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OT: PVR suggestions?

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  • OT: PVR suggestions?

    Apparently almost half of us own Hard Disk recorders, rather to my surprise.. so half of you can help me

    Anyway our cheapie (TopupTV 250Gb unit, bought for fifty quid 20 months ago) has started playing up frequently now.

    I've dismantled it several times, cleaned the fan, wriggled the connectors and I can always get it going again, but it fails the same day and it's driving certain people mad ....

    So, what should I buy, and more important, what should I avoid.

    We are talking Freeview here (not sky). Any suggestions?

    Pete
    Look, I'm an old man. I shouldn't be expected to put up with this.


    Pete's photoblog Misleading the public since 2010.

  • #2
    Re: OT: PVR suggestions?

    I think that The Which Magazine had something on PVRs recently.

    This website might also help

    http://www.digitalradiotech.co.uk/fr...eview_pvrs.php
    This space for rent

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    • #3
      Re: OT: PVR suggestions?

      I have a Humax PVR-9200 (not made now) - it has been very reliable.

      Friends have newer Humax models which have proved satisfactory.

      See http://www.humaxdirect.co.uk/index.asp. There are three model families - Freeview HD, Freeview non-HD and Freesat HD.

      I got mine at a very good price as a "manager's special" - check the website. Richer Sounds usually have them at a good price.
      Steve
      My Flickr: https://flic.kr/ps/HRVVS

      "If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something" - Steven Wright

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      • #4
        Re: OT: PVR suggestions?

        Thanks for that.. it looks up my street. We are apparently old school here, scarts and non HD, so the 9150 looks like the right sort of thing :-)

        Pete

        Originally posted by steverh View Post
        I have a Humax PVR-9200 (not made now) - it has been very reliable.

        Friends have newer Humax models which have proved satisfactory.

        See http://www.humaxdirect.co.uk/index.asp. There are three model families - Freeview HD, Freeview non-HD and Freesat HD.

        I got mine at a very good price as a "manager's special" - check the website. Richer Sounds usually have them at a good price.
        Look, I'm an old man. I shouldn't be expected to put up with this.


        Pete's photoblog Misleading the public since 2010.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: OT: PVR suggestions?

          Pete, If it's of any interest to you I have a redundant Panasonic Hard Disc/DVD recorder model DMR E85H. It has an analogue tuner (we are fully digital here) but it will record digital transmissions from an external source via SCART. It has a 250GB hard-drive IRRC and is in as new condition and has the original handset. I don't want anything for it but it would be a shame to send if for recycling. If you are not interested then maybe someone else is. You will need to collect it though.

          Steve
          Old divers never die, they just go down on old wrecks
          Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but bubbles
          My website

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          • #6
            Re: OT: PVR suggestions?

            Thanks for the offer, but we are going to be all digital here any moment and I don't think I would get away with a second box as a freeview tuner

            I know what you mean, I hate throwing good stuff away (I suspect I will extract the 250G disk from this dying box of mine)

            Pete

            Originally posted by Wreckdiver View Post
            Pete, If it's of any interest to you I have a redundant Panasonic Hard Disc/DVD recorder model DMR E85H. It has an analogue tuner (we are fully digital here) but it will record digital transmissions from an external source via SCART. It has a 250GB hard-drive IRRC and is in as new condition and has the original handset. I don't want anything for it but it would be a shame to send if for recycling. If you are not interested then maybe someone else is. You will need to collect it though.

            Steve
            Look, I'm an old man. I shouldn't be expected to put up with this.


            Pete's photoblog Misleading the public since 2010.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: OT: PVR suggestions?

              Pete
              We have had a Panasonic for about three years which has been quite reliable. Can't remember the model.
              Jim
              Jim
              www.jim-mccabe.co.uk
              http://www.jimmccabephotography.blogspot.com
              (My Travels in Aus & NZ)

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              • #8
                Re: OT: PVR suggestions?

                Originally posted by snaarman View Post

                I hate throwing good stuff away (I suspect I will extract the 250G disk from this dying box of mine)

                Pete
                Pete, you're probably already aware knowing your background, but for other not in the know; the hard drives in PVRs are normally different to conventional ones in PCs and are often not interchangeble.
                I think the error correction is different, being a higher spec for PCs.
                Perversely, the higher spec ones can lead to a poorer picture if used in PVRs.
                I don't know how PVR HDs perform in PCs.
                Best Regards
                Bill

                The nearest I have to a home page.
                http://www.flickr.com/photos/peak4/
                They're Watching You!

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                • #9
                  Re: OT: PVR suggestions?

                  Originally posted by peak4 View Post
                  Pete, you're probably already aware knowing your background, but for other not in the know; the hard drives in PVRs are normally different to conventional ones in PCs and are often not interchangeble.
                  I think the error correction is different, being a higher spec for PCs.
                  Perversely, the higher spec ones can lead to a poorer picture if used in PVRs.
                  I don't know how PVR HDs perform in PCs.
                  I am told that "AV standard" HD drives are supposed to have faster startup times, maybe lower error rates. I know they are more expensive and harder to find

                  P
                  Look, I'm an old man. I shouldn't be expected to put up with this.


                  Pete's photoblog Misleading the public since 2010.

                  Comment


                  • #10

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                    • #11
                      Look, I'm an old man. I shouldn't be expected to put up with this.


                      Pete's photoblog Misleading the public since 2010.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: OT: PVR suggestions?

                        It looks like I might be a bit behind the times.

                        From the PCTechGuide web site

                        Audio-visual applications require different performance characteristics than are required of a hard disk drive used for regular, everyday computer use. Typical computer usage involves many requests for relatively small amounts of data. By contrast, AV applications - digital audio recording, video editing and streaming, CD writing, etc. - involve large block transfers of sequentially stored data. Their prime requirement is for a steady, uninterrupted stream of data, so that any dropout in the analogue output is avoided.

                        In the past this meant the need for specially designed, or at the very least suitably optimised, hard disk drives. However, with the progressive increase in the bandwidth of both the EIDE and SCSI interfaces over the years, the need for special AV rated drives has become less and less. Indeed, Micropolis - a company that specialised in AV drives - went out of business as long ago as 1997.


                        The principal characteristic of an AV drive centred on the way that it handled thermal recalibration. As a hard drive operates, the temperature inside the drive rises causing the disk platters to expand (as most materials do when they heat up). In order to compensate for this phenomenon, hard drives would periodically recalibrate themselves to ensure the read and write heads remain perfectly aligned over the data tracks. Thermal recalibration (also known as T-cal) is a method of re-aligning the read/write heads, and whilst it is happening, no data can be read from or written to the drive.

                        In the past, non-AV drives entered a calibration cycle on a regular schedule regardless of what the computer and the drive happened to be doing. Drives rated as AV have employed a number of different techniques to address the problem. Many handled T-cal by rescheduling or postponing it until such time that the drive is not actively capturing data. Some additionally used particularly large cache buffers or caching schemes that were optimised specifically and exclusively for AV applications, incurring a significant performance loss in non-AV applications.

                        By the start of the new millennium the universal adoption of embedded servo technology by hard disk manufacturers meant that thermal recalibration was no longer an issue. This effectively weaves head-positioning information amongst the data on discs, enabling drive heads to continuously monitor and adjust their position relative to the embedded reference points. The disruptive need for a drive to briefly pause data transfer to correctly position its heads during thermal recalibration routines is thereby completely eliminated.
                        Best Regards
                        Bill

                        The nearest I have to a home page.
                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/peak4/
                        They're Watching You!

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