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5 posts

Wannabe Geek

# 36983 5-Jul-2009 23:07
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Really just a post regarding some feedback on the freeview unit marketed as "eXtra Terrestrial" as imported by the owner of

While this unit tends to work ok, I wouldn't go so far as to call it a quality unit, and on top of that the service provided from the importer is very poor - with his poor service attitude reflected clearly in his response to anyone that leaves him neutral or negative feedback of any kind.

The issues I have had are:

* Erratic Infrared remote control behaviour (traced to a poorly inserted IR receiver during manufactuer)
* Slow response to IR commands (basically cheap or poorly designed software installed in the unit)
* Lock up of the unit completely (again either rubbish software or overall build quality)

When attempting to get support from the importer (Peter I think his name is) on my first issue he basically made excuses for everything, and tried to tell me it was my "big fingers" hitting other remote buttons - honestly he must think people are stupid. Upon inspection it was traced to the IR receiver inside the unit and the problem was resolved (but hang on - why should I have to be fixing that!)  

I've attempted to contact him regarding unit lock up and slow response from the IR receiver and had no response.

It seems what has happened, is hes found a manufactuer in china (easily found on the internet - roughly $45 USD a unit) and imported a whole heap of them and is flogging them off as "quality units, specifically designed for NZ" when actually they are just made in china units that will work in virtually any country - and when problems have arisen he isn't in a position to deal with them in a professional manner (knowledge, software updates etc) - I mean, hell, what would you do if you imported 5,000 units and found them to be of "average" quality - you'd be screwed unless you had a damn good relationship with the manufactuer in china, and could speak the language.

Yes these units do work - but be aware that they are budget units, with slow performing software, rubbish quality remote controls (feel like you're pushing bubble-wrap buttons) - and are no different to many other cheaper units out there on the market.

I've seen a similar unit at Noel Leeming and other places for the same (in some cases cheaper) price (WITH an HDMI cable) - and it even looks as if its come out of the same factory, but under a different name - the software looks nearly identical, but it seems like an updated version and operates a lot faster than the eXtra Terrestrial imported by Satlinknz.

There will be a lot of units out there imported from China - and its very easy to do, but I guess the key is finding an importer who is

a) Not just there to ticket clip and make some money
b) Has the expertise to understand - not just fobbing people off who have "difficult" questions
c) Doesn't have the arrogant attitude that this guys appears to have (have you seen this guys respones to negative feedback on trademe? - unbelievable....) - his name cordlessman on trademe I think.

I hope that people searching for a review on this unit read this and think twice before purchasing - really hes lost my vote simply because of his arrogant attitude and poor service. If you read the trademe feedback carefully you'll find some themes in there. There will be a lot of "satisfied" buyers, but many of them will probably be consumers who will put up with the quality not realising that there is better quality out there/or blaming themselves for the unit not performing as expected - they just need to shop around - and typically his response to negative feedback is "Not my fault you can't read instructions, look at all my satisfied buyers" - pity you can't go back and change your feedback once you realise the unit isn't all it's cracked up to be... well that may be harsh, it does work - but it's not a quality unit.

Oh and for those that don't know - DON'T pay more than $50 for an HDMI cable - they're cheap as chips if you look around (even $20 if you look hard enough) - if you buy a $200 cable from trademe or other places you're being screwed - its just a digital signal over a piece of wire - they pump them out of china like you wouldn't believe. You only need a higher priced (ie shielded with higher quality wire) cable if its being used over a significant distance, and even then you would probably pick it up for around $50.

Keywords: Review eXtra Terrestrial receiver, satlinknz, freeview decoder nz, trademe, peter, cordlessman, hdmi, uhf digital, feedback

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147 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2

  # 231385 5-Jul-2009 23:31
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Well put. You may be interested to follow the saga from woe to go right here

5 posts

Wannabe Geek

  # 231455 6-Jul-2009 09:36
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Thanks Paul - great to get a supportive response to my view of the product/importer...

- also thanks for the link, I did get the impression after reading further on this site that I was not the only unhappy customer - I guess its good I didn't read your link first to bias my views - seems they are similar! :)


22052 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 4680


  # 231487 6-Jul-2009 11:14
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JC matthews for the win, similar priced unit and they seem to give a crap about customer service.


205 posts

Master Geek

  # 231996 7-Jul-2009 13:03
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Amen to that KiwiGeek. Well put.

I've had the displeasure of having to deal with Pete since Oct last year to get my box working with the features it was advertised as having.

AVOID this box.

1937 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 53
Inactive user

  # 232807 8-Jul-2009 22:01
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My friend who purchased a Vantage HD6000T from warned me to stay WELL CLEAR of the eXtra Terrestrial STB due to the shocking service provided by this trader (some might go so far as to call him "rogue").

I have had nothing but excellent service from DTVS and the current firmware seems to be very stable.

Sure, I've had a few minor issues, but hey I only paid $299 for the unit and that included an HDMI cable and has a WORKING PVR function. It also supports 1080i over component (for those that are not aware, "Freeview approved" boxes lock component video output to 576i "DVD quality" so those without HDMI input TVs are out of luck).

One difference I've discovered about the Vantage and ET is this:

When you have problems with the Vantage, you turn to the people that sold you the box.

When you have problems with the ET, you turn to other people in the same predicament and try to come up with your own solution (refer to the 85 page mega-thread here on Geekzone).

5 posts

Wannabe Geek

  # 232880 9-Jul-2009 09:31
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Hey ahmad, thanks for your feedback...

I'm wondering whether anyone has taken this guy to task over his poor quality unit - Fair Trading Act / Consumer Guarantees Act and the like... - I'm tempted and have a basis of discussions here to support my quest at a disputes tribunal hearing without a doubt.

I notice when I attempt to email the guy at satlinknz they bounce back - the domain exists, but his address has been changed.

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