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IceTV Guide for IceTV enabled PVRs => SKIPPA => Topic started by: IanL-S on October 30, 2015, 07:00:32 PM

Title: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: IanL-S on October 30, 2015, 07:00:32 PM
Got an email today saying that Choice had done a group tests of PVRs. The SKIPPA was not one of the recommended ones (not clear from the www site why). But it did out-perform the Altech 9600. It scored very highly on EPG and series recording. I will report more once I get my copy. Yes I know printed copy is so 20th century ... forgot to change my subscription details to get the iPad version (and that would have saved me money).

Ian
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: stretch4x4 on October 30, 2015, 10:03:43 PM
Been keen to have a read of that..
Started looking at some of the other options on the market just out of interest and would be keen to see a full comparison
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: warkus on October 30, 2015, 11:19:20 PM
I have an electronic choice subscription Ian, what is it you would like to know?

The humax 4tune seemed to come out on top.

The Skippa scored 64% overall, same as the Beyonwiz T4. No idea how, they are light years apart.

Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: warkus on October 30, 2015, 11:23:49 PM
As listed on choice...(I did have to have a little laugh I'm sorry)...

Good points   
•Automatic commercial skip
•Supports Freeview Plus EPG
•Supports IceTV EPG
•Series recording picks up all instances of the selected program, regardless of time or channel
•Can record up to six programs simultaneously
•Internet access required

Bad points   
•Company has gone into voluntary administration
•No facility to edit recordings
•No manual scheduling facility
•Can't rename recordings


So they still reviewed it and at least mentioned that the company was in administration, that's one thing at least...

Mark

Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: stretch4x4 on October 31, 2015, 08:59:15 AM
Interesting the 4tune did seem to tick most of the boxes..
My only issues ah I wish it could record more than 4 things is sub streams.. And had a PC app to stream live tv to not just iPhone and Android..
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: Jondalar on November 03, 2015, 05:50:50 PM
Intersting that the 4Tune won, I've had one almost a year and barely used it due to the clunky EPG and no IceTV, sticking with the Topfield 2400 instead.  I will say the Humax has a better picture quality though.  Mine is in for repair currently as it stopped maintaining the clock on standby and then started refusing to power the pass through antenna on standby also.  I find the Skippa a very easy to use device and while the quality doesn't feel that great it's worked very well so far.
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: Paul55 on November 03, 2015, 06:36:19 PM
I find Choice to be next to useless when reviewing equipment such as PVRs. Likewise computer magazines.
They tend to look at the comparison from a technical viewpoint and ignore 'usability' and functions that can only be appreciated/despised after some time with the device.
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: prl on November 03, 2015, 06:39:56 PM
I agree about Choice not being all that good a guide on PVRs.

The previous PVR review in Choice (print version Aug 2015) marked the T3/2TB down to 0% on standby power consumption. They clearly measured standby rather than deep standby power.
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: csutak40 on November 04, 2015, 12:11:26 AM
I find Choice to be next to useless when reviewing equipment such as PVRs. Likewise computer magazines.
They tend to look at the comparison from a technical viewpoint and ignore 'usability' and functions that can only be appreciated/despised after some time with the device.

They seem to be bad at reviewing lots of things lately.  Coffee machines is a good example.  Or a while back, they compared ovens, some brands the top of the line  and others not.  Surprisingly, the top of the line could do things the one not the top of the line could not (however, had they reviewed the top of the line of that brand, it could also do the same thing)  I often find the comments by members are more helpful than the actual review.  Some of the stuff they do make no sense.  The highest recommended model may have a list of "bad points" then the next one down the line  has "nothing to mention" for bad points, yet it got second place - no explanation.
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: simoncasey on November 04, 2015, 10:28:32 AM
The biggest problem for me with choice was the relative weighting they put on their assessments. I often found they weren't appropriate to me but if I was to re rank the items based on my weighting a then it would give a good result. Eg as per prl's comments above, if you generate your own power then standby power usage may not be important so would be rated much lower. If you want the product for an older generation then ease of use and easy to read remote and screen would be much higher rated.
I've always thought it would be great if the online version of choice allowed you to set your own weightings. Still use their assessment of each component, but you could choose which ones were important to you and see what comes to the top of the list.
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: IanL-S on November 04, 2015, 11:38:16 AM
Yes, needs of users are diverse.

I think the SKIPPA would be ideal for my mother-in-law (83 years young).

While I like a lot of things about the SKIPPA, the absence of renaming recordings and not ftp means that it is relegated to a backup device when it come to recording.

