Review: Sonicview SV-HD8000

jwwbrennan

jwwbrennan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 9, 2008
152
0
Canada
Its nice to have dummy UI options to encourage buyers

The UI options were first noticed after the purchase and were taken as a better sign than if they were not there but never thought to be ipso facto.

Keep in mind however, 8psk modulation is often opted for by broadcasters using DVB-S2 signal broadcast standard, but it is not a part of that standard, and can be used to broadcast DVB-S compliant signals as well. In fact, its widely used to broadcast DVB-S signals, while using some variants of FEC Error Correction algorithms, like Turbo FEC. ;)

That is why I continue to doubt the S2 until it is tested with a dish that gets at least 12140. I just decided that at $70 Cdn it was worth a go for LBS and might circumvent the cost of a new dish. Another option - Bell - costs more than that a month without Al Jazeera or Russia Today. A new dish costing much more than the card is already in the works.

Anyone can suggest, what stations accessible from NA currently broadcast in DVB-S 8psk? Also, what one can possibly do to GoSatellite website, if Sonicview site for example claims for the STB to support DiSEqC 1.1, while it does not so far? Having said that, reports suggest this box performs very well in a majority of tasks it was designed for.

I will consider my options if it proves to be a product that does not deliver as the firmware implies.

All for all as my only source of television beyond really poor reception of CBC this FTA thing is working out quite well.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
 
zamar23

zamar23

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2009
1,204
1
Mid West
LPB is broadcasting in dvb-s2 8psk format (and so others like NBC at 103.0 W), and jwwbrennan may be out of luck here. Nevertheless, it is still intersting to see the result of his testing. You never know!

I personally wish Sonicview gets busted by Dish for the IKS side of its business, and hopefully, if that ever happens, force them to pay more attention to the TRUE fta side of the business (like providing support for dvb-s2, 8psk, 4:2:2).
Hopefully, jwwbrennan will find some courage to open the STB's cover and look at models of his A-1 board soldered chips. ;) I suspect however, it contains only a demod chip, but no tuner chip, meaning that heavy lifting of signal tuning is still trusted to SV 8000HD DVB-S NIM tuner, soldered on the STB's main board. Replacing that tuner for an end user is not an easy task to handle, and adding S2 blindscan routing will hardly be appreciated by the STB's processor and RAM. One would probably need to look at newer SV model hopefully now in the works to handle the tasks. This receiver is near end of its model life, give it a break guys. :D But who knows - may be DVB-S2 add-on board for it is currently in the works as its firmware suggests, since Broadcom offers DVB-S2 receiver-on-chip models as well.
 
jwwbrennan

jwwbrennan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 9, 2008
152
0
Canada
Broadcom BCM4500KQM - it don't do S2. Sonicview is all its detractors say it is.

Oh...I feel dirty just touching it :eek: :eek: :eek:. :D

Ah well; Sonicview is but a pothole on the road to FTA. I still get great PBS.

Pssst, wanna buy a 8PSK? Just kidding.
 
zamar23

zamar23

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2009
1,204
1
Mid West
In fact, your 8psk module might not be that bad, if you think again about it. At least you can watch clear HDTheater channel and similar clear 8psk Turbo channels, as others reported.
 
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jwwbrennan

jwwbrennan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 9, 2008
152
0
Canada
I have owned a Sonicview SV-HD8000 for about eighteen months. During that time I have found it difficult to locate any accurate information about the unit and its capabilities. I would like to share two observations and my opinion.

1. Sonicview SV-HD8000 is incapable of correctly processing a simple 4:2:2 satellite signal resulting in no television signal.

2. Sonicview SV-HD8000 + Sonicview 8000 HD 8PSK Module Board V2 is incapable of correctly processing a simple S2 satellite signal resulting in no television signal.

3. If a dealer recommends this product to you, I recommend a different dealer. Any dealer with a basic knowledge of FTA should know the Broadcom BCM4500KQM chip used in this product is incapable of processing S2.

