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Old 24-07-2008, 08:39   #1
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Virgin and HDD recorder compatibility?

Hi there,

I was looking for some advice. I've got Virgin Media (TV, phone and broadband), and I'm in the unfortunate position where I'm unable to get out of that situation (the area was NTL cabled up and I live too far away from a BT telephone exchange to be hooked up with anything approaching broadband speed). I was looking for a way how I could record tv programmes, via Virgin, onto a HDD recorder. Is this possible?

I'm asking because I'm thinking of chucking a HDD recorder on my wedding gift list, but only if Virgin and HDD recorders are compatible.

I know Virgin have their equivalent Sky+ (Vbox?), but that isn't available at the wedding list department store, so I'm looking to avoid that route if at all possible.

Any help would be most gratefully received!

Cheers
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Old 24-07-2008, 21:02   #2
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Originally Posted by m_thomp View Post
Hi there,

I was looking for some advice. I've got Virgin Media (TV, phone and broadband), and I'm in the unfortunate position where I'm unable to get out of that situation (the area was NTL cabled up and I live too far away from a BT telephone exchange to be hooked up with anything approaching broadband speed). I was looking for a way how I could record tv programmes, via Virgin, onto a HDD recorder. Is this possible?

I'm asking because I'm thinking of chucking a HDD recorder on my wedding gift list, but only if Virgin and HDD recorders are compatible.

I know Virgin have their equivalent Sky+ (Vbox?), but that isn't available at the wedding list department store, so I'm looking to avoid that route if at all possible.

Any help would be most gratefully received!

Cheers
A simple scart connection between the Virgin box and the HDD recorder will allow you to record in the same way as you can from a Sky or Freeview box.

However , like Sky Box Office material you will find that most of Virgins ON Demand material is copy protected.

The TV Catchup service isnt but the library stuff has Macrovision .

Of course a quick scout round the net will get you a lead for £20 to remove it

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Old 25-07-2008, 05:19   #3
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I believe there are 2 options - either get a HDD recorder which also has DVD drive - with these ones you can record external signal (the other ones will only be able to record from the built in Freeview) - this is what I used to do

or, the better option - get yourself a Tivo player from eBay - this is what I do now - works just fine
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Old 25-07-2008, 11:09   #4
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How does this work from the point of view of EPG's etc?

Is just a scart from the Virgin box to the Tive adequate to cover this?
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Old 25-07-2008, 20:33   #5
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How does this work from the point of view of EPG's etc?

Is just a scart from the Virgin box to the Tive adequate to cover this?
There is very little point in buying an antique like Tivo.

They died out over half a decade ago for good reason.

A HDD/DVDR combo will record from the Virgin box and any programmes you want to archive can then be copied to dvdr.
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Old 26-07-2008, 06:17   #6
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Originally Posted by dennisspooner View Post
There is very little point in buying an antique like Tivo.

They died out over half a decade ago for good reason.

A HDD/DVDR combo will record from the Virgin box and any programmes you want to archive can then be copied to dvdr.
eh?

Tivo's ease of use/interface has never been bettered - Sky+ is a joke in comparison


OK - you can't record two programs at the same time (but why do you need to with so many repeats and +1 channels)

Tivo all the way - an amazing piece of kit
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Old 26-07-2008, 20:16   #7
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eh?

Tivo's ease of use/interface has never been bettered - Sky+ is a joke in comparison


OK - you can't record two programs at the same time (but why do you need to with so many repeats and +1 channels)

Tivo all the way - an amazing piece of kit
Yes -- all the best devices become obsolete ebay exclusives so quickly.

Without wanting to go over an argument done to death all over the place - Sky+ is a one box solution.

With Tivo you need an additional box to record digital tv,you have to leave that box on the channel you want to record so its even more limited than a VCR,Tivo wont record 5.1 sound,it doesnt record the raw data stream for lossless quality ,it wont record 2 things at the same time let alone record one while you watch another.

The superior EPG of Tivo is more than made up for by its disadvantges

If there are so many +1 and repeats channels anyway - why would you want to bother with a device that only allows you to capture one broadcast at a time then?

Last edited by dennisspooner; 26-07-2008 at 20:18.
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Old 27-07-2008, 16:41   #8
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m_thomp

have a look here - details the differences between Tivo and Sky+

http://www.garysargent.co.uk/tivo/TIVOvsSKY.htm

a slightly more balanced view than dennispooner's
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Old 27-07-2008, 20:22   #9
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m_thomp

have a look here - details the differences between Tivo and Sky+

http://www.garysargent.co.uk/tivo/TIVOvsSKY.htm

a slightly more balanced view than dennispooner's
All he needs to know is that he can get a Sky+ or a separate HDD/DVDR brand new with warranty right now.

