back to article Sharp preps Freeview HD set-top kit

Sharp will release the first of two Freeview HD set-top boxes at the end of April. It's also preparing a regular Freeview DVR that uses USB-connected storage to make it a doddle to transfer taped programmes to a PC. The TU-T1UR sports three USB 2.0 ports on its front, into which you can connect Flash drives, SD card adaptors and …

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FAIL

both drives?

"Both drives support Freeview's DVD-T system as well as Freeview HD's DVD-T2, which, despite the name, is entirely incompatible with the older standard."

Drives? DVD-T & T2, gizza job I can write a more accurate article and I didn't get to sleep last night till after 2am. :D

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"Sharp"

Presumably this is just a new generation of the same Vestel-produced Freeview crud they push out under the "Sharp" name at the moment. Which means that the exact same kit will also be available in various other forms under other illustrious names such as Hitachi, Bush, Alba, Grundig, Goodmans, etc, and be hitting the returns counter of your local Argos in no time.

I think I'll wait for the Toshiba.

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Yep

I know where you're coming from. From what I've seen there's a big gap in the market for a manufacturer who actually puts enough money into their set-top [recorder] software and designs a product that actually works - and reliably.

My favourite recorder is the Humax (9200) but even Humax seem to have had problems over the past couple of years (seemingly because they have scrimped on maintaining the software that runs on their boxes and now take the attitude that the customer's usually wrong [when they call to inform them that their recording software still contains bugs). I've no idea what software will be running on Humax's DVB-T2 recorders but if it's a port ot the old software I'll be very disappointed (unless they fix all the bugs that is!).

From what I gather these companies seem to spend quite a bit on the hardware design and then design and develop the software with whatever's left over in the budget. I recently saw a nearly-new Sony PVR in action - the EPG looked and "felt" worst than Sky's 1980's blue screen offering.

Maybe Apple should dip their toe in the set-top PVR market - if for no other reason than to put a rocket up the backsides of the other manufacturers who assume that their PVR software is just fine as it is.

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Anonymous Coward

maybe not vestel

Totally agree. I have laughed heartily at the Sharp (and to a lesser extent Hitachi) versions of the same PVR fetching much larger prices than the Alba and Bush versions of the same Vestel PVR.

The hope is that 3x USB on the front points to it being a rebadged Digital Vision (was step01, was access devices) DV-DTR1 box http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2009/07/24/review_digital_video_recorder_digital_vision_gigo_dv_dtr1/

With any luck the same might also be true of the HD boxes. I do hope so as the firm's predecessors made what are perhaps the most straightforward reliable PVRs ever but have been absent from the market for quite some time - probably due to the flood of cheap Vestels.

Quite agree about the poor support from Humax as well. Any manufacturer wishing to enter willing to spend some time and money on their software can have a whole premium corner of the market to themselves.

Now please excuse me, I'm off to watch some DVD-T2 on me drive.

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I've got the GiGo I think

under the Grundig name. So shouldn't take them long to release one with another name on the front. But shouldn't they be selling HD compatible stuff now?

I had occasional reception glitches - looked like analogue TV when a taxi radio is operating nearby, could have been exactly that - none for a while, had trouble choosing a fast enough memory device (I think buffering lasts about a minute) - "Integral" sticks sold with a movie on(!) - Ghostbusters or Terminator 3 - just about work for channel More4, Readyboost is a sign of speed, Tesco's catalogue points to SanDisk class 6 such as Cruzer CZ6 but awfully expensive, a SanDisk class 4 SD card also worked - video plays awkwardly in VLC (I think you can get subtitles though), and a real disk would have to be powered separately.

In MPlayer on Knoppix 6.2, video kept time during 4:3 recordings, but audio progressively ran ahead of video in 16:9 material!

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Have now...

Scored a Cruzer CZ6... model number stick in Tesco (Bothwell/Uddingston) last night. Retractable. Eight pounds is pricey for 2 gigabytes, but it does perform okay first trial and others don't. Also, in this application or any other, a large and bright orange light gently pulses on this USB stick while connected and blinks on and off like a car indicator during read or write. You don't want that next to the TV, do you? No documentation how to turn the light off, but I can put opaque sticky tape over it, or a hood or a USB extension lead or something.

It is also a U3 device that somehow mounts separately as a fake CD and a writeable SSD simultaneously on two drive letters. I am not familiar with this and I don't understand the implications. But, I repeat, it seemed to record the video happily (More4, The Daily Show in 4:3). Haven't played it yet though.

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Cruzer CZ6 2 GB is supplied as FAT, Gigo doesn't like it

What I did to make the Cruzer CZ6 2 GB stick ACTUALLY work in the Grundig / GiGo video recorder -

1. (Probably optional) Use a Windows PC to run the "Go away U3" program.

2. (Probably optional) Use Linux "partimage" (Knoppix 6.2.1) to back up the "empty" stick and the "Come back U3" software.

3. Use gparted to replace the primary partition table on the stick with an empty normal MS-DOS table. Try to not accidentally do this to your hard disk instead.

4. Use gparted to create a FAT32 partition.

That wasn't hard eh (yes it was).

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