Ian
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: emmsee on November 04, 2015, 12:02:15 PM
Could someone supply a list of choice pvr's compared with there relative score?
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: create on November 04, 2015, 12:26:34 PM
Humax 4Tune   74%
Panasonic DMR-BWT955GL   74%
LG HR949T   73%
Panasonic DMR-HWT250GL   73%
Panasonic DMR-PWT550GL   73%
Humax 2tune   71%
Beyonwiz T3   66%
Beyonwiz T4   64%
IceTV Skippa   64%
Topfield TRF-5310   64%
Beyonwiz T2   63%
Fetch TV M605T   63%
Altech PVR9600   52%
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: IanL-S on November 04, 2015, 01:29:43 PM
My understanding is that the TRF-5300 series have not yet been released to market. These units use old technology (unlike many of those reviewed). It uses the same SoC (System On Chip) as the TRF-2400 that I purchased in December 2009. It offers less than the 2400 (no analogue input, no eSATA port and no fan to keep its insides cool).

In its defence, it was under-rated as it does have series recording (via IceTV Interactive); it even has a native series recording (may only be a re-badged IR - Intelligent recording - from the 2400).

Ian
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: nis200sx on November 04, 2015, 03:42:08 PM
Humax 4Tune   74%
Panasonic DMR-BWT955GL   74%
LG HR949T   73%
Panasonic DMR-HWT250GL   73%
Panasonic DMR-PWT550GL   73%
Humax 2tune   71%
Beyonwiz T3   66%
Beyonwiz T4   64%
IceTV Skippa   64%
Topfield TRF-5310   64%
Beyonwiz T2   63%
Fetch TV M605T   63%
Altech PVR9600   52%

Apparently they tested the Skippa with early firmware and didn't update it to the latest version (even though software updates is a feature of the box via a simple menu click).

How did the T3 beat the T4? Maybe they didn't like the T4 remote control. And somehow the T2, T3 and T4 each got different scores for their (identical) EPGs.
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: TimC on November 04, 2015, 04:02:52 PM
Given that they listed the company going into Administration as on of the bad points I'm amazed they the Skippa at 64% (perhaps they didn't realize that the Skippa becomes a brick without IceTV.

I can only take that it would have rated much higher without the Administration issue.
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: warkus on November 04, 2015, 04:18:16 PM
I doubt that it would have rated any higher at all...

They show how they came out with the scores, and being in administration, whilst definitely an issue that I would consider important if i was choosing a new unit, is not part of their scoring matrix. Possibly it lost a little bit for that but when looking at how they score them, you can see that it didn't really come into it.

I personally don't think that the review is worth 2 knobs of goat turd, so anyone that puts faith into its findings is going to find that out the hard way.

PVR units like this need real world testing, not just scores based on feature sets and power consumption. The review is worthless. Look at the T3 scoring higher than the T4...

Lol. Thats a joke right there let alone anything else. The T3 is a POS compared to the T4 in terms of both hardware quality, speed and features.

It's a typical choice review, completed without any actual experience of the products themselves.



Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: simoncasey on November 04, 2015, 04:52:54 PM
PVR units like this need real world testing, not just scores based on feature sets and power consumption. The review is worthless. Look at the T3 scoring higher than the T4...

Lol. Thats a joke right there let alone anything else. The T3 is a POS compared to the T4 in terms of both hardware quality, speed and features.
I saw that the T3 was rated higher compared to the T4 and wondered that and then thought and could see why they did that. The T3 has almost the same features as the T4 but is quite a bit cheaper.

But I'm interested by your assessment of the T3 compared to the T4. A friend who replaced a T3 with a T4 noticed very little difference. I have a T3 and have only had a few goes with the T4.
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: TimC on November 04, 2015, 05:05:51 PM
It's a typical choice review, completed without any actual experience of the products themselves.

Don't disagree.  I can see that its difficult to compare this type of produce.

The things that make one unit stand out from the others is usually minor in context with what they compare on. It's usually a personal choice as well.

One of the things I really like about the Skippa is the fact that when two programs being recorded follow each other, the padding applies to both recordings. Something my Toppys don't do. Whether something like this would be captured in a Choice review is doubtful. It's something that you only develop an appreciation for when you miss something critical to a story between recordings.

Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: simoncasey on November 04, 2015, 05:23:18 PM
The things that make one unit stand out from the others is usually minor in context with what they compare on. It's usually a personal choice as well.

One of the things I really like about the Skippa is the fact that when two programs being recorded follow each other, the padding applies to both recordings. Something my Toppys don't do. Whether something like this would be captured in a Choice review is doubtful. It's something that you only develop an appreciation for when you miss something critical to a story between recordings.
Those things do make a difference, don't they. The old beyonwizes didn't do that but the newer T series do that same thing.
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: warkus on November 04, 2015, 05:45:24 PM
 :o

How did your friend notice little difference? OMG...

This is a  simple explanation of the difference between them, there's a lot more to it than this, but ill be brief...I have both units BTY..

The T3 hardware is poor. It's like the S1 when it first came out, almost a beta of a P1 and P2. Lots and lots of areas of common fault and breakdown, especially the tuners. The T4 is HUGELY improved hardware wise. That alone is not "testable" without choice taking them apart and evaluating them, but even then without real world experience about the hardware its impossible to properly test that point, so in other words no review like Choice completed will ever reliably report these things...

So hardware quality aside lets look at the T4 differences... Well compared to the T3, the T4 has...

