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tichtich
Posted: Sun May 08, 2005 2:11 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 08 May 2005 Posts: 1389 Location: Eastbourne, UK
Hello all. I've been waiting over a year now for a Freeview PVR, as I didn't want take the plunge until there was a machine I was going to be happy with. I think that time may have come with the arrival of the Toppy and the Inverto. But I still have a few doubts. Maybe someone can set my mind at rest about them. Wink

I aim to take maximum advantage of the PVR by recording virtually all the programmes I watch, so I can always have the advantage of watching a recording. That means that recording must be as reliable and convenient as possible. (Conversely, I'm not too bothered about pausing live TV or chase play.) The too biggest issues, it seems to me, are these:

- Not missing part of a program because it runs late. Given the limitations of the current OTA EPGs, it seems the best solution is to have padding added to the recording times automatically. I understand the Toppy doesn't do this as standard, but there's a TAP for it (or will be once it's converted for the UK). Can someone tell me exactly what this TAP does? Also, I wonder why the Freeview EPG's Now/Next data can't be used to detect when a program starts and stops, to provide a more dynamic system. Maybe it's just not reliable enough. It seems quite poor that digital TV can't provide a service that we already have with analogue (namely PDC).

- Not missing an episode in a series because I've forgotten to select it (if I select it separately every week) or because its time has changed (if I use a fixed weekly event time). This really needs a series link feature, but unfortunately no Freeview PVR yet includes one, presumably because the EPGs don't contain the necessary data. Still, even without such data, it seems to me a poor man's series link feature could be provided. All that's needed is the option to specify a text string, and have the PVR record any programme with that text string in the title. This would occasionally result in recording of unwanted programmes (including duplicates of programmes repeated during the week), but, with 160 Gb available, I reckon I can afford to waste some space. Since no-one yet provides such a feature, I'm wondering whether it could be programmed as a TAP. Any idea anyone?

It seems to me these are the two big outstanding problems for Freeview PVRs, and I'm still wondering whether it wouldn't be better to wait another year or more for them to be sorted out properly. I'm not one of those people who's going to update my PVR every year or so. What I buy now I'm expecting to stick with for a few years.

I have a couple of other questions too:

- In view of the USB connection used by the Toppy, is there any limit to the effective length of a USB cable? I have my PV and TV in different rooms, and don't want to have to move them.

- I get only a poor signal on the Channel 5 MUX. The signal strength can be as low as 2/10 (according to my IDTV) and then the picture is very glitchy but still watchable. Is the Toppy likely to have a problem with such a low signal level, i.e. might it refuse to show the channel at all?

Between the Toppy and the Inverto, I'm currently leaning towards the Toppy because its TAPs make us less dependent on the manufacturer for improvements. But this may be less important if Inverto does a good job of supporting their box, and their 4TV EPG may give them more flexibility in the long run.

Any responses will be much appreciated.

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Richard Wein
Firmware: 5.13.65 (patched). Auto Start TAPs: TapCommander 1.0.2, Power Down 0.6, DescriptionExtender 2.2, mei2archive 3.8I3, Automove 1.8, QuickJump 1.54, Improbox 2.1RC8, Jag's EPG 3.0b3 (TV & radio), Media Manager 1.5, MHEG Control A2g, Extend 1.7. PC apps: DGtoTop 1.1. Profile last updated 13/05/2009
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nwhitfield
Posted: Sun May 08, 2005 2:40 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
Jag's EPG TAP works fine with the new firmware, and you can choose how much padding to add automatically to the start and end of programmes. That happens when you set a recording from the EPG, so you don't need to do anything.

It's also sensible enough to realise when two things overlap - for example, if you record two successive programmes on a channel, with padding, it can turn it into just one long recording, though you can turn that option off.

Jag's TAP also adds a keyword search for recording, so you can use that to cover the second option.

I think the maximum recommended length for USB 2.0 is five metres, though you can use repeaters. Check the Computer Connections are of the FAQs for more information on alternative solutions.

I've found the picture much better than on my old On Digital box, but then I do have a good signal too.

Nigel.

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tichtich
Posted: Sun May 08, 2005 7:00 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 08 May 2005 Posts: 1389 Location: Eastbourne, UK
Thanks for the info, Nigel. JAG's EPG sounds good.

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Richard Wein
Firmware: 5.13.65 (patched). Auto Start TAPs: TapCommander 1.0.2, Power Down 0.6, DescriptionExtender 2.2, mei2archive 3.8I3, Automove 1.8, QuickJump 1.54, Improbox 2.1RC8, Jag's EPG 3.0b3 (TV & radio), Media Manager 1.5, MHEG Control A2g, Extend 1.7. PC apps: DGtoTop 1.1. Profile last updated 13/05/2009
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Pete
Posted: Sun May 08, 2005 8:02 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 18 Apr 2005 Posts: 25
My boxes are 10m apart. I'm using a 5m USB2 active repeater cable off ebay (c. 15 delivered) plus a 5m belkin pro USB 2 cable from ebuyer (c. 5 delivered). This setup works fine. In theory you can add extra repeater cables to get up to 25m.
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