Pansat 6000

M

Mr Tony

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Nov 17, 2003
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Mankato, MN
The 6000 is the newest receiver from Pansat, and in my mind, one of the best. The unit has two tuners and a PVR. I have never had a PVR for FTA and had one for Dish Network for a couple months, so I really wanted to see what this unit had to offer.

The front of the unit has more than normal units. Power, channel up/down, volume up/down, menu & OK buttons. On the back there are plugs for 2 tuners, 2 loop outs, one set of a/v plugs, S-Video, a Dolby digital output, and the normal antenna in and out. There are 4 ways of hooking up dishes. I tried each one and will give the pros & cons of each one

-one cable coming in to tuner 1 and using the loop out to go to tuner 2
pro-one cable coming in
con-if you are recording something, the second tuner is limited to the same polarity

-two cables coming in from same dish (dual LNB)
pro-can record two channels on different polarities
con-two cables have to be run from the dish to the machine

-two fixed dishes with each cable going to a tuner. As an example, G10 on tuner 1 and T5 on tuner 2 (could have one motorized and one fixed in this setup too)
pro-can record two different satellites at same time
con-if recording on a satellite, you cant change that tuner. If you are recording on G10, you can’t move off that.

-one motorized dish and one fixed dish (or two fixed dishes with dual LNB’s). Both outputs go to 2x1 switches and each output goes to each tuner.
-pro-you have a multitude of combinations for recording. You could record two programs on same satellite or one of each satellite
con-lots of cabling and switches....oh, wait there isn’t a con :D

I will be doing the 2 lines from a motorized dish, but due to the weather (it is winter in Minnesota), I cant get to the roof to run a second line. So I went with option 1. Hooked up the cable and used the loop out to tuner 2.

Turned it on and away we went. The manual for once actually is pretty well put. It’s a big book and does have how to set it up and operate it. Now since I have worked with Pansat units for almost 2 years, the menus are pretty familiar for me. Went into the setup and selected G10. You can select which tuner this is for. If you leave it on 1&2, then both tuners will work the same. If you had two separate dishes, you would select which tuner (1 or 2). Changed the parameters for my LNB and saved.

There are many different ways to scan a satellite
-Satellite scan....self explanatory. It scans the frequencies stored in the unit
-TP scan...allows you to scan a specific transponder
-Network scan...this finds frequencies with same symbol rate. Really only used if scanning a DBS satellite
-Advanced scan...allows you to manually put in PIDS
-Smart Scan...blind scan. Allows you to find all the unknown frequencies
-edit TP/satellite...allows you to manually add transponders, delete TP’s and rename satellites

I did a smart scan of G10. The smart scan is about as fast as the Pansat 3500, and an upgrade of my 1500. It does not blind scan as fast as other machines, but it isn’t as slow as some I’ve worked with in the past. Once I did my scan and had G10 logged in, now I really got to see what made this unit fun. The menus are easy to navigate and are simple to understand. I scanned through the channels with ease. At the bottom it gave me the channel name, number, the PIDS and the signal bar. If I hit the signal button, it shows on the screen. Only thing I don’t like is there is a really loud high pitch tone to let you know signal strength. Other Pansats I’ve worked with only do that if you hit it twice. You have the option of viewing two programs at once via the picture in picture. I brought up the PIP and scanned to have two programs on. You can flip them if you want and make the PIP screen bigger. This works well for 2 sporting events. Once you have a channel up for about 30 seconds, you can use the PVR options to go back and create your own replays, scan forward and back, pause live TV. What is cool is if you are watching a program that isn’t live (say you’re 10 minutes behind the live version), hit PIP and you can see BOTH the live and delayed version.

Now I decided to try out the reason I bought the unit...the PVR

Went to a channel and hit record. There’s an icon in the left corner that lets me know its recording and starts the timer from 0:00:00. It disappears when 20 seconds have elapsed. If you hit info, it will show you how far long you’ve been recording. Now if I want to watch another program, I just hit channel up, down, or OK to bring up the channel list. When you do this, the program you are recording goes into a Picture in Picture (PIP). You can scan other channels on the satellite and still see what you are recording. Now if you want to watch another program but not have the PIP for the recorded program, just hit the PIP button and it disappears. You can record two different programs or record one and watch another. I decided to try and record two programs. I hit record and now I was recording two different channels. Now one word of warning. If you are recording two channels and hit PIP to bring up the other program, you cannot remove that until you stop the recording. Hopefully a software fix will take care of that. If you are recording a show (in PIP) and watching another, you can bring up the PIP and make it disappear again, just not when recording two shows. If you have 2 shows recording and hit stop, it asks what program to stop on the screen. There are a lot of on screen popups if you do stuff you shouldn’t. I do like the warning message to verify you want to stop a recording.

