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Foxtel IQ2 - initial thoughts
Mac Dude 
6/8/08 10:18:40 PM
Mod
SuperHero

Immortal


If you followed my thread here :

http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/forums.asp?s=2&c=9&t=17422&p=0

you would see I was tossing up between an IQ2 and Tivo as a new PVR. Well a few weeks ago I went down the IQ2 path and thought some folks might be interested.

First of all, the reason for the IQ2 over the Tivo.

Basically it came down to being able to record both Foxtel and F2A HD. I think feature wise the Tivo has the edge, but when it came down to it one box for both worked for me best.

I also prefer the IQ2 pricing given this technology will change a lot in the coming years.

The IQ2 was $200 install and $10 per month. Lets say I want to toss it in 3 years for an uber PVR which I'm sure will be available then. The total cost will have been $560, and if anything goes wrong, Foxtel fix if free of charge, and I can drop it any time.

Now on to features/quality.

So far I've had no problems recording or playing back video - the quality looks the same as the original broadcast, BUT not quite as sharp as the tuner in the Sony LCD. This maybe because I have the IQ2 doing the upscaling, not the TV.

I'll have to fiddle with that to see if it makes a difference.

Recording is simple, and it has a 320GB HD, so there is plenty of space. However, there is currently no way of transferring shows off the box even though it has USB2, Ethernet ans eSATA connectors. They are for 'future use'.

Having said that, it's no biggy for me.

It's a true dual tuner box (actually it has 3, one for boxoffice I believe), so you can record 2 shows at once.

It has a series link, so if you choose a show you want to record and it will record it every time it appears on the guide (but not re-runs). Series link doesn't work with F2A though :(

The interface is simple to use, though there has to be a better way to search for shows. Well, actually there is. You can program the IQ2 from anywhere on the planet with a web browser. This is great as I use the web interface to search for shows then drag and drop. Done.

Anyway, I'll post more details as they come to hand...

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Watch Out!
Whatever hits the fan will not be distributed evenly

SquallStrife 
7/8/08 7:50:47 AM
Titan

Mine's getting installed on Monday... I can't wait!

The only thing I'm cringing about is that some of the channels I like to watch (Discovery Science, Cartoon Network) have low bitrates compared to the "premier" channels (like TV1 and Fox8), and will probably look like arse on the 40" screen. Not from jaggies, mind you, but from decompression artefacts being more visible.

Does the STB have HDMI and toslink optical out?


Edited by SquallStrife: 7/8/2008 11:36:00 AM

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Q6600 @ 3.6GHz | 8800GTS | XP x64 | Vista HP x64 | OSX 10.5.4

Quote by TinBane
The ONLY fuel saving benefit of this product, is that the car expends less energy to accelerate, because your wallet is lighter.

slimdog360 
7/8/08 10:59:22 AM
Overlord

I like bannnnnannanas

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Mac Dude 
7/8/08 7:53:39 PM
Mod
SuperHero

Immortal


Quote by SquallStrife
Mine's getting installed on Monday... I can't wait!

The only thing I'm cringing about is that some of the channels I like to watch (Discovery Science, Cartoon Network) have low bitrates compared to the "premier" channels (like TV1 and Fox8), and will probably look like arse on the 40" screen. Not from jaggies, mind you, but from decompression artefacts being more visible.

Does the STB have HDMI and toslink optical out?


Edited by SquallStrife: 7/8/2008 11:36:00 AM



Yes to both.

You'll need the optical if you want 5.1 sound. It's only stereo through HDMI

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Watch Out!
Whatever hits the fan will not be distributed evenly

SquallStrife 
10/8/08 3:50:03 PM
Titan

Gotcha.

Can't wait, they're coming tomorrow morning to set it up.

Just in time so I can avoid the olympics like the plague.

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Q6600 @ 3.6GHz | 8800GTS | XP x64 | Vista HP x64 | OSX 10.5.4

Quote by TinBane
The ONLY fuel saving benefit of this product, is that the car expends less energy to accelerate, because your wallet is lighter.

Master_Scythe 
11/8/08 2:22:44 PM
Titan

Quote by Mac Dude
Recording is simple, and it has a 320GB HD, so there is plenty of space. However, there is currently no way of transferring shows off the box even though it has USB2, Ethernet ans eSATA connectors. They are for 'future use'.



When it gets full you can whip it out of the box and copy the files to PC.

been a long time since i fucked with a foxtel HDD so i forgot what format it records to... but a couple of passes with codec id tools should find you a suitable player\converter.

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4200+X2 939, ASUS A8N-SLI-D, Ati HD3850, 1gb,1tb total HDD, 109 DVD, LG DVD-rom.
Quote by Girvo
I've got a wicked tiny one that is ridiculously sensitive.



SquallStrife 
11/8/08 6:23:49 PM
Titan

Negative.

Firstly, the HDD in the iQ2 is ATA locked, like Xbox hard disks. But unlike the Xbox, you can't put a haxd dashboard on the Foxtel box to get the key. Fortunately, it uses SATA, so you could boot the Foxtel box, let it unlock the HDD, then hotplug it to your PC.

Secondly, the contents of the HDD are raw data streams from the satellite/cable, still encrypted. When played back, they are simply fed through the same decrypt+decode+decompress path as the live signal would be after demodulation. So even if you could get the files to your PC, they would be useless.

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Q6600 @ 3.6GHz | 8800GTS | XP x64 | Vista HP x64 | OSX 10.5.4

Quote by TinBane
The ONLY fuel saving benefit of this product, is that the car expends less energy to accelerate, because your wallet is lighter.

uncle_dunc 
8/9/08 11:12:20 AM
Serf
Quote by Mac Dude
Quote by SquallStrife
Mine's getting installed on Monday... I can't wait!

The only thing I'm cringing about is that some of the channels I like to watch (Discovery Science, Cartoon Network) have low bitrates compared to the "premier" channels (like TV1 and Fox8), and will probably look like arse on the 40" screen. Not from jaggies, mind you, but from decompression artefacts being more visible.

Does the STB have HDMI and toslink optical out?


Edited by SquallStrife: 7/8/2008 11:36:00 AM



Yes to both.

You'll need the optical if you want 5.1 sound. It's only stereo through HDMI



Where did you get that information from that HDMI is only stereo?


Edited by uncle_dunc: 8/9/2008 11:12:49 AM

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^Faldo^ 
8/9/08 5:13:04 PM
God

On recording: It'd be H.264 for HD, MPEG2 for SD. Not sure what profile.

-DAVE.

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Mac Dude 
9/9/08 7:17:07 AM
Mod
SuperHero

Immortal


Quote by uncle_dunc

Where did you get that information from that HDMI is only stereo?



From Foxtel :)

Actually the guy installing it told me and I'd previously read it in a review like this :

http://www.smh.com.au/news/reviews/dont-miss-a-thing/2008/07/19/1216163201594.html?page=2

It looks like it may be fixed in the future...

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I'm Busy Now
Can I ignore you some other time?

SquallStrife 
9/9/08 8:07:44 AM
Titan

I'm thoroughly impressed with the unit.

The SD channels don't even look too bad on my 40" screen.

I'm a little disappointed that the OSD is such a low res though.

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Q6600 @ 3.6GHz | 8800GTS | XP x64 | Vista HP x64 | OSX 10.5.4

Quote by TinBane
The ONLY fuel saving benefit of this product, is that the car expends less energy to accelerate, because your wallet is lighter.

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