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#1 amonahan

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:02 PM

Well after much research that basically started with high end Topfields I ended up purchasing a very cheap little Strong SRT 5431 and offer my review comments for anyone interested.

For information, after calling Strong I established that the 5431 and 5430 are the same unit although they look a little different externally. I purchased my 5431 from Good Guys for $65 (I think they are advertised for $79). The 5430 is available at Retravision for $69.

The reason I went for the cheap option is that I dont watch or record a lot of TV and dont need 500GB and twin tuners (my TV has a built in tuner) so I felt that the higher end PVRs were overkill for me. The 5431 (like several other units from DSE, Kogan, Neoniq, Laser, TEAC etc) will record straight to USB (meaning you can make use of excess USBs or external hard drives and save cash!). I liked the Strong because they have stood the test of time in the market and offer what appears to be reasonable local support (they return phone calls).

The menus are reasonably easy to navigate and the unit comes with a pretty sensible remote control. Like many PVRs/STBs the manual is useless in terms of providing any level of detailed instruction. The channels scanned and stored easily. Switching between channels has a very perceptible (3 sec) delay which does not bother me but I know it bothers some. The picture quality is quite good but not as good as my Sharp LCD internal tuner.

The record functions can be accessed in broadly 3 different ways - press record, schedule with EPG or press timeshift. The one annoying feature is that unless you use timeshift you cant start watching a program half way through its recording (if I am wrong on this comment PLEASE set me straight!). Timeshift works quite well. The menu of recorded programs is easily accessible via a single remote control button. There is a confusing comment in the manual that suggests timeshift wont work with a USB drive (ie memory stick) but I found this was no problem at all. The same section says that timeshift wont work for a 1.8" hard drive.

Recorded programs are in .TS format which I understand is transport stream from the DVB broadcast. If you want to edit the file you first need to convert into a more user friendly format such as .mpg etc. I wonder if anyone can tell me whether other PVRs / recordable STBs actually produce a file in .mpg or whether they are all .TS?

The beauty (if you are not overly tech savvy like myself) is that you can just pull the USB out and transfer the files to your computer without having to connect via ethernet or anything like that.

The EPG seems user friendly enough although I haven't yet found how to move forward in days (out to 7 days), and the ever helpful manual does not go to this level of operation. I will be calling Strong on Monday!

Overall I would say that it is a useful little unit and well worth the $65 I spent on it. The one gripe is the inability to start watching a program part way through its recording. But perhaps this is par for the course at this level in the market?

There was little information in this forum or anywhere else for that matter so I hope this rather basic review helps and for anyone else who would like to contribute please do!

#2 dcw

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 07:18 PM

I just bought a 5430 for my mother to go with her ancient CRT TV.

Picture is fine, but I found the remote to be aweful.

- Has to be pointed directly at the box.

- Often doesn't respond.

- If you do anything more than dab the channel buttons quickly it jumps more than one channel.

Also the channel change is rather slow. It displays "searching..." for up to about 3 secs before displaying the selected channel.

Not very impressed at all, and really confusing for my mother. Might have to take it back.

#3 dcw

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 09:28 PM

Well, it turned out that there was a piece of clingfilm over the sensor. I took it off, and I think it's made some difference, but it still seems too directional for my taste.

#4 jeepster

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 12:52 PM

I read somewhere that this model supports NTFS. Does it still split the files at 4 GB?
My old Strong SD STB split the files at 4x10^9 (7% less than 2^32) bytes.

#5 countryslicker

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 03:41 PM

I just bought a 5430 for my mother to go with her ancient CRT TV.

Picture is fine, but I found the remote to be aweful.
- Has to be pointed directly at the box.
- Often doesn't respond.
- If you do anything more than dab the channel buttons quickly it jumps more than one channel.

Also the channel change is rather slow. It displays "searching..." for up to about 3 secs before displaying the selected channel.


I bought a Strong 5423 back in January as an emergency backup. $48 at H-N. Only set it up it yesterday.

But it displays the same irritating quirks as above (and no clingfilm/sensor problem). The remote really has to be pointed accurately, and the "searching" is a pain. But it's not my main STB, and it was cheap, so I'll put up with it. I only use it to watch HD channels. My main Strong STB/PVR - 7 years old - is instant.

#6 boonta01

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 12:17 AM

just realised this thread existed after posting in another thread :blink:

i just bought a 5430 today and can't seem to get a good signal on channel 10 and sbs.

the weird thing is that my previous stb (teac hdb820) which i had for 5 years managed to pick up these channels without any problems.

could it be that there is a problem with the stb itself?? any help would be appreciated.

cheers

#7 Crazystu

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 06:45 PM

just realised this thread existed after posting in another thread :blink:

i just bought a 5430 today and can't seem to get a good signal on channel 10 and sbs.

the weird thing is that my previous stb (teac hdb820) which i had for 5 years managed to pick up these channels without any problems.

could it be that there is a problem with the stb itself?? any help would be appreciated.

cheers



Different STBs, Different Tuners, Different Locations. Just because one worked previousl, does not mean your current one is faulty. Digital Tuners are sensative devices. Some may work well for some channels in your area, while others work well for other channels in your area.

