Thompson USB recording STB and Telefunken 500G PVR - Mini-Review

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RMD

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Sep 9, 2012, 11:34:22 PM9/9/12
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Hi All,

I have a friend who I still take VHS video tapes with me when I visit.

It seemed to me I'd be better off taking a USB thumb drive with video
on it, rather than VHS tapes.

I can buy 64G USB thumb drives for about $30 from MSY now, and a
Thompson STB with USB record is $39 from K-Mart now. (Just btw the
Thompson USB STB is about the size of a VHS cassette.)

The Thompson STB records *.mts files, which can be played by VLC,
turned into DVD's by Nero 7 onwards, and even be played by other PVR's
like the Telefunken 500G PVR also sold by K-Mart for $149.

Anyway I trialled a Thompson STB to see how it worked and eventually
bought quite a few of them so I have more than an "heir plus a spare"
situation. I need to be sure I can continue to use them for a
reasonable period of time, including maybe unexpected failures.

On my tests the Thompson STB's work quite well once they have about
the right signal level fed into them. (Two lights and above on the
Jaycar digital TV signal strength meter.)

However, I did find using a cheap MSY HDMI cable that they self
interfered from the MSY el-cheapo HDMI cable. (I'm in a somewhat dodgy
signal strength area, and this may not be an issue in a stronger
signal strength area.) The Thopmson STB worked well enough with a
better quality HDMI cable, but it worked best of all with the standard
yellow-red-white AV cable.

I ended up using the yellow-red-white AV outputs instead of the HDMI
output.

Anyway, I think these Thompson STB's combined with a fairly cheap 64G
USB drive make quite a cheap way of transferring video about
geographically, either house to house or room to room.

I store the Thompson video on my PC hard drives as the 64G drive fills
up, and don;t find the 64G size is too small for my purposes. The 64G
drive holds about 30 hours of video.

The Telefunken 500G PVR's also seem to have some good features for not
a lot of money.

However, it is important to ring the Telefunken help line and get the
latest firmware sent to your email address, since the firmware
supplied out-of-the-box has bugs in it and is out-of-date. The first
thing top do is upgrade the Telefunken firware before doing anything
else.

The 500G Telefunken PVR's seem to work quite reliably with the updated
firmware, based on the two examples I have bought. They are twin
tuner, but will only record one program at a time.

They will play most video file formats like wmv, flv, mpg, mts etc
from the front USB drive which I think is quite a useful feature.

I'm planning to buy another two of them, once my local K-Mart stores
re-stock the Telefunken's.

Ross




IamThe99%

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Sep 12, 2012, 1:56:48 AM9/12/12
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RMD wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> I have a friend who I still take VHS video tapes with me when I visit.
>
> It seemed to me I'd be better off taking a USB thumb drive with video
> on it, rather than VHS tapes.
>
> I can buy 64G USB thumb drives for about $30 from MSY now, and a
> Thompson STB with USB record is $39 from K-Mart now. (Just btw the
> Thompson USB STB is about the size of a VHS cassette.)
>
"64G USB thumb drives for about $30 from MSY"



What a bargain where are you located and what is MSY?



I paid $30 for 32G at JB Hi-Fi (Bankstown NSW) yesterday & I thought I was
getting a bargain.

terryc

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Sep 12, 2012, 2:01:41 AM9/12/12
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On 12/09/12 15:56, IamThe99% wrote:

>
> What a bargain where are you located and what is MSY?
msy.com.au

IamThe99%

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Sep 12, 2012, 8:04:48 PM9/12/12
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Thanks, i'll have to check out their local stores.


Franc Zabkar

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Oct 8, 2012, 1:15:53 AM10/8/12
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On Mon, 10 Sep 2012 03:34:22 GMT, r...@invalid.invalid (RMD) put finger
to keyboard and composed:

>I have a friend who I still take VHS video tapes with me when I visit.
>
>It seemed to me I'd be better off taking a USB thumb drive with video
>on it, rather than VHS tapes.
>
>I can buy 64G USB thumb drives for about $30 from MSY now, and a
>Thompson STB with USB record is $39 from K-Mart now. (Just btw the
>Thompson USB STB is about the size of a VHS cassette.)

I'm wondering whether these are genuine 64GB drives. I see that later
in this thread you state that the pen drive holds 30 hours of video,
but have you actually filled up the drive?

>The Thompson STB records *.mts files, which can be played by VLC,
>turned into DVD's by Nero 7 onwards, and even be played by other PVR's
>like the Telefunken 500G PVR also sold by K-Mart for $149.

I bought a Soniq T201-AU STB from JB HiFi some months ago for $39. It
sounds very similar to yours. The file extension is SQTS (SoniQ Time
Shift or SoniQ Transport Stream ?). If a recording exceeds the 4GB
size limit of FAT32, the STB breaks it up into 4GB segments. The
second file segment has an SQTS1 extension. As in your case, the SQTS
file is playable by VLC.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/vlc/?source=recommended

I haven't tried turning it into DVD format, though.

