Tassie Devil

Magic Pvr Arrived Today

2,051 posts in this topic

Yes, having bought one just before last Christmas for $249, I can't help rather cynically believing that the current $428 is pre-Olympic pricing, like lcd/plasma TV sets. Hopefully they will come back to more realistic figures when the Olympics are out of the way....

Maybe, but I think the answer is elsewhere. A load of Magic PVRs were manufactured for Freeview which has flopped dramatically so there was a warehouse full of them which had to be liquidated. My take is we have been lucky to get them so cheaply.

John

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+1 I think Wklie correctly predicted a price increase a few months ago somewhere in this thread if you care to search.

I have been very happy with my now one year old "Freeview" badged 4000 brilliant PQ and has not missed a timer yet.

Make sure you have Firmware 5.08AU installed it fixes all of the previous niggles. The only desireable feature missing is not being able to stream video over the WIFI or ethernet links.

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And I do miss PIP as I did use it from time to time on the Toppy. Otherwise the two here continue to do all I require of a PVR. And I appreciate the accuracy of the correct naming of the recordings. Typing in the titles on the Toppy was a real PIA.

However the price rise does put a further query on it - is it better value than other PVRs around this price point? I'd be interested to hear opinion on that. Anyone know which are contemporary rivals with similar & maybe more features?

John

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Anyone know which are contemporary rivals with similar & maybe more features?

John

Crazy Stu started a thread on the Mediastar 8200S that has me interested, for a little more money it appears to do all the Magic does plus a lot more. I find I am reluctant to pull the trigger on one, there was an older thread on it that was really weird. Lots of strange posts accusing people of being puppets, lots of angst. It put me off. Crazy Stu is pretending the new thread is the first one on the Mediastar.

I am hoping to read some reviews from happy owners, I don't want to be the first to jump in to a PVR that has been around a long time that nobody has bought yet.

Edited by Duk

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The closest pricewise I think is well known and a known brand is the Beyonwiz DP-P2TB which does have more features than the Magic and is available from Jungle Jumble for $469.00.

Wklie did comment that he was not keen on the chipset as used in the Medistar see post #1049 on previous page.

BTW if I was buying at todays prices I would probably go the Beyonwiz for bang for buck including 2TB drive. Makes the Magic a bit exxy in comparison.

Edited by mwd

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Interesting. I tried out a Mediastar some time ago (obviously a different model) but had to return it as the tuner lacked sensitivity. One negative for me with most of the latest PVR releases is no s-video out so no way of reasonable quality download to a DVD-R. Not that I do much dubbing these days but sometimes .....

John

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Wklie did comment that he was not keen on the chipset as used in the Medistar see post #1049 on previous page.

I noted that but a google search failed to turn up much in support of this. Perhaps my google-fu failed me on this occasion.

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I found that the Video quality from the Magic Sigma chips is far superior to the internal tuner on my 2007 Pioneer Kuro LX608 even the Olympics on GEM HD look amazing.

Wklie is very knowlegable on the PVRs so would not dispute his findings on the STMicroelctronics chipset maybe he will chime in here with his objections to the Mediastar.

Although we are taking this thread off topic we are supposed to be discussing the Magic 3700/4000 :pirate:

Edited by mwd

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Crazy Stu started a thread

I think of those threads as info commercials. I don't have a problem with them, getting some info and usually a review, as long as you know the poster sells the units and benefits from these info threads. Personally, I would not base my purchase on one source of information.

IMO video quality comes before features. No use having all the features in the world packed into a unit, if it has poor/average quality video. One of the reasons I bought the Magic.

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I think of those threads as info commercials. I don't have a problem with them, getting some info and usually a review, as long as you know the poster sells the units and benefits from these info threads. Personally, I would not base my purchase on one source of information.

IMO video quality comes before features. No use having all the features in the world packed into a unit, if it has poor/average quality video. One of the reasons I bought the Magic.

Nicely put. :kiss: Some of us got very excited some time ago when it appeared someone was being a socket puppet for a firm although it turned out not to be true.

Yes there are differences in video quality with these PVRs. This showed up recently comparing an s-video feed into the Pioneer DVDR with what the internal digital SD tuner recorded. The Magic video was impressive, even after a feed in via analog conversion. To be fair the Magic feed in was downscaled HD but I would not have expected the difference to be as obvious as it was.

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And I do miss PIP as I did use it from time to time on the Toppy. Otherwise the two here continue to do all I require of a PVR. And I appreciate the accuracy of the correct naming of the recordings. Typing in the titles on the Toppy was a real PIA.

However the price rise does put a further query on it - is it better value than other PVRs around this price point? I'd be interested to hear opinion on that. Anyone know which are contemporary rivals with similar & maybe more features?

John

At that price you're getting into Topfield 2400 prices which is a pretty good device IMHO. It does have its warts but these can be resolved with TAPs (user written programs). Even though CrazyStu is trying to tell you that the Mediastar is unique and makes other machines from Topfield and Beyonwiz look outdated, there are a few things that the Topfield can do that the Mediastar (or any other PVR) can do. But its a device for enthusiasts and to make maximum use of its features you need to be a bit of tech-head. I wouldn't recommend it for grandads/mums for example (maybe the 7160 I would).

