Malmesbury, UK
    There is currently no such thing as a non-TiVo PVR :)

    The other machines mentioned above are basic DVRs only and have none of the advanced functionality found in even a "secondhand" TiVo.

    If your friend wants something brand new then he won't get a PVR - unless TiVo come back into the UK with a Series 2....

    If he wants a PVR then he's going to have to swallow his pride and buy something secondhand. It's not that bad.... really;)

    Put it to him like this: "What car would you prefer for the same price, a used M3, or a brand new Lada...?". The same argument applies to TiVos and other DVRs.
     
  9. Jul 8, 2005 #9 of 43
    Ian_m

    Ian_m Active Member

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    Jan 9, 2001
    Southampton,...
    My mate didn't want to buy a TiVo "as it was old technology", he wanted to buy something newer and more wizzo, thinking he would get something better than a TiVo. Well the Topfield is good, but nowhere near the usability of a TiVo.

    The thing that makes the TiVo is its EPG, which is very sadly lacking in other PVR's, probably because its "free".

    Oh we just wait in anticipation of the relaunch of TiVo UK :D
     
  10. leejordan

    leejordan Member

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    Apr 22, 2002
    London, UK
    I currently own a Tivo and a DigiFusion FVRT150 which is destined for my parents.

    I have to say that the FVRT150 is excellent simply because it just works. Being able to record two channels was really handy when both Wimbledon and Live8 were on at the same time.

    The FVRT150 suffers from the same problem as the Tivo in that it's EPG cannot cope with schedule changes, such as occur with Wimbledon, Live8, and terrorist attacks, but it is free, compared to either £10pm or an extra £200 for the Tivo.

    I think that the new FVRT200 can handle repeat recordings.

    The Topfield sounds good. Check out the various Forums on Digitalspy.

    I think that if you are happy to sit down for 15 mins a week with a copy of the Radio Times, then the loss of Season Passes is bearable.

    There are, obviously, several other drawbacks to not having a Tivo, especially one connected to a network, but if you've never had it then you'll never miss it!

    Lee.
     
  11. ndunlavey

    ndunlavey Just a user, really

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    Jun 4, 2002
    Greenwich
    There is a great comparative summary of twin-tuner PVRs at http://www.emsee.co.uk/pvr/.

    I'm holding on for an Inverto IDL 7000 for my parents - ordered in APril, expect it to arrive this week.
     
  12. sanderton

    sanderton TiVoer since 11/2000

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    Jan 4, 2002
    The only options if you want Season Pass equivalents with Freeview are Media Center (expensive, a bit fragile, very powerful) and the Topfield (software held together with string and rubber bands even compared to a hacked TiVo, only crude text matching wishlist equivalents with no de-duping).
     
  13. ndunlavey

    ndunlavey Just a user, really

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    Greenwich
    Good point, Stuart. If I were buying something from scratch for myself now, I'd be looking at a TiVo and two FV STBs, to get adequately rich functionality.

    My 'rents are a bit box-phobic, and need a simple all-in-one solution, hence the Inverto.
     
  14. Raisltin Majere

    Raisltin Majere The 96 YNWA

    1,668
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    Mar 12, 2004
    Devon
    of the forum from one of the links posted above.

    There seem to be a lot of "toppy's great but..." posts/responses.

    I say "TiVo's great". Significant lack of the word "but".

    Also here seems to be a few "hacks" for the Toppy but these only seem to bring the toppy to about 50% as functional as a TiVo. Think about that, tell your friend. People are hacking the thing and it's still nowhere near as good as the "old" technology he so disdains.

    There's even a post saying (to paraphrase) "I'd sell my toppy tomorrow if there was a UK dual tuner TiVo". I imagine these UK PVR forums would soon evaporate if TiVo re-entered the UK (if they've learnt anything about marketing that is).

    Oh, and NDunlavey, whats the point in having 2 STBs and one TiVO? Does that enable you to watch one and record another? In that case could I add a FV STB to my existing cable/TiVo set up and watch the free stuff whilst TiVo records from the cable? If so, How come I can't use RF input and cable together?

    Sorry, not meant to be a hijack.

    Raist

    PS feel free to tell me how to spell "disdains"
     
  15. ndunlavey

    ndunlavey Just a user, really

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    Jun 4, 2002
    Greenwich
    Um, yes. Plug one STB into the TiVo, and the other into the TV. TiVo records off one, you have free use of the other to watch what you want. It's exactly what I was doing while I was still using my TiVo to watch TV.

    ... but ...
    ... doesn't have twin tuners.
    ... compresses the video stream before writing to disk.
    ... has to make a daily phone call rather than responding to real-time changes in the EPG
    ... can only save to DVD at normal speed
    ... you have to take it apart to connect it to your LAN
    ... is a *big* ugly box


    Don't get me wrong - TiVo is my tool of choice, but lets not get *too* rose-tinted about it. :)
     
  16. Automan

    Automan Ex TiVo User

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    Oct 29, 2000
    South...
  17. Restorer

    Restorer New Member

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    Jan 6, 2002
    NE England
    So can someone explain why it is that other companies have not been able to match (or even surpass by now) Tivo's software - especially Sky+. Surely they know what Tivo does and indeed why it has so many devotees.
     
  18. ndunlavey

    ndunlavey Just a user, really

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    Jun 4, 2002
    Greenwich
    I'm guessing they don't see the payback on the R&D costs. For now, such numbers of Joe Punter as are using Freeview are maybe looking for somethign that does with FV what his VCR used to do with analogue. Only when he's got comfortbale with that, and realised what having this stuff on disk, driven from the EPG, means, will he be open to thinking about whizzy stuff. And I bet they are nervous that by then Microsoft will have the market sewn up.
     
  19. blindlemon

    blindlemon tivoheaven.co.uk

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    May 12, 2002
    Malmesbury, UK
    Get two TiVos :D:D
    This is only a negative if you are obsessive about PQ and always want to record *everything* in absolute best quality. However, Mode 0 at high bitrates looks close enough to the original on my 42" plasma that I can't see the difference in normal viewing, and even though I have upgraded my disc capacity, I still record 95% of movies in "high" (Mode 0 though) all sitcoms in "medium" and most kids programmes in "basic". You can't do that with a direct-stream recorder :up:
    Which affects about 0.1% of programmes.
    Not if you have a network card and a DVD writer in your PC;)
    That's a matter of opinion. However, if you don't like the look of it you can always hide it away round the back of your TV.

    Now, then, let's talk about TiVo's plus points....

    Ahhh, but of course, I guess we already know them :)
     
  20. ndunlavey

    ndunlavey Just a user, really

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    Greenwich
    Or just one TiVo and two STBs - covers most of the bases.
    Yup, most of the other problems with TiVo someone with the right skills and bravery can fix by taking it apart, adding network hardware, putting new stuff onto the disk, and then hacking away. But most people don't want to do that - they just want a box that does what they want. TiVo's kind of accessibility is never going to be more than a niche interest.
    Maybe TiVo could use that line in the next marketing campaign? ;)


    Anyway, as I said - TiVo is my tool of choice, but that doesn't mean it couldn't better.
     

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