Best S1 replacement Freeview PVR

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by wonderboy, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. wonderboy

    wonderboy New Member

    May 27, 2003


    Hi There,

    very disappointed with my tivo service coming to an end, but if the boffins devise a way to hack the new Virgin box (or any s2/3) to get gide data, I'd purchase one in a flash.

    Until then, what is the best (and reasonably cheap) freeview PVR on offer? I did notice the helpful review of BT vision, but it's a no go area for me based on the BT Broadband requirement. I refuse to use BT for this.

    Thanks for any opinions/reviews.

  2. Fred Smith

    Fred Smith Still learning

    Oct 5, 2002
    My recommendation would be a Digitalstream DHR-8205 if you want HD capability, long threads about it here.
  3. davisa

    davisa New Member

    Feb 19, 2002
    Digitalstream or Humax Fox T2. Both have their pro's, but neither is TiVo.
  4. ndcdavis

    ndcdavis New Member

    Jul 8, 2007
    I don't think "Volvo" is a very nice nickname for my nephew.
  5. Mar 5, 2011 #5 of 15

    cyril Active Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    London UK


    If you are a techie , I would go for windows 7 media centre as the closest thing to TiVo.

    If you want a box then the aforementioned boxes get ok reviews, but are definitely not close to TiVo.
  6. Mar 6, 2011 #6 of 15

    pj280167 New Member

    Dec 21, 2005
    I bought a Humax Fox T2 just before christmas and it really is no where near as good as my trusty TiVo.

    Downsides :

    If you're watching a prog. and want a season pass you can't set one. You have to find a later listing and then set one from that point onwards.

    If you're watching a prog. and decide to record it then unless you specifically rewind to the beginning then the recording starts part way through.

    Season passes expire after a season so you need to know when a new season is starting.

    No wishlists. A feature which I only started to use in the last 3 yrs but has its merits over the season pass i.e. it's not channel specific.

    No pre-emptive FF/Rew so you always overshoot when using FF/Rew.

    No web based GUI ( I know that's an add with TiVo )

    Massive audio volume differences between SD and HD live stream and recordings which is more of a pain than you might imagine.

    The full text of a search has to be entered before a prog. search begins.

    The remote is very badly laid out.


    Twin Tuner

    Picture quality

    If I could return it I would....
  7. Mar 6, 2011 #7 of 15

    davisa New Member

    Feb 19, 2002
    Hullo. Small world!
  8. Mar 6, 2011 #8 of 15

    davisa New Member

    Feb 19, 2002
    Re Freeview boxes. I got the Humax and agree with pj280167. I'd also add:

    - Season passes are very basic. You cannot set a maximum number to record, which we used all the time to stop too many recordings of children's stuff.

    - Guide grid view is the only one available and terrible. Mind you, it is equally terrible on every other non-TiVo box I've seen.

    - Search isn't in real time so is very awkward to use.

    - Genre search is also very basic. Obvious categories are missing (ie: Comedy) and programmes are repeated so you often get 400 results.

    - You cannot turn off 'live TV' when in the guide.

    - You cannot turn off the sound when in a menu.

    - When a recording starts you get a notice top-left of the screen. It doesn't give any details other than the channel (which is useless) and you cannot turn it off.

    - The front display cannot be turned off.

    - You are forced to use the coloured buttons for certain actions, with little consistency. This means you need to keep looking at the controller.

    - You can set programme to auto-delete if the drive is full, or lock them but not keep them until a certain date.

    With all of these really big negatives I still think it is the best out there. It really just shows how far ahead TiVo was (and still is).
  9. Mar 7, 2011 #9 of 15

    mutant_matt2 New Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    IMHO, the closest thing to TiVo, is MythTV. Windows 7 MCE is probably a little bit easier to setup, but nowhere near as good as Myth! I have been amazed at how good it is, as I've built a Myth box now that the whole TiVo EPG thing is happening, and I've been thinking about it for a while, as whatever happens with TiVo, I needed an HD solution.

    I expect, assuming the EPG project comes to fruition, that TiVo will be relegated to recording subbed, Sky channels only, and my (approx) 10 tuner* Myth box will take over.

    I also like the tweakability of Myth, the plugin capability, the lightweight nature of it, the fact it's running on Linux (can't be doing with Windows any more!), and again, finally, the similarity in capability/functionality, to TiVo :)


    * - Current DVB-T single tuner stick can record 5 channels all off the one MUX it's tuned into. I plan to add up to 4 DVB-S2 tuners, to be able to record, in theory, *ALL* Freesat channels at once (just then limited to bus and disc speed capabilities), plus up to 5 off Freeview (and all this, on a poxy little Acer Revo! :D )
  10. Automan

    Automan Ex TiVo User

    Oct 29, 2000
    Have topfield gone out of fashion?

    I seem to recall their ones were popular and could run extra apps.

  11. Nimbus

    Nimbus New Member

    May 29, 2004
    UK, Oxon
    I think the Topfield has last favour somewhat.. and been overtaken

    Certainly reading the blog on the topfield users website seems to indicate that... It makes pretty depressing reading, in tivo s1 style :(
  12. sjp

    sjp Active Member

    Oct 22, 2001
    London, UK
    i got my mum a Humax while i got a Toppy (both as new as was on offer at the time) with the idea she'd end up with the better of the two - compared to a Tivo and, more fairly, a 50 quid digisomething or other from, iirc, Netto they're both somewhat lacking thoughi'm pretty sure both are on whatever software level they arrived with.
  13. spitfires

    spitfires wassock

    Dec 19, 2006
    South Coast, UK
    Can Myth do Wishlists / SeasonPasses?

    No that's not a dig - it's a genuine question!! I have no problems with building a Myth box but I want to know what I will end up with w.r.t. TiVo S1 in terms of functionality gained/lost. :confused:

  14. martink0646

    martink0646 New Member

    Feb 8, 2005

    I got a Humax HD Freesat box (forget the model name) to run alongside my Freeview powered TiVo. Whilst nowhere near TiVo in most of the important functions, the picture quality is excellent, HD is a massive plus & the folders are good. The main downsides to me are the ff & rw's lack of jumpback (so annoying) & the way that when exiting from 'media list' or 'guide' the buffer is wiped & you can only view from the exit point even if you haven't changed channel.

    Finally, a plus point is actually having a happier wife! When TiVo ruled the roost, we NEVER watched live TV & SWMBO would often say can we just watch TV ("errr no....why would you want to do that?"). She actually likes just having it mindlessly on in the background even watching ads & with the Humax we are watching more live TV mainly due to the hugely inferior search engine.

  15. djqster

    djqster New Member

    Oct 22, 2010
    Much the same experience we have with Sky+HD, except with the lack of proper season passes we quite often miss a whole series.

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