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  #61  
Old 18.11.2008, 13:44
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Re: Cablecom: give back the HD Mediabox and return to the SD one

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The SD recorder sometimes fails to record, which can be quite annoying. It has happened to me twice in the past year. The solution has been to unplug it from the mains for a few minutes, and then everything should work again.....
I have the same problem in addition to poor reception, lost signals and freezing of the media recorder. It got really bad a few months ago and after repeated emails/calls to Cablecom, they finally sent me some instructions on how to carry out a reset of the box. Unfortunatley, it did nothing for my box but the following set of instructions may be useful to someone else and may actually work for them. (These instructions were sent by the Customer Care team)

"Note: When resetting, all of your personal settings will be lost.
1. On the front of the decoder, press the menu button and keep it pressed.
2. Now press the arrow button down for approx. six seconds.
3. Now the welcome picture will appear. Follow the instructions on your TV.
Now your decoder is up-to-date. Should you continue to have this problem, please contact our technical support at 0800 66 88 66 (Mo?Sa 08.00 ? 22.00 hours, So 12.00 ? 22.00 hours)"¨

In the end, the problem almost fixed itself but my box is still missing some of the functions from Cablecom Central menu. Hope this helps.
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  #62  
Old 19.11.2008, 10:50
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

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damn, when i saw your post, i hoped that you had received it and i was eagerly awaiting your review!
I am expecting it any day now, you'll hear it here first. Apparently there has been a little mix up with the orders on the first day (5.11) - it seems the forms to order it on the internet were activated a day early which led to complications (I obviously "misunderestimated" CableCom) ...
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  #63  
Old 19.11.2008, 16:48
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

I ordered it Monday. Let's wait and see
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  #64  
Old 20.11.2008, 23:38
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

Got the receiver today.

Cablecom messed up (as usual):
1. They sent me TWO HD mediabox recorders (sorry for those who are still waiting to receive at least one mediabox )
2. The mediabox doesn't work because the card is not active.

So, when you get the box, fire it up and if it hangs asking you to wait some more minutes, don't waste your time and call the hotline straight away. They will activate the card and the darn thing will work in a couple of minutes.

The setup is quite easy (except for having to call the kofferdorinumal hotline), the box comes with an HDMI cable (not very long, if you have to route it thru your furniture it might be a bit short).

The software is basically the same crap of their standard SD digital receiver, which means it has the same bugs (like always popping out the subtitles on the italian tv, not keeping the language you chose when changing channels and so on).

A big annoyance (which was not present in the standard mediabox) is the 16:9 format, that is always active even when the channel is in 4:3. This means that the 4:3 image will be stretched to fit into the wide screen format, and you have to adjust it everytime with the TV remote (provided your tv can do it). There is one leaflet in which they apologize for this and say they will fix it "soon" with a new software release (WTF!!?? Was is too difficult to fix it before? The old SD box didn't have this problem).

The quality of the HD channel is mixed: very good for HD suisse, BBC and NatGeo, disappointing for Anixe, Arte and Eurosport. I mean that these last three channels are not much better than standard tv. Plus the programs of Anixe are crap: old movies and old series available in German only.

Even the best channels don't offer a quality comparable to a Blueray. They look quite good, but somehow a little worse than a Blueray, I guess they might be in 720 and not 1080.

The SD channels look a bit better than on the SD box. With the SD box I had an annoying "ghost" effect of the other channels on the one I was watching, this is not there on the new box. Even the worst quality 4:3 channels look slightly better on the new box. The good quality channels like TSI or SF look even better on the new box.

Haven't tried recording yet, I just tried to pause a program and start it again. It works and it's quite easy to use.

A couple of comments on the hardware of the box itself: the design is modern (tho a bit "heavy") and the display of the channel name and program on the front is cool. The damn cooling fan is always active even when the box is in standby. Again, on a leaflet they say they will fix it "soon", in the meantime they advice to switch off the power supply in order to save energy. The "thing" divours 30 W when in standby. I'll let it on stanby for a few days to make sure it gets updated during the night and then start to power it off before going to bed.

The cooling fan is not noisy, it is just stupid to waste all the energy. Now as I'm writing, even though it's in stanby it sounds like the hard disk started to work...a mystery!

