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About puffmoike

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  1. IceTV are talking about a refund. Saying I could try a Beyondwiz (more expensive, features I don’t need). Any other suggestions? Are there any brands that have a reputation for working well with less than ideal signal strength? (Keeping in mind that the unit is for a 75yo woman, so easy to use is key)
  2. My recent experience with two different units suggests the Humax 2Tune seems to have problem picking up channels. Are there alternate recorders that are likely to fare better? Or what else can I try? ––––– Longer version: Bought my elderly mother a Humax 2Tune from IceTV to replace her TiVo. I initially tried setting the unit up at my house. I pulled the antenna cable which runs from the wall out of my TV and stuck it into the Humax. During setup the only channel it automatically detected was Channel 31. After trying a second automatic scan I rang the Humax support line, and reset to factory settings, but still got same result. For background context I can’t remember the last time my TV (~8yo Panasonic P50V20 plasma) has had an issue with signal strength. I live in North Melbourne, right near Royal Melbourne Hospital, and about 8 years ago a new 16 storey building at Melbourne Uni got constructed between my house and the Dandenongs. This caused havoc with my reception, but after doing some research on the forums I replaced the existing aerial with a digital-specific unit and since then have had almost no issues. With my fingers crossed I took the unit out to my mum’s in Eltham. Again, I pulled her antenna cable out of the back of her 1yo Samsung LCD and plugged it into the Humax. This time when I did the setup the unit automatically detected most digital channels, but none of the ABC channels. I did an automatic rescan, and this time it did detect the ABC stations. But reception was spotty on the ABC stations. Over ten minutes of teaching my mum the basics of using the remote the image regularly stuttered for a split second, and at one time we got no image at all, just an error message. Again, my mum has apparently not had any issues with reception using her current TV, or her older TiVo unit which the Humax is belatedly replacing, or the older TV she had before getting the TiVo. So I contacted Humax again, explained all of the above, and they sent out a second unit. Again I tried to set it up at my house first. Again all it picked up was Channel 31. So it seems fair to conclude that the problem is not restricted to a dud unit. Where to from here? Is there another PVR that has a better reputation for picking up channels in possibly less than ideal (but far from terrible – every other device seems to go okay) situations ?
  3. Yep. Just wasn't necessarily expecting anyone here to be so familiar with Aireys. ;-) I'll check out the surrounding houses when I'm next there. And having now read your helpful comments in another thread it's clear that all the odds are stacked against decent reception - not only does the house have multiple hills between it and most of the transmitters in the area, but the property is ringed with gigantic pine trees. So perhaps I should just be thankful we get reception most of the time.
  4. Cheers Alan. Who'd have thought a government website would be the place to head for info Ummm, yes… [cue creepy horror movie music] Cheers, seems like might be Melbourne or Aireys Inlet, but given it currently gets regional versions of the commercial stations I presume that means it's getting it from the Anglesea transmitter. Cheers. It's not that we can't afford a new antenna, it's just a question of how much we're prepared to spend on something that won't get a lot of use. We go to the beach to go to the beach! Thanks for all the great info. I'll check out the links you've given me in greater detail tomorrow.
  5. Probably a long time ago. The shack is about fifty years old, and Mum bought it twelve months ago. Sorry, just want to clarify what 'transmitter' means. Do you mean that a new TV transmitter might have been installed in the area, and thus I should check whether the existing hardware should reoriented? Or is a 'transmitter' part of the antenna and distribution system? I know from my own experience in North Melbourne that installing a different type of antenna solved my reception issues. But that was something I did myself (with the generous assistance of another forum member who happened to live locally and have a spare antenna lying around which he let me borrow to test and then purchase at cost). To change the antenna in Aireys would be a much, much bigger undertaking, and would no doubt be very expensive if I got it done professionally. I'm really hoping to keep this pretty cheap. This TV won't get much use, and I'm not interested in spending lots of money. Sorry, I don't quite understand. Are you suggesting that there will probably only be marginal differences between tuners in different TVs, and that I should be first looking to maximise the quality of the signal from the antenna? When I next go down to the beach house I'll have a look to see what hardware is on top of newer houses in the same area, and what direction the antennae are pointing. Is it likely that the antenna I use at home, a Fracarro LP34HV, would be suitable down there? I could test with my existing hardware before buying a new one.
