Review: Sonicview SV-HD8000

kirara386

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 29, 2008
114
0
North Central Florida
I wasn't able to post in the review section, most likely due to my low post count, so mods feel free to move the post if you want.


I finally feel I've tested my Sonicview 8000 enough to give it a fair review. This is my first receiver so I don't have a lot of experience with FTA boxes. If you see something I haven't touched on that you want to know more about I'll do my best to get the answer for you.

Right off the bat this receiver is not capable of showing DVB-S2 or 4:2:2 (audio only). As it is from the factory it has no 8psk support either. There is an after market card signal pirates like to use for 8psk but it is not supported by factory firmware.

Now that we've got that out of the way onto some of the things this receiver can do...

The SV8000HD has an ATSC tuner. I haven't used this feature in a while, but when I tested it out several months ago it worked as well as the ATSC tuner in my Samsung DLP (no surprise there, the 8000's ATSC tuner is made by Samsung).

Now for satellite viewing. I tested this unit on both C and Ku bands. I haven't had any trouble tuning anything I've tried (I probably haven't been as thorough as some) . I have found that the signal/quality meter to give a low values. For instance RTN on AMC 9 always shows the quality level as being 5-29% yet the channel comes in with no freezing or glitches. Most other FTA comes in at around 45%, also with no picture issues. The unencrypted signals on circular satellites usually come in at 99-100% quality, as do a few of the stronger linear signals. I do have a quad Invacom on my 36" Fortec Star dish and I'm wondering if maybe it's weighing the support arm down slightly, as I've seen other members have had this problem. When I have some free time I'll get out and test this and report back.

I use the 8000 with a USALS motor. It does an excellent job of driving/guiding this motor. I had the USALS part of this working well at one point. I disconnected my HH motor when I was using a GBox for my BUD (pre 4DTV), and I haven't gotten the USALS to work correctly since. I will try to look into this and follow up on it. Since USALS was working well at one point I'm sure I just need to reset something in the receiver or on the motor.

This receiver does blindscan and it does it well. It will even find channels/transponders when you are not dead on the satellite, which helps a lot when you're not exactly sure if you're in the neighborhood of the satellite you're looking for. It is also very easy to tell when it encounters an active transponder, even if it is one it can't decode. This would make the 8000 an excellent companion to a receiver that was unable of blindscanning.

The receiver does have basic PVR functions. Basically set a timer to tune to the channel that you want to record. No pausing live TV or anything fancy like that. You will want to keep the unit hooked up to an aerial antenna to keep the correct time if you want to use the PVR extensively. I find I don't use this feature often.

It does have a couple of quirks. One of course is the signal/quality meter as mentioned above. The other is the remote is touchy. It sometimes registers multiple key presses even when you only press the button once. You do get used to that quirk eventually although it can be annoying when you're trying to fine tune a motor.

My recommendation...If you want an HD receiver and don't need DVB-S2 or 4:2:2 this is a very well rounded receiver. If you do want to be able to receive DVB-S2 or 4:2:2, I would recommend getting a HD receiver that supports them, as the $300 plus price tag of the 8000 without the 8psk board is a bit steep just for blindscanning capabilities.

Edit: Added pictures as requested. I could not find anything bigger for the front and back views at the moment.
 

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Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
0
35
The Lake House
nice review :)

Any pics of the screens?

(as for the original line. We have the review area locked so new threads cant be started..had too many newbie questions end up here) ;)
 

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
9
L.A., Calif.
Thanks. Made for some good reading!

I might also ask for pictures of the front 'n rear, something good enough to zoom in on and read the printing.
Maybe even stolen off an existing web site.

Also, any switch configurations that worked, would be good.
For instance: diseqc, 22khz, multiswitch.

I see you said the motor worked fine initially.
If you debug why it doesn't now (or not) that would be interesting.
I doubt it's anything serious.

Sounds like a pretty nice unit.
Might have asked a little more of the recording function, though.
 

kirara386

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 29, 2008
114
0
North Central Florida
Thanks. Made for some good reading!

I might also ask for pictures of the front 'n rear, something good enough to zoom in on and read the printing.
Maybe even stolen off an existing web site.

Also, any switch configurations that worked, would be good.
For instance: diseqc, 22khz, multiswitch.

