View Full Version : Hard disk video recorders

Stephen Coates
4th December 2010, 02:43
Just wondering if anyone here used a freeview PVR, and if so, what type.

I'm considering getting one. Our 'digital switchover' is occurring next summer :( so I will no longer be able to record on my VHS machine without a freeview receiver. My 6.5 year old Goodmans GDB3 broke last year so I can't use that.

My Mum has a Digihome DTR80, which I have used a lot this year. It works, but is very slow (that's slow as in unresponsive) and crashes sometimes. The remote control isn't very logical (but I have got used to it now, just) and the software just seems incomplete, like they never bothered to test it properly.

I've been looking at ones by Humax. Currently they have an older model, the PVR9200TBX, for 105. Looks pretty good. It has a large HD, and a USB socket so it can be connected to a computer to transfer videos.
See http://www.humaxdirect.co.uk/Product.asp?ProdRef=10065&cat=Factory

I might get one.

4th December 2010, 11:19
The only freeview recorders I've used are Panasonic and they have always been very good, although more expensive due to the high quality of their products. My mother-in-law has a Sony one which seems good but the software seems over complicated.

But I only use Sky+ and SkyHD+ boxes myself and don't think they can be beaten. Great interface and easy to use. Sky have also just released a 1TB version, and upgraded Anytime to Anytime+ to give a much larger offline viewing experience.

Stephen Coates
12th December 2010, 01:27
I just ordered from Humax Direct, a refurbished 9150 for GBP85 inc delivery. Should arrive on Tuesday.

The 9150 has a smaller 160GB hard drive, but unlike the 9200, this one uses SATA. It also lacks the USB port, but I think I can manage without that.

13th December 2010, 23:30
Would it let you upgrade the HDD yourself? If so, you can get 1TB HDDs very cheaply now if it is SATA. About 35-40.

Stephen Coates
14th December 2010, 02:38
I think an HD upgrade will be possible if I wanted to do it.

I know that some PVRs are quite fussy about HDs. Apparently some (all?) Vestel boxes use HDs that don't do any error correction unlike most standard HDs. Or something like that.

I don't think I will need to upgrade the 160GB drive for a while though, as I currently manage to record all my progammes onto the few spare GBs on my Mum's box.

Apparently I should be able to access Interlink's website sometime this morning and find out roughly what time it will be delivered.

14th December 2010, 03:46
I suppose for SD video 160GB should be plenty for quite some time. The problem is when wanting to record HD. It really eats up the HDD space on my SkyHD box.

Have you consider FreeviewHD yet? It should be available all over the country now, with all 5 terrestrial channels being in HD now. Worth it for those without Sky or Cable.

Stephen Coates
14th December 2010, 06:53
We should be able to get Freeview HD here. I don't have a suitable television/monitor though.

Stephen Coates
23rd December 2010, 04:12
Interlink couldn't be bothered to deliver it on the day they were due to deliver it. It came two days late. Never mind.

Anyway, I have it set up and have just about figured out how to use it. I wouldn't say the interface is any better or worse than the Vestel machines. But it works and is a bit quicker.

Stephen Coates
19th June 2011, 03:03
The PVR seems to be doing well. All year, it has had sat next to it the Vestel based one (mentioned in other thread) which has hardly been used. I just had a look in the Vestel based one and it has a 320GB Western Digital SATA HDD, so I might just stick that in my computer.

The Humax PVR does get a bit slow and crash sometimes but not very often. The only real problem I am having is recording the new episodes of Family Guy on BBC Three on Saturday/Sunday, but this seems to be a problem with a lot of PVRs as far as I can tell.

19th June 2011, 09:33
Actually it's major problem of Huimax PVR's that it cannot for some reason playback Family Guy and American Dad. I emailed Humax earlier (I have the 9150T as well) and this is what I got back.

We are currently reviewing this situation and thoroughly testing this on a range of our units such as PVR9150T, PVR9200T, PVR9300T, HD-FOX T2 and HDR-FOX T2.

Apologies for the delay in response, customer feedback is essential to us and we really appreciate your feedback and apologise for the issue you are experiencing, once we have further information on this issue we can update you accordingly.

I did have a Thomson PVR up until just before christmas and that worked fine but it died on me. The Bt Vision box can be all right especially as it has the BBC iplayer on it but you can only have one in your house because of the way it's information is stored.

Stephen Coates
19th June 2011, 14:44
A bit of googling revealed that I'm not the only Humax user who has trouble with the new Family Guy episodes (the old ones during the week are fine).

I'm pretty sure my Mum's now oldish Vestel based PVR didn't playback Family Guy properly either. I will record some more episodes and see what happens.

19th June 2011, 16:24
Like I say it has been a major problem with Humax PVR's that they cannot play back new episodes of Family Guy. It's been going on for 2 years and still they've not been able to do anything. As I showed in my previous post Humax are looking into it but I have very little hope of anything getting done unless ALL Humax owners actually start emailing the company.

20th June 2011, 15:32
That seems very strange about Family Guy. Is there an actual technical reason for it? Different broadcast bandwidth or something odd?

And how does BT VIsion actually work? I've had no knowledge of the system at all other than the adverts that don't really explain anything. Is it broadband based?

20th June 2011, 20:35
The BT Vision Box is broadband based so you can download movies etc via your broadband. However important data is also broadband based like TV Guide and what programmes you've recorded (the actual recordings are stored on the BT Vision Box but the information isn't). Last year I tried getting 2 BT Vision Boxes working in the same house but it never quite worked as all the recorded information was sent to one box and not the other however it did have the effect that I could watch stuff recorded on one box on the other. However the reality one BT Vision box per household.