* Gig LAN vs 100mb
* HDMI IN vs no input
* WAAAAAAYYYYYY FASTER CPU vs SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW - I cannot believe that your friend didn't notice a difference in boot time alone, its close to 3 times faster at booting up from deep standby.
* Hardware quality improvements beyond belief
* IMHO better quality tuners
* 4 of them too vs 3 in the T3
* Way better OLED front display vs similar crappy display to the older wizes, that on many machines has uneven brightness from one side to the other (another wonderful quality control issue on the T3)
* Vastly simpler and improved PSU
* Actual 1080p output vs 1080i

I really am amazed he couldn't notice any difference... They are like chalk and cheese.

I've been testing a T3 to train up my wife on it before I purchased the T4, and even she has noticed a huge difference.



Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: simoncasey on November 04, 2015, 06:02:32 PM
So hardware quality aside lets look at the T4 differences... Well compared to the T3, the T4 has...

I really am amazed he couldn't notice any difference... They are like chalk and cheese.

I've been testing a T3 to train up my wife on it before I purchased the T4, and even she has noticed a huge difference.
Interesting the value those things are to different people:
* Gig LAN vs 100mb - only streaming so hasn't noticed any impact in LAN speed
* HDMI IN vs no input - doesn't use it
* WAAAAAAYYYYYY FASTER CPU vs SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW - I cannot believe that your friend didn't notice a difference in boot time alone, its close to 3 times faster at booting up from deep standby. - Doesn't switch it to deep standby so boot time isn't affected, but the faster processor is noticeable.
* Hardware quality improvements beyond belief - but would a user notice until it failed as you mentioned
* IMHO better quality tuners - didn't notice that much difference
* 4 of them too vs 3 in the T3 - free usb tuner in the T3 gives you 4 tuners
* Way better OLED front display vs similar crappy display to the older wizes, that on many machines has uneven brightness from one side to the other (another wonderful quality control issue on the T3) - used to sit in cupboard so didn't see the screen but the T4 gets much hotter than the T3 so had to be removed from the cupboard
* Vastly simpler and improved PSU - again, hoping not to have to worry about the difference
* Actual 1080p output vs 1080i - but most digital tv is still SD

As I said, it's just interesting how user requirements vary so much and I can see that a T4 is better than a T3 but it offers little new extra functionality for the extra price. It's like a newer model with improved hardware rather than a next model up. Like going from an iphone5 to an iPhone5s.

The main thing he noticed was the faster speed and that it gets a lot hotter.
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: warkus on November 04, 2015, 07:06:49 PM
Ok, well that's a fair call I guess Simon, it does depend on whats important to you i suppose, looking at it from your perspective you have a valid point...

Having said that, I'm looking at it more from a review point of view in terms of differences.

There is NO WAY that the T3 should have rated higher than the T4 and there is NO WAY i would ever recommend a T3, like ever, over a T4...

I think choice have it very wrong...
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: simoncasey on November 04, 2015, 07:16:15 PM
Ok, well that's a fair call I guess Simon, it does depend on whats important to you i suppose, looking at it from your perspective you have a valid point...

Having said that, I'm looking at it more from a review point of view in terms of differences.

There is NO WAY that the T3 should have rated higher than the T4 and there is NO WAY i would ever recommend a T3, like ever, over a T4...

I think choice have it very wrong...
I'll admit I haven't seen the choice article in detail and agree it is odd. The fact that they were rated roughly the same makes me think the assessment was based on functionality that the two share and are similar in - and very little credit would go to the T4 being able to do each function faster or better etc. Also, the T4 is roughly 30% more expensive than a T3, so there is that.

But I agree with your point, I wouldn't recommend a T3 over a T4 as the T4 is basically a newer and betterererer T3. If you wanted something cheaper, the T2 is good value with a usb tuner.

Anyway, interesting discussion that just shows how differently items and functions are valued based on peoples requirements. I know you've had a long history working on the insides of pvrs which adds a different insight too.
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: raymondjpg on November 19, 2015, 12:12:09 PM
... Well compared to the T3, the T4 has...

[snip]

* IMHO better quality tuners


This is the only place I could find your opinion on quality of tuners in the T series.

What is your opinion of the tuners in the T2? Do they come up to the standard of those in the T4?

Also how would the tuner quality of a T2 compare to that of a  Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2200?
Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: warkus on November 19, 2015, 12:54:50 PM
That's probably because I haven't posted a lot on the T series and their hardware.

The T3 was actually the first released in the T series, and the hardware is less than impressive, IMHO.

The T4 and the T2 are both way improved in terms of hardware, but unfortunately I have never personally tested the tuners in the T2 or the hauppauge either so can't really comment on how they perform.

Title: Re: Choice PVR review - November 2015
Post by: raymondjpg on November 19, 2015, 02:34:10 PM
The T4 and the T2 are both way improved in terms of hardware, but unfortunately I have never personally tested the tuners in the T2 or the hauppauge either so can't really comment on how they perform.

Thanks for the response.