I see you said the motor worked fine initially.
If you debug why it doesn't now (or not) that would be interesting.
I doubt it's anything serious.

Sounds like a pretty nice unit.
Might have asked a little more of the recording function, though.
I wasn't all that impressed with the recording function. Basically you just set a timer and tell it whether you want it to record or not, or tell the unit you want to record what you're watching. Not really anything to write home about.

As far as switches go...so far I've only used 1x4 diseqc, a 22khz, and a 2x4 multiswith. No problems with any switch configurations so far.

I do have pictures. They're on my camera. I'll have to wait until I get home to upload them. I'm at work right now. Won't get home until much much later tonight.

Should have posted these before....Manufacturor's specs
 

daddyzlod

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 27, 2009
72
0
Birchwood,Wisconsin
I've just added a 500 gb usb 2.0 hard drive to my SV 8000, and have recorded a couple of 1 hr programs,
which worked real good.
Took awhile to figure out the remote buttons to get it to work properly.
 

kirara386

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 29, 2008
114
0
North Central Florida
I've just added a 500 gb usb 2.0 hard drive to my SV 8000, and have recorded a couple of 1 hr programs,
which worked real good.
Took awhile to figure out the remote buttons to get it to work properly.
I have no problem getting it to record. I also have a 500gb hard drive hooked up to mine. I guess I just want something a little more snazzy...like pausing live TV and being able to rewind live TV. Although I don't think there are any FTA boxes that will allow you to do that at the moment.

Now let me get those pics uploaded.
 

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
9
L.A., Calif.
Thanks again. Great job. Telling all is what makes the reviews so useful! - :up
I have no problem getting it to record. I also have a 500gb hard drive hooked up to mine. I guess I just want something a little more snazzy...like pausing live TV and being able to rewind live TV. Although I don't think there are any FTA boxes that will allow you to do that at the moment.
Well, it's not HD, but my Visionsat (with 500gb) does just about every trick my Dish Network PVR does.
Freeze live shows. Back up live shows.
Cannot start recording before *now*, though :(
Full control of recorded shows.
Doesn't remember where you left off playing a show, though.
I'd give it a B+, and there is no reason other products couldn't do as well. :cool:
 

vfrjim

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 23, 2005
635
0
Rhode Island
Just a heads up for those who purchase this STB, the power supply tends to last only about a yr and a 1/2. The manufacturer will sell you a replacement when needed (as of now), mine is already dead.
 

vfrjim

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 23, 2005
635
0
Rhode Island
Does it seem to run warm?
Maybe a small, quiet fan inside might help prolong the life. (?)

Put it this way, I took mine apart the day I got it and left the cover off of it and placed it in my rack. It never got hot at all and it still died. Poor quality on the PSU.
 

kirara386

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 29, 2008
114
0
North Central Florida
Does your 8000 have the 8psk add on? I've read elsewhere that those can really put a drain on the power supply. My unit had one when I got it, but I decided to take the 8psk module out since it wasn't supported at all by the factory firmware.
 

vfrjim

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 23, 2005
635
0
Rhode Island
Does your 8000 have the 8psk add on? I've read elsewhere that those can really put a drain on the power supply. My unit had one when I got it, but I decided to take the 8psk module out since it wasn't supported at all by the factory firmware.

nope, no 8psk Module installed
 

angel3231

New Member
Jan 3, 2009
3
0
Caracas Venezuela
SV8000 Hd Typical Failure

This machine is an out of serie but it has a problem of over heating.I put another fan inside and the failure gone.I watch HD channels without any problem since that.

Pd:Excuse me ,my english is quit limited.
 

avg1joe

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 27, 2006
677
0
Southern Maine
I apologize if this is mentioned elsewhere or even in this thread but I've been reading alot and its all starting to blur together.

1) Does ac-3 come out the tv speakers without a decoder box?
2) This will downconvert to play on a SD tv, correct?
3) Does this have a old screw on (rf?, cable ready?) connection to hook to older tv/vcr?
 

TennisFan

New Member
May 13, 2009
3
0
Canada
I wasn't able to post in the review section, most likely due to my low post count, so mods feel free to move the post if you want.


