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What channels do you want off Freeview in 2013?


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Old 27-01-2011, 13:18
aitch
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I have a DHD4000 and have been putting up with the manual recordings, but I have finally got fed up the problem.
I have now bought a new PVR from Tesco, a Dion DTR250SS10 which cost 79.97. Not bad for a 250GB twin-tuner
Freeview+ PVR. Admittedly it is only SD, but most HD boxes are more than twice the price.

One thing that I was unsure about was its ability to record two programmes at the same time. The packaging says that
"you can watch one programmes whilst recording another". This seemed to imply twin-tuners, but did not confirm its
capabilities, so I emailed ElectraTV and got a response within the hour confirming that it could record two programmes
at the same time. I was also sent a detailed spec by the manufacturer in China. So customer support looks good so far.

So based on this, I decided to take the plunge.
Initial impressions have been very good. Only took a few minutes to set it up including scanning for channels.
The picture quality is excellent, much better than the Thomson which I always thought was a bit dull (or as a
colleague has pointed out, may be it is the content that I record that's a bit dull ).

So, I can confirm that it does record two programmes at the same time.
I also recorded two programmes on BBC2, one immediately following the other, and then watched ITV1.
When one prog ended on BBc2 and the other started, my viewing of ITV1 was not interrupted.
If this had been on the Thomson, it would have been, but then again this is due to the Thomson buffering.
It remains to be seen how accurate the Dion box is with regard to missing the start or end of recorded programmes.

One potential problem is that when I recorded two programmes at the same time, one on BBC1 and one on BBC2,
I was then able to switch to ITV1 without any error or warning message. As I was only doing some brief testing (had
other progs to record that I did want to see), I cannot tell you how the recordings were affected by me switching to ITV1.
I'll check it out another time and post back here.

The EPG is pretty good and it is easy to set up recordings, and it has series link which is a plus compared to the Thomson.
Only issue with the EPG is that it only shows the schedule a day at a time. You have to press the green button to advance
to the next day, but it isn't much of an issue. On the Thomson, it had a calendar function which made it easier to advance
to other days.

On the Thomson, there were two lists in the menu, one for future recordings and one for recorded programmes.
On the Dion, these have been combined into the "Planner". This shows all old and future recordings in one list
sorted by date. One feature that I do like in this list is that it shows which channel a future recording is on.
My daughter quite often sets up a future recording on some obscure channel, and when I come to set up my recordings
and find a conflict, in the past (on the Thomson) it has been a real pain to try and find out which channel her
recording was on.
The Planner also shows the status of a recording (Recording, Recorded, Partial, or Conflict).
I haven't found a way to set up a manual recording, where you specify the channel and start and end times.
All you seem to be able to do as far as manual recording is concerned, is press the record button for a channel
that you are watching. The recording ends automatically when the programme ends.

So all in all, an excellent replacement for the Thomson

Other things that I haven't tested yet are:
- Channel Zero. This is a new feature containing things like local weather, news, and games.
- Record two programmes at the same time, and then try to watch another recording.
- Series link - I have set some programmes up with series link but haven't seen the results yet (only had it less than a day!)
- Haven't found out whether there is a way to set up a buffer, but if the recordings are accurate this won't be an issue.
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Old 27-01-2011, 13:33
chrisjr
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One potential problem is that when I recorded two programmes at the same time, one on BBC1 and one on BBC2,
I was then able to switch to ITV1 without any error or warning message. As I was only doing some brief testing (had
other progs to record that I did want to see), I cannot tell you how the recordings were affected by me switching to ITV1.
I'll check it out another time and post back here.
That actually is quite feasible with just two tuners. the tuners tune into the entire mux not individual services within the mux..

Since BBC 1 and BBC 2 are carried on the same mux only one tuner need be involved. The clever bit comes afterwards in extracting the two data streams from the mux. Which would leave one tuner free to watch ITV.

A truer test might be to set it up to record BBC 1 and ITV 1 then try and watch something like Dave as that would involve three separate muxes and so might throw up an eror message or two
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Old 02-02-2011, 13:52
aitch
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Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to test chrisjr's suggestion. It certainly sounds feasible, but on a box this cheap?!?

Now that I have had the box for a few days, here are some further observations.

