confused about mag 250

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01 Mar 2014 16:11 by nicbax Star rating in Fuengirola. 131 posts Send private message

Hi, I am looking to buy a Mag250 which I understand will turn my tv into "Smart". I was hoping to download apps such as iplayer, itvplayer etc but am informed that the mag will not work as it needs to be programmed with vpn.At the moment I run an hdmi cable from the laptop to the tv and watch Filmon. This however ties up the lappy and I want a system whereby I can watch uktv channels independantly of the lappy.

My knowledge of electronics is minimal and I do well to turn my laptop on. I would very much appreciate guidance as to programming the mag in idiots terms please. thanks





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03 Mar 2014 22:32 by televisiontechnology Star rating in Costa Blanca South. 165 posts Send private message

Hi Nick,

Probably the wrong tryp of box. The Mag 250 is basically a programmable hosting solution for IPTV service providers. It does have a few apps, but more designed to offer a locked down IPTV solution. This type of equipment is usually retailed and paired with subscription based service / channel packages & video on demand content. 

For a Smart type solution where you can download apps, find free content and films (no hosted or paid for service provider), you should look more to an android / linux based box. Though these need careful setting up and whilst give you a lot of free content, however are different to use than a traditional set top box & some do find more complex. With this type of equipment you can add a VPN.

An explanation on IPTV

http://tvtech.sharepoint.com/Pages/IPTVCostaBlancaUKTelevision.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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04 Mar 2014 17:56 by uktvrouter Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

Hi Nick,

You can use a uk tv router to connect various devices. Its particularly good if you have sky+ hd because you can connect to on demand and use all the catch ups for BBC iplayer, ITV Player etc. just google sky on demand Spain and look for UK TV router

 





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04 Mar 2014 19:01 by televisiontechnology Star rating in Costa Blanca South. 165 posts Send private message

Noticed your username Nick! Yes a VPN - however question was for Mag box or wanting smart TV. Problem is many people in Spain cannot now use their Sky box (or they can but will still be lacking the live BBC's) so the IPTV / Smart TV solutions are different to the VPN's - basically, you don't need one!

If you do have a UK Sky or Freesat box and are still getting the satellite reception - then as Nick suggests a VPN router (router + subscrption VPN) will fool any connected equipment, useful for iplayer / netflix etc. A specific solution, but not one really related to the question of Mag TV as no use for this equipment.

 



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09 Mar 2014 00:57 by nicbax Star rating in Fuengirola. 131 posts Send private message

Hi Guys, thanks very much for the info. As my question confirms I have no knowledge of these matters and my question about mag250 was prompted by several iptv ads asking for several hundred euros for what appears to be a re-programmed mag250 which one can buy on amazon or fleebay for very little money.

I have a wifi router and want a wifi set top box/android onto which I can download apps such as iplayer, itvplayer etc. and free up my laptop.

There are many devices on amazon which mean very little to me and I simply dont know which is the correct item to buy that will acheive what I want.

Forgive my stupidity but a VPN + subs to itvplayer, 4od etc will stream the channels to my laptop I then need to connect this to my tv with hdmi but I want a box/android that will free up my laptop and in effect make my tv "smart"

 

I did not have a sky sub in england and only have a sky box on which we watched free to view.We still get the few remaining channels.

 

Your advices would be very welcome. thanks

 





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09 Mar 2014 08:05 by televisiontechnology Star rating in Costa Blanca South. 165 posts Send private message

Mag is the wrong piece of equipment for this. A 'hosted' / subscription solution - to purchase without a service provider, it's about as much use as a car with no engine...You tube aside...

Android or Android / Linux - subscription free. As you have notice there is a huge amount of equipment on the market - sticks, boxes, single, dual, quad core, different memory etc. Confusing. All affects performance, as does how they are set up, which is equally as important.

