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Forevergreat

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello everyone!

So I think my time has come.  Despite the fact that my Coolsat 8000 has been an awesome receiver for me until now, the time to upgrade has come.  Given that I now have a 9PM bedtime thanks to the 3:30 wake up call for work, I need to feed my addiction to Law and Order SVU and other shows in the fall by getting myself a receiver with PVR functionality.

So here's the deal.  I've been reading a lot about the AZBox Premium HD+ but would like some first hand feedback from people who have used it and have some good constructive feedback about it.  I have a .5TB SATA hard drive already so I would only need the receiver.  The other plus is the hardware blind scan and the X.264 compatibility.

So, fire away...I'd love to hear everything good and bad or possibly comparable receivers to the AZ...

I appreciate any and all feedback!!
mack936

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Reply with quote  #2 
good point as i use the same receiver: it does 4.2.2 CBS feeds for football ( for me ) it does the NBC feeds on amc 1 Ku and amc 15 C band,
my main quirk is the receiver can be slow at times as for changing sats.
blindscan is slow according to people who have other receivers mine seems ok and pretty accurate.
i can't answer for the 5 TB sata hard drive as the largest i have tried is a 500 gig sata and it had no trouble either recording or playing the file back.

it does 4.2.2 and h.264 video ac3 audio and also plays the FTA radio channels on amc 8.
i have mine connected to my vizio 37" 1080p lcd tv and the picture quality is superb on HD as with most receivers that only do SD the picture quality is so so on non HD channels.on a smaller tv screen the picture is very good. i also have it connected to a Vbox for my 10ft dish and dg380 diseqc motor for my 1 meter winegard Ku dish

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  1 meter winegard dish on an DG380 motor,40" vizio 240hz smart tv
Cadsulfide

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Reply with quote  #3 
I have had one for a couple of years, and it was pretty good when it I got it but it's sensitivity has steadily gone downhill. It also locks up quite often requiring a software (remote) reboot. For the $$ I'm really pleased with MicroHD and it's tuner on blind scan knocks AZ out of the park. I'm looking to add another receiver to the lineup and was hoping someone would chime in on the new generation of HD boxes out there.
jdcpa

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forevergreat
...Given that I now have a 9PM bedtime thanks to the 3:30 wake up call for work, I need to feed my addiction to Law and Order SVU and other shows in the fall by getting myself a receiver with PVR functionality.

So here's the deal.  I've been reading a lot about the AZBox Premium HD+ but would like some first hand feedback from people who have used it and have some good constructive feedback about it....


NBC feeds are one of the bigger disappointments about DVB, due to the necessity to have either the same exact equipment NBC affiliates use, or two receivers, precisely in sync, to be able to get competent audio to go with the glorious video for its flagship prime time shows like SVU.

The HD+ won't record high bit rate feeds like CBS (because of the bum audio, I've rarely experimented with NBC recording and don't remember much). It does record well from ABC prime time and most syndication services.

Others have reported various problems with AV quality, but I've found rebooting at least once a day does a good job of avoiding issues.

It is picky about what you do when WRT setup, and will lose your work if not careful to follow optimal procedure. For instance, channels can be easily renamed from the detail menu, but if you do it there, some descriptive data about the service disappears from view, and the possibility of database corruption increases. So, the better place for renaming is, of all places, in the advanced scan setup menu.

Because of the way timer setup works, and the NTP accurate clock, I rarely use its timers for recording. Instead I use timers to turn it to the right service at appropriate times when I'm not around, and I do my time shift recording with a Magnavox SD DVR like WalMart sells online.

Since it's a computer running Linux, if you're familiar with Linux, some maintenance and setup chores can be easier than using the remote and menus. I record a lot to save, so file naming is important, and I do it via FTP using an OFM in seconds with real keyboard instead of fumbling with fewer than 20 buttons to get a complete alpha numeric dual case character set.