1) In the Planner, with a combined list of future recordings and recorded material, the list gets pretty large especially when you start using series link.
-- it would be better to have two lists
2) Now that the Planner list has been populated with lots of programmes, I notice that the list is not in date order.
It is alphabetic, with the future recordings sorted first, then the recorded ones sorted next.
-- this is good in some respects for recorded material, as you can easily see all entries for a series with the oldest first.
-- with the future recordings sorted alphabetically, this is a bit of a pain as you cannot easily see what is being recorded on a particular day.
For today's recordings, you can easily see what is going to be recorded in the TV Guide, but for days ahead it is difficult to work out clashes.
-- it would be nice if there was a "sort" option
3) You cannot select a channel in the TV Guide by number, you can only scroll up and down.
4) When you pause a recording, it does not show how much of the programme is left.
5) When watching live TV, the direction buttons do not show what is on next, or what is on other channels.
6) The remote "Red" button turns my music centre on and off !! Given all the other pieces of kit we now have, along with all their remotes,
I am surprised that this is the first time I have encountered a conflict.

I guess that the observations are to be expected when comparing what I was used to with the Thomson and what I have now, and the Dion box does
have some plus points over the Thomson (an EPG for a start, and series link, bigger hard drive, and better picture quality are a few that spring to mind).

I still think that for the price it is a very good box. So far all recordings have been accurate with no missed starts or endings.
I did have a problem the other night with a number of programme
clashes. Solution?? Use both the Thomson and Dion to record them. Worked perfectly, and all using the same coax from the aerial.
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Old 13-03-2011, 15:39
CF1
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I have recently bought this recorder for my mother (in her 80's), She lives in Bristol and it keeps picking up the Welsh channels instead of her local BBC/ITV channels.

I live in the North West and my brother had a quick look at it for her and said that there is no facility to manual tune this box, and it keeps auto tuning itself so sometimes it is on the BBC west channels and another day he looks and it is back on Welsh channels.

I wondered if you could advise me if there is anyway to manual tune this box.

Any suggestions would be appreciated - thanks
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Old 13-03-2011, 16:01
chrisjr
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I have recently bought this recorder for my mother (in her 80's), She lives in Bristol and it keeps picking up the Welsh channels instead of her local BBC/ITV channels.

I live in the North West and my brother had a quick look at it for her and said that there is no facility to manual tune this box, and it keeps auto tuning itself so sometimes it is on the BBC west channels and another day he looks and it is back on Welsh channels.

I wondered if you could advise me if there is anyway to manual tune this box.

Any suggestions would be appreciated - thanks
I would imagine this is one of many badge engineered clone boxes. So it might be difficult finding any details about it online. But it would be surprising if there was no manual option at all.

Usually in the menu system of the box there will be two options for tuning, Automatic and Manual. On most boxes of this type i've seen and used it is on the Installation menu.

You need to first delete all the existing channels before doing a manual tune. If there is no easier way to do this Auto tuning with the aerial unplugged will do the job.

Then you need to enter the UHF channel numbers for the transmitter you want to recieve from. In this case I suspect Mendip so enter UHF channel numbers 54, 56, 59, 61 and 62. Don't think it's a HD box so no point trying the HD mux on 58.

Also somewhere there should be an option to turn off any facility to automatically add new channels. Though whether that is causing the box to randomly switch between BBC/ITV regions is another matter.
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Old 16-03-2011, 21:41
CF1
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Thank you very much for answering my query.

My husband said the same as u that he would be amazed if it didn't have a manual tune facility. Even the cheapest of boxes have this.

I will make a note of the channel numbers you gave me. We are going down in a couple of weeks so we will try and sort it out for her.

We live near Manchester and when we first went digital we were picking up Welsh channels. Nothing against the Welsh but annoying when u want to watch a programme in English.

Once again thanks. Will advise how it goes.
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Old 22-04-2011, 19:37
elbowface
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I'm very interested to know some details about the advanced channel management options that come with this box. I've trawled the internet and can't find a PDF manual anywhere for this device. Basically, I'd like to know if it can rename and delete channels, etc.

Cheers.
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Old 27-04-2011, 17:39
elbowface
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I have recently bought this recorder for my mother (in her 80's), She lives in Bristol and it keeps picking up the Welsh channels instead of her local BBC/ITV channels.

I live in the North West and my brother had a quick look at it for her and said that there is no facility to manual tune this box, and it keeps auto tuning itself so sometimes it is on the BBC west channels and another day he looks and it is back on Welsh channels.

I wondered if you could advise me if there is anyway to manual tune this box.

Any suggestions would be appreciated - thanks
I can confirm that no manual tune option is present in this boxes software, received mine today. Very silly indeed. No option to disabled automatic service updates either. Did only cost me 50 quid though. The Ricability review is wrong about it not showing programme info in the EPG though. Not sure how they missed that.