After recording a few segments I stopped all shows and hit the “HDD” button on the remote. It brings up all my shows for easy viewing. Just select one and away it plays. You have full function of controls to fast forward, skip 20 second, move back 20 seconds, review, slow mo, and pause. Hit info and it shows you and tells you how far you are in the program. Very easy to work the PVR part and the best part is no tapes.

There is a menu option to do some advanced items with the PVR. You can rename the show (since it shows the channel name as the title), delete them, lock it so you cant accidentally erase it and the “cutout” function. This allows you to review programs and eliminate the stuff you don’t want (like commercials) which saves HD space. Also allows you to copy to a DVD or tape without having to worry about commercials. This is an awesome feature and I wish other PVR’s had this option : )

You can set timers to either turn on or record. Since the unit has a REAL TIME CLOCK you can actually record and not worry about it starting late (older Pansat units had clock that would lose so much time). It was very easy to set the timer and now I only need to set one timer (instead of two).

There is a full function channel edit options. I like the fact I can delete a whole bunch of channels without taking two steps. My other Pansats you go to the channel and right arrow to delete. This one you hit “OK” and it hilites the channel and moves down to the next one. When you have all of them you want to delete, hit exit and “OK” to delete them.

There are lots of features with the unit
-smart search
-AC-3 output
-view a channel and record another simultaneously
-PIP
-PIG (Picture in Graphic)
-full PVR options (pause, slow mo, move back)
-time shift
-dual recording
-editing recorded file
-built in HDD with 60GB HD (36 hour capability)
-can replace HDD with 120GB drive for more space
-CONAX card reader
-2 CI slots
-5 favorite lists
-channel editing
-fast channel change
-USALS
-Diseqc 1.2
-REAL TIME CLOCK
-multi languages
-universal remote
-ability to add a UHF remote
-60 timers can be set to record shows
-14 timers to make unit turn on and change to channel but not record.

Some of the features I really like
-the PVR. You know, people say “a PVR will change your life”...well, they’re right. I have never had so much fun with a unit. I like when watching a hockey game, I can create my own replays. Also, I missed the beginning of the game (but I had the channel up) so I went back and started watching it from the beginning. One of the neat options is when you back up to the beginning, hit “PIP” and you have the live program in PIP. Hit Stop and it goes to the live program.
- Love the option of two tuners and PIP. I don’t need two receivers & two VCR’s to do the same work as this one machine does.
-the ability to edit programs on the Hard Drive. This allows me to view programs and delete commercials with ease. Find the beginning you want to remove, hit one button, find the end and hit another. When you exit out, it removes the stuff you don’t want.
-can record two shows at once

couple minor nuisances I found
-If you are recording a program, it has a red dot in the corner letting you know you are recording and doesn’t disappear. I found an easy way around that. Hit “OK” to turn on the PIP like you are going to change channels, then hit PIP and its gone : ) (what it does is make the program you are recording be hidden but its still recording). That was the first trick I found out when I recorded the hockey game.
-if you are recording a program, you can’t go into the menus (to scan a satellite, edit channels, etc). You can go into the HD and watch a program that you already recorded. The ability not to be able to blind scan a satellite if I am recording is a bummer, but it is very rare that this would be happening.
-Can’t set the timer to record two programs at once. The times cannot overlap. This is weird as I can record two shows manually, just not automatically.

Now this one I just happened to stumble on
-if you are recording two shows (lets say the Simpsons is the first one and something on RTN on the second one). If you stop the RTN show, you can change the channel with no issues. But if you stop the Simpsons, you can’t change channels until you stop the RTN show.

All and all, this is an AWESOME unit and I am very happy that I decided to purchase one. I always thought “why would I need one for FTA?” Well, I don’t need to record shows to enjoy the PVR functions.
 