My conclusion: the new box is just OK, it could be much better (and it will be when they'll improve the software). I'm neither enthusiastic nor too disappointed. I feel it's a bit overpriced and the HD channels' offer is very limited. I'm not sure I'll keep it after the three months' trial. If I'll keep it, that will be mostly because I got rid of the ghosting and probably I'll get addicted to recording the series on Fox
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  #65  
Old 21.11.2008, 09:11
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

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The quality of the HD channel is mixed: very good for HD suisse, BBC and NatGeo, disappointing for Anixe, Arte and Eurosport. I mean that these last three channels are not much better than standard tv. Plus the programs of Anixe are crap: old movies and old series available in German only.
Arte and Eurosport are sometimes upscaled. When arte is native HD it looks good.
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  #66  
Old 21.11.2008, 09:44
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

eh.. I ordered mine last Friday and still no sign of it. Their customer service line was quite good too and they said they will take care of everything, including my invoice for the SD recorder and HD receiver.

So as of yesterday, still no HD recorder in sight... which is fice becuase they said 10 days. But I also got December's bill for the SD recorder and HD receiver... hmm.. I guess I need to make another phone call...
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  #67  
Old 21.11.2008, 10:49
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

Thanks a lot argovia for the comprehensive review!

Honestly, it has kind of made me decide to delay for awhile. The 16:9 issue and the standby noise are big turn offs for me. What concerns me is that the HD medibox (without recorder) has had the same problem since release for months and months and they havent addressed it).
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  #68  
Old 21.11.2008, 11:16
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

I ordered on november 5th, have just received the box today. Lucky me has a day off work today
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  #69  
Old 21.11.2008, 11:37
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

do let us know your impressions too mr toaster.
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  #70  
Old 21.11.2008, 11:59
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

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They sent me TWO HD mediabox recorders (sorry for those who are still waiting to receive at least one mediabox )
Reading in http://www.digi-tv.ch/cablecom/3938-...thread-16.html (german only) there were at least three forum members that got two instead of one HD Recorder.
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  #71  
Old 21.11.2008, 12:48
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

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Thanks a lot argovia for the comprehensive review!

Honestly, it has kind of made me decide to delay for awhile. The 16:9 issue and the standby noise are big turn offs for me. What concerns me is that the HD medibox (without recorder) has had the same problem since release for months and months and they havent addressed it).
The 16:9 issue is indeed very annoying

The standby noise is no big deal, a socket with a switch solves it. Anyway I checked this morning and the damn cooling fan has been running all night long!

In both cases they promised a software update.
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  #72  
Old 21.11.2008, 15:35
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

First impressions (some pics later)

The box does look very nice indeed, nothing like the ACME-nodescript silverish brick like the HD receiver or the SD recorder.

I installed the box, child's play. At the end the box waits for the card to be activated. The manual mentions that this can take "a few minutes" but one shouldn't call before at least waiting for half an hour. I did wait for an entire hour but nothing happend. Time to call up the helpdesk. And sure enough about 5 minutes later, everything lit up; all the free channels and all the channels I am paying for.

The remote control and the menu's response can sometime be a little sluggish, but nothing like the stuff I am used from my bluray player .

The picture of the HD-stuff is astounding compared to the SD-stuff (I am using a FullHD projector with a ~4m diagonal).

The 16:9/4:3 ratio squash for non-widescreen broadcasters is annoying, but all these cheapskate networks should own up and switch to the new format (or HD directly). 4:3 is so 20th Century .

More testing to follow ...
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  #73  
Old 21.11.2008, 15:44
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

4m diagonal is huge, even for a home projector setup... mine is more like 280cm diagonal. its for sure that you see a vast improvement over SD at that size.


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The 16:9/4:3 ratio squash for non-widescreen broadcasters is annoying, but all these cheapskate networks should own up and switch to the new format (or HD directly). 4:3 is so 20th Century .
the aspect ratio issue is important to me. there is a lot more 4:3 than you might think. i think it would be quite a lot more simple for them to produce a software fix for that box than for the tv stations to produce everything in widescreen... the problem isnt that anyhow, its legacy 4:3 content that is the pain.

Last edited by krlock3; 21.11.2008 at 16:17.
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  #74  
Old 21.11.2008, 16:31
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

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I installed the box, child's play. At the end the box waits for the card to be activated. The manual mentions that this can take "a few minutes" but one shouldn't call before at least waiting for half an hour. I did wait for an entire hour but nothing happend. Time to call up the helpdesk. And sure enough about 5 minutes later, everything lit up; all the free channels and all the channels I am paying for.
I read on a swiss forum that the card is activated by CC when they receive the delivery notification of the package from the Post! This can take a couple of days, so my advice to all the people installing the box is to call the hotline straight away and let them activate it manually.
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  #75  
Old 22.11.2008, 16:28
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

A little more testing has occurred.

The box can be set to english menus (++).

The box doesn't seem to offer an y/c output over scart (-)

The box has a noisy fan. While watching TV irrelevant but in a sleeping room (--).

HD Quality is outstanding (watching some football on EuroSportHD, it will never be the same) (++).

The EPG is not quite as user friendly as on the SD Box (-).