As the owner of both Sonicview products there is nothing I would enjoy more than being proven incorrect in my statements. Please reply or send a PM if you can demonstrate that I am incorrect.
 
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zamar23

zamar23

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2009
1,204
1
Mid West
While generally encouraging you to continue posting your findings, may I suggest you to look objectively at them:

1. At this time there are just a few STBs on the market capable to process sat TV signals with 4:2:2 color space and adherent to DVB-S2 standard. These things are not "simple" as you put it, but in fact quite complicated to deal with, requiring next gen equipment;

2. Non of the things you mentioned was ever advertised by the STB manufacturer in its spec., which is posted on Sonicview site and is very easy to locate (not "very difficult"). Consumers are expected to educate themselves and research product specs before making informed buying decision.

3. While most sat dealers know nothing about chipsets used in STBs, if you were to ask, any Sonicview approved dealer would tell you, 8psk add on boards for SV 8000HD will NOT help receiving DVB-S2 signals, because this STB, to put it simple, doesn't have hardware required for it.

Actually, it doesn't make sense to blame an STB for not doing something that is not listed in its official spec. Likewise, no 8spk add-on board's ad ever claimed it will allow to receive DVB-S2 or 4:2:2 signals. Sonicview never recommended to use 8psk add-on boards, but if one googles "A1 8psk module" before buying it, plenty of info can be found. :)
 
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S

skipticum

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 14, 2009
40
0
ottawa
I have owned a Sonicview SV-HD8000 for about eighteen months. During that time I have found it difficult to locate any accurate information about the unit and its capabilities. I would like to share two observations and my opinion.

1. Sonicview SV-HD8000 is incapable of correctly processing a simple 4:2:2 satellite signal resulting in no television signal.

2. Sonicview SV-HD8000 + Sonicview 8000 HD 8PSK Module Board V2 is incapable of correctly processing a simple S2 satellite signal resulting in no television signal.

3. If a dealer recommends this product to you, I recommend a different dealer. Any dealer with a basic knowledge of FTA should know the Broadcom BCM4500KQM chip used in this product is incapable of processing S2.

As the owner of both Sonicview products there is nothing I would enjoy more than being proven incorrect in my statements. Please reply or send a PM if you can demonstrate that I am incorrect.
I bought mine recently (with a manufaturing date of March 2009). I noticed several annoying bugs, most of them already reported by others, but the most annoying one to me is the intermitted interruption in video and sound (very brief though)(even when using the supposedly better 4.43 file). The 4.43 file was at one time posted at the official sonicview website, but now replaced by (the worst) 2.50 file.

jwwbrennan have you encountered this video/audio problem, and what software version are currently using (4.43 or 2.50)?
 
jwwbrennan

jwwbrennan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 9, 2008
152
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Canada
skipticum: I am running 4.43 but have run them all. I have never had interruptions in video although audio has had intermittent moments when sent out through fiber. After trying an earlier collection of bugs and errors released as 2.?? I tried 2.50 only briefly. It demonstrated no immediate advantages so rather than discovering the bugs while actually trying to watch the news or Nova I just switched back. I would be truly irate if it could not perform the most basic function. Do you have access to another receiver to eliminate the possibility of a problem further up the line?
 
zamar23

zamar23

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Feb 5, 2009
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There is no video and/or audio interruption on any CLEAR VIDEO channels, when using recent releases of SV 8000HD firmware.
 
jwwbrennan

jwwbrennan

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Apr 9, 2008
152
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Canada
There is no video and/or audio interruption on any CLEAR VIDEO channels, when using recent releases of SV 8000HD firmware.

