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80GB FREEVIEW TV Recorder! (Refurb) (£58.74!!! Instore)

£58.74 @ Morgan Computers
Just saw this in morgan computers window. 80GB Freeview hard disk recorder - no tapes or disks required, receive around 30 free digital TV channels, pause/rewind live TV and TopUp TV slot 80GB… Read More
insideman Avatar
1d, 2m agoFound 1 decade, 2 months ago
Just saw this in morgan computers window.

80GB Freeview hard disk recorder - no tapes or disks required, receive around 30 free digital TV channels, pause/rewind live TV and TopUp TV slot


80GB hard disk storage - up to 40 hours recording time
Integrated Freeview digital receiver - no subscription required
Receive around 30 free digital TV channels and 20 free digital radio stations
Pause and rewind l;ive TV, 7 day electronic program guide (EPG)
One touch recording, includes remote control
TopUp TV card slot for additional pay TV channels
Stock Status-Factory refurb * Warranty-Six month warranty
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insideman Avatar
1d, 2m agoFound 1 decade, 2 months ago
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#1
Digital Spy Review
Basics and Set Up

At first glance, especially with the unit switched on and the large green LED clock/ channel number gently glaring, you could be forgiven for thinking that this was a new model Humax, so similar are the aesthetics. Personally, its very smart looking with a neat reflective embossed Ferguson logo in the centre of the frony panel, rather screen printed, making it feel more luxurious (you can PM me for photos).

The expected, faint, whine of the hard disc brings the FPVR1T to life and a blue screen with a clear white font announces that setup has commenced and the channel scan from start to finish takes 3 minutes. It also announces that there is 44 hours of recording time available and plenty of information such as signal network (Waltham for me), all neatly laid out. A quick flick through channels begins to impress, reminding me of the speed of my Sony DVB tuner (VTX-D800U) – yes it’s that quick! Channel changing can be done from the front Humax style dial on the front panel or the remote...

The remote control supplied is generic (no Ferguson logo… remember other companies such as Comet use the basic unit too), is smaller than most, however, is well laid out and intuitive to use, albeit you must use the up/ down cursor keys to change channels – there are no separate channel change buttons! You can control the volume output from the Ferguson and there is a mute button too – helpful.

Pressing the Menu button on the remote gives a Setup option. For example, you can choose TV formats (4:3 or 16:9), signal output (eg. RGB, CVBS or S-Video). Perhaps to keep the cost down, there is no RF modulation, which may seem odd to some users, however in reality for most is not a problem and if necessary RF channels can be changed on other equipment being used.

One other thing to note is that, unlike my Panasonic TU-CTH100, on switching on the unit from standby, there is no irritating delay whatsoever in accessing the Guide other other Menu features.

The EPG and Recording

On pressing the Guide button, the transition from live TV to EPG is almost instantaneous (relative to my super fast Sony DVB tuner and especially so compared to my slow TU-CTH100 twin tuner from Panasonic!). There are 4 parts to the screen – top left quarter is a live TV channel picture with sound, with adjacent quarter describing the programme. Bottom left quarter shows 5 channels, with adjacent quarter showing a table of 2 hours of programmes for each of them. For the latter, using the cursor keys on the remote you can navigate very quickly around the table, and the Yellow and Blue “teletext” buttons help you jump through the days – very neat, very Humax!

Continuing from the same table, to record, it could not be simpler… just move the white cursor over the programme, press the OK button, and the block in the table turns red and remains red to remind you that you have set it to record. To unset, simply do the above again and the block goes back to clear – I like it http://images.digitalspy.co.uk/forum/smilies/cool.gif

So hear comes a negative… you can only set 8 programmes to record! That’s fine for a weekend a way (and only just), but for a week let alone two, oh dear! Granted, you do get the option for daily, weekly and weekend repeats which will improve on that, but for soap addicts and their programming all over the place, it's very poor consolation. By the way, manually setting (via Recording Scheduler) does not help further – it’s a total of 8 programmes whether it’s EPG or manually done! A simple OTA patch should be able to double if not triple this aspect, especially considering the hard disc has 44 hours recording capability.

If a programme has already started and you want to record it, there are 3 ways to do this. Just press the white with red dot Record button once, it assumes you want to record to the end of the programme (and pads it with 5 minutes, so long as there are no other programming conflicts); press it twice, and like with many PVRs , Instant Record, however rather than blocks of 30 minutes, you can do this by the minute, though this is could be cumbersome; or press the Guide button, highlight and OK the current programme – all in all very easy.

