OTHER SAB Android I HD Satellite Receiver Review

bpalone

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 1, 2014
631
424
44N 105W
SAB Android I HD

Short Review.

It is the same thing as an Amiko A3 with a different name on it, with a few exceptions. One is that the front time display is dimmer than on the A3. The other is, that to me, it appears that the SAB is a little more stable than my A3.

I paired an Amiko A3 remote to the SAB and have been using it to test it with. So, if someone is needing a new remote for their A3, one from SAB should work. While searching for an A3 from overseas, I did see remotes being offered for both the Amiko and SAB.

Comes with Eastern Satellite list, and can be edited. I used a satellite list from my A3 backup and a couple of Apps from same. All has been working fine, so it truly must be the same receiver. I haven't felt adventuresome enough to try a low level with Amiko software and probably won't ever. However, if you wanted to replace an A3 that has gone on to the happy reception yard, if you had a backup from it, you could recreate it on the SAB.

Since we no longer have access to the Amiko line here in the America's, this brand might be a reasonable substitute. From their website, it appears that they offer some of the same or very close to the same, as the Amiko line had offered.

Would I recommend it? Yes, for those that like the Android based receiver and its abilities.

For those that can stand it and want it, there is a more lengthy review following this one.
 

bpalone

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 1, 2014
631
424
44N 105W
SAB Android I HD

First off, I have no vested interest either way, so I will do my best to be honest in this review. I will try to do it from the perspective of someone without any experience with this type of receiver. I will however make some very important points, such as make a backup right off the bat.

Unpacking the box, the first thing I noticed is that there are instructions on the protective wrap of the receiver for removing the receiver. The box contained the following items:

1 – Receiver

2 – adhesive backed foam strips for the hard drive bay

1 – Wrist strap for the remote

1 – USB cable for charging the remote (regular to mini)

1 – USB Adapter cable for attaching normal USB item to the mini on back of receiver

1 – Flat white HDMI cable

1 – Remote Control unit

1 – Power plug adapter (not much use here in U.S.A.)

1 – Power Brick

1 – Power cord for brick (with the two round connectors) (I have an american plug from other units.)

1 – SAB Android I HD Quick Start Guide

1 – Warranty Card

Now on to the first power up. After the boot up process it came up to announce that it had no signal, which is not surprising as it was not hooked up to any satellite dish. I then clicked the OK button which toggled back to the channel listing page of the receiver and it became clear that the satellite list is for Europe. Then it was off to see what came installed on the receiver.

Using the double arrow symbol (<< and >>) buttons located to the left and right of the button with red house symbol on it on the remote. Moving to the right went into the Media screen, where there are app icons for Movie, Music, Photo and Record. Moving on to Browser screen we find a shortcut for Google and Yahoo!. Moving back to the App screen we found the following apps, Browser, Downloads, File List, Movie, Music, Photo, Record, Spark App Store, Time Manager, Weather, Play Store, Aptoide and CrossEpg. Continuing on back to the System screen we found the following, Backup (A VERY IMPORTANT ONE), Simple Installation, HDD Manager, Advanced Installation, Settings (another important one), Spark Player Connector, Updater, Picon Downloader, Miracast, Conax, Flash Player Settings and Google Settings.

Now the first action to take is MAKE A BACKUP. Take either a USB thumb drive or a micro SD card and insert it into the appropriate place in the rear of the box. It will come up and say storage device inserted. Then under System click on the Backup icon and follow the instructions to create a backup. Now, I don't know if this is really needed as there are no apps installed that are not part of the original setup. I think doing a factory reset brings it back to this same state, but I don't know that. Having a backup makes it easy to get back to this point.

The European satellite list is of not much value to those of us in the America's. The list can be edited with the remote, but is a slow process. Would recommend attaching a USB or wireless keyboard to do the editing, as I find typing on a keyboard much faster than pushing buttons on the remote. I edited one satellite in the list with the remote changing it to 101W and only kept one transponder set to a C band frequency. I then switched it out with my A3 with the antenna on 101W, did a blind scan for FTA. It worked fine with only having one transponder in the list. It is a somewhat convoluted affair editing the European list. Most people would figure it out, but probably with some expletives and hair loss. If wanted, I would be willing to write up step by step instructions. Myself, being somewhat lazy, used the channel backup from my A3, which was a whole lot less painful and it works.

The satellite list is in XML format, so one could export it and use an editor to amend it. Or if you have a friend with an A3, maybe you could get them to export the satellite list for you. Then just import it into your SAB.

Blind scan speeds are reasonable and there is a little spectrum analyzer that displays while it is scanning. When repeating a blind scan, it does not repeat what you all ready have. I only did one blind scan with it on 101W, but is what I anticipated since it is an A3 with a different name on it.

One more nice thing is the ability to install an internal hard drive for recording to. There is a bay for a 2.5 inch SATA hard drive in the bottom of the unit. It is a snap, literally, to install one. Assuming it is still the same, you want to format the drive as NTFS or you will have recording issues. That may not still be the case, but it was in the past for the A3.

The SAB runs a little cooler than my Irish Red A3. The front display is quite dim compared to the A3, so if you have or had an A3 and wanted a dimmer display this might just be what your looking for.

Two apps I recommend installing are ES File Explorer and the Dolphin Browser. The file explorer makes copying, deleting and moving files pretty easy. The Dolphin browser just seems to work better, at least to me. I have TitanTV setup on my favorites and use it as my EPG. Bit of a kludge, but it works.

All in all, it is just another A3 with a different name plate. I am sure there are far better reviews out there on the A3 and would equally apply to the SAB Android I HD. Couldn't find much on the SAB in English, as they are bigger in Germany and The Netherlands.

The Android Satellite box is not for everybody, as it is a computer with a sat receiver built into the hardware, controlled by software. (Which is basically true for all set top boxes.) The difference here is you can install all sorts of things that you normally wouldn't on a regular sat receiver.

My conclusion that is that these receivers have two camps. Either you love them or you hate them, and you can guess where I fall.
 

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