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Reliable PVR?



 
 
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  #21  
Old January 30th 17, 11:12 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Pete Forman[_2_]
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Posts: 25
Default Reliable PVR?

Roderick Stewart writes:

On Mon, 30 Jan 2017 13:35:58 +0000, Jeff Layman
wrote:

Have a look at Panasonic. For example the DMRHWT150EB.

I don't think that any modern PVR is user-friendly for technophobes,
as they seem to have umpteen functions that probably won't ever be
used and serve only to complicate things. And Panasonic isn't exactly
cheap, but in terms of reliability I've always been very impressed
with their stuff.


One of my favourite features of Panasonic PVRs is the ability to edit
out the adverts so you can watch a programme uninterrupted, and if you
can't be bothered to do that there's a pair of buttons to skip forward
60 seconds or back 10 seconds during playback.


The Panasonic (130 at least) also has what they call time slip to move
forward or back n minutes. However all the skips take one or two seconds
to start playing again which detracts from what they are meant to be
achieving.

On the Humax 9200T the skips were a user option and had no delay when
resuming. I used to watch rugby on catch up with the forward skip set to
15 sec and back to 7 sec. That was just right for the gap between touch
and the lineout being taken, and the setting of a scrum.

--
Pete Forman
https://payg-petef.rhcloud.com
  #22  
Old January 31st 17, 08:40 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Chris Green
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Posts: 140
Default Reliable PVR?

T i m wrote:

I wonder if you could find 100 'ordinary users' and got them to help
design the UI on such things, how much different they might be from some
of the offerings available today?

The really major problem with all such things is slowness of response,
if nothing happens (within rather less than a second) after hitting a
key then, inevitably, one hits it again or another key.

All easy to use keyboards/keypads give near instant response to key
hits and once you lose this you've had it really.

--
Chris Green
·
  #23  
Old January 31st 17, 09:24 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Roderick Stewart[_3_]
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Posts: 2,003
Default Reliable PVR?

On Tue, 31 Jan 2017 00:12:09 +0000, Pete Forman
wrote:

One of my favourite features of Panasonic PVRs is the ability to edit
out the adverts so you can watch a programme uninterrupted, and if you
can't be bothered to do that there's a pair of buttons to skip forward
60 seconds or back 10 seconds during playback.


The Panasonic (130 at least) also has what they call time slip to move
forward or back n minutes. However all the skips take one or two seconds
to start playing again which detracts from what they are meant to be
achieving.


A hiatus of one or two seconds is probably less disturbing than one or
two minutes of adverts. Editing out the adverts beforehand usually
gives even less of a disturbance, but if that's not enough you'll just
have to buy the DVD.

Rod.
  #24  
Old January 31st 17, 10:37 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
T i m
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Posts: 228
Default Reliable PVR?

On Tue, 31 Jan 2017 09:40:21 +0000, Chris Green wrote:

T i m wrote:

I wonder if you could find 100 'ordinary users' and got them to help
design the UI on such things, how much different they might be from some
of the offerings available today?

The really major problem with all such things is slowness of response,
if nothing happens (within rather less than a second) after hitting a
key then, inevitably, one hits it again or another key.


Yup. Same if you hit print and nothing comes out (instantly).

All easy to use keyboards/keypads give near instant response to key
hits and once you lose this you've had it really.


Agreed ... all of this is very much key to making a UI intuitive and
easy to use and I fail to understand how manufactures can allow
anything less out. I can of course ... 'sales' come up with a new
product (at a certain price), 'marketing' put it about and
'manufacturing' are left to try to actually get it built and out
there, often in unreasonable timescale's and so things like slow menus
get out. ;-(

Cheers, T i m
  #25  
Old January 31st 17, 11:08 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
T i m
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Posts: 228
Default Reliable PVR?

On Tue, 31 Jan 2017 10:24:50 +0000, Roderick Stewart
wrote:

On Tue, 31 Jan 2017 00:12:09 +0000, Pete Forman
wrote:

One of my favourite features of Panasonic PVRs is the ability to edit
out the adverts so you can watch a programme uninterrupted, and if you
can't be bothered to do that there's a pair of buttons to skip forward
60 seconds or back 10 seconds during playback.


