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Digital TV (Freeview) PVRs - Nick [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Digital TV (Freeview) PVRs [Apr. 18th, 2005|08:55 pm]
Today, our freeview box decided to play up. It would sit in standby, send the TV the "switch to me" signal, then power cycle. It kept doing this. In the end, I wandered off with it, fought with the crap Packard Bell website (I have a freeview box, not a PC. Stop telling me about windows, and tell me what warranty I have. In the end, the best I found was a page telling me how to report a fault, and maybe get a returns notice to take to where I bought it from).

Luckily, when I plugged it back in to get more info on the failure, it started working just fine. I guess it just needed to be off for a bit for a full power cycle.

Whilst I thought it was broken, I looked into digital tv / freeview PVRs. I thought they ought to exist, but hadn't seen them about. I wasn't wrong - they do exist, but are quite new. Oh, and very swanky too :) It seems the standard is a dual freeview tuner - one to watch and one to record with, 14 days of EPG (from a normally undisclosed source), variable bitrate recording, and an amount of disk space to suit your budget.

DTT Boxes seems a pretty good review site of them. It shows quite a few, reviews them, and tells you where you might find them for sale. Unbeatable seems to stock most of them, and offers a fair amount of info on them. BestStuff seem to have the best priced 80gb one out there.

150 quid for a 40gb one, or 180 for an 80gb one is pretty damned tempting. If I hadn't just bought an upright piano off ebay (main costs getting it here and tuning it, rather than buying it), I'd probably buy one. If John Lewis had one I could put on the wedding list, it'd be there. As it is, I'm just going to have to play with MythTV and an analogue card for now, and continue to lust after one until sometime after the wedding. With any luck, they should be even cheaper by then :)

(I'd get a digital TV PCI card of ebay for 50 quid and couple that with MythTV and my MVP, if it wasn't for the lack of an arial upstrairs. We struggle to get good reception at times downstairs with the roof arial, so I doubt a portable one on a shelf will manage it. If anyone knows of a really good digital friendly portable arial, I'd certainly be interested)