Edit: I can also confirm that you can indeed record two programmes and watch a third if it's on the same multiplex as one of the programmes you're recording. Swings and roundabouts I guess.
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Old 24-06-2011, 17:38
inabsentia
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Looking for a replacement for my recently deceased Onn twin tuner box and I'm considering this one..

a couple of things concern me.. they are that it doesn't seem to have a 'jump forward' facility - I thought most Freeview recorders had these (in one or two minute intervals) - It's the one feature I really miss on my Sky+ box and every Freeview PVR I've had has had it.

That one wouldn't be a deal breaker but this one would- it appears from what I've read that recordings don't have a 'resume' feature?? In other words you switch off a programme after 15 minutes, when you go back to it, you can select 'resume' or even ' go to 'XX'..'
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Old 24-06-2011, 19:48
stanandjan
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I Did only cost me 50 quid though. .

From Where please?

Stan
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Old 24-06-2011, 21:51
captainkremmen
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Looking for a replacement for my recently deceased Onn twin tuner box and I'm considering this one..

a couple of things concern me.. they are that it doesn't seem to have a 'jump forward' facility - I thought most Freeview recorders had these (in one or two minute intervals) - It's the one feature I really miss on my Sky+ box and every Freeview PVR I've had has had it.

That one wouldn't be a deal breaker but this one would- it appears from what I've read that recordings don't have a 'resume' feature?? In other words you switch off a programme after 15 minutes, when you go back to it, you can select 'resume' or even ' go to 'XX'..'
Who's been telling you that?.

The Vestel based Freeview SD recorders have jump forward/backward capability. Pressing the up/down keys jumps forward/back 30 seconds and the left/right keys jump forward/back 2 minutes.

The Digitalstream Freeview HD recorders (and others, such as the new Sony and Humax) also have the ability to jump forward/back but you set the interval yourself in the settings menus, from 30 seconds skip up to 2 minutes on HD recordings (up to 4 minutes on SD recordings). The Digitalstream and the others mentioned, also have the ability to continue watching a recording from where you left off.

The Dion mentioned is, I believe although I might be wrong, a Vestel clone. If so, then it too has the Vestel 30sec/2 minute skip features.
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Old 24-06-2011, 22:09
inabsentia
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Kind of implied here

http://www.ricability-digitaltv.org....n%20DTR250SS10

Skip 'x' seconds No
Start playback from a prescribed time No

Also on some user reviews I can't find now- said recordings had to be played form start of recording... thought it was a bit odd!!
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Old 25-06-2011, 00:17
creddish
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The Vestel based Freeview SD recorders have jump forward/backward capability. Pressing the up/down keys jumps forward/back 30 seconds and the left/right keys jump forward/back 2 minutes.
Not all the Vestels have 30s Skip.

The Dion mentioned is, I believe although I might be wrong, a Vestel clone. If so, then it too has the Vestel 30sec/2 minute skip features.
I don't believe the Dion is a Vestel clone.

Colin
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Old 05-07-2011, 17:18
Reelguy
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Hi All,
I have one of these Dion PVRs and am happy with it. Not bad for the money. 70 from Tesco's.
The instructions say It is supposed to have five FF speeds and five reverse speeds. But I have found you can get it to go forward very slowly if required as well ! .
Switch it to FF then press pause then FF again , The unit then has five slower speeds , x0.2,x0.3,x0.x4,x0.5........ Also I have found you can pause a programme whilst watching a live programme even though it isn't being recorded.
The picture and colour are quite good too.
Just my two pennorth.
Peter W
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Old 12-07-2011, 00:15
alternate
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Picked one up as a spare - 40 refurb.

Appart from the annoyances listed (no skip ahead XX or resume playback where you left it) it is pretty good for the money. If only the software was better it would be a steal.

Does anyone know if you can turn off "channel zero" - as in totally remove it from the EPG, get rid of the adverts in the EPG and stop it "suggesting other recordings" when you record a film?
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:42
brumlad36
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Picked one up as a spare - 40 refurb.

Appart from the annoyances listed (no skip ahead XX or resume playback where you left it) it is pretty good for the money. If only the software was better it would be a steal.

Does anyone know if you can turn off "channel zero" - as in totally remove it from the EPG, get rid of the adverts in the EPG and stop it "suggesting other recordings" when you record a film?
If it's possible to delete channels on your box, try deleting channel 306 (Channel Zero), and make sure the box does not auto-update channels. These facilities may not be available on your box.

Chris.
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Old 17-07-2011, 00:48
alternate
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thx, tried that before asking. Even though it gives the option to delete the channel it doesn't actually do anything. Getting more used to it though so not a deal-breaker.
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Old 17-07-2011, 21:37
elb0wf4ce
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Picked one up as a spare - 40 refurb.

Appart from the annoyances listed (no skip ahead XX or resume playback where you left it) it is pretty good for the money. If only the software was better it would be a steal.

