Viewsat 9000 Review

SatinKzo

Thread Starter
Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 22, 2004
6,232
82
Louisiana
Viewsat 9000 Review

Ok, to start off, I bought this unit used locally from a college kid for $180, so you have probably already guessed, it was used for pirating. It did have one of the 8psk cards in it so I figure at worst, I can probably make my money back by selling the card alone.

The Look/Design
I think this is one sharp looking design for a FTA or any receiver. It has a pretty sleek face and decently laid out connection panel on the back. I like the display on the front, minimalistic, simple, small. Nice for a dark room.

Ok, let's see, where to start...
Well, I swapped my Pansat 9200 for this unit for the past 2 nights and have been playing around.
The menus structure is pretty much what is on my Viewsat Ultra that I played with a while back and now is used for mainly dish pointing out in the yard. So nothing really new.
The remote is just like the ultra remote, too big and not well laid out for me. I sometimes find myself using 2 hands with it.

My setup is as follows:
Receiver -->motor --> diseqc (QPH-031) and stationary G10r dish.

So I hook it up and configure like my pansat 9200, setting up USALs and all my switch options and nothing, no signal from my L side on my invacom from my TS sat. So I swing over to AMC 3 to check and still nothing. Try switching over to Nimiq 2 and see if the C side is working; dead. WTF is all I am thinking. I go out, double check and yep, my dish is moving. So I call my wife from the back yard, tell her to move the dish back to AMC 3 (not to talk bad, but by the time I talked her though this, I should have just come in and had her watch the dish :) ). A
Anyways, sure enough, dish is moving like I expect.
Got to thinking I fried my diseqc (it was a el cheapo that come with every receiver it seems), so I swapped it out. Still dead. Then I thought maybe I killed my lnb, boy that would suck. So I hooked my Pansat 9200 back up and everything fired up no problem.
After checking all my connections, I bypassed the diesqc and sure enough, the Viewsat 9000 looks good signal wise. So from here on, I am using a 22khz in place of my diseqc. Not ideal for long run since I'll not have a place for my G10 dish, but I can go without for a couple nights while I test stuff.

With everything running now I go to begin playing around and I realize I have not even loaded the factory firmware on it yet (still has old pirate stuff on there). At this point, I am kind of lazy from running out to the dish and troubleshooting.

So bear with me because the fact I left the old pirate stuff on at first helped me realize a couple features the factory stuff does not have (and NO I am not saying it's ok to have pirate software, but it's been noted here a few times that some of the old pirate stuff that does not work for theft is actually useful at enabling things and fixing problems).

Things I wanted to test and verify on this unit:

Blind scan
DVB-S2
ATSC features/tuner
HD comparison to my 9200

Blind Scan
I began by going to AMC 3 for my old standby blind scan test. I find not many boxes like to pick up the Montana PBS feed, but will pick up everything else. So I begin blindscanning in steps of 3mhz (unit goes from 3-12mhz) figuring "Ok, cool, this nice to choose". After a few minutes, I was not sure what was going on. The receiver appeared to be scanning and seeing things, but nothing was being logged. Then when it went to log channels, it found nothing. So I check the TP's and it logged only a couple. So I re-scanned, this time with 6 mhz steps and same thing, only a few TP's more and no channels. Then I realized a pattern and I am drawing this conclusion to what I saw: This unit's step measurement is just that, a step, with nothing in between. So if you choose 3 mhz steps, you skip the 2 in between, 6 mhz steps skip the 5 in between. Kind of worthless at this point why not throw in a 1 mhz step if that's how it works on this box.

I ended up programming in a few good solid TP's for comparison down the road.

DVB-S2
Short answer: yes, it appears to work with DVB-S2. Thanks to some DVB-S2 info PM'd to me, I was able to get a good signal on any DVB-S2 TP I programmed in. Good being around 70-75 on my quality meter. It was solid too, not jumping around on the meter.
Long answer: Yes, it does DVB-S2 and doesn't need the secondary board/ext tuner to do it, but... the option to change a TP to DVB-S2 is not there in the factory firmware.
I'd post pics to prove it, but I noticed iceberg blacked some of that info out in another post on some pics he uploaded so I would do the same. You'll just have to take my word for it; I tuned to a known DVB-S2 TP on Ku, Pansat 9200 didn't register anything, viewsat 9000 picked it right up.
This is where I found an actual benefit from the pirate software. Much like the AC-3 on the ultra's and I believe the Coolsat 5000's ver 1.01 (I can't remember what this benefit was) were not official things, but the pirates did get things working that otherwise were not.
Additionally, the non-factory stuff added the following Modulations in additon to DVB-S2
DVB-S28
Turbo
Turbo8
Factory only allows DVB

Also, I realized that the non-factory stuff allows TP's to be put in with a FEC of Auto and it will find the signal ok. Factory stuff seems to want the FEC hard coded in the TP entries.

