OpenBox S10 MPEG-4 HD receiver review

hwm

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 29, 2008
298
0
North Central Idaho

Review of the OpenBox S10 FTA HD satellite receiver.
11-12-2011

My receiver was purchased from the ebay seller shop4fta for $99.99 delivered. I got the receiver, remote with batteries, an HDMI cable, and a set of RCA type cables.

It arrived with a European satellite list installed. The seller promptly furnished S9/S10 firmware with North American satellite list when contacted. After installing this firmware I had the usual default to PAl video mode on bootup, rolling picture trouble. Since I had it hooked up to an RGB monitor, I was able to adjust the vertical hold and stumble through the menus until I found a compatible video mode.

The video format button on the remote will not function unless the receiver is in receive or playback mode. To put it another way, this button is useless in the menu screens to correct the rolling picture at bootup with new firmware.

After fooling with it on the test bench with the replacement firmware from shop4fta and confirming that it worked okay, I downloaded and installed the latest firmware from Shenzen Wanying This firmware also had a European satellite list, so I downloaded and installed the North American satellite list for the Openbox S9/S10 from this forum.

The latest available firmware load worked okay when tested, so the next day I installed the new OpenBox as our primary FTA receiver. After using it for a few days, I offer the following observations.

The receiver is tiny. A non-contact thermometer shows a maximum top of case temperature of 103 degress Fahrenheit with an ambient room temperature of 72. 30 degrees above ambient is fine, and cooler than many home video/audio devices run.

The owner's manual is the typical Chinglish booklet, printed in fuzzy black and white. I downloaded a full color PDF owner's manual from Shenzen Wanying, and printed it out in larger format. Much better, but a sixth grade English teacher would hardly give it a passing grade.

The good:
Performance is great for the price. The tuner seems more sensitive than my Coolsat 6000 or CNX Mini on MPEG-2 signals. Picture quality using the RCA cables connected to an RGB monitor is excellent. Diseqc and 22KHz switches are controlled without issues. It's great to be able to tune MPEG-4 signals; there are more of them all the time.

The Bad:
The remote lacks a mute button. Every firmware I have tried defaults to PAl video mode on initial bootup, and you will have the well-documented rolling screen trouble.

The ugly:
It's a cheap receiver assembled at one of many factories in China. Their biggest market is the eye-patch buyers in Europe, and the firmware is designed for that use. Firmware updates for the North American true FTA market are non-existant. We get European firmware with a North American satellite list. All firmware that I have loaded boots up in PAL video mode and the screen rolls on initial bootup when the RCA cable video output is used on a North American TV.

Summary: It's cheap and it does the job. Picture quality is excellent. Difficult to setup for North American FTA use. If you can afford to spend a little more and get a better receiver, you should probably do so.

OpenboxS10.jpgopenboxrear.jpgchinglishmanual.jpgopenboxfront.jpgremote.jpg

Moderators, please move this to the review section if desired.
 
Last edited:

KE4EST

SatelliteGuys Is My Second Home
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Aug 9, 2004
24,762
5,140
EM75xb
Good review!!!

2 things: it does have a mute button, or at least the couple I have does. Also I do not feel it is all that difficult for NA use.(my opinion).

Real good review though!!!
 

radio

"On the Air" in MI
Pub Member / Supporter
Oct 13, 2007
3,641
855
West Central Michigan
I'm considering Manhattan next. Openbox does a nice job for the price, but the quirks of the freezing/stuttering video (August firmware installed) and needing channel editor, and a couple other small quirks make it an "experimenters" box, not a box for "FTA set-it-up and enjoy." Lately I have to occasionally reboot after the dish lands on its destination before the video sets to the channel selected. Odd.
 

hwm

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 29, 2008
298
0
North Central Idaho
I have the "v4" remote, and there is no mute button on it. There may be a mute function somewhere in the menu system, but I have not found it.

The only stuttering/freezing I have noted with the latest firmware is due to low signal, like on Montana PBS when the AMC21 dish is peaked for LPBS.
 

