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View Full Version : My freeview education: why pay more?



Chilling_Silence
19-06-2009, 11:56 PM
OK, so before we start: I'm frugal and on a budget. ;)

Now that thats outta the way, I'm lookin around at different FreeView info sites, places that sell the systems etc. Everybody has FAQ's and things, I've been and read them all.

Long story short: TV reception here blows at my new place, and I've lost the remote so can't try and re-tune Prime to see if we'd get HDTV with a better antenna (Doubtful).
Anyways, so it looks like I'm going with DVB-S. We dont have the budget for anything like a HDD / DVD Recorder right now, basically me and my soon-to-be-wife just want to watch TV without it looking like crap (I should take a photo, you wont believe how bad it can get on TV2 / 3).

Looking around, some "kits" start from around $250 + mounting brackets for a receiver & 65cm dish (Which I'm told is enough for all but the heaviest storms).
Examples:
http://www.freeviewshop.co.nz/globo-starter-package-p-347.html
http://www.freeviewshop.co.nz/hyundai-starter-package-p-409.html

But whats the difference between those units and the likes of:
http://www.freeviewnz.tv/products/detail/zinwell_zmx-7500_satellite_receiver

We wont have a TV with HDMI inputs for a while now, and if DVB-S isn't HD then does it *really* matter? Am I OK to be a cheap-ass and simply get the lowest costing one? Or will I be stung by something I'm currently unaware of?

Also: 65cm, big enough? Or is it worth saving for a week or so longer to get something a lil bigger?

Any thoughts / comments appreciated

Cheers


Chill.

Metla
20-06-2009, 12:02 AM
http://www.trademe.co.nz/Electronics-photography/TVs/Satellite-receivers/auction-224469972.htm

Bought one a couple days ago, records straight to flash drive or hard drive.

CYaBro
20-06-2009, 12:21 AM
There's no unused Sky dish at your new place?

Chilling_Silence
20-06-2009, 12:26 AM
Nah unfortunately not. Where we are is *supposed* to have a good chance of Freeview HD, but I dunno ...

Is it worth getting an "approved installer" out to see if they have like a mobile system they can test with to see if I can get DVB-T? Can they even do that?

That system for $119 looks heaps good! I've just got a 1.5TB external drive so will be consolodating all my other smaller 250 / 320GB ones shortly, could be good timing ;)

davidmmac
20-06-2009, 08:30 AM
Examples:
http://www.freeviewshop.co.nz/globo-starter-package-p-347.html
http://www.freeviewshop.co.nz/hyundai-starter-package-p-409.html

But whats the difference between those units and the likes of:
http://www.freeviewnz.tv/products/detail/zinwell_zmx-7500_satellite_receiver

The top two aren't freeview approved, they'll still probably work, but they won't have the colourful EPG.

I'm fairly sure (this is just by recognising the picture) that we used this (http://www.freeviewshop.co.nz/hyundai-starter-package-p-409.html)one at the beach house we went to in the summer. It seemed to work fairly well, and once we got our head around the new remote it was easy enough to operate.

gary67
20-06-2009, 10:01 AM
http://www.trademe.co.nz/Electronics-photography/TVs/Satellite-receivers/auction-224469972.htm

Bought one a couple days ago, records straight to flash drive or hard drive.

How are you finding your freeview box Metla? is it doing what you want?

Metla
20-06-2009, 11:12 AM
The top two aren't freeview approved, they'll still probably work, but they won't have the colourful EPG.


What do you mean by colourful?

I have used 3 non-approved freeview boxes, and they all had a detailed EPG, Though the colour was blue. Am I missing anything?

Metla
20-06-2009, 11:14 AM
How are you finding your freeview box Metla? is it doing what you want?

Very happy with the recording quality, and ease of use.

The fact that you can just fire up the EPG, select a program and it will record it is just magic.

Chilling_Silence
20-06-2009, 11:23 AM
Keen as mustard, sounds just like what the Mrs needs to record her must-see shows, like H&A, Shorty St & The Bachelor ... :D

wratterus
20-06-2009, 12:17 PM
Don't get a Zinwell. While they are great decoders when they work, every other one dies.

Strommer
20-06-2009, 12:57 PM
Very happy with the recording quality, and ease of use.

The fact that you can just fire up the EPG, select a program and it will record it is just magic.

OK, I want one.:banana

What do I need besides a Sky dish and some cable?

Is it difficult to aim the dish?

What is "the EPG"?

I looked at the Trademe advert: does it have a hard drive or do you have to connect either a flash drive or external hd?

:thanks

Metla
20-06-2009, 01:02 PM
EPG-Electronic program Guide

No idea how hard it is to aim the dish, I had mine installed.

You provide the flash drive or external HD, Though their are plenty of of them listed on Tradme that come bundled with a flashdrive or HD.

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/SearchResults.aspx?searchType=0124-0060-7088-&searchString=811U+&searchregion=100&type=Search


Phase 2- I went down to Mitre 10, Purchased 30m of coax cable and ran it out to my shed/home theatre, The new Freeview box has a signal pass through feature, so I was able to feed the signal out to the old freeview tuner (now in the home theatre) and then into my Winfast TV card. Meaning freeview in a second location, and I'm able to record to the PC which powers teh theatre.

CYaBro
20-06-2009, 01:06 PM
Very happy with the recording quality, and ease of use.

The fact that you can just fire up the EPG, select a program and it will record it is just magic.

