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

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by RMD, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. RMD

    RMD Guest

    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    supplied out-of-the-box has bugs in it and is out-of-date.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
     
  2. IamThe99%

    IamThe99% Guest

    "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.
     
  3. terryc

    terryc Guest

    msy.com.au
     
  4. IamThe99%

    IamThe99% Guest

    msy.com.au

    Thanks, i'll have to check out their local stores.
     
  5. Franc Zabkar

    Franc Zabkar Guest

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

    RMD Guest

    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
     
  7. RMD

    RMD Guest

    <<<<>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
     
  8. Franc Zabkar

    Franc Zabkar Guest

    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
     
  9. Franc Zabkar

    Franc Zabkar Guest

    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
     
  10. Franc Zabkar

    Franc Zabkar Guest

    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.c...ttp://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.

    - Franc Zabkar
     
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