Pansat 9200 w/ S2 8psk Addin Card

ghia

Thread Starter
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 11, 2005
416
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Pansat 9200 review and thoughts:



Where I bought it and why:

I decided to buy from ebay as I wanted the s2 / 8PSK addin card to see
what it actually does. There has been a lot of speculation as to what
this card offers for the true FTA hobbyist. I got a decent price on the
combo and the seller shipped it quickly. It was well packed and arrived
with the factory firmware and there was never any reference to the
"other market" I was very interested in finding more HD content for my
HD tv and was tired of waiting on the Passion receiver (that should be
out this... ummm next month...) I figured since this receiver has a
built in ATSC tuner I could always use it in the bedroom on the old tv
after the analog over the air goes down and have FTA along with it.

Apperance / Controls:

The unit is larger than most of the FTA boxes I have used. It is not as
large as a standard AV receiver or DVD player but is larger than a
Coolsat 5000, Traxis 3500, etc. It measures 340 X 245 X 65 mm. (13.4 X
9.65 X 2.56 in.) It is has a nice black finish with bright silver
plastic buttons. I like the black, however the bright silver / fake
chrome buttons look cheap to me. There is a holographic panasat sticker
on the front. I suppose this is supposed to show it is not a clone. The
front of the unit has Pansat and 9200 HD in white lettering which looks
fine There is a front door below the LED which flips down and has an
ON/OFF (Mains) switch to cut the power completely off and an USB port.
The front panel also has power, channel up / down, Volume up / down,
menu, exit, and OK buttons. I like this as if the remote is lost you
would still be able to control the unit to a certain extent. The remote
is actually nice. It has a slight tactical feel on the back which is
black almost rubber type finish. The front is silver. It is a
multifunction remote and I had no problem programming the main functions
of my TV (Samsung LNt-4661). It also has a video input button that
changes the video input on the TV even if the remote is set to stb, so
you do not have to hit the tv button then video input then stb again.
There is also a mode button which allows the output to be changed from
480p 720p and 1080i. There is a red front panel LED that indicates what
mode you are in.

Accessories:

Included was a 64 meg usb drive, owners manual, HDMI cable, standard
composite av cables, batteries, remote and a rg6 jumper for the addin
card.

Inputs / Outputs:

There are several audio video inputs and outputs on the back of the
receiver. These include an RS232 9 pin D-sub connection, HDMI/HDCP,
Component, RCA video / Svideo, Left / Right RCA audiio output. SPDIF
optical output, an eSATA port, IF input, IF loopthrough, NTSC rf
modulator output, ATSC input, and since I have the addin card an
additional IF2 input. This last input is connected to the IF output.
That may be an issue if you want to try to use the addin card and have
an output to a second FTA receiver. As mentioned before there is a USB
input under the front cover.

Connections that I used:

I have the receiver connected to my TV via HDMI, while also having the
S-Video and RCA L/R outputs running to a D-VHS deck for recording. (Why
have all the manufactures axed the firewire connections!) It outputs to
the TV in hd and sends a standard 480i signal via the analog outputs to
the vcr. It also downconverts the signal and decodes the AC-3 audio so
there is no need for an outboard processor if you are only interested in
hearing the sound. I did not test the NTSC outputs. I also ran the
optical output to my HK receiver to hear the surround sound when I fell
like it.


Performance:

