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Humax w/ separate Saorview box Vs. Tiviar/SAB Combo box

  • 11-06-2019 2:04pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 831 ✭✭✭ Dr Pepper


    I'd appreciate some advice about what Freesat+Saorview setup to buy. I currently have Sky+HD and a non-smart 40" HD TV (which is otherwise fine!).

    My Requirements:
    - Ease of use and reasonably attractive/quick UI
    - 7 day EPG
    - Pause/rewind live TV
    - PVR (record & watch at same time or 2x record) - I already have a few 2.5" SATA HDDs lying around.
    - Series link preferably
    - Irish/Saorview channels essential (we watch about 50% Irish TV - preferably with all of the above features)
    - Netflix
    - HD capable
    - Easy to setup (I'm reasonably tech-savvy and don't mind spending an hour or two adding HDD and setting up channels - but don't want it to become a part-time job!).

    Option 1 - Separate devices
    Humax 1100s + separate Saorview box (e.g. Edision Triton T2 DVB-T2 - cheap and looks good)
    Pros: Humax 1100s looks great
    Cons: 2 separate boxes, PVRs, remotes - will probably become a real pain switching between the two. Probably too confusing for other family members!

    Option 2 - Combo
    A freesat/saorview combo box.
    - SAB Alpha Triple Tuner (2x DVB-S2 + DVB-T2/C) - Look like it might meet my needs but kinda basic looking and doesn't seem to have Netflix.
    - Tiviar Alpha Plus Combo STB. NewClareman's post seems excellent but the fact that the thread is 118 pages is making me worry about the complexity of setup/maintenance. Happy to be corrected on that!
    - Saorview Connect (seems to be a no-no from my reading here!)
    Pros: All features on one box!
    Cons: Setup seems like it could be a bit fiddly and ease-of-use maybe not as slick as the Humax??

    Option 3 - Smart TV
    A new TV that meets all of the above requirements?? (49-55"). Would be looking for something under €500-600 if there is such a thing.
    Pros: Nice neat, all-in-one setup
    Cons: Considerably more expensive and less modular (can't upgrade one part e.g. TV/receiver).

    Thanks very much for looking and for all advice. It's hard to get a feel for the usability of these things from a few sketchy YouTube videos. I know there is endless info on here already but just looking for recommendations in comparing the different options.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,027 ✭✭✭ Gerry Wicklow


    In many ways you've answered a lot of the questions yourself.
    1. The 2 box solution is just too messy.
    2. AFAIK the Sab is getting on a bit now and is pricey for what it offers. Likewise the Tiviar is getting hard to find due to it's age. The Zgemma is being promoted as it's replacement but I have yet to see a proper hands-on review. The length of the thread about NewClaremans image is more reflective of it's evolution and popularity that any negative.
    3. In my experience Smart TVs are obsolete before they leave the shop. They have limited functionality and you are dependent on maker support. Again as you say, a discrete box is far more versatile, functional and cheaper.

    If I was in the market now, I would seriously consider the ZGemma UHD box. Make sure it's the 2xDVB-S2 +1xDVB-T2 version not the 2xDVB-T2+1xS2. OpenATV would be my image of choice.
    EDIT: AFAIK Netflix is not available on any Linux box


  • Registered Users Posts: 652 ✭✭✭ decor58


    I have a Humax about over two years now and can't really fault it, all the usual, epg, updates, apps, no C4 HD, but. TV has Saorview tuner, one remote does all. I did have a HDD on the TV for Saorview recording and it worked fine (now have a Samsung recorder, 7 day epg, apps, series link.). The customised combo units seem fine and it can be an interest but I have gone for what I think is the easy life.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,207 ✭✭✭ andy1249


    I had a humax 1000s and a separate triax saorview box.
    It is too messy , even with a harmony remote controlling the switching.

    The humax boxes have an ongoing issue with a motherboard part failing and the box refusing to recognise the internal hard drive.
    That is how mine died.
    The box still works , just will not record anything because it cannot see a hard drive.
    Also a major gripe for me was that these boxes are "freesat boxes" and limited to channels that pay to be on the freesat epg , channel 4 HD is no longer on the freesat epg.

    I bought a Tiviar and used THHB image from the thread on here.
    Its way better than the humax.
    Faster to respond to remote commands and records everything unencrypted which is very handy for watching recordings on other devices over the network.
    Also gets channel 4 HD

    because of the support the tiviar gets on here setup is very easy , just download the already setup images that users have posted on there and install it and you are pretty much up and running.