This type of equipment is rarely supplied correctly set up - if you are thinking plug and play....well it will turn on and then you will go? Wha'ts next - where's my BBC!  Most require a mid-high level of technical ability to set up - think more PC / Smartphone, initially on first set up (less so after this), probably more complicated than your smart phone. All required software is not usually pre-installed as is a manual task.

I would go as far to say as the average user, probably is not capable of this (qualified by I work in IT support) - these are not technically mainstream manufacturer consumer tech and how they are set up can make a huge difference in use - as software is open source & therefore stability / set up (for TV services and applications) is different to a 'traditional set top box'. You may also require some 'real' support.

If you are reasonably technical, then you can save yourself some money by buying on Amazon or the like, but if going down this path of subscription free, you may wish to consider that it takes our own technicians around an hour to set up this type of equipment before despatching, setting up, loading apps, as well as providing instructions (no official ones). This is the catch with the subscription free, if you are thinking similar to the satellite / Freesat, it is simply not the case. Free yes, simple, no. I would bet you can buy similar equiment on Amazon to one or other solution our company offer, but you won't get the hours technician time, all software set up, configured and really plug & play, instructions or any support - pay a little extra, get the right equipment, service & support. Not 100's extra though!!

If you want simple, keep your mag and have a service provider give you channels required (not all but some service providers may be able to add your existing box + appropriate subscription).

For UK terrestrials - There is a further satellite dish option, where you can presently receive UK terrestrials 'unofficially' http://www.lyngsat.com/Intelsat-907.html (review 11495 V frequencies for BBC / ITV) though a little know how & right equipment is required. Due to the nature of this 'unoffocial', will not post up publicly.

Personally - I'm on IT &  web / forum support for an established local company & had at least 18 months on IPTV in general and this type of related equipment - straightforward it is not always & much confusion in the way these products are marketed / sold (certainly locally and websites) as it would be safe to say if in the UK 'advertising standards' would have something to say. 

You can get a router with inbuilt UK VPN, that connects to your own router which will allow a UK only smart TV (in Spain) to access content UK specific - if the TV has the (example) iplayer on this already. For this you require a DDWR-T router and set up, this would be a subscription based service or may be bundled with the router initially. This however is not comparable to either the Mag (think of that as a simple all in relacement to TV if using a subscription), or Android / Linux which will give you all your UK terrestrials on your TV + films, sports, old series - in fact most things if you know where to look & have a little patience. Given the choice - the Android / Linux equipment will give you the most content, the cheapest (no subs), as long as set up correctly and you are aware none of these are the simplest devices you use - the trade off for subscription free TV.

If you have any concerns over simplicity of use or your own technical ability, would think twice about the android equipment as we advise very carefully customers of the 'right equipment' & people do of course want cheap - but if they simply cannot use or grasp, then it will be a frustrating experience...which is why the support spend so long setting these up...& still not for everyone.

Welcome to PM for advice, our website has a few pages of explanations on the pro's & cons of the different systems / equipment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This message was last edited by televisiontechnology on 09/03/2014.


This message was last edited by televisiontechnology on 09/03/2014.

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11 Apr 2014 22:43 by Cristobal Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Hi Nick,

the Mag 250 is a great piece of equipment, it's costing me less than the Sky subscription and has far more channels (which are paid for yearly). I'm in Torreblanca, so if you need to see it running and ask questions it's no problem.

 





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16 Apr 2014 16:34 by nicbax Star rating in Fuengirola. 131 posts Send private message

Hi Cristobal, thanks very much for that. I think there are a great many companies out there trying to convince us that iptv with monthly subs is the only way forward. As I understand it most of these companies use mag 250 boxes which they tweek and charge several hundred euros for a box costing about £60.00 on ebay. Then there are monthly subs on top.

I stand to be corrected.

Thank you so much for your very kind offer to view but I live on the costa del sol. Thanks again nic.