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Last edited:
M

Mr Tony

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
324
76
Mankato, MN
I didnt try to see if I could record radio...will have to try that tonight :)
 
GOsatelliteRob

GOsatelliteRob

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 29, 2005
83
0
Hey Iceberg.
That is a great review! We do have these models in stock and ready to ship. The Pansat 6000 is the perfect PVR model without the complications of set up found in the Dreambox 7020. Happy New Year everyone!
 
PSB

PSB

On vacation
Nov 5, 2003
1
5
Another novel Iceberg :) (Some bedtime reading there) sounds like one VERY nice unit. A definite Keeper!

THANKS!
 
M

Mr Tony

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
324
76
Mankato, MN
I know....I gotta quit writing novels for reviews :)

Now I get to kill a good 1/2 day getting it all set up and set the motorized settings and to scan in all the channels
 
Scott Greczkowski

Scott Greczkowski

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That sounds like COOL receiver! Now only if FTA had a guide it would make setting timers much easier. :)
 
M

Mr Tony

Thread Starter
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Nov 17, 2003
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Mankato, MN
Scott
I wish that had it too :)
but the timers arent that bad to set. I set 10 of them for fun (and to see if it could handle multiple timers on multiple satellites)

The two things that make it different than a Dish DVR are
-when you back up in the program, you can hit PIP and have what you're watching and the LIVE version :)
-Easy access to PIP
 
B

BudMe

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Nov 29, 2005
23
0
Iceberg,

Sounds like many hours of fun, thanks for the informative review.

Does the following sound feasible?

Slave tuner 1 to 4DTV with C & KU using DC Blocking spliters & Diseqc switch and slave tuner 2 to second 4DTV using second set of splitters & Diseqc switch.

This would have several benefits, besides allowing me to migrate my current FTA receivers to my garages, read as "add more dishes".
 
K

Katrinasucks

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 11, 2005
207
0
The ability to cut commercials might just make up for the rest of the quirks. ;-)

Most everything you describe as being quirky are software (firmware) issues. Assuming Panset updates things they might achive PVR perfection.

One question that you sorta covered but sorta didn't...

On my DirecTivo, if I walk into the room and I see a breaking news story (or game etc) I can rewind 30 minutes by default. (or hack it to be 45min) If I hit record, it will dump the 30min buffer to disk for me.

This is important to me because I'll see something I want to clip and email to a client so I'll often record something that already passed.

(If you've had enough time to play with it...) How do the buffers work on the 6000?

And as someone who might plunk down more than a few dollars on this, I apprecaite the novel. ;-)

OH- And can I record off air or A/V in?
 
Tron

Tron

SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
6,599
33
Metro New Orleans, LA
Comprehensive review, Iceberg! Thanks! :D

Have you tried to move any recorded files over to your PC? I read that the 6000 has a USB2 interface, so I assume that this can be done.
 
M

Mr Tony

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
324
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Mankato, MN
BudMe said:
Iceberg,

Sounds like many hours of fun, thanks for the informative review.

Does the following sound feasible?

Slave tuner 1 to 4DTV with C & KU using DC Blocking spliters & Diseqc switch and slave tuner 2 to second 4DTV using second set of splitters & Diseqc switch.

This would have several benefits, besides allowing me to migrate my current FTA receivers to my garages, read as "add more dishes".

sure it can be done. That would be option 4 in the review :)

For fun I slaved it off 2 other receivers and had no issues (other than the same polarity issue). Only drawback is if there are 2 programs on the dish that tuner 1 is hooked to, you couldn't view both or record both. You'd have to move both dishes to the same spot. (I was goign to do this with 2 motorized KU units until I found that drawback)
 
M

Mr Tony

Thread Starter
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Nov 17, 2003
324
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Mankato, MN
Katrinasucks said:
The ability to cut commercials might just make up for the rest of the quirks. ;-)

Most everything you describe as being quirky are software (firmware) issues. Assuming Panset updates things they might achive PVR perfection.
Hopefully they do.

One question that you sorta covered but sorta didn't...

On my DirecTivo, if I walk into the room and I see a breaking news story (or game etc) I can rewind 30 minutes by default. (or hack it to be 45min) If I hit record, it will dump the 30min buffer to disk for me.

This is important to me because I'll see something I want to clip and email to a client so I'll often record something that already passed.
good question. I did the same thing. I was watching the hockey game and wanted to see if I could go tot he beginning of it. You can back up to the beginning (ior any starting point you want), hit record and it will record from that point.