>However, I did find using a cheap MSY HDMI cable that they self
>interfered from the MSY el-cheapo HDMI cable.

The Soniq T201 has an HDMI output but I haven't tried it yet.

>Anyway, I think these Thompson STB's combined with a fairly cheap 64G
>USB drive make quite a cheap way of transferring video about
>geographically, either house to house or room to room.

>I store the Thompson video on my PC hard drives as the 64G drive fills
>up, and don;t find the 64G size is too small for my purposes. The 64G
>drive holds about 30 hours of video.

That was exactly my reasoning for purchasing the device. AISI, I don't
need a bulky, unreliable HDD based DVD Recorder or STB.

- Franc Zabkar
--
Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

RMD

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Oct 15, 2012, 6:40:07 AM10/15/12
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Hi Franc,

<<<<<>I'm wondering whether these are genuine 64GB drives. I see that
laterin this thread you state that the pen drive holds 30 hours of
video, but have you actually filled up the drive?>>>>>


Yes, I've filled up the drives and they are 64G. The 30 hours of video
I mentioned is just an approximate amount.

I've just checked one of the drives and 1 hour of video is about
3Gbyte, so the drives can only hold about 20 hours of video. They are
actually 57.6G as measured by Windows.


Ross

RMD

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Oct 15, 2012, 6:54:40 AM10/15/12
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<<<<>I've just checked one of the drives and 1 hour of video is about
3Gbyte, so the drives can only hold about 20 hours of video. They are
actually 57.6G as measured by Windows.>>>

It actually depends on whether the files are HD or SD video as to how
many Gbytes/hour video.

The 3G/hour is for HD video. It is closer to 2G/hour for SD video.

Ross

Franc Zabkar

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Oct 15, 2012, 3:14:21 PM10/15/12
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On Mon, 15 Oct 2012 10:40:07 GMT, r...@invalid.invalid (RMD) put finger
to keyboard and composed:

>Hi Franc,
>
><<<<<>I'm wondering whether these are genuine 64GB drives. I see that
>laterin this thread you state that the pen drive holds 30 hours of
>video, but have you actually filled up the drive?>>>>>
>
>
>Yes, I've filled up the drives and they are 64G. The 30 hours of video
>I mentioned is just an approximate amount.
>
>I've just checked one of the drives and 1 hour of video is about
>3Gbyte, so the drives can only hold about 20 hours of video. They are
>actually 57.6G as measured by Windows.
>
>
>Ross

I'm also finding that a HD recording requires about 3GB/hour.

The 64GB would be in decimal format, as is the case with HDDs, even
though the flash capacity is actually 64GiB.

AISI, there is no real need to purchase a HDD based DVDR / PVR / STB.
This setup seems to be far more versatile.

Thanks for the feedback.

Franc Zabkar

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Oct 18, 2012, 5:18:52 AM10/18/12
to
On Mon, 10 Sep 2012 03:34:22 GMT, r...@invalid.invalid (RMD) put finger
to keyboard and composed:

>Anyway I trialled a Thompson STB to see how it worked and eventually
>bought quite a few of them so I have more than an "heir plus a spare"
>situation. I need to be sure I can continue to use them for a
>reasonable period of time, including maybe unexpected failures.

Curiosity got the better of me so I broke the warranty seal and looked
inside. I immediately noticed what looked like the infamous corrosive
glue on both ends of the SDRAM and covering some passives on the PCB.
Why? And how do I remove it without disturbing the passives?

Also, three of the pins of the SoC (which was heatsinked, albeit
crookedly) were either corroded, or very badly soldered.

ISTM that it was a good idea on your part to buy a spare. I might have
to do the same myself. :-(

Keep your receipt ...

Franc Zabkar

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Oct 28, 2012, 7:57:25 PM10/28/12
to
On Mon, 10 Sep 2012 03:34:22 GMT, r...@invalid.invalid (RMD) put finger
to keyboard and composed:

>I can buy 64G USB thumb drives for about $30 from MSY now, and a
>Thompson STB with USB record is $39 from K-Mart now. (Just btw the
>Thompson USB STB is about the size of a VHS cassette.)

The Nov 03 Aldi catalogue has a Vivid HD STB/PVR, model AVB-1810, for
$30. It was previously sold under the Brauhn brand name in January
2011.

Here is an old thread that discusses some of its features:
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1628215
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?strip=1&q=cache:http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1628215

One user mentions a freeware video editor which works well with the
unit:
http://avidemux.sourceforge.net/

BTW, the image in Aldi's catalogue has been badly photoshopped.
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