What pisses me off about all the freeview PVR that I've tried (Don't know what it's like with satellite and never will) is they all have the noisiest fans ever installed. Once the 12month guarantee has run out you try to install a quieter fan and then you find out they don't have standard connectors so you end up doing a bodge job.

Stephen Coates
20th June 2011, 23:35
Can't say I've ever had any issue with fans.

My Hitatchi one doesn't have a fan, but it does get quite warm. I'm pretty sure my Mum's old Digihome one doesn't have a fan. My Humax 9150T does, but that only comes on for the first few seconds when it is switched on. On mine it always either slows down or stops completely (not sure which). Don't think I have ever heard it come back on during use.

21st June 2011, 11:28
The BT Vision Box is broadband based so you can download movies etc via your broadband.

As I thought. So BT Vision won't work in any areas outside of inner cities with fast Broadband connections then. Our connection is 3Mbit at the most and sometimes is slow enough that I had to wait for a youtube video to download before watching it, so anything in realtime is completely out of the question. This country really needs to sort out its broadband infrastructure because at the moment anyone not living right on top of an ADSL2 exchange is being left behind by a long way.

Sky have also recently launched Anytime+ which is an upgraded version of their existing Anytime server. This has always worked by downloading programs to the Sky Box HDD when it isn't in use through the satellite connection, so you then have a selection of films, documentaries, latest episodes and sports programs from the current week to watch on demand. The Anytime+ service expands this by combining it with the 20Mb broadband for true on demand access to films and loads of other programs and content. Obviously this again only works if you are lucky enough to have access to such connection speeds, which I'm not.

What pisses me off about all the freeview PVR that I've tried (Don't know what it's like with satellite and never will) is they all have the noisiest fans ever installed. Once the 12month guarantee has run out you try to install a quieter fan and then you find out they don't have standard connectors so you end up doing a bodge job.

Sky digiboxes are quiet. I've never had one make any noise and I've had standard boxes, Sky+ and Sky+ HD boxes. Why would you never get Sky? Aversion to the company? I personally don't see any other TV service able to offer the same range of channels, especially in HD with now over 60 available.

22nd June 2011, 09:48
I live in the country and BTVision works fine. I forgot to mention apart from BBC iPlayer you do get on demand TV which allows you to download missed TV shows from ITV and Channels 4 & 5 but also allows you to rent out TV programmes from other channels etc. It also has limited HD capabilities (I haven't got a HD TV so I can't tell you exactly what it can do but it can display images in HD and playback rented HD films etc but it cannot receive HD signals).

I think I've said why I would never get Sky on here several times. Apart from the fact that Rupert Murdoch owns so much of the worlds media he is beginning to seem like a Bond Villain there and the fact that his global empire control most of the world sports broadcasting rights there is the fact that SKy in itself is just a license to print money for him. They make money off the Sky Boxes, they make money of advertising, they make money off subscriptions, once you have sky then after the first 12 months they stick the prices up. They screw over any pub/club that wants to broadcast their sports matches. They allow other free TV channels to make an imported TV show popular and then outbid them by a ridiculous amount to buy the show and usually kill the show off. If there is any competition they buy them out and kill them off (prime example is Virgin Media). Apart from Sports and News they produce next to no TV shows of their own. The Murdoch Family are also trying to destroy the BBC as a quality broadcaster by influencing (paying off) politicians from any side of the political spectrum and convincing them that the BBC is politically biased against them.

22nd June 2011, 11:11
I personally don't care who owns a company as long as the service I pay for delivers what I want and for me Sky does this. I don't care if they personally don't make that many programs themselves. They are a platform to broadcast the widest range of content to their customers. And with recently launched channels like Sky Atlantic they are in my view doing a good job. They are the best option for HD viewers, but I can understand how other services might be worth considering if you don't have an HDTV yet.

I agree that there is a current vendetta against the BBC and I am with you in not wanting anything bad to happen to the quality programs they produce or the channels they broadcast. And recent rumours that the BBC are considering dropping F1 from 2012 is disturbing as no one else can cover that like the BBC. The same is true for Tennis. It would be a sad day if Wimbledon ever left the BBC. However I think the BBC issue runs much deeper than anything to do with Sky. Many in the government have something against any organisations that are state funded or tied into government spending. Look at the issues currently surrounding Royal Mail as another good example of that. I think the government needs to take a step back from all such ideas and actually look at what these companies have delivered over their lifespans for the UK as a country and how they have been leading the way in their fields until external forces changed the rules which set them up to fail.

Stephen Coates
5th July 2011, 18:26
My Vestel based Hitachi PVR also definitely has familyguyophobia like the Humax does. It is struggling with the weekend episodes, and also some of the weekday episode as they are currently more recent ones (2008).

It is not as bad as on the Humax though, so it is at least watchable. May require the odd bit of rewinding though.

4th January 2012, 11:24
Humax have a OTA software update for the 9150T available today between 10AM 04/01/12 to 9AM 05/01/12 to HPTTF 1.00.26.

There is no information as to what improvements are made with this update.

If you miss this update then I advise you goto the Humax website (http://www.humaxdigital.com/uk/#)and email them and they should broadcast the update again (they seem to have done that for me either way).

Stephen Coates
4th January 2012, 18:42
I just checked the PVR and it already seems to have that version, dated July 2011. So it probably got it some other time.

I get emails from Humax when there is a new software update and they usually post a changelog of some kind, but I've not checked for a while.