It's not easy to learn how to use. I still don't know how to use favorites. But the network accessibility and NTP clock are nice bonuses to go along with the great audio and video available from quality FTA services like CBS. If I didn't have 2 MEs and a Manhattan as well, I'd have a second HD+ too.

If you have access to CBS OTA, I'd consider getting a Manhattan instead, which is friendlier in most respects WRT recording on timers, but does have frustrating clock issues, and requires the HD to be external connected via USB2.

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Hurricane Hermine's 28N flood path. C Norsats: 8115 on Corotor II on 10' mesh; 5215G5 X2 on Bullseye I on 12' mesh.
Forevergreat

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Posts: 95
Reply with quote  #5 
Wow, this is all great feedback, please keep it coming.

IPTV feeds: I am familiar with Linux (I'm a Linux System Administrator) so that's one aspect which excites me quite a bit given that some other TV hardware is Microsoft based (ie. Bell's IPTV receivers).  Speaking of IPTV, does the AZBox support satellite IPTV feeds as well?

NBC Audio AMC 18: I know the NBC feeds' audio on AMC 18 can be a little wonky.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that if the feeds on AMC 18 don't record well I can find some other NBC feed (maybe galaxy 16) to record despite the lower video quality.

Blind scan: I also like the blind scan capability as well.  I had that (kind of) with my old Captain and I like having the ability to blind scan (big reason why I put up the big dish in the first place...see what kind of cool feeds I can find)

DVR: Again, a big reason why I'm upgrading...I want to be sure that I have a good DVR on board.  I have a couple of .5 TB SATA drives kicking around already so I'm ready to just plug and play.

Dish position control: I'm still a little unclear on the AZBox's capabilities.  I use a VBox to move my dish now, does the AZ have it's own dish control mechanism built in or do I still need my VBox?

Again, thank you so much for all the great feedback!
RandyK

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Posts: 413
Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forevergreat

I use a VBox to move my dish now, does the AZ have it's own dish control mechanism built in or do I still need my VBox?


You still need the VBox.  The AZ will send DiSEqC commands to the VBox to move the dish.

One glitch with the AZ that I didn't see mentioned here --- when you do a blind scan it will set the Lower Limit on the VBox (happens almost every time).  You will see LL show up on the VBox display and you will need to disable the limit after the blind scan is complete.
BillinIndy

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Reply with quote  #7 
I saw it mentioned in post #2 the AZ box will do 4:2:2 and H.264 video codec. Well sort of, I am not positive but I don't believe any consumer stb we know of will decode video that is H.264 in 4:2:2 chroma. So I think the most accurate way to put it when speaking of AZbox video would be:

mpeg2 video in 4:2:0 chroma, yes
mpeg2 video in 4:2:2 chroma, yes
H.264 video in 4:2:0 chroma, yes
H.264 video in 4:2:2 chroma, no (use a pc card solution with the software codecs of choice)

I have three different rcvrs; Quali-TV, Linkbox 8000 HD Local, and AZbox Elite. The video quality on any feed is very good on both the Quali-TV and Linkbox, but the AZbox is superior on the same 58" Samsung Display.

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The Big Dish since 1984!
WineGard CK1088 10ft; Corotor II; Norsat 8515/4206a; Venture 24"; DSR920; AzBox Elite 0.9.5020; LinkBox 8000 HD Local; QS1080IR V3.16

lange

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Reply with quote  #8 
Please keep in mind that the SATA interface on the AZBox Premium HD+ is 1.5GB. So, if you use a 3GB or 6GB HDD, make sure to be able to set it to 1.5GB speed.