I finally feel I've tested my Sonicview 8000 enough to give it a fair review. This is my first receiver so I don't have a lot of experience with FTA boxes. If you see something I haven't touched on that you want to know more about I'll do my best to get the answer for you.

Right off the bat this receiver is not capable of showing DVB-S2 or 4:2:2 (audio only). As it is from the factory it has no 8psk support either. There is an after market card signal pirates like to use for 8psk but it is not supported by factory firmware.

Now that we've got that out of the way onto some of the things this receiver can do...

The SV8000HD has an ATSC tuner. I haven't used this feature in a while, but when I tested it out several months ago it worked as well as the ATSC tuner in my Samsung DLP (no surprise there, the 8000's ATSC tuner is made by Samsung).

Now for satellite viewing. I tested this unit on both C and Ku bands. I haven't had any trouble tuning anything I've tried (I probably haven't been as thorough as some) . I have found that the signal/quality meter to give a low values. For instance RTN on AMC 9 always shows the quality level as being 5-29% yet the channel comes in with no freezing or glitches. Most other FTA comes in at around 45%, also with no picture issues. The unencrypted signals on circular satellites usually come in at 99-100% quality, as do a few of the stronger linear signals. I do have a quad Invacom on my 36" Fortec Star dish and I'm wondering if maybe it's weighing the support arm down slightly, as I've seen other members have had this problem. When I have some free time I'll get out and test this and report back.

I use the 8000 with a USALS motor. It does an excellent job of driving/guiding this motor. I had the USALS part of this working well at one point. I disconnected my HH motor when I was using a GBox for my BUD (pre 4DTV), and I haven't gotten the USALS to work correctly since. I will try to look into this and follow up on it. Since USALS was working well at one point I'm sure I just need to reset something in the receiver or on the motor.

This receiver does blindscan and it does it well. It will even find channels/transponders when you are not dead on the satellite, which helps a lot when you're not exactly sure if you're in the neighborhood of the satellite you're looking for. It is also very easy to tell when it encounters an active transponder, even if it is one it can't decode. This would make the 8000 an excellent companion to a receiver that was unable of blindscanning.

The receiver does have basic PVR functions. Basically set a timer to tune to the channel that you want to record. No pausing live TV or anything fancy like that. You will want to keep the unit hooked up to an aerial antenna to keep the correct time if you want to use the PVR extensively. I find I don't use this feature often.

It does have a couple of quirks. One of course is the signal/quality meter as mentioned above. The other is the remote is touchy. It sometimes registers multiple key presses even when you only press the button once. You do get used to that quirk eventually although it can be annoying when you're trying to fine tune a motor.

My recommendation...If you want an HD receiver and don't need DVB-S2 or 4:2:2 this is a very well rounded receiver. If you do want to be able to receive DVB-S2 or 4:2:2, I would recommend getting a HD receiver that supports them, as the $300 plus price tag of the 8000 without the 8psk board is a bit steep just for blindscanning capabilities.

Edit: Added pictures as requested. I could not find anything bigger for the front and back views at the moment.
Nice review
 

avg1joe

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 27, 2006
677
0
Southern Maine
I got a sonicview last night and am having a blast playing with my new toy. To answer the questions I asked earlier:
1) AC-3 needs no extra hardware. Sound comes out the speakers.
2) Yes, it downconverts for a SD tv.
3) There is no RF, screw on connector.

Here's major news:
I have 10 hours of an OTA program guide!

I was under the impression that this didn't exist in an fta/atsc box. I'm liking this box more all the time.
 

avg1joe

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 27, 2006
677
0
Southern Maine
I have to retract my earlier statement that there is an ota program guide. For some reason it no longer populates well and is inaccurate.
 

SatinKzo

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 22, 2004
6,232
82
Louisiana
So after some use, how would you guys rate the motor control (does it stay accurate?). Also, is the blindscan really working well?
 

Gordon Corbett

SatelliteGuys Family
May 27, 2009
59
0
South-Coastal Oregon
Dear Kirara,

Do you know whether Sonicview plans to introduce either a DVB-S2 auxiliary blind-search board for the SV-HD8000, as Pansat has done for its 9200HD, or a new blind-search receiver that will show pictures transmitted by 4:2:0, 4:2:2, DVB-S2, and, of course, in HD?

Thanks.

Gordon F. Corbett
 
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