The Panasonic (130 at least) also has what they call time slip to move
forward or back n minutes. However all the skips take one or two seconds
to start playing again which detracts from what they are meant to be
achieving.


A hiatus of one or two seconds is probably less disturbing than one or
two minutes of adverts.


snip

The thing is, I assume people make these observations because they are
familiar with an alternative solution that *doesn't* have these issues
so it can be done. I'm also assuming any manufacture that make a
product with such issues might look to see how they can improve the
situation?

I think early car dashcams had issues where when they saved a batch of
video they ended up with some missed footage. This could be paramount
of course and so they worked on a solution to ensure that didn't
happen. I would think any dashcam that didn't provide continuous video
today would be considered useless?

When we first got a telephone answering machine I spent quite a lot on
a Panasonic jobby because I *insisted* that the number of recorded
messages was displayed and gave each a date and time stamp. The number
of messages was relevant because of how much time you might need to
listen to them all (if you had just popped in and had to rush out
again) and the date and time stamp because often people wouldn't say
on their message (so if you been away the 'urgent' message could have
been there days). Now I would think everyone would consider such
things a minimum requirement?

So, sit 100 PVR users down and ask them to list / agree the top 20
'must have' features and we could end up with a box that makes most
people happy. ;-)

Who would not want a mute button on a remote ... or not want the EPG /
menu navigation to be near instant or to have it automatically change
channel to the one you have set to record away from the one you are
watching?

It's things like that that people look up in the manual because they
can't believe that is how it is and it must be user configurable? Who
on earth thought that no one would want a mute button on a remote?

Cheers, T i m




  #26  
Old January 31st 17, 11:29 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
tim...[_2_]
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Posts: 377
Default Reliable PVR?



"Martin" wrote in message
...
On Mon, 30 Jan 2017 22:02:20 -0000 (UTC), T i m
wrote:

On Mon, 30 Jan 2017 15:06:42 +0100, Martin wrote:

snip

Our first Humax is still going strong after 7 years, our second one
lasted almost exactly 4 years. We've had the current one since August
last year, two of the buttons on the controller stopped working after a
few months.


Hmmm, I wonder if this is an example of 'they don't make them like they
used to'?

And I think we all know that is often the case with all this 'built in
obsolescence' and 'price engineering'.

And 'we' (maybe not us here g) are blamed for this as many do buy on
price alone, not being interested in the thought that paying a bit more
*might* mean it could last a bit longer, assuming they were going to keep
it that long in the first place? ;-(

Because I am 'recommending' something to my inlaws ... and whilst I know
they won't actually hold a lemon unit against me, I really don't want to
be in that position and because I cant get them a new Topfield and don't
have a particularly good experience with Humax it doesn't make my job any
easier.

Then you can get some equipment that is made well and lasts for ever but
suffers from say a very slow EPG or some minor thing that becomes a big
issue in regular use.

Sometimes however you just buy an IBM ... because no one has been sacked
for buying IBM ... (so a Humax in this case)?


My current Humax was a lot cheaper than the first two.


not for me

the cheapest current Freeview HD PVR seems to be around 169 (with offers
down to 149)

My SD box cost 119.

5 years since release, HD recorders really ought to have come done to that
level again

it's that blasted smart feature that's bumping up the price

tim





  #27  
Old January 31st 17, 11:56 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Tim+[_4_]
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Posts: 182
Default Reliable PVR?

T i m wrote:
Hi all,

Not sure this is the right place to ask but I've been tasked with
helping some technophobe inlaws into the PVR world.

Now, I understand Humax gear is known to be fairly user friendly but
I'm not sure they are as reliable as I want to risk as a
recommendation (based on the one the Mrs had before I got her a
Topfield TF5800 like mine).

So, can anyone offer any personal recommendation for some kit that is
'not particularly difficult to use' (most people can get use to
anything in time), not overly expensive (comparatively) but is likely
to at least last a few years without breaking down please?