Lange

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Setup:
Abox Me (DVB-S2)
2x Azbox Premium HD Plus (2x DVB-S2)
Gigablue HD 800UE (DVB-S2, DVB-C/T)
Gigablue HD QUAD (2x DVB-S2)
Triax 80cm with motor
Wave Frontie (13.0, 19.2, 23.5, 28.2)
jdcpa

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Reply with quote  #9 
Don't let the SATA specification mislead you into expecting throughput approaching theoretical maximum, because that isn't going to happen:

This PC (which IIRC also only supports SATA150):
# hdparm -tT /dev/sdb

/dev/sdb:
 Timing cached reads:   7016 MB in  2.00 seconds = 3513.19 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads: 220 MB in  3.01 seconds =  73.06 MB/sec

My AZBox HD+:
 # telnet azbox
Trying ...
Connected ...
AZBox login: root
Password:
AZBox[~]$ hdparm -tT /dev/hdb

/dev/hdb:
 Timing buffer-cache reads:   128 MB in  4.46 seconds = 28.73 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  64 MB in  8.24 seconds =  7.77 MB/sec

Performance across network is far worse, less than half the HD's buffered disk reads speed, which is only achievable while the TV software is sleeping. If you want to backup up your recordings, and you have any significant size to your collection, it will be faster to remove the HD from the AZBox, connect to and boot a Linux PC to make the backup, then replace it in the AZBox. It's only one of many personality shortcomings of an AZBox, but don't think I wouldn't buy another if this one died. I'd already have a second if I hadn't bought an ME as well, and also a second ME. I'm still considering the possibility of buying another HD+ before Rick's inventory runs out.

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Hurricane Hermine's 28N flood path. C Norsats: 8115 on Corotor II on 10' mesh; 5215G5 X2 on Bullseye I on 12' mesh.
wbarrett

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyK
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forevergreat

I use a VBox to move my dish now, does the AZ have it's own dish control mechanism built in or do I still need my VBox?


You still need the VBox.  The AZ will send DiSEqC commands to the VBox to move the dish.

One glitch with the AZ that I didn't see mentioned here --- when you do a blind scan it will set the Lower Limit on the VBox (happens almost every time).  You will see LL show up on the VBox display and you will need to disable the limit after the blind scan is complete.


I found a workaround for this bug: turn off the G- or V-Box before blind scan then turn it back on when done.  It will not change the limits if Off.

===
Bill

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4 tuner Vu+ Duo2 running OpenVIX Apollo with MetrixHD skin ... AzBox Premium Plus for 4.2.2 ... Amiko Nano HD ... SYNOQ SR1
majortom

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Reply with quote  #11 

also keep in mind it's not available anymore as the company went out of business a few years ago, so ur only option likely is something 2nd hand????




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Perfect 10 7.5' mesh Chapparal C/Ku Co-Rotor feed, Norsat 8115 CBAND, Norsat 4106A Ku Thomson Saginaw Actuator, Vbox positioner,
Home Brew Polarotor683 Servo circuit. Openbox S9, Prof7500, v4l-updatelee linux drivers installed.
biggt

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Reply with quote  #12 
Looks like this thread is a year old.
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2-10' C band ,1 mtr. Winegard on Sg-2100 , 1.2mtr Echostar , 5' Unimesh

Azbox Me x3 - Traxis 6000HD - Amico A3

majortom

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Reply with quote  #13 
LOL... musta been bored[biggrin]
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Perfect 10 7.5' mesh Chapparal C/Ku Co-Rotor feed, Norsat 8115 CBAND, Norsat 4106A Ku Thomson Saginaw Actuator, Vbox positioner,
Home Brew Polarotor683 Servo circuit. Openbox S9, Prof7500, v4l-updatelee linux drivers installed.
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Fellow Members, your posts are welcome here! Do not worry about posting everything perfect. Different receivers and LNB's will give you different Frequencies and Symbol Rates. Some set top boxes, PCI cards and USB receivers, Do Not Require all of the same information that others may need. It is not Required to post everything that others may need to tune in a feed. It is just most important to share the find. We can always adjust the Frequency and Symbol Rates and try the various Modulations and FEC's on our own receivers until we get a lock and then give a polite reply with what works for your receiver, as that information might help others as well. We all appreciate the efforts and energy of the Posters!

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