That's interesting. I never get an audio problem on the HDMI plugged into the television but fiber connected to the amplifier has given problems. As the problem starts after the CLEAR VIDEO signal has been processed and is specific to the fiber link it never occurred to me it might be a signal processing problem. As the amplifier has been faithful for years and the Sonicview has been suspect it never occurred to me it would be old faithful. Actually...it may well be the amplifier. It is old. Anyway it is good to know the Sonicview is solid enough to never have a hardware problem. It has been tough finding anything good about it recently. Now, if they would just get a good programmer.
 
jwwbrennan

jwwbrennan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 9, 2008
152
0
Canada
While generally encouraging you to continue posting your findings, may I suggest you to look objectively at them:

1. At this time there are just a few STBs on the market capable to process sat TV signals with 4:2:2 color space and adherent to DVB-S2 standard. These things are not "simple" as you put it, but in fact quite complicated to deal with, requiring next gen equipment;

2. Non of the things you mentioned was ever advertised by the STB manufacturer in its spec., which is posted on Sonicview site and is very easy to locate (not "very difficult"). Consumers are expected to educate themselves and research product specs before making informed buying decision.

3. While most sat dealers know nothing about chipsets used in STBs, if you were to ask, any Sonicview approved dealer would tell you, 8psk add on boards for SV 8000HD will NOT help receiving DVB-S2 signals, because this STB, to put it simple, doesn't have hardware required for it.

Actually, it doesn't make sense to blame an STB for not doing something that is not listed in its official spec. Likewise, no 8spk add-on board's ad ever claimed it will allow to receive DVB-S2 or 4:2:2 signals. Sonicview never recommended to use 8psk add-on boards, but if one googles "A1 8psk module" before buying it, plenty of info can be found. :)

Sorry, I missed your post.

So bottom line - Sonicview SV-HD8000 does not process 4:2:2 or S2. Simple was used to circumvent the turbo issue that is quite often lurking in queries. That answers most the questions I get asked.

Some dealers do commit to S2 capabilities at least on the phone as does the Sonicview firmware.

I find absolutely no mention of the 8PSK card on the Sonicview site. As they don't make it that does not surprise me.
 
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zamar23

zamar23

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2009
1,204
1
Mid West
I always try discouraging people to bash receivers for a simple reason: bashing will not make someone stealing TV signal look innocent; and likewise for a honest TV watcher there is no need to bash any receiver to remain innocent, claiming it doesn't do...what its spec never said it can do. ;) Some watch stolen signals while they can, but once it gets a lot less enjoyable due to ECM, start bashing the receivers they admired so much. This is not the right website to express such frustration.

There were NO recently reported issues with reliability of the STB's S/PDIF connector or playing clear video channels with synchronized digital audio pass through. Check if your optical cable is held firmly in the port.

If you want to receive DVB-S2 and 4:2:2 signals on cheap, my suggestion is to look at latest Sat PC Cards and USB devices. You can buy one for under $100 shipped, and this forum has valuable info about them in a separate section. Expect to follow substantial learning curve required to install, setup and enjoy using such device, and you may need to use specific software to address your particular needs. Good luck! :)
 
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S

skipticum

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 14, 2009
40
0
ottawa
There is no video and/or audio interruption on any CLEAR VIDEO channels, when using recent releases of SV 8000HD firmware.
The video/audio problem magically disappeared on its own!

I only watch true fta signals (no hacking). The most recent ligit release is 2.50 version (though some report 2.57 which I couldn't locate on the official sonicview website). I opted to use 4.43, 'cause at one time was available at the sonicview website and I consider it ligit.

Now I'm wondering if using latest bin files (such as 485 or 487) released by third party may offer any advantage over the 4.43 file and if can improve watching true fta channels. I'm thinking that some bugs may have been fixed...
 
jwwbrennan

jwwbrennan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 9, 2008
152
0
Canada
The video/audio problem magically disappeared on its own!

I only watch true fta signals (no hacking).

It's Christmas, can we get passed the finger pointing and weird witch hunting implicit in some posts. It is not nice. To paraphrase - firmware doesn't steal signal, people do.

