AzBox Premium+ observations after 6 months (1 Viewer)

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donaldelee

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 7, 2006
109
0
Much has been said about the Azbox Premium Plus! One could easily put it in two words: Azbox Rocks! As some have said that one needs computer skills to operate the STB. Moreover, (appreciatively) one needs skills in Linux. Linux being open source, I am beginning to wonder what will the Azbox Premium Plus 'not do'. Seriously, if it is open source, and, it surely is: What will the Azbox Premium Plus do? My adage is normally: It is computer error! When I make this statement to people, I look at them, and attempt to read if they digested the contents. Computers do not make mistakes! Azbox is daunting! Linux is daunting! I am a Paralegal, and must read till they bleed! I find Linux/Azbox extremely challenging. I have to read till they bleed! Obviously, I love torture! lol
 
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AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
Regarding the power supply issue:

When I first bought my original AZBox Premium receiver, I also bought a transformer. A PowerBright VC-200W step-up transformer. This takes my 110/120 VAC power and converts it to ~220 VAC. I plug the AZBox power supply into this. It's been running this way 24/7 for years.

However, I also have a second AZBox that runs directly off the 110/120 grid and it hasn't had any trouble either.

To the touch, neither power supply feels very warm and definitely not HOT. If anything, the one on the transformer feels warmer to me, but it is difficult to judge by mere touch.

RADAR
 

Diamond Jim

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 18, 2004
4,338
460
The Boilermaker State (#19)
I honestly cannot agree with your statement here wholly. Truly, it could be a lot better, I agree with that. But, the box can do a lot of really nice and amazing things if you are willing to be patient with it.

I'm sorry Radar, but I can't agree with you. I have been as patient as anyone could be, but since I have benched the AZ Box and went back to the Quali TV I have been watching more TV and starting to enjoy the hobby again. I've tried to watch You Tube and I have tried to use the broswer, with no luck. I have to reboot it everytime I turn it on. I will say the channel list hasn't went south since right brefore christmas, that's a record. I had read a lot of posts about it and had reservatons about buying one, but I never thought it would be this user unfriendly. I only use the AZ on S2 and H264 channels. Mama does use it to watch her westerns on Saturdays, that's about it. Other than that, it's a dust collecter. I hate to be so negtive on this subject but I dispise this receiver :rant:.
 

beavs2112

Addicted to Legal FTA
Jan 28, 2010
814
247
London Ontario Canada
The first audio issue I have is not that the audio changes, it is that I only get left OR right or center audio on NBC and NBC alone and that I cannot get all three to come in at the same time. I can use the YELLOW key to switch to left OR right OR center and it stays but NBC seems to transmit left audio for news but center for some commericals and right for yet others. The forums seem to be saying I need a mixer to make this work... surely that can't be right! Everyone has issues with NBC's audio. I use the HDMI and have issues also. It is because NBC is using Dolby E audio that the AZ can't process it properly cause it doesn't have the codec. Google Dolby E. Basically Dolby AC3 or DTS are one channel and Dolby E is multiple channel.

===
Bill

Hi wbarrett. Hope this helps.
 

stargaze

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 14, 2010
916
56
Out there somewhere
I'm sorry Radar, but I can't agree with you. I have been as patient as anyone could be, but since I have benched the AZ Box and went back to the Quali TV I have been watching more TV and starting to enjoy the hobby again. I've tried to watch You Tube and I have tried to use the broswer, with no luck. I have to reboot it everytime I turn it on. I will say the channel list hasn't went south since right brefore christmas, that's a record. I had read a lot of posts about it and had reservatons about buying one, but I never thought it would be this user unfriendly. I only use the AZ on S2 and H264 channels. Mama does use it to watch her westerns on Saturdays, that's about it. Other than that, it's a dust collecter. I hate to be so negtive on this subject but I dispise this receiver :rant:.

Jim,

I am well aware of the problems on your azbox and never discounted it but there is IMO a way to clear all of it up.
If you want Jim, you can pm me and if you want to ship the receiver to the East Coast I can most likely fix that problem you have had on your azbox. I strongly believe it has always been in your sat/channel list that you had not been able to get rid of a corruption in.
Shame to have it sitting on a shelf collecting dust. I believe there was even an offer to you at one time from the place you purchased it at to take it back if you were not satisfied but that offer was never taken up.
I also know that you tried several times and put in your best effort to try giving it a go with using some editor tools but sometimes too many cooks in a kitchen spoil the pot so to speak and when trying to give you help others jump in trying to give a helping hand but in your case that just added to some of the confusion on your part.
I also know the lists some sent you and have seen the same ones but that was not the answer to your problems due to the fact your problem I believe was set in your back up directory.
If you decide to do so Jim and I honestly felt that it was the receiver and not the sat/channel list but a real deficiency in the receiver I still have contacts with OpenSat and who knows, they may send you a new receiver if it is indeed a bad one.
I would not go out on a limb to say they would but they know my reputation and have been decent at these types of things.
for that matter if you wanted I could take it another direction but this is entirely up to you Jim. I am letting you have that opportunity to get it right once for all.
Beings that I have more then 1 of these receivers I have to honestly say that if I saw the same type of problem I would not be a happy camper either but I have not and that is not saying you got a one off that quality control missed coming off the line and should never have been put up for sale.
If you decide to take up this offer Jim I could do it at the end of April but not before. My schedule is just too tight these days and my free time will come up closer to the end of April where I could help out more.
So it is up you, mull it over and if you decide you want to send a pm and I'll try to help you out if you decide you want to ship the receiver out so one could see exactly what is going on with it.
 

