Author Topic: Which PVR should I get?  (Read 2439 times)

Offline allie181

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Which PVR should I get?
« on: April 30, 2015, 03:37:49 PM »
I have a Beyonwiz DP-Lite.  I am considering giving it to my mum so she can record shows as she frequently complains that she falls asleep and misses the end of shows.

There are 2 key features I want:

1) a PVR that has built in wifi / networking capabilities (to avoid the nightmare that I endured setting up a router to my DP-Lite to access ice-tv and network with my laptop).

2) a PVR that will play the most common file types including eg mp4 (currently I have to convert/recode mp4s to another format in order to stream them from my computer on my wiz).

I don't need a big hard drive in the PVR as I don't record much.  250GB would be plenty.

I would like the cheapest option that has the above features and that is reliable in its streaming.  Any suggestions? 

(There are so many more options now than there were back when I bought my DP-Lite that it would take me days to research them all myself, which is why I am hoping my fellow icetv fans can narrow it down for me - thanks!)

Offline Paul55

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Re: Which PVR should I get?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2015, 05:34:27 PM »
It will still be hard to better a DP series for what you want. If you can still get one, the price has dropped significantly.
I've never had problems networking my DPs - either by ethernet cable or wireless bridge. Others report that EOP (Etherenet Over Power) devices also work well. Dongles are inherently flaky and should be avoided.

Offline Dave at IceTV

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Re: Which PVR should I get?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2015, 01:29:59 PM »
Hi Allie,

I assume you are referring to having trouble setting up shared folders and folder permissions so that your DP-Lite could see and play media files off your laptop.

It sounds like you want the PVR to be able to see shared folders/drives on your laptop (using SMB, aka Samba). The only available good PVRs that I know can do that are the old DP series Beyonwizes and the new T3 Beyonwiz. The T3 Beyonwiz also does the opposite: The laptop can see the T3's recordings in a shared folder on the network.

So the T3 has a WiFi dongle available (and can use most other USB WiFi dongles), The T3 can play all common files types. The T3 is available in HDD sizes from 500GB up to 4TB (plus a 'bare bones' model with no HDD fitted - you fit your own HDD, or use an external HDD or record to a shared folder on your network).

The only box it does not tick out your requirements is price. The T3 starts at $599 for the 500GB model.

If you don't need access to shared folders on your laptop you have more choices. All PVRs that can use IceTV can play media off your laptop as long as your laptop is running a DLNA media server service. Windows media player can be set to be a basic DLNA media server but there are plenty of good free and shareware DLNA media server software available (for Windows, Mac and Linux - and phone and tablets). The better DLNA media server software can transcode the videos on the fly so that a PVR which cannot play a certain file type can now play it.

The DP series Beyonwiz PVRs never had DLNA media server or client support (though they did use a variation of UPNP to see and be seen by other DP Beyonwizes and the WizPNP software). But the T3 does have DLNA, as does the Skippa and Topfield and Humax and Strong PVRs (with varying success). I believe the Altech 9600 does as well (and it is 1/2 the price of a T3). Smart TVs and phone and tablets have DLNA media clients and some had servers as well.

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Offline IanL-S

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Re: Which PVR should I get?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2015, 03:20:19 PM »
But the T3 does have DLNA, as does the Skippa and Topfield and Humax and Strong PVRs (with varying success). I believe the Altech 9600 does as well (and it is 1/2 the price of a T3). Smart TVs and phone and tablets have DLNA media clients and some had servers as well.

Only the Topfield TRF-2400/2470, TF-T6000 and TF-T6211 support DLNA. The best results I have had is where both the DLNA Player and the DLNA Server are Topfield PVRs. The TRF-2400/2470 are not particularity good at playing content from other devices such as computers. The TF-T6000 is much better, and the TF-T6211 which supports Android Apps is quite flexible. It is possible to use the FTP server to play recordings on any Toppy that has a Broadcom BCM7335 processor such as the TF7100HDPVRt, TRF-7160/7170/7260/2400/2460/2470.

« Last Edit: May 05, 2015, 03:30:54 PM by IanL-S »
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Offline DeltaMikeCharlie

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Re: Which PVR should I get?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2015, 05:27:07 PM »
There is a TAP that will allow a Topfield PVR to become an NFS server.

Linux/MacOS should be able to mount these natively and there are a few tools for Windows that will also allow access to NFS shares.

Offline NBOSTI

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Re: Which PVR should I get?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2015, 04:27:02 AM »
The options of which PVR to buy is narrowed by your criteria. IceTV Interactive models have become less available since I first subscribed to the service 7 years ago. I started with a Topfield TF7100HD+, served me well for many years until I finally had to ditch it last year. It was a firmware problem, not the hardware that failed, although I did replace the hard-drive once.

Shortly before I bought that Toppy I bought my first Mac, a late 2006 Mac Mini and subsequently bought an EyeTV Diversity USB Sick from IceTV.
I have never had a problem with EyeTV and now use that exclusively.
I now run a later model Mini (mid 2010 ) with 2 Diversity sticks connected giving me 4 tuners capable of recording  4 different channels simultaneously. I also run a third Diversity stick on my iMac to handle any conflicting schedules, which are rare as the EyeTV software has excellent padding and scheduling management.
The EyeTV comes with Windows software too , but I have never run it on that platform, so can't attest to the reliability there.
My set up is:
Mac Mini to HDTV via HDMI; each of the 2 Diversity USB sticks connected to a different Bus ( I use USB Ports 1 and 3 );  one installation of the EyeTV software,with the archive on a 1Tb external drive.
The recordings are easily edited, can be exported(converted) to any format andare flawless.
With a third Diversity stick on the iMac I can record more, simply edit and copy the recording to the Minis EyeTV archive to play back on the HDTV. Be sure to quit  and restart the EyeTV  app on the receiving Mac for the recording to be registered.
I am also still running the Mini on Snow Leopard. Simply because it is in my opinion the most stable of all OSX and while not having the most up to date security features it has one feature that subsequent systems lack, FrontRow.
The Mini is ideal as a HTPC  and FrontRow is ideal to play all media files. Add a plug-in called PyeTV and FrontRow will access your EyeTv archive too, allowing you to delete recordings, watch live broadcasts and more.

Sorry for the long winded rant. I think that the EyeTV option could work out cheaper for some people and offer superior perfomance than some stand alone PVR's, and I have read that the EyeTv software works seamlessly with the much cheaper Hauppage tuner sticks,...again I have not tested this.

To sum up, an old lap top with a fairly cheap TV USB Stick and some good (if rather a bit more expensive) software (EyeTV 3)  makes a better PVR than anything out there. With the added benefit of adding media serververs such as Plex, xbmc or any other DLNA capable servers you can stream direct to most Smart TV's.

Ellie, have fun exploring the possibilities of that laptop, but remember I have not verified the compatibility of EyeTV with Windows nor Hauppage with EyeTV.

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