FTA. Since the main question these days seems to be can it display 4:2:2
video I'll address that first. No it can not it simpy displays a blue
screen and plays the audio. It can however find them and log the tp. It
does display 4:2:0 HD without problem and decodes the AC-3 audio without
issue. It never locked up during any of the blind scans that I performed
like some boxes when it hit a data transponder or 4:2:2 feed. I like
the meter better than any other fta box I have used. I think it shows a
bit lower than many others but it seems more accurate. Sat can lock as
low as 25% quality but tend to break up / pixelate unless it is above
29%. I timed several of the blind scans. I used a Patriot 85cm dish,
SG-2100 motor and an Invacom QPH-031 LNB during these scans. Galaxy 27 5
minutes, G10-R 7 min. Satmex5 6 min. Satmex6 7 min. G3-C 7min. G26 8min.
AMC-3 7min. Galaxy 17 5 min. AMC-6 7 min. These are the only ones I
timed but they all averaged between 5 and 8 minutes. I did the blind
("smart") scans FTA only both Horizontal and vertical. Overal the blind
scan was good but not great. It seemed to miss anything with and S.R.
below three. A manual scan of these, such as ONN, White Springs, etc.
locked the tp and logged that channel without issue. There is a entry
in the menu named range, but it is not selectable it always displays
full. Maybe this will cahnge in future firmware to allow selectable
steps when scanning. Speaking of the firmware, the unit had build date
of Oct 25 2007, I found one update on the pansat website and after I
flashed it showed a build date of Nov 12 2007. The lack of release notes
for FTA firmware drives me crazy. I could not imagine flashing a
motherboard bios or raid card firmware without reading all the release
notes. The Blind scan also shows the information such as qpsk, s2, etc
but it is not selectable. The only way I found to use the addin card was
to go to the Advanced scan menu and select the option in that area, I
have included screenshots to show this. It may be possible to create a
new entry for each sat and then manually input each tp and set them to
S2 / 8psk etc and then blind scan but this would take forever and I did
not try it. I only have a ku setup and was unable to find a signal that
I could use the addin board to view. I will play with this more when I
get a chance and report back. I don't think there is currently alot out
there to see in S2 8psk on ku at the moment. Maybe it was a waste of
cash for now, time will tell.

ATSC. The ATSC tuner in this box is excellent as far as sensitivity
goes. All my local digital over the air channels lock at 100% signal and
quality except one and that channel is close to 90 degrees off where my
antenna is pointing. It outperforms both of the bulitin tuners of my
hdtv's and the builtin tuner of my VIP211. The picture is excellent. The
channel changes are a bit slow, maybe a bit under 2 seconds, and it
sometimes shows slight artifacts between channels but only for a very
brief .5 second or so. It doesn't bother me. I was hoping that pressing
the EPG button would display a guide with information gathered from the
PSIP data but it did not. No big deal but it would have been a nice
touch.

Notes:

The sat list is not in order from degree east to west or west to east,
it is just random and I don't like it and have not found a way to change
it.

I did not see a channel editor for this unit on the pansat website. It
would have been nice to key in / edit the tp and channel data on the pc
and then just transfer it via the usb stick. I need to research this
more.

The box stays warm even when off, when on it is slighlty warmer, but
never burning hot.

The time displays correctly on the receiver as long as the ATSC ant. is
connected. Otherwise it is not accurate and seems to change when you
move to a differnet sat.

I had no problem controlling the motor via 1.2 or USALS. I also have a
22khz switch for my lnb and it controlled it fine.

I give this box an 8.5 out of 10. I knew it would not do 4:2:2 when I
bought it so that was no big deal, more of a concern is not finding tp's
with low sr's. The addin card I will not rate yet as I have not had
enough time to play with the settings and find / verify what signals are
out there to lock/ view. If anyone has any tips for me in this regard
speak up!

Hopefully this information will be of help to some of you thinking on
purchasing this receiver, I tried to spell check everthing etc, but
there may be mistakes here and there.
 

Attachments

ghia

Thread Starter
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 11, 2005
416
0
Just wanted to note that the camera that I used was an old 2.0 megapixel and it does not do justice to the video quality of my monitor or the output of the pansat 9200
 

Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
283
35
The Lake House
VERY NICE review :)

one note
Speaking of the firmware, the unit had build date
of Oct 25 2007, I found one update on the pansat website and after I
flashed it showed a build date of Nov 12 2007.
the original software would not show the satellite list when you went into the edit satellite/tp list. When you went in there it would be blank but if you scrolled you could select the satellite.. The Nov 12th stuff does. I had the original software in mine too.
 

digiblur

SatelliteGuys Master
Jun 8, 2005
14,190
2
Louisiana
Great review! Thanks. I'm wondering what kind of 8PSK this can do...can you tune to the 8PSK linear TP's on the E* birds? I remember seeing a list of transponders HughesNet is running in DVB-S2 posted in the installer or satellite broadband forum. There's a few installers that could give you a KU DVB-S2 feed to test out even though it just data.