(If you've had enough time to play with it...) How do the buffers work on the 6000?
what do you mean? When you go to a channel, the buffer starts right away. Even if you go into the HDD and play something, as long as you don't change chanenls, it still buffers (at least thats what I found out..I could be wrong). I'll check on that

And as someone who might plunk down more than a few dollars on this, I apprecaite the novel. ;-)

OH- And can I record off air or A/V in?
nope and nope. There are only a/v outputs (and the svideo/dolby outputs) and the antenna is just a pass through :(
 
M

Mr Tony

Thread Starter
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Nov 17, 2003
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The 6000 does have a interface that you can download them to the computer, but I havent tried it. It does come with the cable to downaload it. I am trying to figure out if you can remove the HDD and hook it up to the computer or does the unit need to go with it. I'll see what happens.

oh and I did find out it will record radio and when you go to the radio, there is a black screen (my 1500 had the channel info at the bottom all the time)
 
K

Katrinasucks

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 11, 2005
207
0
Iceberg said:
I am trying to figure out if you can remove the HDD and hook it up to the computer or does the unit need to go with it.

FYI They make little adapters to put notebook HDs in desktops. If you can just plug the drive into a desktop or external case it would rock.. you could have multiple drives for starters. When I need the adapters I order them off ebay for about 5 bucks.

You answered all the buffer questions except size. 30min? 1hr? 2hrs? thanks

BTW- My wife is inches from hating you and the Pansat engineering department ;-)
 
M

Mr Tony

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
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Nov 17, 2003
324
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Mankato, MN
Katrinasucks said:
You answered all the buffer questions except size. 30min? 1hr? 2hrs? thanks

I honestly don't know. I havent kept it on a channel that long enough :)
Too busy having fun with it...I know for a fact its at least 30 minutues (When I hooked it up originally and had the hockey game on I was able to back up 30 minutes)
 
M

Mr Tony

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
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Nov 17, 2003
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Katrinasucks said:
FYI They make little adapters to put notebook HDs in desktops. If you can just plug the drive into a desktop or external case it would rock.. you could have multiple drives for starters. When I need the adapters I order them off ebay for about 5 bucks.
no it comes with a cord. The HD has an output on the front like some digital cameras have and it goes to 2 USB ports (only one is needed). The question I am trying to figure out is if I take the drive out and hook it up, do I need power to the drive or will the computer power it to copy the info to a computer. There is a power plug on the side of the HD for 5 volts

BTW- My wife is inches from hating you and the Pansat engineering department ;-)
I am not responsible for anything in your personal life after purchasing :)
 
K

Katrinasucks

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 11, 2005
207
0
Maybe this will help...

Iceberg said:
no it comes with a cord. The HD has an output on the front like some digital cameras have and it goes to 2 USB ports (only one is needed). The question I am trying to figure out is if I take the drive out and hook it up, do I need power to the drive or will the computer power it to copy the info to a computer. There is a power plug on the side of the HD for 5 volts

The USB Spec is 5 volts at 500mA. - Sorta.

1 "unit of load" in USB speak, is 100mA. All devices must start at 100mA and then ASK for more power. From there they can get up to 500mA. (That's why some devices must be in a powered hub. A powered hub can give up to 500mA. Usually a Keyboard is limited to 100mA for example.)

A Notebook HD has the power pins on the same connector as the data. (vs a desktop which has 2 connectors)

Putting all this together means...

The most probable reason for the 2 USB connectors is that you can not get enough power from a single connector to run the drive without the power supply in the receiver. I'm making an assumption but it is probably a safe bet to guess that one USB plug acts as a power cord and one acts as data when the drive is not in the receiver. (Which, of course, means they need to be plugged directly into the compter or into a powered hub.) -- Maybe see if this is supported by the documentation.

If you can take a few pics of the connectors, I can probably confirm it by looking at the board. Without seeing it, I'm just going on your text description.
 
Last edited:
M

Mr Tony

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
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Nov 17, 2003
324
76
Mankato, MN
I'll check it out and take pictures...Its still in the plastic :)
(the cord..not the manual)
 
K

Katrinasucks

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 11, 2005
207
0
Or (in thinking about it) there is a simple and more importantly, safe way to test this.

Take the drive out the unit and plug in 1 USB plug. If it works OK. If it does not work, plug both USB plugs in and see if it works.

My money is on you needing both.
 

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