We recommend you try a "Kingray TV Amplifier". Available from Jaycar, Dick Smith or most antenna installers/suppliers for around $35. Check with your local store that they will take it back if it does not work. Jaycar is usually pretty good with this.

A 1 Input, 2 Output TV Amp will suffice.

There are other brand units out there, however the Kingrays are the only ones I have tried and would *highly* recommend.

Edited by Crazystu, 06 April 2011 - 06:45 PM.


#8 bfi2906

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 09:28 AM

A 1 Input, 2 Output TV Amp will suffice.

Is there a reason you sugest a 1 in / 2 out Amp?

I'm going to try an amp on the weekend, and from a phone conversation with the electrical wholesaler I get stuff from, they have a 1 in / 1 out Amp. I've always been of the understanding that any "splitting" of a signal reduced the strength.

Is this a correct assumption? If yes, would that apply to a 1 in / 2 out, or do I have this all confused?

#9 Hillcraft3D

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 10:24 AM

Well after much research that basically started with high end Topfields I ended up purchasing a very cheap little Strong SRT 5431 and offer my review comments for anyone interested.

For information, after calling Strong I established that the 5431 and 5430 are the same unit although they look a little different externally. I purchased my 5431 from Good Guys for $65 (I think they are advertised for $79). The 5430 is available at Retravision for $69.

The reason I went for the cheap option is that I dont watch or record a lot of TV and dont need 500GB and twin tuners (my TV has a built in tuner) so I felt that the higher end PVRs were overkill for me. The 5431 (like several other units from DSE, Kogan, Neoniq, Laser, TEAC etc) will record straight to USB (meaning you can make use of excess USBs or external hard drives and save cash!). I liked the Strong because they have stood the test of time in the market and offer what appears to be reasonable local support (they return phone calls).

The menus are reasonably easy to navigate and the unit comes with a pretty sensible remote control. Like many PVRs/STBs the manual is useless in terms of providing any level of detailed instruction. The channels scanned and stored easily. Switching between channels has a very perceptible (3 sec) delay which does not bother me but I know it bothers some. The picture quality is quite good but not as good as my Sharp LCD internal tuner.

The record functions can be accessed in broadly 3 different ways - press record, schedule with EPG or press timeshift. The one annoying feature is that unless you use timeshift you cant start watching a program half way through its recording (if I am wrong on this comment PLEASE set me straight!). Timeshift works quite well. The menu of recorded programs is easily accessible via a single remote control button. There is a confusing comment in the manual that suggests timeshift wont work with a USB drive (ie memory stick) but I found this was no problem at all. The same section says that timeshift wont work for a 1.8" hard drive.

Recorded programs are in .TS format which I understand is transport stream from the DVB broadcast. If you want to edit the file you first need to convert into a more user friendly format such as .mpg etc. I wonder if anyone can tell me whether other PVRs / recordable STBs actually produce a file in .mpg or whether they are all .TS?

The beauty (if you are not overly tech savvy like myself) is that you can just pull the USB out and transfer the files to your computer without having to connect via ethernet or anything like that.

The EPG seems user friendly enough although I haven't yet found how to move forward in days (out to 7 days), and the ever helpful manual does not go to this level of operation. I will be calling Strong on Monday!

Overall I would say that it is a useful little unit and well worth the $65 I spent on it. The one gripe is the inability to start watching a program part way through its recording. But perhaps this is par for the course at this level in the market?

There was little information in this forum or anywhere else for that matter so I hope this rather basic review helps and for anyone else who would like to contribute please do!



#10 Hillcraft3D

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 10:30 AM

Thank you for your review. I now have a Strong 5430 I bought because it is compatible with 3D TV HDMI.
But I do have a problem with playing 16:9 TV .mpg files recoded on another device. The 5430 always plays them as 4:3
ie squashed.
No problem playing mp4 files.
Have you come across this problem with your unit.?

#11 Al H.

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 04:53 PM

Hi guys, I have the SRT5430.

The problem I'm having is when I try and playback on the computer (Windows 7) from the portable hard drive, I get picture but no sound.

Any idea's?

Thanks fella's.

#12 Thunderlips

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 03:31 PM

The problem I'm having is when I try and playback on the computer (Windows 7) from the portable hard drive, I get picture but no sound.

Some software have problems playing .TS files.
What are you using, media player, vlc player?

It's been a little while since I played around with .TS files but the only software I could get to play them properly
was media player classic.

Google it and you should be able to find it at sourceforge.net.

Edit: Just realised how old this thread is.
You've likely worked it out by now.

Edited by Thunderlips, 28 June 2011 - 03:32 PM.