Is it just me or do I feel like I'm back in the BBS days on my new 80 column monitor reading messages typed by people on a 40 column monitor?
 

ghia

Thread Starter
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 11, 2005
416
0
VERY NICE review :)

one note

the original software would not show the satellite list when you went into the edit satellite/tp list. When you went in there it would be blank but if you scrolled you could select the satellite.. The Nov 12th stuff does. I had the original software in mine too.
Thanks, I actually wrote the review in a text editor earlier this week I took the pictures last sat. and tonight. Hopefully future firmware upgrades will enable the esata port and fix the SR issue. Wish I could lock a tp with the add in card. Maybe I will have time to play with it some more this weekend.
 

ghia

Thread Starter
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 11, 2005
416
0
Great review! Thanks. I'm wondering what kind of 8PSK this can do...can you tune to the 8PSK linear TP's on the E* birds? I remember seeing a list of transponders HughesNet is running in DVB-S2 posted in the installer or satellite broadband forum. There's a few installers that could give you a KU DVB-S2 feed to test out even though it just data.

Is it just me or do I feel like I'm back in the BBS days on my new 80 column monitor reading messages typed by people on a 40 column monitor?
Sorry about the formatting, I wrote the review on a BSD box with a very basic text editor, ftp'd up and down at home did a copy paste from my fancy laptop at home.
 

SatinKzo

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 22, 2004
6,232
82
Louisiana
Can you comment on the heat produced by the add-in? It is noticeable? I have always read that these borads produce enough heat at times to lock the box up if they are not left open. Although if you aren't using it to actively tune a channel, I don't know if it would heat up.

Also, did the add-in board come with a litte nut to secure the coax jack to the back wall of the unit?
 

ghia

Thread Starter
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 11, 2005
416
0
Can you comment on the heat produced by the add-in? It is noticeable? I have always read that these borads produce enough heat at times to lock the box up if they are not left open. Although if you aren't using it to actively tune a channel, I don't know if it would heat up.

Also, did the add-in board come with a litte nut to secure the coax jack to the back wall of the unit?
The add-in board did come with a nut to secure the coax jack to the back. That is the only thing holding it in place but it works. It seems like there should have been a bit more, such as a plastic standoff or something.

The unit is much warmer than any other box I've used with the exception of a globecast receiver. I have not had it lock up. I had it on last saturday all day and never had any problems at all.
 

SatinKzo

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 22, 2004
6,232
82
Louisiana
I'm curious if the add-in makes any noticeable increase in heat. My 9200 isn't too bad, but it's certainly not cool to the touch.
 

truckracer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 17, 2004
4,315
322
Charleston wv
my pansat 9200 seems to get pretty hot. I rednecked a fan shroud out of a plastic rectangular bowl and cut the bowl out and installed a pc fan on an a/c adaptor.

Nice and cool now.

i hope that 8psk board will get the equity channels.
If someone finds out let us know - I will buy the board if it works.
 

Labgate

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 9, 2004
182
0
Hello

it would be nice to get an add-in board that gets S2 and 4:2:2

Labgate
 

i4tas

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 10, 2005
791
4
Northern USA
good review, thanks for the pictures.

What exactly does piolet mean?
Does it have a PVR? I believe the answer is no.
I like how it nicely maps your OTA channels, the diamond can't do that.
Does the 9200 collect EPG data from your OTA channels?
 

Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
283
35
The Lake House
Does it have a PVR? I believe the answer is no.
no. it has a esata thing on the back for future pvr use

I like how it nicely maps your OTA channels, the diamond can't do that.
you can sort them to your liking. Originally it logs them in order of the digital channels. So as an example, my channels 2,4,5,9,11 analog are 34,32,50,26,35 digital so it would put those in order

Does the 9200 collect EPG data from your OTA channels?
nope
 

ghia

Thread Starter
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 11, 2005
416
0
I worked with the box all day yesterday. We had some strong straight line winds over the last week so I decided to go out and tweak the dish, as it was off a bit and I had not checked on it in over a year. I made a couple of quick adjustments using my Sathawk 4K and came back inside and did a factory reset on the box. I'm glad I did this as I was off by about .3 degree or so. I tried blind scanning this time using the default all instead of fta and had no problems with the low sr as it did before. The scanning did not take any longer the only negative is that I had to go back and delete the scrambled channels that it logged. I did not know it acted this way or I would have put this in the initial review as not finding the low sr stuff was my main complaint with the box.
 

truckracer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 17, 2004
4,315
322
Charleston wv
Hook that 9200 up to c-band dish and let us know if it will lock any of the 8psk s2 stuff. I emailed pansatusa and they said "it will be posted on the website when released".
 

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