Does anyone know if you can turn off "channel zero" - as in totally remove it from the EPG, get rid of the adverts in the EPG and stop it "suggesting other recordings" when you record a film?
You can't disable the recording suggestions and deleting Channel Zero (306) won't stop the box from downloading the content/ads. What I do is press and hold standby for a few seconds, which gives the option to turn the box off completely, then press standby again to switch the box back on. This will wipe all the interactive Channel Zero stuff that was downloaded while the box was in standby. I guess you could never put the box into standby, which means it will never download the ads and interactive content in the first place. You'll have to disable the auto-standby feature in settings, as the box is set to go into standby after 3 hours of inactivity. The box doesn't use a massive amount of power when on, so it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 23-08-2011, 01:57
audiofi
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I've just got one of these Dion pvr's .
Can anyone confirm that there is no way to resume a playback of a recording.
If this is so, it will have to go back, as it is already frustrating in this respect to me, as I watch most of my programmes in segments.
The unit seems to work o.k other than this, and for my need would be fine if it wasn't for the resume problem.
Perhaps there is a trick button you press ?

Thanks.

P.S. If it has no resume, then can anyone recommend a small pvr, (which is why I chose the above unit). All my other pvr's are Vestel and (as you will already know), are much bigger. Thanks.
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Old 23-08-2011, 01:58
gomezz
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So if you press Stop then press Play it does what? Start playback from the beginning again?
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Old 23-08-2011, 04:53
audiofi
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Yes, and I cannot find anything in the manual about it.
I might well keep it if it has this feature so hopefully someone will know how to resume it.
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Old 23-08-2011, 11:36
wizzywick
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One of the gripes I have is that occasionally (it happened whilst I was watching Doctor Who on my Sky+ box) whilst recording Doctor Who on my Dion box (so I can transfer it to DVD), the box switches automatically to the Ext position it's on and cancels the recording!

However, all in all though, I have been relatively happy with the box. But it struggles to pick up all the channels during high atmospheric weather conditions.
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Old 23-08-2011, 13:40
creddish
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P.S. If it has no resume, then can anyone recommend a small pvr, (which is why I chose the above unit). All my other pvr's are Vestel and (as you will already know), are much bigger. Thanks.
How old are your Vestel PVRs? The later Vestels, from the T835 hardware onwards are significantly smaller than previous hardware versions. They do however have only one SCART socket and reduced connectivity generally. So this could be an issue if you have several PVRs and wish to daisy chain them. As you are no doubt aware all the Vestels (with the Cabot/Vestel) software do have Resume.

Colin
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Old 23-08-2011, 14:31
azimo
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I have two Vestel PVRs (Alba T845 and a Hitchi HDR255) and both suffer with the same problems, slow epg, non responsive remotes, skipping during playback and niether have ever had a software upgrade, I think Vestel release new PVRs instead of fixing the faults on the previous model, customers are then left with a PVR that is a pain in the a*** to use, I would never buy another Vestel based PVR, the jury is still out on the Dion.
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Old 23-08-2011, 16:45
audiofi
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How old are your Vestel PVRs? The later Vestels, from the T835 hardware onwards are significantly smaller than previous hardware versions. They do however have only one SCART socket and reduced connectivity generally. So this could be an issue if you have several PVRs and wish to daisy chain them. As you are no doubt aware all the Vestels (with the Cabot/Vestel) software do have Resume.

Colin
I was considering this model sold in Comet :-

FERGUSON F20320DTR

From the EPG shown on their web site, it looks the same as the Vestel ones I have, but as you have said is much smaller (I actually saw this model in the shop and it is small, and with a 2.5 inch hdd).
What other models variations can be bought that is vestel and similar to the Ferguson, i.e. are any of the Argos ones similar, or the ones sold in Asda ?

As regards Vestel PVR's not being upgraded with software (as another poster said), I totally agree with that, however, of the few machines I have had, for instance I had a Ferguson topup tv model (the rounded model type), which did get updates, was a pain to use and the updates would sometimes make the machine worse than it was, on the other had, the Vestel ones I have (from memory they are T810 and 825), are pretty stable in comparison; They do lock up every now and then, recordings often have "micro jumps" where it jumps a second or two when watching (so you can miss important dialogue), miss the odd recording (very rare to do this), sometimes doesn't end when it should, i.e. will record for hours instead of. say an hour, but with all things considered, these are the best PVR's I have ever used, have the most logical layout of any unit I have used, and no-one would need a manual to work out how to use them. Also the remote is the best designed remote of any PVR without exception, so if I can get a small version of these PVR's I already have, I think my search would be over.

Thanks.
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