AZBox Elite HD receiver

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stogie5150

stogie5150

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Crazed Cajun Rebel
Jan 7, 2007
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Slidell,LA
I am going to do this review in parts, and explain to the best of my ability each part. This post is just a summary for you folks with short attention spans (like I have!):)

Intro:
I've been checking into this receiver for awhile, and finally decided to pull the trigger. This one is, in my opinion, a game changer. Other than the lack of blind scan, this is the most complete FTA receiver I have ever used. This Receiver will do all these formats: DVB 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 HD and SD, AND DVB-S2 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 SD and HD. There are a couple of DVB-S2 feeds that it won't lock, one of them is the CW's on AMC 6 C-Band...but I haven't found many more that it wont lock and display.

Like I said, this can do it all. Almost. Complete complement of connections on the back, HDMI,component, SCART, 2 USB ports, IF in and loop out, standard connections, with the exception of the ethernet port. That one is very important, as you will see in the following posts.

First off....this receiver's menu is different. And not at all easy, at first. You get a HOME button on the remote (its the blue one in the middle of the remote) That allows you to access the usual functions of the receiver. This is what it looks like.

towatchtv.jpg


In order, here we go....first option is the TV. This is where we go to ,Duh, watch TV. :)

Second, is the Youtube link. This is where the ethernet pays off. I just ran a wire from my wireless router to the azbox, and I am online. so I can do stuff like this. Totally searchable, but since you have to use the remote to enter search strings, its kind of slow. A USB keyboard plugin is supposed to be coming. Here's what it looks like:

Youtubemain.jpg


And this is a youtube video playing.

youtubewatchingvideo.jpg


Oh, and BTW, press the OK button on the remote while it plays, and your youtube video is full screen. :eek::up

Number Three, is the plugin screen. this is where the eye-patch gang will install their hackware, although I am sure some legit uses, like the USB keyboard I alluded to above, could be installed here.
plugindetail.jpg


Fourth is the Movie player. Put a file on a USB stick, and this dang thing will play it. I have tried most formats so far, and it hasn't missed a beat, as long as the file was error free. There's a list a mile long of the formats it will play, and I believe it. It is supposed to be able to network with your computer also to play files on it, but since I am network-ignorant, I have not been able to make it work. Navigating is simple. Highlight and push the OK button on what you want, and watch it go.



videoplayerselection.jpg


Fifth is a Music player. Same idea.

audioplayerdetail.jpg


Sixth is Photo viewer, same idea.
photoviewerdetail.jpg


Seventh is the file manager, sorry no pic, but it isn't substantially different from the rest of the menus. Point and click the OK button.

Eighth is the FTP client. This is only available if the firmware is updated, as I did. I havent used it yet, so I can't tell you how it works. Of if it even works.

FTPdetail.jpg


Ninth is the RSS reader. Point and click. I haven't used it, truth is I have no need for it so I haven't messed with it.

RSSreaderdetail.jpg


Tenth is the web browser. This seems like a good idea on the surface, but sites today are so loaded with Flash and stuff, very few sites really display correctly. To Wit:

browser.jpg


Number 11 is the meat of the story. This is where the magic happens. Select option 11 and you see these options:

First up is the General Info menu, self explanatory:

softwareupdatemenu.jpg


Yes, you can select a firmware here, and the Azbox will download and update it. Automatically.


Second, is the Language/time menu ( sorry for the blurry pic.) Standard stuff here.
timelanguagemenu.jpg



Third, Timer menu. Haven't used it, but here it is.

timersetupmenu.jpg


Fourth, Internet setup. If you use DHCP its all automatically set for you. I have blacked out my IP and stuff, obviously. But under those black blocks are all sorts of numbers and periods that mean stuff. To someone. Not me, I just want it to work.

internetsetupmenu.jpg



Fifth, Storage menu. whatever you have, it'll tell you about it here. This is a Linux box, so if you format here, it wont play on your windows machine later. But FAT 32 will work fine without format.

storagedetailmenu.jpg


Sixth is audio/video setup. Simple. I don't know why mine is set on PAL, I need to check that....LOL

audiovideosetup.jpg


Seventh, Scan. this is where you scan for your channels, enter setup info, etc. More on this later. This is just info.

satellitescanmenu.jpg


I skipped Parental Control, self explanatory. Next is the reset menu.

resetmenu.jpg


Last is the GOGO menu, which is setup for Europeans to get their channel lists and such. Not so much for us, as far as I know...

automatedchannelupdate.jpg


Okay, here's how to scan a Transponder and display video. This will be 4:2:2 NBC feed from AMC 1. Because I haven't figured out the channel editor my satellite selections are limited, so what you see will be AMC 4, but rest assured, its on AMC 1.

First up, set the satellite Parameters, switch setting, LO, etc.

satellitesetup.jpg


Then, go to add TP/Sat and enter the TP info:

entering422.jpg


Then back out and scan it:

scanning422.jpg


After its scanned, It'll ask you to save.

422scanned.jpg


Then, you MUST press the blue HOME button and select TV to see what you have just scanned.

And you will then see this if you press the OK button, choose the channel and press OK.

422choosechannel.jpg


...and in pops the video.

422finishedproduct.jpg



Final thoughts:


This thing is amazing. I am continually finding things it can do. Just this morning I figured out that it can sort channels by satellite, I hadn't figured that out before. It switches fine, no issues there. I do not use a motor, so I am unable to comment on motor operation, sorry fellers.

The PVR works, but is currently limited by software to 20Mbits data rate. Anything higher than that, it will not work with. The developers swear that that limitation is going to be removed, but I wouldn't count on it.

The channel editor works great, but it MUST be matched with the proper firmware, firmwares 2880 and newer MUST be used with the 2880 editor, NOT the old editor. You can also go to this website http://satellites-xml.eu/ , make a custom satellite list, save it in XML format, and the Azbox editor will convert it to a format that the Azbox can understand. An easy way to create any kind of list you want to. Tip of the hat to Linuxman for discovering this method. BE AWARE you MUST have ethernet in use to send/receive channel lists to and from the Azbox this works regardless of firmware, but again let me stress that you MUST use the correct editor for the firmware you are using.

The Azbox developers are promising Blind Scan will be incorporated, but I would not hold my breath. As it stands right now, its better than any receiver I have ever used. Hands down. That said, if you are a newbie, do NOT start with this box! This is NOT plug n play!

Let me add too, it gets quite hot in operation. I suggest a laptop cooler on top, I did it for mine, and it runs MUCH cooler.

Any questions, fire away!

Staff note by Iceberg.....some info was updated per stogie's request to note some corrected features.

Box shots:
 

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