If he wants Tivo he is forced to surf Ebay looking for people selling a secondhand device at least 5 years old with no guarantee.

No brainer really!
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Old 27-07-2008, 21:43   #10
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All he needs to know is that he can get a Sky+ or a separate HDD/DVDR brand new with warranty right now.

If he wants Tivo he is forced to surf Ebay looking for people selling a secondhand device at least 5 years old with no guarantee.

No brainer really!
the fact that it would be 5 years old and still working, means no guarantee probably wouldn't bother him - a quality product

I agree - a no brainer really
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Old 27-07-2008, 22:05   #11
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the fact that it would be 5 years old and still working, means no guarantee probably wouldn't bother him - a quality product

I agree - a no brainer really

Yes - as clarified by all those people out there choosing Tivo over Sky+

Actually - the OP really should ask Virgin to supply the V+.

I've added one to my house for next week and there is a one off charge of £75 - no install charge and if you have the XL package you dont even have to pay a monthly sub for it.

So just £75 all in but it never becomes yours to keep

Your cheapest and best option by far

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Old 28-07-2008, 06:59   #12
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Yes - as clarified by all those people out there choosing Tivo over Sky+
yes - the same type of people that think their lcd/plasma telly gives a better SD picture than a CRT or that think the quality of the output of their ipod is as good as the cd

if people want to believe the hype, more fool them - there are plenty of stupid people out there

popular does not equal better

PS have you actually ever owned a Tivo - I've had Sky+/HDD&DVD player/Tivo so can make the comparison - can you?
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Old 28-07-2008, 12:05   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisspooner View Post
Yes - as clarified by all those people out there choosing Tivo over Sky+

Actually - the OP really should ask Virgin to supply the V+.

I've added one to my house for next week and there is a one off charge of £75 - no install charge and if you have the XL package you dont even have to pay a monthly sub for it.

So just £75 all in but it never becomes yours to keep

Your cheapest and best option by far
2nded.

Don't bother messing about with anything else. V+ is the way to go. You can either pay a monthly fee for the box or an upfront one off charge. Either way VM will replace it if faulty.

Excellent bit of kit too, if a bit slow for some people.
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Old 28-07-2008, 12:51   #14
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As stated before - the 'live' TV feed is not protected, however some of the on-demand, (all) of the music videos and and pay-per-view are protected. I'm not sure about catch up / BBCi.

Also look at the extra cost of XL as then the music videos are free and that's worth a few quid if you like them, keeps the kids happy for ages. Plus if you go the V+ route you get the hi-def as well

I've an (old) HDD - DVDr box linked and no problem recording - only drawback is single tuner in a standard virgin box - where the V+ has at least 2 (need to check) - otherwise you can only watch what you are recording.
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Old 28-07-2008, 14:23   #15
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As stated before - the 'live' TV feed is not protected, however some of the on-demand, (all) of the music videos and and pay-per-view are protected. I'm not sure about catch up / BBCi.

Also look at the extra cost of XL as then the music videos are free and that's worth a few quid if you like them, keeps the kids happy for ages. Plus if you go the V+ route you get the hi-def as well

I've an (old) HDD - DVDr box linked and no problem recording - only drawback is single tuner in a standard virgin box - where the V+ has at least 2 (need to check) - otherwise you can only watch what you are recording.
Have to agree. V+ all the way for me and it makes sense for you as you are already contracted with Virgin.
It has three tuners for recording two channels while watching a third (so you never have to stop what you're watching if recordings clash), it's hi-def as standard coming with a free HDMI lead, only costs £75 for it to be fitted, and with the full XL package you get all movies in 5.1 Dolby Digital (like Sky+, you can hook it up to a Dolby Digital amp), all Sky Sports and Setanta Sports, all music videos free (these are not encoded as I did a Take That, Sugababes and Girls Aloud music video compilation on my dvd recorder for my girlfriend), also has 80 hours of recording.
All those channels, broadband internet and landline telephone for £55 a month. It's the bargain of the decade.
Backing up onto a dvd recorder is extremely easy.
I find it beats Sky+ for functionability and price hands down. Can't compare with the Tivo as I've never used/owned one.