Image stability (artefacts when tuner #2 is starting recording) are gone (+).

Occasional faint digital clicks in the sound channels (-).

Three built-in tuners (2 parallel recordings, plus watching a 3rd channel) (++).

Horrenduos standby power consumption (~30w) (--)

more to come ...
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  #76  
Old 23.11.2008, 11:10
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

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The box has a noisy fan.
Interesting. Philips must be pushing processing power to the extreme to cause so much heat generation that it requires active cooling. Or maybe Philips learnt from their last boxes that they can easily be sitting at 40 degrees operating temperature... my friend had one that crashed a lot, so I measure the temperature - about 41 degrees C - and told him to use a ventilated cabinet, not an enclosed cabinet, to solve his problem.

The existence of a cooling fan is typical of first generation cutting-edge electronics. I have seen many devices whereby the cooling fan disappears in the 2nd generation device. That's cutting, bleeding edge for you

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The box doesn't seem to offer an y/c output over scart (-)
And I bet it doesn't have a UHF modulator either

HD can only work over HDMI cables

On a composite PAL or a Y/C connector you cannot have HD, you can only have SD.

So wanting to use an HD receiver to output SD signals is a bit silly - that's like buying a dolby surround sound digital 5.1 receiver, and wanting to use it on 2 speakers only.

So it is of no surprise to me that HD equipment doesn't output SD signals

Those that purchase HD receivers want it for use with HD displays, and for this you can only have one connection capability: HDMI cable

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Horrenduos standby power consumption (~30w)
I read in the newspapers that Philips is addressing this problem and that next years standby will be around 1 watt

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Image stability (artefacts when tuner #2 is starting recording) are gone (+).
Interesting. Were you part of a beta-test for this product?
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  #77  
Old 23.11.2008, 11:16
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

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the aspect ratio issue is important to me. there is a lot more 4:3 than you might think. i think it would be quite a lot more simple for them to produce a software fix for that box than for the tv stations to produce everything in widescreen... the problem isnt that anyhow, its legacy 4:3 content that is the pain.
Having watched a TV station migrate from 4:3 to widescreen, I can tell you that it is a mamoth undertaking costing millions for the TV station. And that is before you deal with locating sufficient source material in widescreen format.

The TV stations leave it to the receivers to handle (and correctly so), and some receivers don't do it well, and some do it beautifully.

But no matter how you deal with 4:3 on a widescreen set, people will complain.

If you stretch it, distort it, stick it in pillar-box format - whatever you do, there are people that don't like it. And every attempt to make 4:3 fit in a 16:9 screen distorts the image or loses part of the image. It's compromises all around

So for the next 5 years, we live in a transitionary time where some programs and some ads will be 4:3 and some will be 16:9, and we all just have to try and put up with it. A few years from now 16:9 (or whatever widescreen format you chose) will be standard - hopefully....!!
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  #78  
Old 23.11.2008, 14:40
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

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HD can only work over HDMI cables
That's not strictly true. Component Video can transmit HD signals quite well, the problem is that thanks to DRM, finding devices that output HD over component is extremely difficult.
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  #79  
Old 23.11.2008, 17:12
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

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And I bet it doesn't have a UHF modulator either
HD can only work over HDMI cables
On a composite PAL or a Y/C connector you cannot have HD, you can only have SD.
This is all correct.

- it probably does output an rf signal, though I havent tested it
- it does output a FBAS (Video) singnal but no y/c

Of course I do watch HD (and SD) content over HDMI, but for the occasional (downscalde or SD-)program I might want to record to dvd, a y/c connection would by nice. Of course you cant have HD over y/c - you could (as pointed out by a previous poster have hd over RGB).
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Old 23.11.2008, 17:40
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Re: Cablecom: HD Mediabox recorder availability

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So for the next 5 years, we live in a transitionary time where some programs and some ads will be 4:3 and some will be 16:9, and we all just have to try and put up with it..!!
Well if I am not totally mistaken, 16:9 screens (and HD ready ones) surfaced in affordable prices in time for the Football World Championship in Germany (that is also the time when ARD and ZDF switched). It took the RTL-Group just over 2 years to switch (which they have done a week ago). Züri-(pardon)-Swiss-TV switched last December.

So I hope we are already halfway through this transitional period...

This reminds me of the time when German car factories would put catalyzers in their cars by default (for the US market) and had to rip 'em out again for the European market because the petro-companies "weren't ready" to sell lead free gas in europe ...

... With the exception of truly historic material, I think allmost all productions in the last 2-3 years have been in 16:9. When have you last seen a non-historic DVD production in 4:3 format ?

But I do concede that converting a TV-production-chain from one format to the other must be quite an undertaking.
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