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624 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 165705 18-Feb-2015 04:10
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SO it's time to throw out the crusty old CRT albeit with an excellent non-pixelated look to a lot of LCD's.

However this puts me in the market for media players and satellite receivers.

Firslty I bought a cheap(ish) Ch@llenger Black Panther Premium from 'freeviewshop.co.nz' and my first pro's and con's:

Youtube App doesn't work. Search results load, no video plays. The manual states and website states it has S-Video support via scart (until I buy an HD TV next week). Reality, no it doesn't. It's not an option in the firmware. The latest is loaded and was already pre-loaded and not even trying scart S-Video known working leads work.

The reason for this box, I want a DVB-S2 satellite receiver for MPEG-4 HD support. This bit it does. It also tunes to Channel 9 from Australia pretty well and the picture given a 90cm dish is quite good.

Also I can play my MPEG-2 mkv files on my server.  Big bonus for me to setup a home media storage device.

I bought this because I thought I'd avoid running in to clone fake units like the Skybox V8. I'd really like one of these however both parties on Trade Me are accusing the other of being fake units and non-genuine with cheap chipsets in them. So I bought through what seemed like a reasonable online retailer, freeviewshop.co.nz.

However given features don't work on my Black Panther Premium, I'm now starting to wonder if this is a clone box too, or just a crappy buy full stop. I got a reply regarding the problems with Youtube and S-Video from the manufacturer, until I asked would their be a firmware fix to resolve these.... now no replys. Which again makes me wonder if this is a nasty clone.

To keep things balanced, it does play network files quite well. The only down side other than above, if there is a glitch in a DVB-S2 HD channel the audio lip-sink goes way out and doesn't correct until you flip channels and come back. This also happens if something goes wrong with the ethernet side of things. For the most part though, it plays pretty well most of the time.

Does anyone know of someone who sells quality Skybox V8 units that won't fry when software/firmware is updated? Or is there a better satellite receiver out there for closer to under $200 that also does network media playback?

My mkv's are MPEG2 not MPEG4's, basically just DVD's, except I own every movie that I have but prefer the convenience of my media player/satellite receiver and keep my originals away from the 10 year old.

I have an Igloo box for UHF HD but I'm moving hopefully soon to an area where satellite is the only option. I also like satellite because I also watch RT on Optus D2.

Thoughts and opinions on any satellite receivers with media player would be welcomed though. There's to much to choose from and I don't want to keep buying units to find basically nasty firmware on board :o)


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624 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 124


  Reply # 1241220 18-Feb-2015 04:21
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I also contacted another retailer and installer who sell the Black Panther (incase I can get a geniune one), however my specific questions regarding the S-Video and Youtube were also avoided.

Hence I won't be buying from them too.

Am I asking to much for a little diligence?

So here I am asking for experience and reviews on something DVB-S2 HD with a media player built in.


......

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1241225 18-Feb-2015 06:47
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The vu+ series of sat receivers are very well recieved and have several groups regularly releasing firmware. Perhaps look at the vu+ zero. Will probably be a bit above your budget but might be worth a look.

 
 
 
 


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1241996 18-Feb-2015 21:11
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I don't know much about the Panther units. If you just want a single tuner these are ok

http://ultrapower.co.nz/product_receiver_hd_satellite_xcruiser-xdsr385hd-avant.html

 

As for youtube, recent changes by Youtube broke Youtube support on a number of receivers. The Ultraplus and Xscruisers have released software updates to fix it.





 


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  Reply # 1241999 18-Feb-2015 21:16
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This looks like a fix for Youtube?

 

 

http://www.sat-universe.com/archive/index.php/t-157666-p-2.html




 




624 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1242468 19-Feb-2015 16:48
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Unfortunately that's the version 4 firmware for the free to air ones.

I have the Ch@llenger Black Panther 1 card Premium receiver as sold at freeviewshop.co.nz and also jax.co.nz. The firmware is the latest for this unit which is v9.6.7.

I haven't seen the FTA only ones here yet.

I'm almost considering putting a small 12 fan in it because the CPU gets rather hot.

I'll have a look at those X-Cruiser units too.

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  Reply # 1242512 19-Feb-2015 18:49
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I cant really imagine any vendor bothering to test for or fix problems with svideo output as TV's have not had it for ages.

All the sat boxes have been running bodgey youtube access that I have seen, rather than the supported html based youtube interface that is standardized across all devices. IMO google should have done something about them using the youtube trademark on unauthorised devices that were not accessing it properly.




Richard rich.ms



624 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 124


  Reply # 1242728 20-Feb-2015 03:07
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It's nice that it's suppose to support YouTube, although I'm not that phased by it not working.

I noticed it was quite hot today so I decided to open it up being the geek that I am to look around while voiding any warranties.

The CPU heatsink can really get very hot. As in owch to touch on a really warm day (it chews power even in stand-by mode). So I've ordered a 25mm2 12v fan with a couple of appropriate resistors to keep a gentle but very quiet breeze over the heatsink. The heatsink is pretty small, about 30cm2. I thought about increasing it but a fan will do the job and keep any heat from the PS away from the CPU.

The ventilation is on the sides and top of the receiver, except right above the CPU location. I guess this is where units with external power supplies are better at keeping as much heat out as possible.

This one is a Korean made unit according to the mainboard.

I was hoping that it would be higher quality than an equivalent Chinese box and for picture quality its really good compared to my older DVB-S one. Both compared side by side using only the composite output and digital comb filter on my older TV. There's less decoding noise on this one.

I will either screw it to the side of the heatsink (most likely), or to the side of the case and craft up a small plastic air duct to take external air to the CPU. Anyone else created air ducts for PC's or electronics and recommend a plastic to use?

I think I won't get another one though, I might go the Xcruiser way next month. I'm glad I bought one first before replacing three others :o)



624 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 124


  Reply # 1245397 24-Feb-2015 09:38
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I've decided the Black Panther's are rubbish.

The LQ display driver chip runs well over 75oC and takes less than a split second to painfully burn your finger.

I discovered this after finally getting the CPU temperature under control on this unit.

I'm really disappointed in the build/test quality of these units. If you want to burn your house down, I highly recommend them. Otherwise stay miles away from them.

Cheers,
Gavin.

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  Reply # 1245427 24-Feb-2015 10:13
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Only 75°? That's not really a problem for most chips. It's if there is a sizzle that there is a problem.

Is it just that chip or is there some other construction issue that makes you say it will burn things down?




Richard rich.ms



624 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 124


  Reply # 1245436 24-Feb-2015 10:29
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The cable between the mainboard and the display driver board was originally touching the display driver chip.

The plastic from the cable is smeared (melted) on top of the chip.

To me that's not a good sign of how hot the chip gets.

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