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 Post subject: Quiet DVRs
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:08 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:17 am
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Location: Croatia
For a while now I've been pondering the idea of buying my parents a DVR with a HDD inside. They are still using an old VCR (mother dearest even managed to find new VHS tapes for purchase somewhere!), which carries the standard "I think it's on that tape, no wait, it's there, let's rewind, it's not there after all" crap along with it.

However, I have no idea what kind of drives are inside those... I wouldn't be surprised if 160 GB versions had two platters and something obnoxiously loud.

Can anyone recommend a quiet DVR? It should also be able to play DivX/XviD and have large fonts for subtitles.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:50 am 
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Hello good friend,

One my friend has personal home theatre with http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinestore/

I am not sure of model, but he uses in conjunction with USB enclosure and hard disk of own choice, whenever more is needed for multimedia simply unconnect USB hard disk and connect at PC for downloading media. Simple and USB hard disk work like VHS except it only one physical object versus hundred VHS you forget of :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:03 am 
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Location: Croatia
I just need a simple DVR, not a "media tank" :) Besides, I can't buy that here.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:21 am 
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Tivos probably aren't available for you either, right? I had great success in quieting mine by putting in a different drive and fan and decoupling them both. Maybe you can find one locally that can swap drives and/or has enough interior space to decouple them.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet DVRs
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:37 am 
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Matija wrote:
For a while now I've been pondering the idea of buying my parents a DVR with a HDD inside. They are still using an old VCR (mother dearest even managed to find new VHS tapes for purchase somewhere!), which carries the standard "I think it's on that tape, no wait, it's there, let's rewind, it's not there after all" crap along with it.

However, I have no idea what kind of drives are inside those... I wouldn't be surprised if 160 GB versions had two platters and something obnoxiously loud.

Can anyone recommend a quiet DVR? It should also be able to play DivX/XviD and have large fonts for subtitles.

What broadcasting standard do you use? DVB? Unfortunately, I'm not very familiar with DVR boxes. It seems the most popular ones in use in the US is either the TiVo or a box that's supplied by the service provider. I know Philips has a DVR with built-in HDD, but for the price, it was better for me to build my own HTPC. Perhaps that's something you might explore?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:54 am 
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Location: Croatia
No fancy stuff. A simple, stupid box, like this one: http://www.pioneer.at/eur/products/arch ... index.html (but preferably cheaper, this one is 250€).

HTPC... It would cost a fortune and require silly software and IR remote control and... I'm really not sure I want to go in that direction, especially with things such as the PicoPSU being something nobody ever heard about in the country.

DVB-T still hasn't made its way here, and there's a grand total of four TV channels available ;)

I'd just like to replace their VHS with something similar...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:42 am 
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Location: USA
I think your fears of getting some random crappy loud drive are well founded. I have had 3 different DVR (2 Motorola, 1 Scientific Atlanta) and this has been the case for all of them. That said, the noises don't propagate that well. At 3m distance you don't hear much. At 2m you can hear them if you try, but if you are actually paying attention to the show instead of hunting for noises, you will not notice them. At 1m they are ridiculous. During playback/recording these things are actually quieter than a VCR -- those things are a lot louder than you remember. In short, I wouldn't worry about noise unless this is going in someone's bedroom right by their head.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:06 pm 
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Is this something they even want though? Or something you would like when you visit?

Anyways, I don't think an HTPC would be right--but mostly because I think of my parents trying to deal with a PC on the TV and the headache starts, heartburn kicks in...etc.

Good luck anyways....also one more thing. Can your parents hear a noisy hard drive? Heck I was worried about quit stuff for my parents machines...then I realized, they can't hear those noises anyway! :lol: :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:15 pm 
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Well, I often hear "I wish we could tape this thing that starts at 3 AM", so I guess the device should be quiet enough not to interrupt my mother's sleep...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:27 am 
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Hey Matija

Where I am (Oz) it's not worth shelling out for a DVR.

What could fit your mum's needs, is a DVD recorder - if prices there are comparable to here.

Any DVR is really only as good as the Electronic Programme Guide. If you don't have EPG broadcasted, and you only have four channels anyway, GCodes for recordings would be the next easiest thing for your mum to handle. In the abscence of which - back to the old on screen display.

I'd chose the DVD recorder based on how easy the menu is to navigate!

Hope this helps... mum's can be the greatest technological challenge! :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 3:02 pm 
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For me, by far the biggest attraction of a DVR (PVR?) over a DVD recorder/VCR is that there are no discs/tapes needed and I think that's what the OP was after. I think of the EPG as only a starting point really and always manually add a few minutes to the beginning and end of the time anyway to be sure of getting it all.

I have had a Humax PVR for 2 or 3 years with an 80GB drive. In itself it is reasonably quiet with only a slight hum to be heard. The problem comes when it is in the cabinet under the TV, the resonance amplifies the hum into something quite unacceptable. The solution was so easy - four squares of 25mm thick polystyrene under the feet of the thing. You can't see them unless you lie on the floor so they even pass the wife test. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:15 am 
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judge56988 wrote:
For me, by far the biggest attraction of a DVR (PVR?) over a DVD recorder/VCR is that there are no discs/tapes needed and I think that's what the OP was after.


Really?

I thought the issues were:
1. that mum didn't know what was on each tape (fix: DVD menu) and
2. couldn't find it easily even if it was (fix: instant access recording, eg DVD, HDD).
3. Also 3 am programmes to record with 'simplicity' (fix: EPG / simple manual menu) and
4. PVR noise levels (fix: newer simple DVD recorders are pretty silent)

Yea, given the DVD's could all still get confused but I thought that since DVD recorders could fit the needs mostly, at a fraction of the cost, it was worth a suggestion.

Anyway, just trying to help. Now the OP has got your answer as well as mine to decide, ay? :D

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