Conaxsat CNX Mini Review On Back Burner!

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FTABman0

FTABman0

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
May 13, 2006
818
1
Lat 39.2°N WV Lo 81.5°W
As you can guess the MINI came here half working yesterday!

Seems like the bad luck that has been following me for the last couple months got me again here with the MINI STB from Conaxsat! Got the box around 3 PM yesterday by the “little brown truck” but a problem I found soon with it came to pass after about 20 minutes setting it up! More on that in a bit. I ordered this box after my Coolsat 6000 went down as a replacement STB but from the get go we had problems! My payment got screwed up and it took them about 3 weeks to send it out. After I wrote the dealer a highly concerned email that I was going to cancel my payment and go someplace else to get one the payment was found a day before the date I gave him! Anyway the box got here and we proceeded yesterday to set it up. Only scanning three birds into the MINI, Hispasat, Intel 3R and Galaxy 10R K the box would not move the dish anymore! The USALS motor control will not function and on DiSEqC! I hooked it up last night directly to the motor on a 50 ft RG 6 run and no movement. Took the MINI off and put my Lifetime Classic NA on it and it moved to every sat programmed into the box! So, with that they have a 1 year warrantee on the thing so it will go back Monday to the factory and lord knows when they will get a replacement here! So far moving the dish is the Fortec Classics job and then I turn it off and scan the MINI that way! I must say a big pain in the rear!

With the luck of the storm hit 3ABN dish, the Coolsat STB going down, them loosing my order and the thing getting here with a defect, yes I have had my run of bad luck in the hobby for the last couple months! Now, for what it is worth the MINI is a great box! I love the MP3 and PVR & JEPG capabilities! The MINI has a limited PVR function, but like its brothers the Duo & Trio, the difference in them is extra features other than FTA or not satellite related. The satellite receivers are the same boards. When you buy a Trio or a Duo you are only getting added features like Detailed PVR and DivX player, the MINI has simple PVR and no DivX. The remote control for the MINI is the same as the other 2 STB boxes in the line. Channel changes are very fast, audio was better (louder) than other STB boxes I have or tested so far. Very nice on screen information on the MINI!

Tested the PVR also tonight on a 2 gig memory stick and I have to say I was more than impressed! The quality was the same as the actual broadcast! I did notice a noise line at the top of the screen during playback but was only there for the duration of the on screen functions of the PVR, when it timed out it goes away and is not on your recording. It saves your recording to the USB drive as the channel you recorded so that is cool and makes finding your files easy! You can also take recordings from the MINI and save them to your computer for watching & burning them to DVD so another plus with this feature!

I did watch a movie on it tonight on one of the RTN’s, “Fright Night” and I have to say that the quality of the MINI impressed me! It has better picture adjustments for brightness, hue, contrast and such. The picture on my 27 inch HDTV in my bedroom was better than the other STB boxes I have run through that TV yet! Many other features it has too but I will get to them in the review when the replacement box gets here. I noticed that there are no games and the pause or freeze feature is not on the MINI. Games are really not needed and with PVR who needs freeze? I was a bit confused on the set up screen where motor; switches are to go for set up. As I found they have to be put into twice in each of those menus for it to scan, it might just be this box so we will see as we get a replacement one.

One other thing I did not like on blind scans it would throw the channels in twice, you had to get rid of the duplicate ones. As I said, it just could be this box is more or less defective; I will get a full review as the new one gets here. The MINI is very fast in scanning though, under 5 minutes for Blind Scan of 10R K in 4 steps!
I will do a compleate review of the MINI hopefully in a couple weeks sometime! Playing with this one, defective or not I have already know most of the pros and cons about it already! I will have another day to test it further today before it goes back to the factory. I am taking notes, when the new one arrives it will be less time to get a review up! I am going to test the timers on it tomorrow!

I will keep you guys posted when the replacement gets here! I have not had the chance of placing an external hard drive to it yet or even if that is possible. I know the MINI is limited to a 4 gig memory stick and according to the specs about a gig an hour. But Conaxsat claims that they are working on new firmware to make it accept a bigger memory stick (from a tech dude I talked to on the phone today at the factory) and says that it will not know the difference between a hard drive or a memory stick with that firmware but will only use the allotted storage for the drive! That means that if they update the firmware to say a 10 gig PVR functions and you put a 20 gig external hard drive to the MINI, it will only use 10 gigs of it for it will not see past that. It is kind of like the hard drive problems we had with the old computers not seeing past a certain amount of space with the larger hard drives sometime back. I was just curious to see if the firmware in it now will see a external hard drive. I will do more testing on this one and the replacement and work up that review!!
 
Anole

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
13
L.A., Calif.
Sorry to hear of your troubles.

I just did a quick bit of research, and they appear to be going for $120 to $140 range.
Sounds competitive.
But the 4gb or 10gb limitation is a bit of a disappointment.
A similarly priced Visionsat will do 500gb, as will other PVRs I've seen.

Hope the switch testing goes better than the motor testing. ;)
Looking forward to more info on the product. . . . and any factory firmware updates.
Thanks for your efforts.
 
FTABman0

FTABman0

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
May 13, 2006
818
1
Lat 39.2°N WV Lo 81.5°W
Sorry to hear of your troubles.
But the 4gb or 10gb limitation is a bit of a disappointment.
A similarly priced Visionsat will do 500gb, as will other PVRs I've seen.

Anole,
For the MINI to do PVR at limited function is a feat indeed! Conaxsat first put these boxes out without any PVR at all! Something is better than nothing I guess.
Even with a 4 gig limit that is 4 hours to store 4 programs on or 8 half hour programs but not so good if you have to go on a week or two vacations. I see your point there. There is room for inprovements and they say that some will be released in the next firmware round! We will see.


Hope the switch testing goes better than the motor testing. ;)
Looking forward to more info on the product. . . . and any factory firmware updates.
Thanks for your efforts.

It has the Conaxsat factory 6.12 PVR fix in now, screens with the switch, channel setup and motor has to have the information in all three before it will find and TP or channel! A bit weird but I do think that it is because of the motor function not working. Will let you know when the new one replaces this one!
I will do screenshots of this one before it gets sent back and post them in this thread sometime today.
 
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