  6. I'm after exactly the same sort of info. I want a smallish (32") cheap TV to replace a 68cm Sony CRT and TEAC STB at a shack in Aireys Inlet (largely for space considerations, but also to reduce the number of remote controls for my mother - even tempted to get a cheap Soniq with integrated DVD). For those who know the surf coast the house is down near the estuary, and it sits at the base of the point that the lighthouse is on which presumably causes havoc with the signal. The existing antenna might be about 15m high. TV works about 80% of the time - the rest of the time just get a No Signal message from the STB. Am I likely to have more or less reception issues with a new TV over the existing STB? Any brands that have a better reputation for tuners in marginal signal areas? Ideally I'd go really cheap. This TV won't get turned on much, other than by my 8yo.
  7. Just a quick jump back in to say thanks to everyone for the fantastic discussion. I've certainly learnt a lot in the past few days. Time to befriend someone with a proper projector setup and see what I'm missing out on!
  8. I've never seen a good home projector setup - I've barely seen any home projector setups - so I don't know. In your opinion is a big screen better because: sound; there's a psychological distinction between a 'work' environment and a 'pleasure' environment; the visual experience is manifestly better (without reference to any other considerations); Something else I've neglected completely; Some or all of the above And if the visual experience alone is inherently better would using a similarly scaled screen for computer usage also be better? And if not, why not? I appreciate I might have sounded a bit snippy previously, but I'm genuinely interested in your thoughts. I have to admit sound was something I hadn't been considering. I live in an inner-city apartment with a 7yo child, and typically when I watch a BR movie he's asleep in the room directly above it. Given my absolute volume levels are set by his sound tolerance sitting close to the screen effectively makes the volume louder. Possibly one of the other things that makes my own situation a bit unusual is that I am a graphic designer with a particular passion for typefaces. And so I'll look at titles and credits in a completely different way to the average viewer. Type is typically static, and shown in flat colours with high contrast edges, and thus is not representative of typical video footage. Higher resolution screens potentially open up the use of entirely different typefaces than those designers have needed to restrict themselves until now to given the low-resolution screen they are typically seen on.
  9. Marco Arment perfectly understands the ability of the human eye to resolve detail at different distances, as his comments about "effective pixel size" make clear. So do I. I linked to his piece because it indicates that a reasonably-priced 4K display will likely be available very soon. Traditionally they haven't, no. But then not that long ago people happily watched a fuzzy black and white image on a 13" curved screen. And if they didn't like what was on they got up and walked to the other side of the room to change the channel! (Incidentally that little box had a substantially higher pixel density than a current 50" HDTV.) I bought a 50" plasma 18 months ago and my nearly 70yo mother thought it looked absolutely ridiculous because it was so big. Now she has one. Hooked up to a PVR. Time's change. The way at least some of us watch "TV" is changing dramatically. Not everybody lives in a 50 square house in the suburbs watching A Current Affair every night on the other side of an enormous loungeroom. I reckon I'll be watching 4K vision in my own home pretty soon.
  10. [quote name=' timestamp='1346453591' post='1830352] I think your getting very confused by what is PC use and TVs which are being discussed here… I'm not confused - I'm discussing the "bigger picture". This thread is called Why 4K TVs Are Stupid. I don't think they are. The article the OP linked to stated "[4K] is a brilliant idea for movie theatres. But 4K in the home is stupid." You clearly agree with both parts of this statement. I don't. If 4K makes sense anywhere then it makes sense nearly everywhere. I always have a computer in my pocket. I call it a "phone", but making calls is only a small part of what I use it for. I'll probably keep calling the screen in the loungeroom a "TV" for a while yet. But soon it will just be another (big) computer. And if the only computers I can buy for my loungeroom are markedly inferior from the computer I'll already have on my desk -- and the computer I'll buy in a year or two will almost certainly be 4K -- then I won't buy one. And that's just me. And I'm nearly 40. Meanwhile my 7 year old son can't remember a time without iPhones and iPads. The current ones he uses have pixels so small that they're invisible to the naked eye. He spends far more time in front of a computer screen than a TV. His primary source of video is neither broadcast television nor recorded media, it's ABC's iView and YouTube. He can barely get his head around the whole concept of television -- What do you mean I can't watch whatever I want, whenever I want? This computer is broken! Where's my iPad? Media is fragmenting ridiculously quickly. The daily newspaper might disappear in as little as two years (the prediction of one of the many senior journalists made redundant by Fairfax this week). Broadcast television might yet go the same way. Twenty years ago households had the choice of 5 channels or a trip in the car to the video store to get a DVD. Now there's ~15 free-to-air stations, close to ~100 pay TV stations and companies like Apple, Netflix, Hulu etc are working to make the whole idea of only being able to watch what a few program managers have chosen sound as ridiculous to you as it already does to my son. Increasingly all of us will watch whatever we want, whenever we want. So except when big events like a Grand Final or the Olympics are being shown live who is going to want to sit around in the family loungeroom and watch what somebody else in the house chose? It's an old paradigm, and I think it's going to disappear very quickly. I'm not suggesting that everybody should race out tomorrow and buy a 4K TV set for $30K. As I've already made clear I won't be. But my next computer will be able to show 4K video, and it will cost me less than $3K. And when I'm hooked up to the NBN it will be easy for me to download 4K material for it. Mind you I'm not suggesting the TV in the loungeroom will disappear entirely. I bet Apple has a very good idea of when it will be possible for it to make a decent profit on a 4K loungeroom computer "TV" selling for less than $5K. And I bet that moment isn't that far away…
  11. If that was a question about when a Retina iMac will be released, then no. I'd pretty confidently predict within the twelve months. Possibly much sooner. Maybe two years at the outside. Beautiful displays without obvious pixellation are clearly a huge priority for the biggest company in the world.