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16 Apr 2014 17:05 by televisiontechnology Star rating in Costa Blanca South. 165 posts Send private message

£60 is a touch optimistic, not seen at this price - however also many of these boxes do not contain any firmware or required set up for service provider, so for most unless commercial or wanting to link to your PC and messing around with linux, not suitable unless you are getting from a company suppling a service, not that it justifies a few hundred extra - but you have to take into account set up time.  Even on the subscription free models, takes our guys around an hour and a half on each  box pre-configuring it, so a cost in that instance which needs to be covered - IT skills

With a hosted solution, you get a defined channel list, parity of quality of channels (though this will vary from provider to provider) a simple program guide and some providers also offer such nicities as catch up TV, negating the need for bbc iplayer and a UK VPN which you would need outside of the UK.

The subscription free boxes, if well set up and you are reasonably technically minded do offer an alternative solution, though generally the main UK channels are of a lower quality, you do get a lot of other content such as films - but boxes are not suitable for everyone to use as are more technical, do not have parity of quality or such simple channel selection, catch up TV or program guides - software and content is provided as free, so if streams are not available or channels, then as you are not paying, not much you can do., other than to move on to the next program or content.

Very different devices and there is a lot of different equipment as well as service providers out there. 

I do the support on a number of different IPTV products and services and stating the obvious, you do get what you pay for, I  do use both and like the ability of the subscription free to dig up old series and films - but for regular TV channels, sports etc the premium type services offer a user experience.

I'm going to tread a fine line & don't want this to be taken the wrong way - but people of a certain age or technically challenged will sometimes struggle with the subscription free models as they are different to what has gone before - the problem is many are selling the virtues (marketing) but the reality is, not suitable for everyone - in a high number of cases the more elderly demographic, those with young children (difficult to reset if mess up software) or anyone who wants something like their own Sky box, should perhaps consider a subscription based alternative - as is much easier.

However does appear that not all the subscription services are that great either as we have received a number of queries from those with Mags / Blade boxes who purchased with a service and want to switch to a different provider. It seems that some are resharing these services a number of times (too many) rather than a dedicated service - and much like the internet service providers that have too many clients for their data bandwidth, same can happen with IPTV providers.

 

 

 

 

 



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17 Apr 2014 11:08 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4440 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

I have read your posts here (and looked at your website) and I have to say, I think you have pretty much summed up the different options and explained them better than anywhere else I've read, so well done for that!

Although I haven't personally tried either an Android (sub free) box or a Mag250, my understanding is that the Android boxes are little more than a tablet without a screen. So if you can install Filmon, Mobdro, maybe the very-awkward XBMC, and perhaps a VPN & iPlayer/ITV player etc. on an Android tablet and connect it to your TV with an HDMI (all of which I have tried) you'll have a reasonably good idea of what you're getting with one of these. Question: am I correct, or am I missing something? For example, do these boxes come with a superior processor or something, allowing better video rendition?

As you say, if channels or streams become unavailable, there's not much you can do other than search around for an alternative source, which can be very frustrating. I understand that the Mag250 with a subscription delivers the channels in a different way, from a dedicated server somewhere (usually in Ukraine or somewhere equally obscure from what I gather, presumably to circumvent EU copyright/broadcast laws). I also understand that the service providers should be able to ensure sufficient bandwidth, because they have an accurate idea of how many subscribers will be accessing their content. Question: in your experience, would you say that the picture quality with these systems is always better than on Android systems? Is buffering a problem not likely to be encountered with a Mag250/subscription service? 

However, you also note that not all service providers are equal.

Question: (and I'm not asking you to divulge your source!) How does one know who/what/where the service provider they are signing up to is, let alone choose one over the other? I can believe the quality and reliability (and user experience) of such services should be better than using an Android box, but how can one be sure that the channels, and in fact the entire service, will still be working tomorrow? After all, let's face it, these services are, I presume, operating somewhat on the thin edge of law at best - it's not like you're taking out a subscription with Sky.

Again, thanks for your input so far, very informative. yes



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17 Apr 2014 12:16 by televisiontechnology Star rating in Costa Blanca South. 165 posts Send private message

Hi Roberto, covering your key points.

