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AZBox HD Thread

Discussion in 'Satellite TV' started by sibeer, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. sibeer

    sibeer Active Member

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    Seems to be the odd mention of this fab box but no actual threads about it. As such I thought I would put up a quick mini review to let people know about what I believe to be the best Dreambox Alternative.

    The AZbox is available in two flavours, the Elite and the Premium. The main difference between the two is that the Premium comes with WiFi and room for an internal HDD (the Elite uses USB storage for PVR).

    Essentially the AZBox HD is a Popcorn Hour with a DVB-S2 Tuner, a second tuner slot, a digi card reader and a CI slot. The hardware gives it the ability to be a full HD media center, a HD PVR and an internet / youtube box all in one, it has retired my Windows Media Center from the lounge as it hass been struggling to do that for years.

    The system is semi-open, designed to make it easy for developers to write additional software for it. For example there is a liveonsat plugin which tells you what channels the upcoming footy games can be watched on. Progress is also fast being made on many of the popular Dreambox plugins, but it doesn't yet have the full range of options of a Dreambox 8000.

    For FTA sat channels and legit cards it seems to be doing everything necessary as well as being a top media center / PVR to boot. I am still waiting for my Freeview tuner for it (no cable round my way) but I am sure that will be well implemented based on my experiences so far.

    Picture quality is outstanding. It really makes my Windows Box or Freeview look a bit rough when compared both for TV and for media playback. Compared to my Sky box when both are connected direct to the TV it definitely looks better. In my actual setup though it is far more marginal as the Sky box is running through an RGB to component and then scaled on the Onkyo 875.

    Connectivity wise my Elite has HDMI, Component, Scart and Composite for video. It has HDMI, Optical and Phono for audio. Then it has 10/100 RJ45, 2 USBs, a CI Slot and a Card Reader. The builtin Sat board has an input and an output so you can pass through the sat to another box if necessary.

    In conclusion I would say this is about as complete and useful a box as you can add to your living room setup. The only comparable option is the Dreambox 8000 at about 4 times the price. If they added a Bluray option it truely would be a one stop shop for living room entertainment. At £250 for the Elite model I honestly think it is not to be sniffed at.
  2. bluesteel

    bluesteel Member

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    this is an excellent thread
    well done sir
    im going linux so would like to know what everyone thinks of this box
    alsat have them in stock
    and 250 quid is a great price for such a flexible solution
    my only worry is support
    by all means weigh in guys with opinion
    and once again thx to the original poster
  3. bluesteel

    bluesteel Member

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    what do the dreambox guys think of this receiver which is in terms of price points a competitor for either the 500shd (still to launch)
    or the tried and tested 800hd
    i suppose you could throw the 8000hd into the mix
    but at 900 quid its a bit pricey
    1install , you are a professional what do you think?
    any info on this box
    steve
  4. thfccambs

    thfccambs Well-Known Member

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    Sibeer nice write up mate, the AZbox is still at beta stage but from my reading could turn out to be very good. Read the premiere is having problems when using more then 1 tuner at the moment?

    Bluesteel have a read here

    Also buy from here if you do buy HERE Personally would never trust alsat.:nono:Live and learn.:(

    For the price it's a bargain if it can do everything it says it'll do, but we will have to wait and see. :smashin:

    CCcam working which is a bonus . :)
  5. bluesteel

    bluesteel Member

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    cheers m8

    seems a good receiver
    and no offence to the poster, but i think i will wait for digitv to go nag 3 then go for the 500shd
    but this does look a nice bit of kit
  6. bluesteel

    bluesteel Member

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    in all fairness though with support it looks amazing
  7. RoYaL KiD

    RoYaL KiD Guest

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    ive got several days experience with this, great box all round.. just cccam needs working on!
  8. thfccambs

    thfccambs Well-Known Member

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    From reading there getting there. :thumbsup:
  9. foghorn

    foghorn Member

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    Hold off for the Dreambox DM500HD or get a AZBox HD. What's the main pros and cons?

    Foghorn
  10. bob1

    bob1 Active Member

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    I looked at this some time back but it couldn't offer view a channel and record at the same time.
    Have things moved on for this box?
  11. sibeer

    sibeer Active Member

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    The Dreambox 500HD has an advantage in that all the plugins are fully developed for it. Chances are on release everything will run easily straight away.

    The AZBox is far more fully featured hardware with options such as the second tuner, USB or internal HDD on the Premium, etc. It has more connectivity and top class media functionality. Currently the plugins are a work in progress. Whilst there are no guarentees on how fast these will be sorted, there seem to be lots of the well regarded Dreambox devs working away on it.