PKII

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 22, 2005
791
18
WV
Don't use any firmware past the 7/17/11 release my experience it keeps freezing and you have to reboot it every so many minutes. Stay with 7/17/11 till they fix it. I tried them all and today finally resorted to that release and it hasn't froze for hours.
 

whatchel1

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 30, 2006
9,095
51
Great High Plains

Review of the OpenBox S10 FTA HD satellite receiver.
11-12-2011

My receiver was purchased from the ebay seller shop4fta for $99.99 delivered. I got the receiver, remote with batteries, an HDMI cable, and a set of RCA type cables.

It arrived with a European satellite list installed. The seller promptly furnished S9/S10 firmware with North American satellite list when contacted. After installing this firmware I had the usual default to PAl video mode on bootup, rolling picture trouble. Since I had it hooked up to an RGB monitor, I was able to adjust the vertical hold and stumble through the menus until I found a compatible video mode.

The video format button on the remote will not function unless the receiver is in receive or playback mode. To put it another way, this button is useless in the menu screens to correct the rolling picture at bootup with new firmware.

After fooling with it on the test bench with the replacement firmware from shop4fta and confirming that it worked okay, I downloaded and installed the latest firmware from Shenzen Wanying This firmware also had a European satellite list, so I downloaded and installed the North American satellite list for the Openbox S9/S10 from this forum.

The latest available firmware load worked okay when tested, so the next day I installed the new OpenBox as our primary FTA receiver. After using it for a few days, I offer the following observations.

The receiver is tiny. A non-contact thermometer shows a maximum top of case temperature of 103 degress Fahrenheit with an ambient room temperature of 72. 30 degrees above ambient is fine, and cooler than many home video/audio devices run.

The owner's manual is the typical Chinglish booklet, printed in fuzzy black and white. I downloaded a full color PDF owner's manual from Shenzen Wanying, and printed it out in larger format. Much better, but a sixth grade English teacher would hardly give it a passing grade.

The good:
Performance is great for the price. The tuner seems more sensitive than my Coolsat 6000 or CNX Mini on MPEG-2 signals. Picture quality using the RCA cables connected to an RGB monitor is excellent. Diseqc and 22KHz switches are controlled without issues. It's great to be able to tune MPEG-4 signals; there are more of them all the time.

The Bad:
The remote lacks a mute button. Every firmware I have tried defaults to PAl video mode on initial bootup, and you will have the well-documented rolling screen trouble.

The ugly:
It's a cheap receiver assembled at one of many factories in China. Their biggest market is the eye-patch buyers in Europe, and the firmware is designed for that use. Firmware updates for the North American true FTA market are non-existant. We get European firmware with a North American satellite list. All firmware that I have loaded boots up in PAL video mode and the screen rolls on initial bootup when the RCA cable video output is used on a North American TV.

Summary: It's cheap and it does the job. Picture quality is excellent. Difficult to setup for North American FTA use. If you can afford to spend a little more and get a better receiver, you should probably do so.

View attachment 71214View attachment 71215View attachment 71216View attachment 71217View attachment 71220

Moderators, please move this to the review section if desired.
Really strange I recently got an S10 and have had none of the problems you have described. Never has the unit started up in PAL. So I'm not sure my unit had the same firmware that yours had installed.
 

hwm

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 29, 2008
298
0
North Central Idaho
Really strange I recently got an S10 and have had none of the problems you have described. Never has the unit started up in PAL. So I'm not sure my unit had the same firmware that yours had installed.
Mine did not start up in PAl video mode with the original firmware as delivered. But every downloaded firmware including the replacement firmware from the dealer has booted up in PAL mode for me and rolled vertically when using the RCA cable output. I have not tested it with the HDMI output, and cannot comment on that aspect of its performance.

The incompatible video mode on bootup when loaded with new firmware is the main reason I rate it as difficult to setup for North American FTA use. And then there is the matter of all the confusing menu options for European pirate use.
 