Now I'm wondering if using latest bin files (such as 485 or 487) released by third party may offer any advantage over the 4.43 file and if can improve watching true fta channels. I'm thinking that some bugs may have been fixed...

Are you putting too much emphasis on firmware? I switched out the Sonicview for a Blu-ray last night and my audio amplifier was shown to be the intermittent audio signal culprit. (I have had it for years but only used it for CD and FM.)
 
W

wildcatae

Member
Nov 18, 2009
8
0
superiorland
I can't reply to your challenge in post 87 without going off topic here. I tried to PM you but don't have that permission yet. Post a way I can respond to you or will sat doc work?
 
pwrsurge

pwrsurge

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Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 7, 2007
919
30
Canada
The LPB channel mentioned in jww post is in dvb-s2 "standard" 8PSK demodulation, and I'm not sure if the A-1 add on board for the sonicview 8000 supports that format. I am personnally still looking to yet find concrete proof (based on testing) that it supports regular 8PSK demodulation as it does for Turbo 8PSK, but with dvb-s2 system and not just dvb-s Turbo 8PSK.

A few interesting true fta channels (i.e., NBC AMC 1 (103 W)) are now broadcasting in dvb-s2 "standard" 8PSK format.

I am only interested in TRUE FTA, and i'm wondering if the present 8PSK add-on module of sonicview 8000 (or a different one, if it exists) supports DVB-s2 8PSK (not only Turbo 8PSK) broadcasts. I have searched in many places, and I couldn't find clear information on this subject. I'm certain that sv 8000 able to tune MPEG 4 HD, but I was not able to tune dvb-s2 8psk (modulation) with either MPEG 2 or MPEG 4 (SD and HD).

Before I go ahead and acquire an module (like the A-1), I need to find out if this same module that supports Turbo 8PSK (and I have no interest in hacking dick or bev) can support standard dvb-s2 8PSK. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Unfortunately, no 8PSK module for the SV-8000 supports DVB-S2 at this time. As a rule of thumb, if the module is designed for Turbo 8PSK, it won't support DVB-S2 8PSK as there are currently no modules supporting both formats available for any FTA receiver to my knowledge.
 
pwrsurge

pwrsurge

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Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 7, 2007
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GoSatellite, where I bought it, states FTA 8PSK capability on their website ("The Sonicview 8000 HD 8PSK module board enables the Sonicview 8000 HD to receive high definition DVB (8PSK) free to air channels"). Now when I look at mode selection in the transponder list there are DVB QPSK, Turbo 8PSK, Turbo QPSK, DVB-S2-8PSK, DVB-S2-QPSK. I am ordering a larger dish in an attempt to get Louisiana. If that works I will post here. If it fails I will have a serious talk with GoSatellite.


Those extra DVB-S2 options were added on the 3rd party firmware as legal decoys since it would look pretty bad legally to have "Turbo" as the only 8PSK option added when the module is installed. As stated previously, there are NO add on modules supporting DVB-S2 8PSK currently available for the SV-8000.

Unfortunately, it looks like you were yet another victim of GoSatellite's misleading advertising. As you probably realize now, they strictly focus on selling hacker boxes so they have to protect themselves legally as well. This is why they will only state that it's an "8PSK module" for all the Turbo 8PSK modules they sell.
 
pwrsurge

pwrsurge

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 7, 2007
919
30
Canada
I can't reply to your challenge in post 87 without going off topic here. I tried to PM you but don't have that permission yet. Post a way I can respond to you or will sat doc work?

Better get postin' then! ;) I believe you need 20 posts before you can PM. You may also choose to unban my account on the forum you moderate.
 
zamar23

zamar23

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2009
1,204
1
Mid West
pwrsurge

You probably missed my post about the same thing. :) Or you just wanted to add a legal aspect to it, which seems to be well argumented. However, I think various hardware limitations of the STB dictate modulation choice, since the importer would be happy to add S2 reception, if only possible and of course cost effective.
 

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