papabruski

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 5, 2011
91
12
mountain west
I got the AZBox Premium+ when Montana PBS went S2. My experience was limited to a 1-meter dish with Traxis 3500 and Lexium DBS7000 receivers which have virtually the same firmware.
I wanted top-of-the-line. I was warned of the power supply failures, but have had this box for 2+ years and no problems there. I was also warned that the browser was not really for browsing.
The learning curve is steep and requires a lot of searching through forums and reading. In that respect it is good that I have a lot of time on my hands.
The manual was not nearly as useful as the AZBox Guide. "Americanizing" the software was a challenge as was learning the sequence of downloading, editing and uploading the channel list. I still need a cheat sheet to help me remember. But sometimes I just blunder my way through knowing I have a backup or can start over.
The last firmware that I installed was 0.9.5309 which seems to be the most stable but will still rename satellite positions when using the remote to delete channels, etc.
YouTube would be great if I had a faster internet connection, but WildBlue does not do video very well except at the lowest resolution. Why bother?
I've gradually added things...a hard drive with which to record and a 6-foot WSI special. For awhile, I connected a powered external drive via USB (Media Tank) and could record on a hard drive or play CD's. But I have a dvd/vhs player, so that was superfluous.
Knowing what I know now, I would get an AZBox P+ again. I'm glad I didn't get the AZBox version which does not blind scan, tho'. I'd rather have slow blind scan than no blind scan.
I also plan to get the MicroHD specifically so I can support the North American market and producers. I am amazed when I see the number of large dishes mounted on buildings in countries other than USA. I think there are just as many dishes in USA, but they are much smaller and less obvious and only receive subscription programming. I've also become much more aware of large dishes in my own community.
Bottom line: Glad I got it. Don't know what I'd do without it. Have limited experience with other HD / S2 capable receivers.
 

Diamond Jim

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 18, 2004
4,338
460
The Boilermaker State (#19)
Thanks for the offer Stargaze, I will think it over. Right now it hasn't acted up in a while. Even if it is fixed I still don't think I would use it very much since I discovered that I can get a majority of the feeds I want to watch on the Quali. The Quali has it quriks, but it is still a lot easier and quicker to use than the AZ Box.
 

Magic Static

FTA Geek
Lifetime Supporter
Oct 12, 2010
7,436
4,765
Montana
I got into FTA thru my interest in computers. One day I was looking at surplus computer stuff and ran across a DVBS card. I was like "What? You can do satellite on a computer? Gotta try this" Wasn't long before I had many dishes and DVB cards. But no blind scan for DVB at the time. So I bought an STB for scanning. Turns out it was a real poor choice for scanning and didn't support my switch matrix. So I shelved it. The AZBox is my first real attempt to learn an STB. It was a pain in the A**. but with all the help here(especially Radar) I forced my self to learn it. It's not perfect, but I can navigate it quite well now. I found it will run on one channel for days on end. I have it hooked to a SlingBox so my mother can watch BVN.
I use the "Movie" player a lot and that works without a hitch for me. Overall I'm pleased with the AZ and from what I've read, it's better than most.
 

Diamond Jim

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 18, 2004
4,338
460
The Boilermaker State (#19)
I believe there was even an offer to you at one time from the place you purchased it at to take it back if you were not satisfied but that offer was never taken up.

Yes, there was an offer to take it back, no questions asked. But, I decided to buy this receiver on my own. There was no sales preasure what so ever. I made the decision to buy it, with reservations and it was the wrong decision. I am not the kind of person who holds other people responsible for my actions, good or bad. I bought this receiver, now I have to live with it.
 
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stargaze

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 14, 2010
916
56
Out there somewhere
Yes, there was an offer to take it back, no questions asked. But, I decided to buy this receiver on my own. There was no sales preasure what so ever. I made the decision to buy it, with reservations and it was the wrong decision. I am not the kind of person who holds other people responsible for my actions, good or bad. I bought this receiver, now I have to live with it.

I understood that very well and if you saw the very next line from the part you quoted me on there you would see:
I also know that you tried several times and put in your best effort to try giving it a go with using some editor tools but sometimes too many cooks in a kitchen spoil the pot so to speak and when trying to give you help others jump in trying to give a helping hand but in your case that just added to some of the confusion on your part.

