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Getting a new HD satreciever, advice needed
07-13-2010, 10:09 PM
Post: #1
Getting a new HD satreciever, advice needed
At the moment I got a very basic Sagem HD box (OEM:ed) that suck eggs. Long story short, it must be replaced with a solid DVB-S HD satellite receiver with a lot of wonderful features. I've not made the plunge into this world yet, although it's akin to mediaplayers, so I'll appreciate all advice.

Budget-wise I am willing to make a stretch for good quality, but I don't like paying for overpriced products.

Since I obviously already have NMT's I don't look much at the general media playing capabilities in a sat receiver, I'll regard that as a bonus. But the HD channel playback is very important; with robust and good tuners. This is the number one reason why I am replacing my current box.

Other requirements I'm favoring:
  • At least one Conax CA module
  • Linux based, with toolchain available (I'm not savvy enough to build a cross-compiling toolchain from scratch myself, but I can follow instructions)
  • HDMI-port (possibly DVI), and s/pdif or optical out for audio (I'm not going to buy a new HD-audio receiver just yet)
  • Can use internal HDD (Just a small silent one will do fine, I will not go above 500 GB since I have media consolidated on a NAS)
  • Networked; normal Ethernet (wifi not mandatory, but nice)
  • PVR features, ability to record to internal disk and NFS/CIFS share (time shift not mandatory, but nice)
  • Friendly user community
  • My wife needs to operate this device so response and a nice GUI is important.
  • I'm quite liberal with remote controls so it doesn't have to be of solid build and perfect layout, but if it's nice it doesn't hurt.
  • If it can stream to a pc/Mac then that would be lovely, but not mandatory.

(I have a subscription so cardsharing features are not important, perhaps only for the joy of learning technology. Angle )

How are encrypted recordings handled? I assume most European FTA channels will play fine on NMT's, possibly after using tools such as TS-Doctor, but what do I need to think of in case of encrypted channels: or are they decrypted when recorded to disk on all boxes?

I've mostly looked at the AZBoxHD Premium, Dreambox 8000HD, VU+Duo and IPBox 9000HD. They all look interesting, but seem to differ a lot in terms of pricing, community support and things like dual-tuner or not. I'd like a HDHomeRun (silicondust.com) but it doesn't do DVD-S so that's off.

At the moment VU+Duo seems to be closest fit, but I'd love to hear your opinions. Is there something around the corner, worth waiting another month or two for?

Cheers for any response, including toto1er!iesque ones Big Grin

Audio, video, disco - I hear, I see, I learn.
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07-13-2010, 10:35 PM
Post: #2
RE: Getting a new HD satreciever, advice needed
Take a look at the Dreambox 800HD! I see you have looked at the DM8000HD, but if you dont need more than one tuner and one CA module then DM800HD is much cheaper!
Or DM500HD without Internal HDD, but can record to external(eSATA or network mount). This one is even cheaper, with same GUI and it`s faster!

I own a DM800HD and a DM600 my self Smile

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07-13-2010, 10:53 PM (This post was last modified: 07-13-2010 10:54 PM by dc11ab.)
Post: #3
RE: Getting a new HD satreciever, advice needed
Yes, that would seem to get the Dreamboxes down to a more reasonable pricelevel.
Dreambox model names are confusing to me, sometimes less is more Wink

I have a DM500S from the old days (pre-HD) so I'm a little familiar with it. Didn't like the default remote control but otherwise it was (still is) a nice little box.

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07-14-2010, 08:29 PM (This post was last modified: 07-14-2010 08:30 PM by Exlo.)
Post: #4
RE: Getting a new HD satreciever, advice needed
Quote:*At least one Conax CA module
You can also use an Smargo USB cardreader if you need another one Smile

Quote:Is there something around the corner, worth waiting another month or two for?
Dreambox is releasing the DM800HD Second Edition and DM7020HD Second Edition. Don`t know when...

Digsat.net is a really good scandinavian forum if you aren`t already there!

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[+] 1 user says Thank You to Exlo for this post
07-18-2010, 04:42 PM
Post: #5
RE: Getting a new HD satreciever, advice needed
I got a Drerambox DM800HD a couple of months ago and lovin' it! Fitted a 500GB drive internally

PCH-A200 2TB int. & USB Enclosure with 4x 2TB drives
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08-13-2010, 09:24 AM
Post: #6
RE: Getting a new HD satreciever, advice needed
(07-13-2010 10:53 PM)dc11ab Wrote:  Yes, that would seem to get the Dreamboxes down to a more reasonable pricelevel.
Dreambox model names are confusing to me, sometimes less is more Wink

I have a DM500S from the old days (pre-HD) so I'm a little familiar with it. Didn't like the default remote control but otherwise it was (still is) a nice little box.


