Digital STBs

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Hi all,

I'm looking to buy a cheap and simple set-top-box for my parent's
analogue television.

I've had a quick look around, and I see some pretty cheap STBs at Dick
Smith's, especially the "Bush" branded ones.

Does anyone have any recommendations against these "Bush" STBs before I
potentially waste my time/money? Alternatively, does anyone have any
suggestions for a cheap and simple digital STB? Don't need anything
fancy, just access to digital channels and hopefully some reliability
(i.e it won't blow itself up).

I've never bought or played with one, so I don't have any experience
with them.

Thanks for any help,

Regards,

Ross..

Re: Digital STBs
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I had to replace the electro's in my Digicrystal PVR.
Topfield are the ducks guts, but expensive.
I've heard quite good things about the Bush units.

It's all about usability really. Little things can really bug you,
like unstable firmware that resets your channel list, load audio pops
when an appliance switches on or your garage roller door opens and
closes. Screen freezing up for extended periods because it can't
recover from an arror. Unfortunately you usually don't know these
things until after you buy one and try it in your situation.

Get a HD box, the image image quality is MUCH better, and not just
because it's HD. Try watching fast moving sports action on an SD box,
it's awful, the MPEG compression makes it almost unwatchable
sometimes.
Plus you get extra channels on HD.
No need for a HD TV to get benefits from a HD box. But HD boxes start
around $90-$100 or so.

Dave.

Re: Digital STBs

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I had reasonable success with a Strong STB about $60 from Hardly Normal.
  Does HD.  Runs cool.  Occasionally needs a power cycle ( switch on the
back of the unit - wonders ! )

--
Regards,

Adrian Jansen           adrianjansen at internode dot on dot net
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Re: Digital STBs
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That's very cheap for a HD box.
How long does it take to start up?, and how fast is the channel
switch?
I hope the stock issue has been resolved too, some time back you could
hardly find a reasonable priced HD STB in stock in Oz.

Dave.

Re: Digital STBs
Hi,


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60$ is cheap, I didn't think a reasonable quality HD box could be bought
for so low. I read about the stock issues with HD boxes, but there are
plenty around now in the stores. Maybe it was a pre-Olympic rush that
sold them out, and the importers/distributors didn't anticipate the demand..

Regards,

Ross..

Re: Digital STBs


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Only a few seconds to start up.  And channel switch is virtually
instant.  Much better than the Samsung DVD recorder I just bought, which
is painfully slow.

--
Regards,

Adrian Jansen           adrianjansen at internode dot on dot net
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Digital STBs
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My Topfield 7010 takes about 10 seconds to start up, but channel
change is instant.

Dave.

Re: Digital STBs
Hi,


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Thanks for all the advice gents.

I bought a "Bush DFTA10HD" HD STB from DSE in the end, and I'm quite
happy with the quality and features, apart from all these scratch marks
on the front fascia that were probably there from the factory. Anyway
does everything my parents need, and the remote/interface was easy
enough for them to figure out.

In case it's of any interest, I'll mention that it has selectable aspect
ratio, which is useful for those 4:3 CRTs and apparently often a missing
feature from the low end STBs, from what I've read.

Regards,

Ross..

Re: Digital STBs
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Check that there is not a clear protective plastic covering the front. A
lot of these units have one, and the plastic covering often looks
scratched, but when peeled off, leaves a unscratched panel underneath.

David

Re: Digital STBs
Hi,


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Thanks for the tip! I initially looked for this plastic but could not
find it and assumed it was scratched, however I paid more careful
attention now and was able to peel it. It was so thin and tight, that it
wasnt obvious it was even there..

Regards,

Ross..

Re: Digital STBs
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I've encountered that many times. Some stuff I've had for years and
only realise it had an almost invisible film on it when it got
scratched or whatever. Amazingly good stuff.

Dave.

Re: Digital STBs

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I bought one of those Bush set top boxes - pic was OK but sound was way
out of sync with lips.

I rang their help line (same day I bought the unit) - and was advised I
needed to talk to their tech support line - but until I queried them, on
a hunch, they didn't want to let me know that to do that would cost me
$3.50 a minute

Retuned it, got a refund, and bought a Topfield - which is great

David

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