March 21, 2010

What I really, really want

...is an option to upgrade my V+ to one with a larger disc capacity. I recorded The Departed last night off of 4HD and that's 12 hours of my 80 gone. This will only get worse when our HD channels increase over the coming weeks. Surely there's a simple solution? Make the new Samsung V+, with a larger disc, an  upgrade for customers for a one-off fee. They've made the new Cisco HD V box an option, so why not a Samsung V+ with 1tb for £99? Sky are charging for their new box with the greater capacity, why can't Virgin do similar? Very little work, new monies in, assists a future move to Mpeg4, makes the premium paying customers feel loved....simples.

11 comments:

Square eyes said...

In theory a great idea, in reality well thats another thing.

But again there is the option of a simple software upgrade to any existing box, to enable the USB port, doing this would give customers of VM the option of using an external drive.

Nialli said...

Agreed. But how many customers would be doing that? I could do without an external hard disc under the telly (crowded enough there as it is)

Jon said...

I totally agree. This should have been fixed when the Samsung box came out. I cannot believe there is a significant price differential now between 160GB and 750GB or even 1TB at OEM prices.

Fortunately, for those brave enough and with a modest amount of PC hardware knowledge swapping the HDD in the Samsung box for a 1TB drive is trivial and gives almost 8x the storage space (only 120GB on the standard drive is used for recordings), It works flawlessly. Of course it is contractually "dubious" and there are clearly risks for the user, it just should not be necessary.

Tom Chiverton said...

I predict that exactly that will happen; the non-PVR box is a pay-upgrade so they are clearly thinking along these lines.
I can't see them replacing all the existing V+ PVR boxes for free, given the amount of debt the company already has.

Square eyes said...

The only problem Jon, is that VM own the V+ Box. If you get caught tampering with the box, you have to pay £250 + you would also not be a customer of theirs anymore.

Then you have to go to SKY and again pay £250 for their Box.

Best option is to wait and see what VM do next or how long it will be before the Tivo box comes out.

TAZMANUK said...

I agree if they allow us to buy a external drive from them or veen enable the usb port to except any usb memory key, like i have a 64gb one from ebay £16.99 bargin.

unless they wont as they may fear the recorded content can be uploaded from external sources

Jon said...

Square-eyes,

I fully understand what you are saying. It is what I meant by contractually "dubious"! This should not be needed and I would not advise anyone to go down that path unless they are fully aware of the potential consequences.

That said, if you are at all familiar with the insides of a PC, it is a truly trivial task, with the only impact on VM being that their 160GB HDD gets a lot less wear. I see it as a win-win for VM. If the job is done right their components get less wear and they get a happier, less likely to roam, customer. If the job is somehow messed up they get the cost of the box reimbursed by the cack-handed user!

16 hours of HD is just hopeless. Hardly anything I record now is SD.

Nialli said...

Also, this belief that Sky never get their PR wrong - how many "coming soon" stories and posts have I seen regarding Sky's mythical game-changing VoD service?
The other man's grass isn't always greener.

Dan Lucyszyn-Hinton said...

Hardware wise, it's unlikely that you'll be able to record full HD content in real time to a USB-connected HDD, the transfer speeds are not quick enough.

It'd be for archived content at the most, so there would be a lot of faffing around, transferring content from your USB storage and back again.

A paid upgrade to a box with a larger capacity seems much more feasible.

Martin said...

I agree, backup would be the only benefit of the activating the USB. It's MAXIMUM theoretical transfer of 480mbps, or 60 MB per second is never acheived on any system I've seen using USB 2.0.

To back up one hour of HD recording would take approx. 10 mins. at this rate. However, in reality, to write to HDD whilst streaming via USB would result in a more consistant 10-20 MB/s if well optimised. Copying files to a flash stick you rarely get more than 5-6 so it isn't worth considering. So, for HDD a single stream of HD would be feasible, but 2 recordings and simultanious playback of previous recordings or pausable live TV? Not possible.

Maybe if they'd put the eSATA port on the new Samsung box..... Because it wasn't, we can safely assume that SA 8300 owners aren't going to get theirs activated.

I may well put a £39 SATA II 500GB drive in my new Samsung box if the online "hack" instructions seem credible. Any more than that and I would simply never catch up on un-watched recordings.

TAZMANUK said...

I agree if they allow us to buy a external drive from them or veen enable the usb port to except any usb memory key, like i have a 64gb one from ebay £16.99 bargin.

unless they wont as they may fear the recorded content can be uploaded from external sources