Unlike most PVRs, the EPG set recordings are automatically padded out by 5 minutes (with no means to switch off or change duration) at the end, so long as there are no other set recordings that might conflict. With 44 hours recording capacity, this is a desired and welcome feature http://images.digitalspy.co.uk/forum/smilies/cool.gif

Playback

Press the Menu button and then select Recordings. A well laid out scrollable linear table occupies the lower half of the screen with programme title, date, time and duration. Top left is a preview screen, top right describes the recorded programme you have highlighted. The linear table even informs you if a programme is recording (a white circle with red dot)… and if this so happens to be the one you want to watch despite having not finished recording… yes, it performs "Chase Play" admirably – great http://images.digitalspy.co.uk/forum/smilies/biggrin.gif

For the rest of the recordings, it’s simply a matter highlighting (by using the cursor keys) the recording, view in the preview screen to remind you about it and press OK to play. Like my Panasonic, it offers you to play from the last point it was stopped at or view from the beginning. You can protect recordings from being deleted and further (and oddly) for 1 or 2 weeks or 1 or 2 months – in my mind the former would be just fine.

Time-shifting/ Pause Live TV – it works well, with the added bonus of allowing you to save this buffered recording (e.g. you get a phone call, and then you have no time to view until much later on) http://images.digitalspy.co.uk/forum/smilies/cool.gif. Fast forward/ rewind is limited up to x 48 (ample for most), with no visible jitter, however on moving from high speed playback to normal play, it's as though it has to slow down (its not immediate), odd, but you get used to it.

TopUpTV

Whilst I hope TUTV survives (and perhaps get better), the installed smartcard reader is no bad thing and perhaps will be used for other PayTV events or programming in the future. I am a TUTV subscriber and have to say decoding is quick with minimal picture degradation.

Some dangerous bits!

The Ferguson might offer Parental Controls to stop the children viewing certain channels, but idiot proof locks are required too! If you are like me and play around with options, programmers normally try to warn you that you could be performing a nasty! Basically, the Software Reset option brings up a window to warn you of what you are about to do, and if you press OK, there is NO back out (with are you really sure… are you really, really sure… enter your PIN)…ALL data (including recordings) is wiped

If you want to change channel whilst recording, most PVRs will announce that the action is not possible – phew! Not this one, it states that it will stop recording the channel being recorded and change the channel. Once again, there is NO back out (with are you really sure… etc). The only time this “feature” could be useful is if you want to actually stop recording a programme set via the EPG, as there is no other way to do it, documented or otherwise.

Noise

With all of this happening in the background I ought to mention the noise, or rather the lack of background noise. This unit is supremely quiet. The underside of the box shows provision for a fan, however, no fan is installed. There is the odd click now then of the hard disc (mainly during fast play back), but in the main I would have no hesitation in placing this unit in the bedroom (in fact for my testing this is where it has been and the wife has not complained!) http://images.digitalspy.co.uk/forum/smilies/sleep.gif

Marks out of 10?[LIST]
[*]Picture quality: 10 (no difference between live & recorded, natural colours, very pleasing)
[*]Sound quality: 8 (very good stereo separation, with possible digital out)
[*]User interface: 8 (intuitive; could do with a choice of background colours)
[*]Features/ perfomance: 9 (all that I would want from a single tuner and very, very quiet)
[*]Reliability: 9 (to date!)
[*]TUTV compatibility: 9
[*]Oddities: 5 (the dangerous bits – you have been warned)
[*]Manual: 9 (very clearly written and well laid out)
[*]Build Quality: 9
[*]Value for money: 9 (@ £119.99, inc SCART cable, from Currys and Dixons only)
[*]TOTAL:8.5 out of 10 – Go and buy it, you won’t regret it (... and I do not work for DLG!)[/LIST]NB - A score of 9 would be given with improvement on the number of recordings, and to protect us from the “dangerous bits”! 10 would be for a twin tuner and possibly RF modulation version of this Ferguson. I gave and still give my Humax PVR8000T 7.5 out of 10 and Panasonic TU-CTH100 6 out of 10).

Machine reviewed with firmware/ software 1.2.1; CA Mediaguard Library:1.5.1




Just to add a little more emphasis - it is a REFURB so bare that in mind if buying!
#2
And it is £70.49 including P&P!(delivery charge £11.75 (inc VAT)) Moderators please amend the price.
#3
Linky

Ferguson FPVR1T Digital Freeview Recorder Post Date: Feb 05, 2006
Reviewer: L. Barber from Scotland - See all reviews by L. Barber

Review:
This receiver seemed to be ideal, a good brand name good styling and an 80GB hard drive at a very reasonable cost. Initially I was very pleased and the item gave very good results.