Some of us actually do help others out Jim.
 

donaldelee

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 7, 2006
109
0
This is a wonderful site for obtaining help! Without members as there are here, I certainly would be lost with my Azbox Premium Plus. I usually do not hesitate in coming here to read or post a thread requesting help. And, yes, the Azbox is extremely daunting! Thanks to all of you members!
 

AcWxRadar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 26, 2006
4,575
4
40 miles NW of Omaha. Omaha?
I'm sorry Radar, but I can't agree with you. I have been as patient as anyone could be, but since I have benched the AZ Box and went back to the Quali TV I have been watching more TV and starting to enjoy the hobby again. I've tried to watch You Tube and I have tried to use the broswer, with no luck. I have to reboot it everytime I turn it on. I will say the channel list hasn't went south since right brefore christmas, that's a record. I had read a lot of posts about it and had reservatons about buying one, but I never thought it would be this user unfriendly. I only use the AZ on S2 and H264 channels. Mama does use it to watch her westerns on Saturdays, that's about it. Other than that, it's a dust collecter. I hate to be so negtive on this subject but I dispise this receiver :rant:.

Jim,

I sincerely understand your situation. I know you have worked diligently with this box and it's sad that it didn't respond well in kind. I will tell you this, the YouTube and Browser options do not function well for me either. This is not a fault of the AZBox entirely, it has a lot to do with my internet connection (via WildBlue satellite). It is too slow and I have troubles even with my PC. I tried signing up for Netflix streaming video, but even that doesn't work on my PC.

I have relinquished myself to a defeat with YouTube and Browser due to my internet access capabilities. Until I can obtain a better service here, I don't expect these options to function on the AZBox. But, this is all OK with me as they are not the reasons that I selected the AZBox in the beginning. I selected the AZBox for the wide variety of satellite options that were available and a lot to do with being able to have dual DVBS-2 tuners (in the Premium Plus).

In the beginning, I found much trouble with the satellite list. Without knowing the reasoning, I found that if I deleted all the satellites (except one) and "Americanizing" my satellite listing, that I cured the problem. Then, again without really having the knowledge of the "why", I found that by using the ACC, MaZEdit and AZEdit programs, that I could maintain my satellite list properly without all the hiccoughs from the back-up file. When I started this on my own, there were no such instructions posted anywhere to go on or to follow so "North Americanizing" the sat list followed after. Someone tried my advice and someone else found a corrupted TP/sat in the factory list. The more every AZBox owner played with it, the more clues they found and the more work-around repairs everyone discovered. I cannot say that I was the first to find any answers here, but it is certain that many of us "guinea pigs" were working (both) together and independently to strive for a better instruction set for the AZBox. Since then, it has proven to be a very good instrument for many of us.

The AZBox may be difficult to learn and it probably isn't a good box to get started with, but it certainly isn't a bad box. I have experienced many which were much worse and only a few that were better. I guess I cannot say that they were better, more appropriately I should say that they were simpler to operate and program. I am sure that you can qualify that with your QualiTV. I can qualify that with the Coolsat 5000, but the CS 5K is no AZBox by far in regards to what it can do.

Jim, I just wanted to let you know that I understand your position. Not that I agree with your total assessment, nor do I expect you to agree with mine, but all of us wish others to have a good experience with any box and no one wishes a bad experience. I have no way of improving the situation with YouTube or the browser features, but the basic satellite operation should not cause you trouble.

Stargaze has made a great offer. You might find the results very positive and rewarding if you take him up on it. He has a more encompassing satellite list than I as he also has C-Band capabilities. He can set up your AZBox to benefit you greatly. I could do the same, but would only have my little window for Ku band. Once he updates your AZBox, you will be able to add and edit your list according to the instructions in the A-Z Guide and I bet that you will develop a totally different attitude towards the AZBox.

I want you to have a good experience with the AZBox, not because I am trying to push this box, but because you are a friend. I know the AZBox is expensive and no one wants their friends to fork out big bucks and regret it.

Gordy (RADAR)
 

ParaclipseCKu

Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 8, 2008
313
4
Florida Space Coast
Radar,

Well said. The Azbox (3 here) have their quirks but of the 10 or so receivers I have used seem to be the most stable of the bunch. I had alot of trouble with the Quali and don't have that issue with any of the Azboxes here. Personally I could do without the extras. In fact I haven't used them. I just use it as sat receiver and most of the time that is remotely away from the house. As for performance, the Elite and Ultra I didn't have any major issues with, the Premium+ PS gave up in less than a week but since that was replaced it has been smooth sailing.
 

donaldelee

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 7, 2006
109
0
The Azbox Premium Plus is a real learning curve. At the age of 50 I began to use computers. Now, I am 62. Approximately 3 years ago, I embarked upon Linux: Ubuntu. Azbox is Linux. The newer Azbox Me is reported as a receiver that is even harder to use than the Azbox Premium Plus. Obviously, I love punishment! I know that I will also embark upon it! However, I will wait until numerous members on this site, and several others have pretty well mastered the learning curve! Thanks to the members!
 
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