The most reliable and easiest to use PVR was, without doubt, the Thomson
TiVo unit. I have one in my loft. ;-)

Gave many years of fantastic service but as it can only record unencrypted
SD sources, now redundant alas. They just got so much *right* in the
software and user interface. It's an enormous shame that there's been no
worthy successor.

We now use a Humax HDR Fox T2 which we've had for years and are very happy
with. On it's second hard drive but they're very easy to change,
particularly with the custom firmware. On the whole very reliable and easy
to use, just not as good as the old TiVo was alas.

Tim

--
Please don't feed the trolls
  #28  
Old January 31st 17, 11:56 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
AnthonyL
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Posts: 152
Default Reliable PVR?

On Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:45:07 +0000, T i m wrote:

Hi all,

Not sure this is the right place to ask but I've been tasked with
helping some technophobe inlaws into the PVR world.

Now, I understand Humax gear is known to be fairly user friendly but
I'm not sure they are as reliable as I want to risk as a
recommendation (based on the one the Mrs had before I got her a
Topfield TF5800 like mine).

So, can anyone offer any personal recommendation for some kit that is
'not particularly difficult to use' (most people can get use to
anything in time), not overly expensive (comparatively) but is likely
to at least last a few years without breaking down please?

It doesn't really matter how big (small) the HDD is or if it has
catchup (although that would be nice) or even HD, as long as it works
and is reliable.

I would / might look for another second hand Toppy but I think HDMI
would be more convenient.


The TF5810 is HDMI.

There's a 2nd hand unit being prepared as I write:

http://forum.toppy.org.uk/forum/view...bbbaf16#270615

These units at around 60 are fully reconditioned, a complete set of
replacement capacitors for the suspect ones. Put MyStuff on it and
apart from the lack of HD you still won't better it.

I've purchased two such units for friends/family. The TF5800 has some
advantages in terms of memory usage and an easier to use remote but
I'm happy with my TF5810 providing I prune the number of channels down
to about 60.

--
AnthonyL
  #29  
Old January 31st 17, 12:15 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Jeff Layman[_2_]
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Posts: 622
Default Reliable PVR?

On 30/01/17 21:48, T i m wrote:
On Mon, 30 Jan 2017 18:55:14 +0000, Jeff Layman wrote:

On 30/01/17 14:36, Martin wrote:
On Mon, 30 Jan 2017 13:35:58 +0000, Jeff Layman

wrote:

On 30/01/17 11:45, T i m wrote:
Hi all,

Not sure this is the right place to ask but I've been tasked with
helping some technophobe inlaws into the PVR world.

Now, I understand Humax gear is known to be fairly user friendly but
I'm not sure they are as reliable as I want to risk as a
recommendation (based on the one the Mrs had before I got her a
Topfield TF5800 like mine).

So, can anyone offer any personal recommendation for some kit that is
'not particularly difficult to use' (most people can get use to
anything in time), not overly expensive (comparatively) but is likely
to at least last a few years without breaking down please?

It doesn't really matter how big (small) the HDD is or if it has
catchup (although that would be nice) or even HD, as long as it works
and is reliable.

I would / might look for another second hand Toppy but I think HDMI
would be more convenient.

Cheers, T i m

Have a look at Panasonic. For example the DMRHWT150EB.

I don't think that any modern PVR is user-friendly for technophobes,
as they seem to have umpteen functions that probably won't ever be
used and serve only to complicate things. And Panasonic isn't exactly
cheap, but in terms of reliability I've always been very impressed
with their stuff.

You can always download a manual and estimate how easy - or not - the
PVR will be to use.

Real Sound has a few negative comments.


Did you mean Richer Sounds?


I just had a quick look at the reviews on Richer Sounds site and the only
thing that seems to jump out is the slow EPG?

I setup an elderly neighbours TalkTalk supplied YouView box recently and
after the Topfield the general feel of the UI was that it was very
sluggish. I can flick about most of the EPG / general menus on the Toppy
nearly instantly with any hesitation that does come in now and again
feeling like 'ages' (when at worst is only maybe ~5 seconds).

The thing is, one gets used to a certain 'way' and I can be the worst
salesman when stuff (that could be good otherwise) doesn't perform as
well or as easily as what I consider to be 'the norm'.