That's the extent of what the non-factory added other than support for the ext tuner board which I didn't even bother to use. I know what it does and since it doesn't add any real FTA functionality, no need to have it in. I took it out and put back in the dual tuner board that ships with the unit (btw, I think that is what else got added in the version 2 of the receiver, a 2nd tuner in addtion to the cooling fan).

OTA Tuner
It works like any other one I have used. nothing special here.

PVR
Supposedly this is in beta or whatever. Either way, it didn't like any USB hard drive I plugged in.

HD PQ
I actually think the PQ on this unit is better then my Pansat 9200, but that is a subjective thing. Testing PBS HD and a couple sports feeds tonight, I was impressed. Not that my pansat 9200 is bad at all.

One thing that is annoying is some of the high SR HD feeds caused the box to stutter a bit, really annoying. I found no way to clear this up.

Little things that some might ask:
yes, it passes AC-3 and decodes it out of L/R
No diseqc 1.1 in the menus
It does not get hot, not even close.
Internal fan is not noisy, I had to check if it actually was spinning. However it does stay running even when the box is powered off by the front power button.
I'm sure by now, everyone realizes no 4:2:2

All in all, it's an OK unit. Without blindscan that at least has some clue on what it's doing, it does me no good, but I do like that it does seem to handle DVB-S2 stuff without additional hardware, but unfortunately like I said, it appears non-factory firmware.

I worked the crap out of the motor and it does seem to be doing quite well, no little adjustments or wild movement.

I figure for the $180 I paid it's not bad at all, but I will probably end up selling it on ebay and turn a little profit for my time in playing with it.

Ask away anything I didn't check or forgot to include, I'll try to accommodate.

If anyone really wants some pics, I'll upload them, but there is nothng special really that you can't find on reseller websites.
 
Last edited:

SatinKzo

Thread Starter
Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 22, 2004
6,232
82
Louisiana
Lak, I did the blind scan with Factory also and got the same results. That's how I knew the modulations changed on the TP's. I basically did the whole thing twice, once with and without factory file 108 from the viewsat website.

If you have some pointers, I'll gladly take em
 

turbosat

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 26, 2006
9,001
74
Oneonta,AL
Thanks for the review, sounds like 'good' but not 'great' receiver, in that at least it does the S2 stuff without that expensive add-on thing. I"m surprised that it has a problem with the high symbol rate stuff, as the Ultra doesn't seem to. But then, its not decoding HD either. Never heard of a blind-scan that worked that way. For what it costs new, I would prob pass on it-but you did get a bargain.
 

SatinKzo

Thread Starter
Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 22, 2004
6,232
82
Louisiana
I know this may not amount to much, but I actually called Viewsat about the blind scan and the HD stutter. Talked to them for about 20 minutes and then an hour later, they called me back, asking for info off my receiver and what TP/SR/FEC I was seeing the HD stutter on.

Heck if they can fix the HD stutter, I can deal with the blind scan, I have a good box for doing the scans.
 

SatinKzo

Thread Starter
Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 22, 2004
6,232
82
Louisiana
Well, I may have to revise the DVB-S2 portion. I don't know what I changed or what is different, but in playing with some DVB-S2 info that I used earlier in my testing, today I am having problems locking signal or even getting it to register. I have tried playing with different modulations and can get certain stuff to show up with DVB-S28 as the modulation that were showing up with only DVB-S2 settings.

Maybe it's the dreary weather today or something, but I cannot reliably reproduce the signal readings I got before.
 

stogie5150

Crazed Cajun Rebel
Jan 7, 2007
3,791
22
Slidell,LA
Well, I may have to revise the DVB-S2 portion. I don't know what I changed or what is different, but in playing with some DVB-S2 info that I used earlier in my testing, today I am having problems locking signal or even getting it to register. I have tried playing with different modulations and can get certain stuff to show up with DVB-S28 as the modulation that were showing up with only DVB-S2 settings.

Maybe it's the dreary weather today or something, but I cannot reliably reproduce the signal readings I got before.

I can tell you if my C band dish is not in JUST the right spot the Diamond will NOT tune S2 TP's at all. Regular DVB is very forgiving with dish position, but S2 has to be dead on. So try that.
 

SatinKzo

Thread Starter
Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 22, 2004
6,232
82
Louisiana
Yeah, Ok. I'll try a bit after dinner using manual motor control to tweak the aim a bit.
 

jorgek

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 11, 2013
1,201
204
Near Toronto
Yes it is still usable today. I have an old Viewsat Ultra and Extreme. They are great for tuning up dishes. There is still lots of programming i.e. Galaxy 19 at 97W that use DVB-S. But if you want to view PBS on 125W then you will need a new set that is DVB-S2 rated.
 

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