    There are newer enigma 2 boxes like the zgemma , but you will have to download a basic enigma 2 image ( for that box , enigma 2 images are for specific boxes ) and set it up yourself , which , for a beginner , is a long and confusing process , there is no start to finish procedure out there anywhere and you will have to gather all the snippets of information together and work them into some kind of order that makes sense.
    Roughly speaking ...

    get enigma 2 installation for your specific box
    flash the firmware
    check the hardware is all recognised
    install autobouquetmaker
    install all the plugins and skins required
    set all the plugins up and run the tuner setups
    modify to taste.

    it takes a while to do from scratch.

    Thanks to newclareman and THHB who have posted working images on here , I was able to get a working box immediately and then take screenshots of all the menus at my leisure and get familiar with enigma 2 over time.
    Use one of these images and you are working straight away , if you want to get more familiar with the enigma 2 setup , this takes time , there is a lot to learn.


  • Registered Users Posts: 831 ✭✭✭ Dr Pepper


    Thanks very much for the replies. Extremely helpful! I think I will go for the Tiviar. Was on the verge of getting the Humax+Saorview but Andy's just tipped me back in favour of a combo. Zgamma looks good but I would definitely be more comfortable with the images and support available here for the Tiviar. Any recommendations where to buy? I'm seeing it in Satworld, eBay and Adverts.

    Anybody know of a unit for watching Netflix? I know I could use a laptop but would rather a dedicated/permanent box with remote control if it doesn't cost too much.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,893 ✭✭✭✭ Johnboy1951


    Dr Pepper wrote: »
    Thanks very much for the replies. Extremely helpful! I think I will go for the Tiviar. Was on the verge of getting the Humax+Saorview but Andy's just tipped me back in favour of a combo. Zgamma looks good but I would definitely be more comfortable with the images and support available here for the Tiviar. Any recommendations where to buy? I'm seeing it in Satworld, eBay and Adverts.

    Anybody know of a unit for watching Netflix? I know I could use a laptop but would rather a dedicated/permanent box with remote control if it doesn't cost too much.

    Satworld would get my money.

    You should be able to get a cheap Android box (~€40+) that would do Netflix direct to TV. Might be worth a punt to see if it works to your satisfaction. Some of them can be used with versions of Linux running Kodi and a Netflix Kodi plugin.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 831 ✭✭✭ Dr Pepper


    Thanks Johnboy1951. I'm going to try a Roku Express for Netflix streaming (can't go too far wrong for €40). They have a bewildering array of similar devices. For help choosing, there is a good guide here and a handy comparison chart here.

    Still getting the Tiviar too of course. Just have to convince my missus first! She likes the look of the Humax.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35 garymt


    I'd say - just go for it!
    I chose Zgemma H7s, as Tiviar was no longer available.
    No harm to read the 2 threads already mentioned - lots of useful info there, that will apply to any E2 box.
    I went with OpenVix - it has a "Sky" lookalike skin included in build - so you know its gonna work!
    The method is perfectly summarised by Andy - you may have to change Terrrestrial source, depending on where in the country you are.
    Then after I finished, I built favourites (by hand - very tedious, but foolproof!) so RTE etc are at end of list, with Sky News as No 1 & UK stations at top. Thats just our preference - it defaults to Sky News, so press Prog + for UK stations, Prog - for Irish. In short, configure Favourites to suit!
    Only problems have been with Autotimers, but that maybe a case of RTFM!!!
    A useful addition would be simple One4All remote to control EPG,Sound and Channels.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 35 garymt


    One other point I forgot to mention:
    When recording 2 consecutive programmes, the software isnt smart enough to realise whats happening and flags it as a conflict - ie insufficient tuners.
    It does allow for finishing early and/or beginning later, but that isnt satisfactory either.....
    As far as I recall, my Foxsat and "smart" tv also had this issue.......
    My TV is smart, so the "smart" button on universal remote brings me to Netflix or OnDemand.....

    If you think that setting up an E2 box is bad for the blood pressure, try setting up a universal remote!!! The simple zapper that I mentioned earlier is One4All URC 6810 (about E15)- only has about 6 buttons - brilliant!


  • Registered Users Posts: 831 ✭✭✭ Dr Pepper


    Thanks. That's very useful info about the consecutive recording issues. Anybody know if a manual start/stop record time can be set up on a channel to get around this on an ad hoc basis (start and stop times that encompass both programs)?