I guess what I am saying is if I was to spend someone else's money I'd
like first to check that it passes my muster, either that on generally be
considered 'good' by most who have one and who have tried / use something
else.

I had a little taste of that when I recommended the Mrs use a Topfield
over her failing Humax (as she isn't the most patient or tolerant of such
technology when it isn't intuitive or works the way she expects or
knows). Luckily her 'but why can't I do ...' or 'how do I' type
mutterings / questions only lasted a couple of days and I've not really
heard a negative word since. ;-(

I think she was happy to forego a couple of bells and whistles as long as
the thing was reliable. ;-)

I wonder if you could find 100 'ordinary users' and got them to help
design the UI on such things, how much different they might be from some
of the offerings available today?

Cheers, T i m


All I can say is that the top of my list for anything I buy is
reliability. If whatever I have doesn't work, I don't care how good its
other features are - it's just a damn useless paperweight. I originally
had a Humax 9200T. That worked well for 3 years or so until the "clock
display" problem appeared. I fixed that myself following info on the
internet. But over the next couple of years the Hummy started playing up
with increasingly slow response times to the remote, and the odd missed
recording. I decided to replace it (this was late 2012), but with what?
Obviously an HD-capable PVR was needed, but did I want to risk another
Hummy, particularly as the reports of the YouView weren't very good. So
I went with the rather revolutionary Echostar HDT-610R. Although not a
bad PVR, the Hard Disk in that died after 6 months, and it went back to
John Lewis. So I returned to Humax with the YouView. Bad choice; very
limited PVR functionality (far less than the 9200T), and ultimately
unreliable. I returned it to JL after only 9 months as it stopped
working. So, hopefully third time lucky with the Panasonic DMR-HWT130.
And so far it's been ok for nearly 3 years.

Yes, the Panasonic EPG is slow to operate (although not to download, as
other PVRs *not* connected to the internet invariably are, as they
depend on an OTA EPG). And, as others have noted, there is no "search"
facility, which seems crazy in this day and age where everything is
searchable. Many other things can be a bit slow to respond to the
remote, but you get used to it. And those editing facilities are useful,
not only to remove ads but to get rid of padding and other junk at the
beginning and end of programmes. That's not particularly important with
normal 60-minute or so programmes, but it sure adds up with kids'
programmes. I have 150+ episodes of Peppa Pig recorded for the
grandchildren, and although each lasts only 5 minutes, the total
recorded time is often 8 - 10 minutes. That's 9 or 10 hours of wasted
recording time.

--

Jeff
  #30  
Old January 31st 17, 01:02 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Roderick Stewart[_3_]
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Posts: 2,003
Default Reliable PVR?

On Tue, 31 Jan 2017 13:15:31 +0000, Jeff Layman
wrote:

Yes, the Panasonic EPG is slow to operate (although not to download, as
other PVRs *not* connected to the internet invariably are, as they
depend on an OTA EPG). And, as others have noted, there is no "search"
facility, which seems crazy in this day and age where everything is
searchable. Many other things can be a bit slow to respond to the
remote, but you get used to it.


I don't miss a search facility on the Panasonic EPG, as I use
Digiguide to plan what to record. It shows more info about more
channels all at once, and for further ahead. If I want to set a
recording on the Panasonic, I can either wait for it to appear in the
list seven days before TX time, or I can enter the details manually up
to a month ahead. I can do this while it is recording two other
programmes, which I couldn't do on the only Humax PVR I ever owned,
and I don't need to refrain from switching it off when I've finished,
as it will keep the recording process continuing, whereas the Humax
would just stop everything.

And those editing facilities are useful,
not only to remove ads but to get rid of padding and other junk at the
beginning and end of programmes. That's not particularly important with
normal 60-minute or so programmes, but it sure adds up with kids'
programmes. I have 150+ episodes of Peppa Pig recorded for the
grandchildren, and although each lasts only 5 minutes, the total
recorded time is often 8 - 10 minutes. That's 9 or 10 hours of wasted
recording time.


Yes, it's quite astonishing how much time you can gain just by
whittling out the padding and adverts from a few programmes.

Rod.
 




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