I see that the USB drive has to be FAT32 format.
Isn't the file size limit for FAT32 2GB or 4GB?
I have recorded a few movies on Freeview in MediaPortal and some file sizes have been up to 6-7GB depending on the length of the movie.
What does this box do when it reaches the file size limit? Does it just start a new file?

Metla
20-06-2009, 01:09 PM
yep,3.8Gb and it the starts a second file. I believe they claim thats 4 hours of recording.

gary67
20-06-2009, 01:52 PM
If the dish was set up for sky it just needs plugging in and then select a satellite to use I went with the Optus D1 as at the time it was the only one I had heard of and it just found all the channels. Only thing I did then was to re organise them so that channel 1 was TV1 etc

pine-o-cleen
20-06-2009, 02:59 PM
Chill:

To do with the size of your dish, we have a 65cm dish and it's fine most times, but it is prone to 'rain fade'. A bigger dish will get less rain fade. Ever see the ones that Sky put on Hotels etc? There approx 1m across and sky guarantee that you won't get rain fade with a dish that big.

If you're not really worried about it then just get a 65cm dish, if you cant stand rain fade, then get a bigger one. We install freeview (amongst many other things) at work and I've never had anyone ask for a bigger dish.

It's pretty easy to line up a dish, just a bit fiddly. The little sat finders that they sell at dick smith are good. When you do mount the dish, make sure you get stays. We always put 2 stays on every dish, just to keep them in place.

davidmmac
20-06-2009, 03:58 PM
What do you mean by colourful?

I have used 3 non-approved freeview boxes, and they all had a detailed EPG, Though the colour was blue. Am I missing anything?

Like this. (http://www.freeviewnz.tv/images/uploads/epg_screen_one.jpg) Bright, colouful and easy to read :thumbs:.

Chilling_Silence
20-06-2009, 04:02 PM
If its not HD Video then 3.8GB should be *heaps* for a regular TV Show / Movie / whatever ;)

I dunno how bad rain-fade is. To be honest the current setup is *useless* with just an antenna on the roof so in order to stop myself getting frustrated it may be worth grabbing a slightly larger dish, just to be safe.

Could also be quite good if I need to tape something for the olds, chuck in a 4GB Thumbdrive and just pop the show onto that for them.

The filesystem limit for FAT32 is pretty big isnt it? A few hundred GB at least? Its been a while so my memory is fading :p

Metla
20-06-2009, 04:43 PM
Like this. (http://www.freeviewnz.tv/images/uploads/epg_screen_one.jpg) Bright, colouful and easy to read :thumbs:.

Cool, I would not want that :lol:.

Strommer
20-06-2009, 05:31 PM
Chill:

To do with the size of your dish, we have a 65cm dish and it's fine most times, but it is prone to 'rain fade'. A bigger dish will get less rain fade. Ever see the ones that Sky put on Hotels etc? There approx 1m across and sky guarantee that you won't get rain fade with a dish that big.

If you're not really worried about it then just get a 65cm dish, if you cant stand rain fade, then get a bigger one. We install freeview (amongst many other things) at work and I've never had anyone ask for a bigger dish.

It's pretty easy to line up a dish, just a bit fiddly. The little sat finders that they sell at dick smith are good. When you do mount the dish, make sure you get stays. We always put 2 stays on every dish, just to keep them in place.

I have heard about the DSE sat finders but when I think of all the wet weather and a new slippery roof, I may get an installer to do it. I will be using a 65 cm dish and I hope rain fade is not going to be too annoying - I will ask someone on our street who has Sky and the usual 65 cm dish.

Mets, thanks for the trademe links. We have a DVD recorder so I wonder if I could use that to record from the freeview? A freeview with 250 G is another $140 and I suppose this would allow recording two different programs at the same time.

CYaBro
20-06-2009, 06:17 PM
I have heard about the DSE sat finders but when I think of all the wet weather and a new slippery roof, I may get an installer to do it. I will be using a 65 cm dish and I hope rain fade is not going to be too annoying - I will ask someone on our street who has Sky and the usual 65 cm dish.

Mets, thanks for the trademe links. We have a DVD recorder so I wonder if I could use that to record from the freeview? A freeview with 250 G is another $140 and I suppose this would allow recording two different programs at the same time.

Are the standard Sky dishes 65cm?
That's what we have and we have only ever had rain fade once since Freeview was launched and that was during a really really heavy downpour.

pine-o-cleen
20-06-2009, 06:31 PM
Yeah the standard Sky dishes are 65cm.

apsattv
20-06-2009, 08:07 PM
Depends where you live a lot of places like West Coast South Island and far northern NZ had 85/90cm dishes installed. Not so much of an issue since Sky moved over to the newer D1 satellite.

apsattv
20-06-2009, 08:10 PM
OK, so before we start: I'm frugal and on a budget. ;)

Now that thats outta the way, I'm lookin around at different FreeView info sites, places that sell the systems etc. Everybody has FAQ's and things, I've been and read them all.

Long story short: TV reception here blows at my new place, and I've lost the remote so can't try and re-tune Prime to see if we'd get HDTV with a better antenna (Doubtful).

Chill.

Where are you for starters? and which site do you get your existing tv signal from? just because existing analogue reception is poor doesn't mean digital will be. Digital need far less signal to work.

Speedy Gonzales
21-06-2009, 12:22 AM
Yup, a non-HD 2 hour program would be around 3.9-3.9 GB (or just under a DVD). A 2 hr HD program would be about 12 GB ! (thats with no ads). About 1 GB for every 7-10 minutes ! Well thats what I found out when I recorded a non-HD and HD program with this tuner.