Android boxes - they do vary, different processors & memory will ultimately make a difference in usage - for example equipment that has faster processor & more internal memory will perform better than a lesser model. For example less memory = potentially more buffering. Some lower end boxes do not have the processing power to stream anything over SD. 

 If you are technically minded you can set up the XBMC, but it is complex to set up well, as stated elsewhere it takes our guys around 90 minutes to set up & configure each box, with all software shortcuts, etc to make it as easy as possible to use. In essence base operating system - yes a smart phone without a screen, with a remote control - though to confuse matters a little further the software is customisable and can also run linux features, sitting alongside android. We've had around 18 months of software fiddling and spent considerable time reskinning it to make more usable - guess the answer is quite variable as is based not only the hardware supplied, but the software set up as well. Not as simple to use as the subscription models, by a clear margin.

With the hosted solutions - you are correct it is difficult to know exacly what you are getting - we studied the market and were running tests with various providers for over a year before we were confident. We tend to offer this type of equipment with flexible payment packages, one such package is a pay monthly only - so you only ever need to pay one month at a time, so no need to always paying a year in advance. It is also possible on some subscription services to offer a free test on customers existing hardware, so technically they can see how well service performs without spending any money - though not all service providers offer this.

What we can also do is access boxes remotely now - so if people have existing equipment or unhappy with provider we can change providers around, by changing a few settings in the box - at least this way at least people have the option to re-utilise their existing equipment. We already seem to be getting a few people who have ordered one service or another, but wish to change things around.

Quality wise, for the general TV channels & certainly the sports -  the subscription models generall offer better quality. On the Android / Linux solutions you have the Filmon streams (though there is software to allow slightly higher quality than standard for free) & with the Films you can get HD & good quality (you can also get poor quality too). Though if looking for standard TV channels, subscription based as a genral rule of thumb is better.

Avoid any Vehda box / system as is utter junk, unreliable services and hardware which is simply poor.

Speaking from a technical point of view - unsure of how they will stop any illegal streams, as once information is decoded it is easily transmitted over the internet or for potential rebroadcast (such as microwave service providers) - all you need is original decoding equipment. I could take a Sky box today, with Sky sports 1 on, take the output which is already decoded and feed into another piece of equipment to retransmit (though of course we do not do such things). How do you protect something that is already decoded? The only thing can be done (and has been on the odd ocassion) for example 1Channel on XBMC showing movies, the main stream URL was blocked in the UK, so they changed the URL and now working o.k (specific to XBMC, not subscription related services).

Polaris world golf resort has been running a hacked version of Sky through a cable network as well reselling it to their other resorts (via microwave uplink)  for years, as has La Manga club - it really is everywhere. 

 

 

 

 

 


This message was last edited by televisiontechnology on 17/04/2014.

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23 Apr 2014 00:14 by nicbax Star rating in Fuengirola. 131 posts Send private message

Hi, I have been testing an XM Android tv box for a couple of months now. It is pre-loded with filmon and is fabulous.

There are no monthly subs and the cost of these on ebay or amazon varies between £65.00 and £85.00.

It comes with a good remote control. There is a little buffering occasionally which is not a great problem.

We have all read adverts in the free english press asking for between €200 and €395 for an iptv box which is simply a mag250 box that has been tweeked. I am sure that these companies purchase the boxes in bulk thereby reducing the price per unit  Then one is charged monthly subs of between €15.00 and €40.00 for the channels.

These companies are entitled to make a profit but I personally think that most are taking the public for a ride.

Just buy a good quality tv android box, plug in and play; end of story.

 





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23 Apr 2014 07:36 by televisiontechnology Star rating in Costa Blanca South. 165 posts Send private message

Having used all of the equipment - you are comparing chalk with cheese. I do agree with some of the comments made about costs though - some companies do 'milk it' a little.

Given the variety of Android harware, performance differences and also how they are set up makes a huge amount of difference. There is some real junk out there. I'm about to test an Octo core Android / Linux box, hardly comparable to a dual core box with a lot less performance...