    Also, I wonder can the Tiviar remote be programmed to work with other devices/modes (e.g. TV, Roku, Stereo). It looks like NewClareman has 2 different modes on the one remote on the first page of his thread. I don't mind having 2 remotes, but 3-4 might get a bit irritating!


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,719 ✭✭✭ Tigerandahalf


    I have a humax 1100s for a year and a half and it is a great piece of kit. It has netflix and the iplayer. You will need a dns service to get the iplayer but it is a brilliant streaming app.

    The humax has an internal hard drive and with the freesat app you can do remote recordings.
    I have had no trouble with it. Very user friendly.
    C4HD can be watched by tuning it in, in the non freesat mode but you can't record it.

    I have an LG tv and use its terrestrial tuner for saorview with a hard drive connected to usb to provide timeshift and recording. There is nothing on saorview these days except the odd live sport programme.

    As for remotes I bought a remote control holder that sits on the arm of the couch and it makes everything very easy and tidy.

    I also have a chromecast permanently connected.

    With LG tvs you can set hotkeys, e.g.
    Long press button 1 takes you to saorview rte 2
    Long press button 2 takes you to humax
    Long press button 3 takes you to chromecast
    Button 4 iplayer
    Button 5 All4
    Button 6 Now tv
    Amazon Prime and Netflix have direct buttons on the remote.

    The only thing I don't like about the humax remote is that there aren't separate power on/off buttons for the tv/humax. You have to switch modes between tv and humax. This becomes a pain when you use the volume button as it can't be locked to just the tv. If in humax mode it will change the volume of the box rather than the tv.

    Pluses and minuses with a lot of these set ups.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭✭ johnnylancer


    In many ways you've answered a lot of the questions yourself.
    1. The 2 box solution is just too messy.
    2. AFAIK the Sab is getting on a bit now and is pricey for what it offers. Likewise the Tiviar is getting hard to find due to it's age. The Zgemma is being promoted as it's replacement but I have yet to see a proper hands-on review. The length of the thread about NewClaremans image is more reflective of it's evolution and popularity that any negative.
    3. In my experience Smart TVs are obsolete before they leave the shop. They have limited functionality and you are dependent on maker support. Again as you say, a discrete box is far more versatile, functional and cheaper.

    If I was in the market now, I would seriously consider the ZGemma UHD box. Make sure it's the 2xDVB-S2 +1xDVB-T2 version not the 2xDVB-T2+1xS2. OpenATV would be my image of choice.
    EDIT: AFAIK Netflix is not available on any Linux box
    I can't understand how having 2 boxes is a bad solution
    Have an Humax and a saorview box.
    Box 1 on hdmi 1
    Box 2 on hdmi 2
    A dream to use and no satellite channel manual updating
    Any other way is for techies


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,893 ✭✭✭✭ Johnboy1951


    I can't understand how having 2 boxes is a bad solution

    Not so much a bad solution as not the optimum solution.

    We all have our preferences and some of us will not suffer using two different devices for one set of functions. Others will.

    I have different personal preferences ...... all tuners, stored media, etc. centralised and distributed over LAN to where required.
    For me/my use-case that is optimum.
    Have an Humax and a saorview box.
    Box 1 on hdmi 1
    Box 2 on hdmi 2
    A dream to use and no satellite channel manual updating
    Any other way is for techies


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,027 ✭✭✭ Gerry Wicklow


    It's not a bad solution, simply not optimal IMO.
    I prefer pressing button 1 to get RTÉ1, pressing 10, gets BBC1. No messing about switching HDMIs nor multiple remotes. That's how I like it. Purely my personal taste. What works for you is your personal taste.
    Likewise I have all channels in a single EPG list, all timers in a single list too. Pressing one button shows me exactly what recordings I have scheduled on ALL channels. All recorded shows are also on one device, in one list.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,719 ✭✭✭ Tigerandahalf


    I don't think one remote is possible or realistic if you want saorview, satellite and streaming apps.

    You get remotes that can be programmed but a bit of work involved.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,893 ✭✭✭✭ Johnboy1951


    I don't think one remote is possible or realistic if you want saorview, satellite and streaming apps.

    You get remotes that can be programmed but a bit of work involved.

    My opinion would differ ...... I had Saorview; FTA satellite; Netflix; Youtube ..... all available on one screen using one simple remote with Kodi GUI.

