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Iceberg
12-22-2005, 12:39 PM
The Captiveworks receiver is a neat little unit. It boasts to be one of the easiest receivers to work with and to be “plug & play”, that is you hook up you dish and it tells you what satellite you’re on. I don’t understand how it would know if the dish isnt aimed right, but we’ll get to that.
First thing I noticed is the unit has the basic functions on the unit. This is good if you lose the remote : ) On the front is the power, menu, OK, channel up/down & volume up/down. The remote is very easy to understand and the buttons are big. On the back is a set of a/v plugs, s-video and rf outputs. I hooked it up to my “test rig” which is a motorized unit with DBS & KU band LNB’s attached (with a 22K switch). The unit doesn’t have a line of sight west of 110, so I couldn’t test it on G10.
I hooked it up and turned the unit on. I was on IA6, which is my true south. The first thing I noticed is the menus are set up for any level of FTA’er. The colors are bold, big and to the point. My options were install, channel list, system settings and games. I went into install and and got into where the meat of install was. I found my satellite (and I was very happy they had the right names...some new units still say “Telestar 6"). There are most of the satellites (both C & KU band) in the setup and you have the option of adding, deleting, and renaming satellites. I changed my LNB setting and left Diseqc at “none”. Even though I have tested many units so I can manuever around most menus, this one is the easiest to work with. At the bottom there are different options, each with a different color. Since I’m working with motorized, I went into “antenna positioning”. Here I find one of the most interesting motor setups ever (and for the good). I selected 1.2 (I would use USALS but this was just a test) and saw at the bottom a screen that shows quality & signal. Signal was at 100 and quality went to 55. Its neat because they have a screen that looks like a heart monitor and the quality bar moves up and down as the quality changes. So you can see what the quality has been. I stored the position and backed out one screen and scanned. Now the unit doesn’t have blind scan (big bummer) but there were 60 transponders factory stored in the unit. So I scanned the satellite and ended up with about 20 channels.
So now I decided to scan Nimiq1. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an option. So I renamed Galaxy 11 C-Band and set everything up and went into the motorized setup. I knew I had to go east (my DBS LNB is on the left so right now it was at about 98). There is an option that says “position auto” so I hit “east” to see what it did. Well, what the unit did was something that I havent seen any other receiver do. It moves until there is a signal, then FINE TUNES IT to the best signal. This is an awesome feature. You can move the dish automitically, continuously or by steps. Steps would be like a nudge and you can change the steps from 1-10 (1 being nudge)..Now I only had one transponder in but one of the option was a network scan. This finds frequencies with the same symbol rate and logs them. So I scanned Nimiq1 and had a whole bunch of audio channels. I went through and scanned frequencies in SBS6, AMC6, Nimiq 1 & 2, IA6, G3, AMC4 and G11. Adding transponders is very easy and you can edit existing transponders. When you scan the transponders, it goes through them very quickly. I scanned 60 Transponders on IA6 in under 2 minutes. When I scanned a DBS satellite, it took about 4-5 minutes for it to sort out the FTA ones from scrambled. If I scanned all, it would be less. One thing I noticed is the quality bar is a little lower than normal. Ohio News was at 45-50, whereas my Pansat on the same setup is at 75-77.
Now that I had some channels, lets see the fun stuff. When you hit info, the unit gives you a heckuva lot of info. Channel name, quality meter (using the same “heart rate monitor” type bar), and it cycles through satellite, TP info and PIDS. No need to hunt through menus to find the info, Its al there. If there is a EPG, there is an icon that lights up. Another cool feature is when you switch from one satellite to another. The unit says “moving satellite...and depending on how far you need to move, it counts it down. So when I went from AMC4 to SBS6, it said “moving 14% and counted down. When it got to 1%, less than a couple seconds later I had a screen. I wish other untis would have this too. So you don’t have to guestimate if the motor is moving.
I went through and edited some channel names, moved stuff around, and deleted channels. Very easy to do that (again, there are color coordinated buttons for each thing). You can lock channels and create a couple favorite lists. The clock can be set automatically or manually and you can set timers. The clock does keep time but the weird thing is the “2" on the unit has an extra “leg”. Basically if you take a block “8" and remove the top left piece, that is what you end up with. Kind of weird, but no biggie unless you have the unit off. You also have multi-picture on the screen. You can have 4,6,9, or 16 different channels on screen. It cycles through them and the motor even moves if they are on different satellites.
Some of the features are:
-Diseqc 1.2 & USALS compatible
-can use Diseqc switch or 22k switch
-loop through for another receiver
-LED display on the unit
-RS232 port for software upgrade
-easy setup guide
-very elaborate OSD guide
-EPG
-Network search
-TP search
-multi language menu
-Picture in guide
-8 favorite lists
-100 satellite, 4000 channels max
-zoom
-6 different ways to sort channels
-multichannel on screen (can have up to 16 channels on screen at same time)
I have reviewed and tested a lot of different receivers and this is by far one of the easiest units to work with. Any level of FTA’er can use it, from the beginner to the most advanced person. The 2 big features I like are the auto motor where it moves and finds the signal. I would HIGHLY recommend setting up your motor limits..once it hits the limit it stops. Another feature is the % of how much is left while the motor moves. If the unit had a blind scan, this would be a great unit for anyone. Don’t get me wrong that since there is no blind scan the unit isn’t worth it. With the amount of transponders stored, you can get probably 90% of the channels out there (including almost all the ones on Lyngsat).
A couple minor drawbacks..one is no blind scan which I knew about from the get go. Another minor one is if you scan a satellite again, it puts all the channels at the end. When I first scanned IA6, CBS News and University Network were 1 & 2 in the channel list. After I scanned and had 50 channels on 8 satellites, I rescanned all of IA6. It put the new channels at the end but moved CBS News & University Network from 1 & 2 to the end of the list. But you can move them to where ever you want : )
I give this a solid 8.5. It gets very high marks due to the simplicity of the menu. No need to hunt for hidden menus. Go to an item and see your options at the bottom (and there is always up to 4 options with color coordinated buttons on the remote). This is another cool FTA product from FTADirect. Check it out : )