Last edited by steven.brown487; 28-07-2008 at 14:25.
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Old 28-07-2008, 20:46   #16
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Have to agree. V+ all the way for me and it makes sense for you as you are already contracted with Virgin.
It has three tuners for recording two channels while watching a third (so you never have to stop what you're watching if recordings clash), it's hi-def as standard coming with a free HDMI lead, only costs £75 for it to be fitted, and with the full XL package you get all movies in 5.1 Dolby Digital (like Sky+, you can hook it up to a Dolby Digital amp), all Sky Sports and Setanta Sports, all music videos free (these are not encoded as I did a Take That, Sugababes and Girls Aloud music video compilation on my dvd recorder for my girlfriend), also has 80 hours of recording.
All those channels, broadband internet and landline telephone for £55 a month. It's the bargain of the decade.
Backing up onto a dvd recorder is extremely easy.
I find it beats Sky+ for functionability and price hands down. Can't compare with the Tivo as I've never used/owned one.
I have the XL package with Broadband and phone for just £30 a month.
Cant say £25 extra is worth it for movies and sport.

Sky's movie offerings are pretty poor and they have 3 channels in HD too

Can you confirm that the V+ will add all the Sky Sports channels for free?

We have a regular Virgin box at the moment (aswell as Sky HD and Freeview PVR) and my friend has had the V+ for a while and he agrees its rather sluggish compared to Sky+.

I'm unsure what extra functionality you think it has over Sky+- apart from the extra tuner.

Of course those of us concerned mainly with quality and prefer a box that records a raw data stream will have studied Tivo in 2001 and wrote it off against Sky+ and that was even before Sky+ had dual record.

Tivo has a neat search engine- but thats it.

Its requirement of extra boxes to record from is enough to rightly put people off but then theres the lack of being able to watch one channel while recording another - which remains the main selling point of any PVR-Tivo wont record 5.1 - Tivo wont record as good quality as Sky+ or V+

If there was a Sky+/V+ with Tivo's user interface we could buy it again.

Tivo is well advanced in the US offering up boxes that surpass Sky+/V+ but the original design from 2001 is archaic and best left for enthusiasts

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Old 29-07-2008, 12:11   #17
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Thanks for your replies everyone.

It's looking like all the avenues you've mentioned will be no-goers with regard to shoving it on the wedding gift list. However, it is something I'm interested in pursuing, even if I have to dip my hand into my own pocket to fund it.

I'll do a bit more further digging down the V+ and HDD routes and make a call on the best solution.

Just done a brief bit of research....

We're currently on the £30 a month bundle (with the Large TV package and phone and broadband). As we have Large it means that we have to pay £150 installation and £5 a month thereafter. Upgrading to XL (not too keen on as non of the extra channels would ever get watched) would be a way round the monthly fee. However, there's nothing on the Virigin Media website that allows an upgrade purely to the TV part of the bundle and this could mean having to go for the VIP bundle (XL everything) which is an eyepopping £86 a month. I'm not prepared to do that.

Ideally I just want a single upfront cost for the recorder and keep what I've already got. Over the months the V+ will prove more expensive, so unless tehre's a way round this it will be HDD recorder and leads all the way.
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Old 29-07-2008, 20:11   #18
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Thanks for your replies everyone.

It's looking like all the avenues you've mentioned will be no-goers with regard to shoving it on the wedding gift list. However, it is something I'm interested in pursuing, even if I have to dip my hand into my own pocket to fund it.

I'll do a bit more further digging down the V+ and HDD routes and make a call on the best solution.

Just done a brief bit of research....

We're currently on the £30 a month bundle (with the Large TV package and phone and broadband). As we have Large it means that we have to pay £150 installation and £5 a month thereafter. Upgrading to XL (not too keen on as non of the extra channels would ever get watched) would be a way round the monthly fee. However, there's nothing on the Virigin Media website that allows an upgrade purely to the TV part of the bundle and this could mean having to go for the VIP bundle (XL everything) which is an eyepopping £86 a month. I'm not prepared to do that.

Ideally I just want a single upfront cost for the recorder and keep what I've already got. Over the months the V+ will prove more expensive, so unless tehre's a way round this it will be HDD recorder and leads all the way.
Our £30 a month bundle includes the XL package.(everything bar movies and sport)

Even though it says £150 and also £100 on the website , a phonecall to Virgin confirmed I could have V+ for £75 all in.

There is no additional charge for the V+ monthly if you are on the XL package.
The £5 a month we are paying is to keep the original box aswell.

So if you phone them up and ask about cancellations they should be able to offer you the same deal I've had for over a year - especially if you go for the V+ box too

Last edited by dennisspooner; 29-07-2008 at 20:12.
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