    I also had available IPTV in the same GUI.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,456 ✭✭✭ The high horse brigade


    I don't think one remote is possible or realistic if you want saorview, satellite and streaming apps.

    You get remotes that can be programmed but a bit of work involved.

    Of course it is. We have one Logitech Harmony remote for a Tiviar Alpha, a Nvidia shield, a surround receiver, an LG TV and a Chromecast audio and can even hide them all in a cabinet or even in the next room if we wanted.

    It's not that hard setup and you only need to do it once. The profiles for most devices like the Tiviar and the Shield are already available, you just need to tell it what TV (or receiver) input source it's connected on and what device controls the volume for each activity


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,227 ✭✭✭ NewClareman


    Dr Pepper wrote: »
    I'd appreciate some advice about what Freesat+Saorview setup to buy...

    My Requirements:
    - Ease of use and reasonably attractive/quick UI
    - 7 day EPG
    - Pause/rewind live TV
    - PVR (record & watch at same time or 2x record) - I already have a few 2.5" SATA HDDs lying around.
    - Series link preferably
    - Irish/Saorview channels essential (we watch about 50% Irish TV - preferably with all of the above features)
    - Netflix
    - HD capable
    - Easy to setup (I'm reasonably tech-savvy and don't mind spending an hour or two adding HDD and setting up channels - but don't want it to become a part-time job!).

    If you only want to spend an hour or two setting it up I'd go with the Tiviar. Otherwise I'd go with the Zgemma H7. (I dont have a H7, my opinion is based on the spec and users on this forum.) Or, the ZGemma UHD box, as suggested by Gerry Wicklow.

    With the Tiviar all you have to do is flash the image, input your local terrestrial transmitter details into ABM, and you're good to go. If you want picons you can transfer a set across using any web browser, or download a set by running the built in picon downloader. Thats it, job done. Channel updates (additions/removals) and frequency changes are handled automatically for satellite and terrestrial stations.

    You can use the single Tiviar remote for satbox and tv, very like Sky. (It doesnt support multiple devices, like a Harmony Remote.) You need to pair this to your TV, using the codes in the manual. For watching TV its a simple on off, volume control and changing stations, nothing at all to upset wifey. (I use Chromecast for Netflix and YouTube, which requires setting the Tiviar Remote to TV Mode, to control the volume and switch back to HDMI1, when finished. Wifey doesn't like this, and leaves it to me.)

    On the EPG you have a "Main" group for those of us who like to have RTE, Virgin, BBC, ITV..., on a single list. Otherwise the channel groups (Bouquets) are the same as Sky, but with the Irish Terrestrial Channels inserted in each group. This is a far more comprehensive list than with Freesat. You can also include streaming channels in the EPG, but I haven't bothered setting this up as all I watch is Fox News and Arte.

    The issue of consecutive recordings is easily solved by changing the padding on an individual recording basis - e.g. Fair City could be set to start recording at 8:31 rather than 8:27. I use a second USB Terrestrial tuner, so conflicts rarely arise. TBH the series recording capability on Enigma2 is a mixed bag. It is far more flexible than the Freesat/Sky mechanism but more complex for the average user as there are just too many options.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,300 ✭✭✭ corcaigh07


    Sorry to hijack the thread but I’m in a similar position to the OP and looking for an easy to use Saorview/Freesat combo box.

    I was looking at the Amiko Mini Combo Extra box but I’m not 100% sure it does Freesat (some ads say it’s only Now/Next on the Satellite EPG).

    Are there any other alternatives to Tiviar or would it be foolish to go for any others? Does the Tiviar come with a useable Skin straight away or does it need to be flashed?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,227 ✭✭✭ NewClareman


    corcaigh07 wrote: »
    Sorry to hijack the thread but I’m in a similar position to the OP and looking for an easy to use Saorview/Freesat combo box.

    I was looking at the Amiko Mini Combo Extra box but I’m not 100% sure it does Freesat (some ads say it’s only Now/Next on the Satellite EPG).

    Are there any other alternatives to Tiviar or would it be foolish to go for any others? Does the Tiviar come with a useable Skin straight away or does it need to be flashed?

    The default skin for the Tiviar is very poor, in my opinion. It is perfectly fine if you are tech savvy, but a pain in the butt if you are not.


  • Registered Users Posts: 652 ✭✭✭ decor58


    I was looking at the Amiko Mini Combo Extra box but I’m not 100% sure it does Freesat (some ads say it’s only Now/Next on the Satellite EPG).


