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orestes

Mpeg4/h.264 Changeover

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Hey guys,

I'm in need of some recommendations for a set top box MY Phillips 47pfl7403d/27 is still going strong and after spending $2500 when it was new, and without any real idea of when 4K is coming to Australian TV I have no need to upgrade what is an overall awesome TV with 120hz/3ms response rate.

I do need a H/2.64 converter though because my TV has no idea what that is, are there any decent non-Chinese set top boxes that aren't horrible? I used a set top box back in the day with my 32" widescreen flatscareen CRT, and it was horrible. I'm just trying to solve the H2.64 integration.

My TV literally has 2000hours on it, I have no need to upgrade yet.

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Hi,

Do you want to record? If so, how many channels at once?

Topfield or Beyonwiz, if the answers to the above is "yes" & "lots".

There are others, but I've no personal experience.

Cheapest of the above would be a BW T2 Barebones @ $199 (+ $15 postage) for a Refurb. unit, when they have them. You can always put a HDD (2.5") in later if you want to record.

dRdoS7

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non-Chinese set top boxes

What's wrong with a Chinese made STB? :blink:

It's just a HD STB, pretty stock standard device now. Almost all electronic devices have all/some parts made in China.

What's horrible... the build quality, remote, or the actual picture quality?

PQ will be pretty standard across all brands of HD STB's now and they're cheap as.

http://cplonline.com.au/laser-set-top-box-hd-pvr-hdmimedia-6000.html

Maybe the original one you had with your 32" CRT was a DGTEC... or better known here as a footy? :D There were many STB's back then that were very buggy.

JSmith :ninja:

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I have two Audiosonic $30 STBs with HDMI leads to connect to the TV. I have plugged in a 32 GByte thumb drive if I want to record. They both work fine. You might find them in Kmart.

If not http://www.gvaproducts.com.au/our-products/audio/dvb-t-hd-set-top-box/ is available at The Good Guys looks similar but is a little more expensive. Or from Harvey Norman http://www.teac.com.au/downloads/product_downloads/HDB850_User_Manual.pdf

Alanh

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What are you converting/integrating with H264? The new FTA channels?

Regards

Peter Gillespie

Yes the new HD channels from 9 and 7. I'm getting sick of the 480p MPEG2 quality SD streams we're still getting over the generic channels and this TV is far better than that anyway. Somewhere along the lines they stuffed it all up by using MPEG2 and things have gotten progressively worse as they try to jam more TV channels on what is a heavy bandwidth using streaming method from the early part of the 1990s.

What's wrong with a Chinese made STB? :blink:

It's just a HD STB, pretty stock standard device now. Almost all electronic devices have all/some parts made in China.

What's horrible... the build quality, remote, or the actual picture quality?

PQ will be pretty standard across all brands of HD STB's now and they're cheap as.

http://cplonline.com.au/laser-set-top-box-hd-pvr-hdmimedia-6000.html

Maybe the original one you had with your 32" CRT was a DGTEC... or better known here as a footy? :D There were many STB's back then that were very buggy.

JSmith :ninja:

Not "everything" is made in China some things such as Phillips branded TVs are Dutch, and their panels up till 2011 were made in Europe,

I have had expensive TVs in the past and never dropped below 1080p/100hz even when I had a Panasonic 32" CRT TV unit, made in Japan. That unit produced better picture quality than anything I've owned since, with no pixels to worry about. My Phillips TV is not made in China, it's made in Europe [Hungary] Most TVs you still get now have a worse response and refresh rate and contrast. My Phillips is a 100hz/3ms response rate, dynamic contrast of 30,000:1 and back lighting and all so there you go. No point there in upgrading this unit yet, especially not to the new type of cheaply made units I can lift with 1 finger, especially when Phillips doesn't make TVs like this anymore. Sorry for being a snob, but most of the new Sony Bravia type units don't stack up here under $1500

I may get a TV for watching 4K, but while 4K is a pipe dream for over the air TV and especially with the state of the NBN for cable TV in regional Australia I wont be upgrading, and having gone straight from DVD to digital streaming and not having a 4K BluRay library, again there is no point in upgrading yet for TV viewing in Australia. It just needs a set top box. I won't be getting rid of this one for a good few years yet especially when its only got 2000hours on it and over the air TV doesn't do 4K yet either.