So, what did you choose? I have a DM600 and 2x DM800. Although I like the DM concept I am not too happy with the quality and design. I think the type of screws is crappy and to install a HDD into the DM800 ask a little manipulations. On top of that I had on my very first DM600 as well as the DM800 a faulty power adapter. One DM600 is laying in a box, because the tuner stopped working. I have a DM800 as well laying in a box, because it keeps rebooting. Then again, the picture is a good quality, I like the ability to download different images and of course the in house sharing is an absolute must for me. However, the quality issues I had always stopped me from buying hte, imho overpriced DM8000.
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08-13-2010, 10:14 AM
Post: #7
RE: Getting a new HD satreciever, advice needed
I finally bought the Vu+Duo. It's an enigma2 based, "Dreambox compatible" box. So far I'm quite happy with it. It was easy to install and configure for my subscription card, arrange the channel bouquets etc. The iDreamX app on my Mac made it a simple exercise to manage thousands of channels rather than manually editing the satellites.xml. The scan took quite a while (an hour or so), but I don't mind that so much.

At first I used a PLi image but unfortunately I couldn't get any camd working. So I tried Dream Elite image and that went better - but I must admit I liked the UI experience on PLi. Perhaps I'll switch back and try some newer release later on.

The HD channels are crisp, but I get slight motion judder in panning scenes on some channels, I guess that can be tweaked somehow, but I haven't made any efforts to fix it yet.

I bought the unit with a pre-installed 3.5" disk so I haven't actually opened the lid and investigated how difficult it is to insert a disk. I think it was some green WD 320GB, nothing fancy, just for timeshifting and occasional recordings.

Once the first tweaking session was over (CCcam, some addon plugins installed etc.), and channels were organized so the kids got back their Playhouse Disney, I kind of left it to it's on device. For what it's worth, my dear not-so-interested-in-gadgets wife learned the new remote pretty fast.
I have yet to setup the second tuner to allow simultaneous recording and playback, setup ggrab/ngrab stuff and perhaps try some sharing with my other DM500S (for educational purposes, of course Angle ) - but it's already in a usable state for my humble needs.

For trials, I recorded a BBC News broadcast to see if it would play on the C200. Nope, no show. Just black screen and time out.
Tried to demux and convert to various formats with MPEG Streamclip (which apparently has certain enigma support) but that didn't seem to help. Perhaps I used incorrect settings, I just made some quick experiments. If it doesn't work out I think I'll try Cypheros TS-Doctor next, but I'm unsure it can work under Wine. At present I don't use MS Windows at home, so any alternative suggestions for Mac and Linux is welcome!

All in all it feels like a solid device. No strange hiccups, nice case, simple but effective front panel display etc. and the price was way better than the DM's at this moment. It's a huge difference from the crappy Sagem HD box I used to have, which couldn't cope with HD channels and was totally locked down.

I did consider the AzBox Premium too, and it was a close call. The AzBox features build in wifi, but I have a Squeezebox acting as a bridge already. More importantly it is said to display 4:2:2 feeds and full 1080p, with a Sigma based chip instead of the Broadcoms used in Dreamboxen, Vu+ etc. which supposedly only output 4:2:0 and 1080i. I even setup the toolchain (it's basically the same as for the 100-series Popcorn Hours) but in the end I wanted something reliable here and now, so I went for the 'mature' choice. Pricewise it wasn't a huge difference to the Vu+Duo.

Thank's everyone for your suggestions, much appreciated!

Audio, video, disco - I hear, I see, I learn.
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08-21-2010, 03:31 AM (This post was last modified: 08-25-2010 11:31 AM by jjk.)
Post: #8
RE: Getting a new HD satreciever, advice needed
Good news enjoy your box.

I just finished installing one of the most horrible looking 6ft sat dish. It is so ugly. Smile

Anyway the wife can see her hometown channels again and that is what matters in the end.
For me it is obvious. No matter where you live. Let it be Europe or Asia. When you wanna watch TV it is the same s**t.

Thats where the PCH comes in handy.

Regards,

JJJK
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