Iceberg
12-22-2005, 12:40 PM
screenshots coming soon. I took pictures but didnt like how they turned out. With the bright colors on the screen, you couldn't see the options. So they'll be up soon.

PSB
12-22-2005, 01:01 PM
Thanks Iceberg sounds VERY interesting!

Iceberg
12-22-2005, 01:30 PM
I like the fact there are 4 different ways to move dish
-USALS
-The "let the receiver find it"
-Continuous (the dish keeps moving until you tell it to stop
-Steps (think nudge but better). You can step between 1-10 steps :)

Iceberg
12-27-2005, 07:33 AM
added pictures :)

GOsatelliteRob
12-27-2005, 01:34 PM
Thanks for the great review Iceberg!
We do have these models in stock and our warehouse is open and shipping.
Just call us at the number below to learn more about the receiver :)
Thanks!

WyrTwister
01-01-2006, 01:58 AM
I like the fact there are 4 different ways to move dish
-USALS
-The "let the receiver find it"
-Continuous (the dish keeps moving until you tell it to stop
-Steps (think nudge but better). You can step between 1-10 steps :)


I have read that newer software has a better guide . Do not know if blind scan has been added ?

Wyr

Iceberg
01-01-2006, 03:57 PM
well considering 99% of the legal channels dont have a guide, that feature is useless IMO

and no there is no blind scan available yet.

cinnaminson
01-02-2006, 08:10 PM
the blind scan is promised to be added this week. its been posted by trusted people. i have this unit and it realy works great and like iceberg said, very easy to use. The automatic diseqc setting is also very big plus.

awax
01-07-2006, 02:24 PM
the blind scan is promised to be added this week. its been posted by trusted people. i have this unit and it realy works great and like iceberg said, very easy to use. The automatic diseqc setting is also very big plus.
Any update on the blindscan option being added? Good review, I am new to FTA and looking for a system and this looks good except for the missing blindscan that is a dealbreaker for me.

Reigster at SatelliteGuys