Once you've shoehorn one of those "Strong" or "Dgtec" or whatever type of set top boxes on the front of a TV, the menu system sucks as does the build quality and eventually last time I had a Chinese Set Top Box it blew up, so I'm wary of those units. I understand the principle that its just a DVB-T tuner. I use an Elgatto DVB-T tuner with my Mac, the thing is the software doesn't suck on it. It's just most of these cheap set top boxes, from my experience, are built to the lowest common denominator, the interface sucks, as does the whole experience of using one and then there is the experience where the video and audio can get out of sync on some channels with some of these cheaper units :shifty: Nothing against it at all, it's just that I've had some fairly bad experiences with set top boxes in the past. Maybe I just got a really bad example, you could be correct with regard to that.

EDIT: I just ran the software update, to bring it up to a 2011 model version, but it didn't add any additional functioning. Nuts :pinch: but anyway... looks like it can't do MPEG4 on its own. This is what happens when you own a 5 year old TV.

Edited by orestes

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Orstes,

We are in Australia, SD is 720 x 576 at 25 frame/s interlaced, 720 x 480 x 29.97 frame/s interlaced is SD TV in the Americas, Japan, and a few other countries.

MPEG2 is the only compression standard available in 2001 when digital TV started. Finally we are starting to catch up with MPEG4, however we are yet to make a move on DVB-T2 for transmitters and receivers which will increase the available bandwidth by 44 %. This and HEVC are required if we want UHD broadcasts instead of HD and still retain secondary channels.

Alanh

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Yes, thank you, the bandwidth of television would simply be monumental to try to encapsulate an MPEG2 UHD stream. It would be practically infeasible. I obviously need a set top box of some description, some recommendations would be nice, my previous experience with set top boxes was going through a few of them with my old CRT TV and all of them were rubbish back then one in particular would get the video and audio out of sync.

  • Would I be better off getting a brand name PVR or just a generic set top box?
  • Is it best off to find one I can connect by HDMI. My last unit just used a standard RGB/VGA Analogue cable. I assume a pure digital connection would provide better results?
Edited by orestes

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orstes,

No one will ever try to use MPEG-2 for UHD. They also won't use the newer MPEG-4 either for the same reason the data rate will not fit into a broadcast channel.Instead they will use HEVC compression which quarters the data rate compared to MPEG-2. In addition for broadcast a new transmitter DVB-T2 modulator will be required in every transmitter and receivers which can receive DVB-T2 signals and to HEVC compressed signals regardless of resolution. This is an upgrade which is only a little smaller than going from analog to digital. UHD set top boxes will be needed for any incompatible receivers.

I have given you links to two inexpensive PVRs which have HDMI outputs. You will need to use the HDMI output which will connect both picture and sound on the one cable. The quality is better and the sound is in sync with the pictures.

Alanh

Edited by alanh

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Orstes,

We are in Australia, SD is 720 x 576 at 25 frame/s interlaced,

Alanh

While we're in the business of correcting posts, it's been said before, but our system is 50 fields per second which may be converted to 25 frames per second or 50 frames per second depending on the source material.

To refer to it strictly as 25 frames per second is misleading as it sends the message that we can only get 25 updates per second when it can be 50 updates per second.

Not all material is captured progressively.

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Thanks, my only concern with getting a cheap Chinese, $50 set top box was that they were still as terrible as the last time I tried one. Ideally I would get a software update that would resolve this issue. It seems the last time Phillips released an update was 2011. It's very much just a codec issue at the moment.

I will be keeping this TV for the foreseeable future as I don't see UHD as being something that is even really on the horizon, and by then it will probably be something that is easier to deliver over copper anyway like every other nation that already does it in Europe and North America.

Edited by orestes

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While we're in the business of correcting posts, it's been said before, but our system is 50 fields per second which may be converted to 25 frames per second or 50 frames per second depending on the source material.

To refer to it strictly as 25 frames per second is misleading as it sends the message that we can only get 25 updates per second when it can be 50 updates per second.

Not all material is captured progressively.

Since the advent of DVD players, consumers in Australia have typically seen 50i and 60i in instruction manuals, rather than "25 fps interlaced" or "29.97fps interlaced". However I've noticed that some manufacturers may still choose the more formal terminology, particularly if quoting specs for professional gear.

Another area where the matter comes up is with pc desktop refresh rates. You may see 25Hz rather than 50i. For example the Nvidia control panel on my main pc quotes 25Hz. But I recall seeing 50i as well when setting pc refresh rates.

A reference to 25 frames per second in the marketing of consumer goods is rarely to be seen in Australia. An exception would be a reference to a camera being able to record at 25p. So I would agree, to refer to the Australian SD broadcasts as being at "25fps interlaced", when addressing a general audience, could cause confusion.

One way around the issue is to describe our TV system in Australia as being at 50Hz. This neatly encompasses both 50 progressive frames a second, and 50 fields a second.

Orestes,

I think you'll find almost any cheap modern set top box will do the trick for you. Technology has come a long way!

Edited by MLXXX

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