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Pauahunter "Pauahunter" (UK)

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231 of 247 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant alternative to SKY, 25 Jan. 2013
The savings of years Sky Subscription more than covers the cost of this box. I now have a great range of programmes and have no monthly subscription.

INSTALLATON
There was a Sky Dish present when we moved in and we have had a Sky + SD package for over 2 years now and very rarely have we lost signal. In my mind that meant the Dish worked correctly and was aligned properly although there are loads of mobile apps that assist you in realigning your dish. Obviously installing and aligning a dish requires more expense, work and tools - notably a ladder

I unplugged the Sky box and plugged in the FreeSat box
- Sat Input #1
- Sat Input #2
- HDMI cable to the telly
- Ethernet cable to the router
- Power cable

The sat inputs are a little fiddly and you have to be very careful with the centre wire on the connector but apart from that it was one of the easiest set ups I have done.

TUNING
Set the TV input to accept HDMI #1. Turn on the freeSat box via the remote. A wizard starts automatically and takes you through about 5 steps
- Checks signal strength and quality (We have around 80% and 90% respectively which reinforces my confidence in the dish alignment)
- Tells you how many television and radio channels you have tuned (90+ and 30+ respectively)
- Enter your Postcode (for local content)
- Set a PIN for parental control

PICTURE QUALITY
A marked improvement from using a SD Sky box via a SCART cable. The HDMI cable (provided) really is so much better and we are now getting the full use of our Full HD telly.

REMOTE CONTROL
- The buttons are a reasonable size
- The Home button allows you to access anything you need to.
- There is a single button to access recordings.
- There is a List button that you can use when in the EPG to list channels by type. This is useful as there are so many channels!

SEARCH
Because there are over 90 programmes the search feature is something I am really grateful for. I have found it really easy to use.

USER INTERFACE
I have not seen the Sky+ HD interface but I would guess that the Humax FreeSat HD+ is as good or if not better.

You have and 8 day schedule and can scroll back in time (only if those channels have on demand content). The Channel Icons are listed in the TV guise are listed which is quite snazzy but you would not want a smaller screen telly as this would be difficult to read. We have a modest 32 inch screen.

You can choose a programme in the guide and use the i button to get a quick synopsis or use the 'About' option in the interface to get a fuller description.

There is a Showcase feature that shows recommendations for the current day and also 'D0n't Miss' programmes. I find this quite useful as I don't buy TV guides or the Radio Times.

When you find a programme you want to record you are given the choice to record in HD (if available) or SD and also the choice to record the 1 programme or the series.

All other features that we are used to with Sky+ are present

ON DEMAND
This was quite easy to access but it does take a few seconds to load. Also you cannot fast forward /rewind with any ease, it tends to jump in 10 min chunks. Also because this is accessed via a Channel you cannot use if 2 recordings are taking place at the same time.

RECORDING CAPACITY
When you first enter the recordings section you can see that 10% of the space has already been used. I can only guess that this is 'reserved' for such features as pause/ rewind live TV, also you can begin a recoding at any stage of the programme and it will record from the beginning as long as the freesat box was not powered off or in standy when the programme started. With this in mind I am glad we went for the 1TB over the 500GB box. If both boxes 'reserve' 10% of recording capacity then that leaves you with 900GB or 450GB on the respective boxes.

INSTRUCTION MANUALS
There is a quick start guide which covers the physical setup.

The main instruction manual covers using the EPG; recording, parental controls etc and are very comprehensive.

There is also on screen help which covers many topics.

Some reviews have been negative regarding the instructions but these were adequate for replacing a Sky box. They do not and would not cover dish installation etc.

SOFTWARE UPDATES
This is really easy to do via the remote control. Just ensure you have an internet connection.

CONS
I have read reviews that list some cons
- Recordings having the end chopped off
- Series links disappearing

I have looked at numerous recordings and I have found that there is around 4 mins extra at the beginning and end of programmes from channels with advertisements. The BBC recordings (no adverts) only have around 1 min extra at the start and end of programmes but none have been cut-off prematurely.

There does not appear to be any option to change the amount of 'buffer' but as already stated I have found no need to do this.

I have not observed series link disappearing and I can see that I have recorded many programme over the 2 weeks that I have been operating this and the series link information is still present.

I have found a couple of Cons that I have not seen on other reviews.

Con #1 When 2 recordings are in progress you cannot change channels but there is no message to state this. This is normal functionality for a dual tuner setup but with Sky you got a pop up message on the screen. You can check if 2 recordings are taking place via
Remote Control > Recordings
My Recordings Menu > Most Recent
Look at the top the list and check for a symbol that is a red circle with a white 'R' in it

Also iPlayer is accessed via a Channel in the EPG (even though it's via the internet) so you cannot use this while 2 recordings are taking place.

You can watch a recorded item at the same time as 2 recordings are taking place.

Con #2. There is no light on the front of the box to indicate a recoding is taking place and you cannot tell if it is recording a programme unless you go into the recordings menu.

There is an upside to this. My 1 year old would always try to touch or whack the Recording / playback lights on the front of the sky box. So far he has shown no interest whatsoever in the Humax box.

If you power off the box while a recording is in progress or during playback of a recording then you will damage the HDD. I would recommend that as a precaution that this box is not powered down without checking that recordings are taking place.

Remote Control > Recordings
My Recordings Menu > Most Recent
Look at the top the list and check for a symbol that is a red circle with a white 'R' in it. If a programme has this symbol then the box is recoding and should not be powered off.

Another confusing aspect of this is that planned recordings have the same icon as currently recoding which could cause some confusion with less diligent users.

There are some channels that are not on FreeSat but as we have freeview built in to our telly we can still watch them but not record them.
- Dave
- Yesterday
- UK Gold
- Viva
- Dave ja vue

Free Sat Does has Pick TV which looks very much like Sky One.

All in all a great purchase!
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 22, 2014 7:24 PM BST


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4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps Black Rats off your roof and out of your loft, 26 Dec. 2010
I recently had a problem with Black Rats in my loft. (These are smaller than brown rats but are good climbers - hence the problem in the loft). I got rid of one famuly of them via a trapping / poisoning programme, but the biggest problem was how to keep others out of the loft and preferably off my roof (the neighbours dog barks at them all throught the night). I had covered some small gaps in the roof tiling with Steel mesh but rats can disjoint their limbs and get through the tiniest spaces. I could hear noises from the roof at night and my neighbours dog barking so they were obviously in the vicinity and due to the scent the others had left, were probably attracted to my loft. A day after installing 2 of these ultrasonic deterrants in my loft I noticed no more noise from the roof and a reduced amount of barking from the neighbours dog. I can only assume that the rats have moved on to an easier target, albiet one that the dog can still see / hear the rats from.

I also have one of these installed in my garden shed. I had one installed in my Garage but the red light had stopped flashing withing a week ( obviously not working) - thats why I cannot give this product 5 stars.


Linksys Wireless-G USB Network Adapter with RangeBooster
Linksys Wireless-G USB Network Adapter with RangeBooster

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for reception and download volumes, 26 Feb. 2009
I have had Linksys Wireless products in the past and I have had no problem with them. This one is no exception. I have a Linksys WRT54G wireless router (without rangebooster technology) downstairs and the network adaptor upstairs. The signal is strong and there is no need to move the adaptor around to get a good signal.

There are the occaisional dropouts from the network but this only happens after a long period of inactivity. I have found this also occurs with other wireless adaptors and the solution is to reset the adaptor connection in windows. This process takes less than a minute and you do not need to touch the adaptor at all.

If you plan to file share or do a lot of downloading as I do then the dropouts will not occur.


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