    It is Now /Next only, you need to visit each channel to populate the page.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,456 ✭✭✭ The high horse brigade


    decor58 wrote: »
    I was looking at the Amiko Mini Combo Extra box but I’m not 100% sure it does Freesat (some ads say it’s only Now/Next on the Satellite EPG).


    It is Now /Next only, you need to visit each channel to populate the page.

    Freesat is a branded product. A joint venture between the BBC and ITV. Their business is selling Freesat boxes and Freesat incorporated TVs which come with lots of bells and whistles including their 7 day TV guide.

    You need to look as Enigma 2 Linux boxes like the Tiviar Alpha or the Zgemma etc to get the features of Freesat through plugins. The Amiko has a locked down proprietary software that only gives generic free to air (now and next).


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,744 ✭✭✭ dulpit


    I'm in the process of getting rid of sky, my interim solution will be the built in tuners in my TV, but switching between Saorview & satellite is a pain in the neck (it's an LG from late 2014, need to press guide - red button - up (or down) twice - ok to switch between aerial or satellite), so my ultimate solution is a box of some sort. I had previously assumed the only solution was some sort of enigma box, I had never considered the option of getting a Freesat HD box and then using the saorview in tv.

    As far as I can tell the benefit would be a seamless setup for the Freesat element with easy recording/etc, but you obviously lose out on the flexibility and combined interface.

    Would I be right in saying you can get essentially the same features, with a bit of work, using a good enigma box? From the looks of it, it's a cheaper option too (that Humax Freesat box is £210 with a 1TB HDD, a ZGemma H7S is £119 without drive, but I have one at home).


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,027 ✭✭✭ Gerry Wicklow


    FreeSat is branded software that provides 7 day EPG, automatically updates if a channel moves and some 'Red Button' functions. Not all channels are on Freesat, most notably CH4 HD and some +1s.
    Enigma based Linux boxes allow you to have ALL free to air satellite channels and Saorview channels together in one list, in any order you wish. You also have 7 day EPG, series linking etc for all channels. A plugin is also available to retune the box if a channel moves. You can access both live channels and any recordings on the box on any device with a web browser anywhere on your home network. Similarly you can control the box, set timers etc, remotely from a web browser on your home network.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,744 ✭✭✭ dulpit


    You can access both live channels and any recordings on the box on any device with a web browser anywhere on your home network. Similarly you can control the box, set timers etc, remotely from a web browser on your home network.

    Is there much work to get this working form outside home network? That'd be dead handy...


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,027 ✭✭✭ Gerry Wicklow


    It is possible with a bit of messing by setting up a noip account etc. Others here would know more about that aspect. Be careful of security though. There are dedicated sites trying to find and access people boxes for piracy purposes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,676 ✭✭✭ Ten Pin


    but switching between Saorview & satellite is a pain in the neck (it's an LG from late 2014,

    https://www.lg.com/uk/support/solutions/tv/webOS-3-5-quick-access

    Switching from Terrestrial to Satellite on LG TVs can be done via Quick Access

    Set RTE1 to "1" and BBC1 to "2"
    Then long press 1 for terrestrial and long press 2 for satellite.

    Don't know if it works on 2014 models of LG.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,300 ✭✭✭ corcaigh07


    Sounds like the Tiviar with New Clareman’s updated skin for the device will be the way to go.

    I’d be reasonably Tech Savvy but lose patience easily with things like these!

    Glad to know about the Amiko, that was the first box I had in mind because some sites advertise it as a Freesat/Saorview combo box where they should be advertising it as FTA/Saorview


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,324 ✭✭✭ Technique


    If I was in the market now, I would seriously consider the ZGemma UHD box. Make sure it's the 2xDVB-S2 +1xDVB-T2 version not the 2xDVB-T2+1xS2. OpenATV would be my image of choice.

    If I bought the ZGemma, could I set it up using NewClareman's guide, or is it specific to the Tiviar?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,027 ✭✭✭ Gerry Wicklow


    There are different images for different hardware due to different processors etc.Only install images made for that specific make AND model.

    Most suppliers will offer to install a choice of suitable image. My preference is openATV but others are available. Setting up an enigma box is no more difficult than setting up a new TV or laptop. You would only need to set up your local network details and scan Saorview channels for your area. Once you get familiar with the box you can then customise channel lists and add more frills.


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