Last edited:

KE4EST

SatelliteGuys Is My Second Home
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Aug 9, 2004
24,762
5,140
EM75xb
That pic you posted shows a mute button, does it just not function?
 

carlospr43

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 20, 2010
967
10
US
I also see in the pic you posted the Speaker with a X in the upper right corner of the remote. That's the Mute button
 

RT-Cat

"My person-well trained"
Pub Member / Supporter
May 30, 2011
1,621
197
Cold, Cold,Michigan USA

Review of the OpenBox S10 FTA HD satellite receiver.
11-12-2011

My receiver was purchased from the ebay seller shop4fta for $99.99 delivered.
Good review for the S10.
Even though my receiver was the S9 from a different Ebay seller, it work very well. No complaints what so ever.

I have to congratulate you on such success with the dealer you purchased it from. My first unit from them was DOA. After three weeks of "fixes" from them I finally was allowed to return the unit. After three weeks wait and three Emails they finally sent a new unit. This one has no output power to the LNB's and no 22Khz output. Am still working on getting this, IMHO, worthless company to send me a radio that works. This has now taken over three months. Useless customer service. I have to state NEVER purchase from that company!:mad:
 

sergei

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 29, 2007
1,266
5
iowa
Ive also had zero issue with my S10's, but again I never turn them off and for something that is used to watch TV they've been well worth the money and work good for my setup.
Both of mind came from a Canada dealer on Ebay and were non European models and I updated both to 7-20-2011 software and the mute button works on both. The only problem that has come up once is the voice and picture were not together and only had to reset power to correct it.
Will I buy additional units....YES
 

carlospr43

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 20, 2010
967
10
US
One of the most important point that should be mentioned is that the S10 doesn't have Component Video output as an alternate for HDMI HD video. On the other side we should mention that the new firmware version allows the S10 to fix the clock problem something that the S9 still missing.
 

chaskuchar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Apr 16, 2010
794
11
humphrey, nebraska
i am trying to go through the various openbox versions. i have 'c2hs2-11-08-24:0679cmt', (openbox on screen at boot up) (multiple columns for program list and satellites)(best so far) and 'c2hs2-11-08-15:032dcmt'.(skybox on screen at boot up) (it's like my regular firmware that i have been using but i don't like it because it keeps 'moving dish' even when it has signal. my regular firmware drops the moving dish when it sees signal. i am testing it right now because i thought it was locking up on me the other day but trying to confirm it.) both were downloaded from this forum. charlie
 

hwm

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 29, 2008
298
0
North Central Idaho
I am getting some freezing of the picture and audio on KCWY, 3777H, on 99w C-band with my S10 loaded with the 11-09-14 firmware. Signal Q is steady at 73%. Switching channels usually brings it back up, as does a reboot.

No freezing noted yet on any other channels.
 

hwm

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 29, 2008
298
0
North Central Idaho
After much study and testing, I have settled on the latest firmware from SHENZEN WANYING, the OPENBOX_S10_1011 firmware. It will bootup in PAL video mode, and has a European satellite list, so you will need to deal with the rolling video and load a North American satellite list. The S10_ 1011 firmware is recommended on several other satellite forum web sites, and the only problem I have found with it so far is occasional freezing on some NBC SD programs on KCWY and WVGN.

There may be problems with it I have not yet discovered, your results may vary.
 

rrob311

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 25, 2010
941
16
New England
I am getting some freezing of the picture and audio on KCWY, 3777H, on 99w C-band with my S10 loaded with the 11-09-14 firmware. Signal Q is steady at 73%. Switching channels usually brings it back up, as does a reboot.

No freezing noted yet on any other channels.
I have been having trouble with that same channel with my S9. I wonder what the deal is with that channel to cause this issue.......
 

stbel55

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 15, 2012
111
4
canada
Having reviewed the various openbox models issues & support I think I'm spending my money on the geosat micro:popcorn
 
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