  12. Coincidentally a blogger with a very good grasp of the realities of bringing technology to market has just posited that a 27" iMac Retina will have 4K resolution. This would allow Apple to use the same 165ppi display technology currently used in the older iPhone 3GS model (and the widely regarded as certain-to-arrive-before-Christmas 7" iPad Mini/Nano/Air). When Apple release one of these and I can get my hands on some 4K footage I'll let you know if I can tell a noticeable difference between it and a 2K version. I'm feeling pretty confident…
  13. And I'm telling you that when the picture quality warrants it I will happily sit "very very close". Just as I have already explained I very happily do when looking at photos on my iMac, or reading on my iPhone. But what you currently call "very very close" (or for that matter "a very very large screen") is just what you're used to, and will probably change in the future. What people considered a big screen 20 years ago now seems laughably small. And we'll continue to change our ideas about what constitutes sitting "very very close" or a "very very large screen" as the technology continues to improve (until such time as our eyes really can't see the difference). There are many factors which having nothing to do with actually watching TV which determine where people sit. But I know from my own experience that if watching a Blu-Ray by myself on my 50" plasma where I put my bean bag is determined by the point at which my eyes start seeing 'the pixels'. Basically anybody that says 4K makes sense in a cinema but not in a home setting is either talking out their ***, or is making that argument on any number of factors which have absolutely nothing to do with being able to enjoy the best picture quality.
  14. Of course. I'm just not at all convinced that the graph has flattened out that much yet - especially for the sort of people who visit this site. When they become meaningless. But whilst they are in some other fields, TVs aren't close to that yet. I'm a photographer. Whenever any of my friends ask what camera to buy the first bit of advice I give them is to ignore megapixels. Completely. Then I repeat myself, just to make sure they heard me. Why? Because for point-and-shoot cameras the limiting factors for picture quality are the lens quality, and the physical laws of the propagation of light (especially diffraction effects) as they apply to a tiny sensor. Pretty much end of story (although the way most people take photos holding their camera out like it's a smelly nappy has a massive impact too). DSLRs have bigger sensors, so the camera designers aren't hitting the same limits imposed by the laws of physics quite as abruptly. But I still give the same advice because I know most of my friends will never buy expensive lenses or tripods, nor take the time to understand the appropriate techniques necessary to optimise the output of a high megapixel sensor. Sharpness, frankly, is the least of my friends' photography worries. But that advice is for an amateur in the context of capturing a photo. It's not about them looking at a photo taken by a professional using specialist equipment. In contrast I do advise my friends to buy a computer with an excellent display. (And I know if they get a Mac then just as importantly out of the box it will be fairly well 'calibrated'. I'm not across PCs - I'm not trying to rekindle any tired wars). Because one can certainly see the difference between photos I took with my old 6MP (3K) Canon 300D and my current 18MP (5K) Canon 7D. And when in a year or so I look at those photos on a Retina iMac the difference will be even more apparent. (And the difference will be even starker when reading text on the screen). So, having established I'm not a specifications junkie, let's return to televisions… I don't need to look at a TV's model name or a spec sheet to know if I'm looking at a 1080p movie or an SD one, and I'm very confident that I'll easily be able to discern the difference between a 4K TV and our current HD ones (assuming the original footage has been recorded with a suitable camera and lens and a modicum of skill, of course). When I can't do that, then the law of diminishing returns will have kicked in.
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