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One negative for me with most of the latest PVR releases is no s-video out so no way of reasonable quality download to a DVD-R. Not that I do much dubbing these days but sometimes .....

It's debateable that S-Video can be described as "reasonable" quality - If you want to capture video today, you'll get much better results using Component or HDMI (although HDCP can complicate things here) video feeds. There's any number of HD-capable capture cards on the market, like http://www.hauppauge...a_colossus.html and once the content is in your PC you can do whatever you like with it.

Edited by Nomgle

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It's debateable that S-Video can be described as "reasonable" quality - If you want to capture video today, you'll get much better results using Component or HDMI (although HDCP can complicate things here) video feeds. There's any number of HD-capable capture cards on the market, like http://www.hauppauge...a_colossus.html and once the content is in your PC you can do whatever you like with it.

If you want to put an FTA SD stream onto a DVD you can do it without S-Video or Component cables. Just transfer the video off your PVR via the USB cable and use a freeware DVD Authoring application like DVD Styler ( http://www.dvdstyler.org/en/ ) to create the DVD structure.

The best part about this is that there's no re-encoding and it's quick and easy. The resulting DVD will look and sound exactly like it was broadcast.

HD streams on the other hand will require re-encoding if you want to create a regular playable DVD. You will need to do this on your PC or use a DVD Recorder to create the DVD.

Edited by murgles

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Thanks for the ideas guys. I must admit to being lazy about it and have been satisfied enough with the results I'm presently achieving. But I will follow up.

John

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Hi,

Magic power use. Anyone know how many watts it uses? No specs., in the book, and I really don't want to pull it out of the rack to see if there is any info on it.

Thanks

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At that price you're getting into Topfield 2400 prices which is a pretty good device IMHO. It does have its warts but these can be resolved with TAPs (user written programs). Even though CrazyStu is trying to tell you that the Mediastar is unique and makes other machines from Topfield and Beyonwiz look outdated, there are a few things that the Topfield can do that the Mediastar (or any other PVR) CANNOT do. But its a device for enthusiasts and to make maximum use of its features you need to be a bit of tech-head. I wouldn't recommend it for grandads/mums for example (maybe the 7160 I would).

Mmm, pays to read your own posts - had to repost as I couldn't edit my original post.

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Hi,

Magic power use. Anyone know how many watts it uses? No specs., in the book, and I really don't want to pull it out of the rack to see if there is any info on it.

Thanks

I have not seen any details on power usage except from http://junglejumble....h-264-hdmi.html which quotes 20W max. I assume you have investigated the 'Energy Saving' and 'All Off' Standby Modes page 66 of the manual.

Also Magic TV quote 20W http://magictv.com/au/mtv4000pvr.html technical details.

Edited by mwd

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If we measure the DC input of Magic TV, in "All Off" standby it takes less than 1W. In "Energy Saving" standby it takes less than 2W. However, the external power supply does consume a certain amount of power regardless of whether the DC output is connected to anything or not.

Edited by wklie

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I have not seen any details on power usage except from http://junglejumble....h-264-hdmi.html which quotes 20W max. I assume you have investigated the 'Energy Saving' and 'All Off' Standby Modes page 66 of the manual.

Also Magic TV quote 20W http://magictv.com/au/mtv4000pvr.html technical details.

Hi,

The 20 W is the answer I'm looking for. Reason is that I have a 600VA UPS in the power line to the PVR and TV. I wanted to work out how long that would powwer the PVR in record mode-of course the UPS is mainly to overcome those annoying power glitches.

Thaks wklie fro your input.

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Minor quibble. Every time during playback of a recording, when I hit the mute button on the Magic, the recording skips. It's only about two seconds but it is mildly annoying.

Does this happen to everyone or just me?

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Yes just tried it on mine and does the same thing think you found a software bug. Are you using 5.08 firmware? I have never used mute on my Magic because I have the audio through a Denon AVR so don't use the Magic volume control or mute at all.

Edit: also picture freezes momentarily when I press mute on live tv.

Edited by mwd

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If bitstream audio setting is OFF, mute does not cause video freezes.

If bitstream audio setting is ON, mute causes a momentary video freeze.

Edited by wklie

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If you want to put an FTA SD stream onto a DVD you can do it without S-Video or Component cables. Just transfer the video off your PVR via the USB cable and use a freeware DVD Authoring application like DVD Styler ( http://www.dvdstyler.org/en/ ) to create the DVD structure.

The best part about this is that there's no re-encoding and it's quick and easy. The resulting DVD will look and sound exactly like it was broadcast.

I'd like to try this. Could you supply a bit more detail - step by step instructions?

Is the program I've recorded (and want to transfer) a single file - if so where do I find it on the Magic? Or do I play back the program and somehow record it on my computer. I already own DVD authoring software.

I've previuosly recorded some programs direct to my standalone Sony DVD recorder via S-Video cable, but it's now an involved special setup each time. Your USB method seems to be simpler and quicker.

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AFAIK the magic PVR is a USB master not slave. You'd connect a USB storage device to the magic, copy the files to it using the magic's menus, the n attach the usb storage device to your PC and transfer off and process to DVD.

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