You get what you pay for, but the Android boxes supplied online mostly are not set up with the correct software  and the average non technically minded unless has it already set up / installed will then struggle. I can confirm this as have emails off people who have asked us to set their boxes up for them. There is a secondary issue, that if you reset everything or 'little fingers' go walking in menus, it is not always a simple matter to reset / restore - this is not defined consumer set up hardware, from the likes of Sony, Samsung etc - need to tread a little cautiously, suitable for some, not all.

A key point is usabilty - part of my job is offering support for an expatriate client base of approx 3000 people - all with different TV requirements. Simply put the average non technically minded user / child / or person of a third age may well struggle with the Android variants - as they are complicated to use & unless set up very well with good instructions, simply may not be suitable for everyone.

The Mag 250 / 260 / 265 / Blade Media HD stream - variants of subsbcription boxes, offer an easier to use system, some offer catch up TV with no VPN and as you pay for a service, you get parity of quality which is better than the film on streams, like using a Sky box as opposed to some Android / Linux solutions which are more akin to using a smartphone / pc.

Bottom line - the subscription boxes generally do a better job both in terms of usability (by a considerable margin) picture quality with UK terrestrials and features such as implemented program guide and catch up TV.   Not to say a good Android / Linux box does not have it's place - they are economical and do work, but overall not a good as experience, which you should expect given it is free TV with no service provider - so not entirely comparable. 

We supply, provide software and and set up all this type of equipment - from subscription free to subscription based & to use an analogy - it could be likened to comparing a new BMW to a old cheap 2nd hand car - both can get you from a to b, but one does the job better - however you simply pay more for the service provided.  

If you want economical or cheap, then it is available - but it is not as slick or as easy to use - and as you are not paying for a 'service provider' so if something does change (filmon / free streams etc) there is little you can do about this as not paying for hosted content in the first place.  Good value yes, but not really comparable.

There is no 'one solution' answer. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This message was last edited by televisiontechnology on 23/04/2014.


This message was last edited by televisiontechnology on 23/04/2014.

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23 Apr 2014 12:51 by Cristobal Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

In reply to Nic,

I paid €50 for the box and €300 subscription, renewable yearly, I have 180 channels, including Sky, catch-up TV (7 days), and nearly 400 films, which are being added to all the time, plus internet. I think that it's pretty good value for money, assuming it keeps going for the whole year :)

 

Chris





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25 Apr 2014 10:22 by drpearson1 Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

Help.

I have a MAG250 box bought in UK (and working great there with monthly subscription) and brought the box abroad.

My TV is a sony 32 but it will not detect the box - simply says 'out of range', so I cannot get to 'setup' to link to my wifi router.

 

Any suggestions?





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25 Apr 2014 10:33 by televisiontechnology Star rating in Costa Blanca South. 165 posts Send private message

I'm confused as 'out of range' seems to be more related to the TV rather than the IPTV box.

Are you getting the IPTV menu on the TV screen (check your HDMI TV input settings as usually does not auto detect)

Once you have established that the TV input is looking at the IPTV box, then you can look at the wi fi (IPTV) not TV settings.  

If you are already getting the IPTV menu on your TV screen, but are getting a weak wi fi signal - then the options are (1) Use an external USB adapter antenna with IPTV box

(2) Better - home network plugs (google)

(3) Better still - hard wire / cat 5 cable connection - the most stable

Wi Fi is variable as is determinised by router, distance to connected unit, how many walls in the way etc - depending on location of router speeds can vary by as much as 50%.

 

 



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26 Apr 2014 08:12 by satandpcguy Star rating in Gandia, Valencia. 399 posts Send private message

satandpcguy´s avatar

If i rememeber correctl;y, "out of range" on a sony tv means it cannot display the HD resoluion of the device it is trying to show.

So you will have to change the HD resolution to another (maybe lower resolution), and the sony shoud recognise that.

 



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