After 3 weeks use it started giving problems. Some previously received channels were not decoded and reported in the on-screen banner as "NO SIGNAL" Signal quality "0". The channels affected were numbers 5, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 32, 33, 36, 72, 73, 74, 82, 83, & 84. It rapidly became a frequent necessity to carry out regular software resets, power off resets and retuning to get these channels back. Retuning would get all channels again but the same ones would disappear again within minutes.

I returned the item to the well known high street shop from which it was purchased and they immediately suggested a replacement - from a different manufacturer! They stated that virtually every one they had sold had been returned with the exact same fault. Batch or design problem?
#4
he said £58 INSTORE
#5
It's £58.74 instore as title suggests
#6
My dad has this machine and has been very pleased with it. It is essentially the same machine as the Fusion FVRT90/95.

The only thing to watch out for is the software version. This machine was made by Access Devices Ltd who have since gone bust so there won't be any more updates so, unless this already has the most up to date software, then it never will have.

An absolute bargain at the in-store price.
#7
Refurb ah wot --cold
#8
where the hells morgans?
#9
StuDaPoo
where the hells morgans?


Here is a list of the stores :
http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/Contact/contact.asp
#10
I've had endless trouble with cheaper PVRs bought as a gift: I ended up paying double for a HUMAX which hasn't given one second of trouble. I'd not be surprised if the 'factory refurb' you're buying here is actually mine :)

Cold here I'm afraid
#11
Everyone keeps quoting Humax as the brand to buy. Are they ever discounted anywhere ?
banned#12
Maybe the factory refurb was just to update the software to correct the glitches.
#14
ive heard the topfields are the ones to go for above humax. any recommendations out there?
#15
hessian
Everyone keeps quoting Humax as the brand to buy. Are they ever discounted anywhere ?


best deal for Humax PVR9200T i can find is dixons (argh!!) £177.90 inc p&p from which you can deduct 2.5% quidco... just now need to explain to misses the importance of having just bought one!
#16
davebach172
ive heard the topfields are the ones to go for above humax. any recommendations out there?


Don't think either is 'better' but Topfield is the one to use for people who love fiddling and adapting the software/interface as you can upload software other people have created. Whereas Humax is great for people who don't want to bother with all that stuff - just plug and play.

I have a humax for over 6 months and its brilliant - very reliable and a great gadget.
#17
I have a DUAL from Asda which was £80, and cannot tell you what a bargain it was. Its truly incredible. it is 80gb like this one, can be cracked to record twice.
#18
Please don't shoot a newbie, or a technological idiot..

I just had to send back my TV which had integrated freeview. Now i'm back to using an old CRT, but I need a freeview player. This looks nice, considering it's got the 80G recordable HD.

Anyway, it says "Receive around 30 free digital TV channels and 20 free digital radio stations" I thought I got more channels than that with my old freeview - do all FV boxes receive the same amount of channels (and this is just average) or would I lose channels depending on the box?

And also, I don't understand Firmware - whats that all about? I just want to plug it in, get my channels and use it.

Sorry, like I said - i'm a bit of a technophobe.
#19
Duckman
Please don't shoot a newbie, or a technological idiot..

I just had to send back my TV which had integrated freeview. Now i'm back to using an old CRT, but I need a freeview player. This looks nice, considering it's got the 80G recordable HD.

Anyway, it says "Receive around 30 free digital TV channels and 20 free digital radio stations" I thought I got more channels than that with my old freeview - do all FV boxes receive the same amount of channels (and this is just average) or would I lose channels depending on the box?

And also, I don't understand Firmware - whats that all about? I just want to plug it in, get my channels and use it.

Sorry, like I said - i'm a bit of a technophobe.



this only has a single tuner so if you are recording a programme you will not be able to view another freeview station at the same time.

firmware is the software that controls the unit..this can be updated by downloading updates

Any freeview box will pickup as many channels that are available in your area.....and depending on your signal strength.
#20
davebach172
ive heard the topfields are the ones to go for above humax. any recommendations out there?

Buy the Humax Pvr9200T I have bought two of them and no regrets! You get what you pay for!!
Paul:-D
#21
Just got my Humax delivered, very very dissapointed! cant record from Sky via the AV on it (thought that would be standard!) and cant pickup any freeview channels although the tv is showing full strength on freeview. wonder if i can get a refund???

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