    As the Dreambox 500HD isn't out yet it isn't a fully known quantity, looks like it will be very similar to the 800HD though. As such the AZBox is potentially better, but only if you are happy to play a waiting game and endure a bit of beta testing :D
  12. sibeer

    sibeer Active Member

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    Haven't recieved my 2nd tuner board yet, can't see any reason it wouldn't though. Will let you know when Goldwafers get the DVB-T cards into stock.
  13. foghorn

    foghorn Member

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    Thanks for the reply, I guess the big question is what will come first the Dreambox or the development for the AZbox.

    Foghorn
  14. thfccambs

    thfccambs Well-Known Member

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    I own a dm800 but if i was buying now and price was a factor i'd buy a AZBox.

    Forums just opened (beta testers only atm) and theres word of a new firmware on the way

    http://www.azbox.com/forum/
  15. RicsterG

    RicsterG Member

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    Very buggy software at present. DOesnt compare to DM800HD at the moment.

    Cant record with CCcam (patched to work like CCcam on DM800HD)

    Cant watch recording whilst still recording.

    Cant watch pre recorded program whilst recording.

    Menus crash and go into loop or hang.

    Password resets to default password.

    CCCam drops connection and needs restarting. Usually box needs rebooting to do so.

    Compared to DM800HD with the Nabilo image with its EPG guides for 7 days is just so far ahead.
  16. rcaudwell

    rcaudwell Member

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    The AZBox looks promising, and will decode 4:2:2 feeds, which the dreambox can`t. However I would be very cautious re buying one at the moment, as it`s all well and good that firmware updates are coming and likely to get sorted - but what if they dry up? I was very nearly caught out in the same way by the Kathrein HD Linux box, which promised a lot, but ultimately failed to deliver.
  17. thfccambs

    thfccambs Well-Known Member

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    I know a few who went that way instead of DM and are well ****** of now.:(
  18. RoYaL KiD

    RoYaL KiD Guest

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    When the dreambox first came out it wasnt all nice and sound. It had its bad days too but because it was open source Soo many groups began to develop for the dreambox and now look at where they stand. Im sure in a few months a new ccxam will be released hopefully with alot of fixes.
  19. rcaudwell

    rcaudwell Member

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    That`s very true, and also kind of the problem. It`s a vicious circle really, once uptake of the AZbox is high enough, interest and development in the community will push it forward, however it`s hard to get enough uptake if the support isn`t there to start with. I`m seriously considering getting one as a second unit, as a "project" (the DM800HD is too easy now - it just "works" so no fun any more :D ) but wouldn`t advise anyone to get one as their only unit or without prior experience of linux boxes.
  20. sibeer

    sibeer Active Member

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    You can definately record with the latest CCCAM. It does crash, but is almost always sorted by changing channels. That is a months progress, seems well on route to me.

    Also worth noting that quite a few of the devs are pretty commited to this box, as are some of the larger suppliers.

    Personally I only decided to risk so early as I wanted a Popcorn Hour or similar for the lounge and like playing with things and making them work. Also think people should reward these guys for forcing Dreambox to come up with a HD box that isn't a complete rip off.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  21. rcaudwell

    rcaudwell Member

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    @Sibeer - very true. Quick question - in what way are the multimedia features/popcorn hour features better than the multimedia features on the Dreamboxes?
  22. thfccambs

    thfccambs Well-Known Member

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    New Leaked AZBox Firmware 0.9.3177 on satdudez. (download section)


    # FIXED

    - CI can not support HD channel
    - CI can not send the reply of ENQ
    - Subtitles are transparent when menu is set to transparent
    - Unicable is not working
    - If playing recorded contents on movie player, recorded contents have no sound
    - Can not add new SAT/TP on SAT/TP Editor
    - Can not play with After recording
    - If the channel has the subtitle language, which was selected on setting, subtitle
    should be showed, automatically

    # ADDED

    - DVB-T/C NIT Search
    - DTS decoding
    - The menu of “Fixe Interlace on/off” on channel manager
    For supporting the encoder, which may not respect the spec on this matter.
    “When progressive_frame = 1 the picture is progressive, the two fields represent the
    exact same time, and you should not see any comb effect when displaying the frame.
    Moreover, when progressive_frame = 0, top_field_first is used to indicate which field
    has to be displayed first.”

    - Satellite Nile Sat 101/102/Altantic Bird4 (7.0W) is missing in the satellite list
    - Telefonica transponder on Amazonas(61.0W) is missing
    - Always start in TV mode
    - “Automatic Reboot Option” to Timer menu

    # IMPROVED

    - If you choose a movie from hard disk and in the same folder where the movie is stored
    there is an .srt or something else the box loads subtile automatically ordered
    by .smi/.srt/.txt.

    Best Regards,
    The OpenSAT/AZBox Team
  23. Gathering

    Gathering Member

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    Hi.
    I have a network external hard drive connected to the router. If the Azbox is also connected to the router will it play mkv files with dts on the hard drive? Can it record on the drive as well?
    Thank you.
  24. BlueTec

    BlueTec Member

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    I play a lot of mkv with DTS. Works very well with firmware 0.9.2880. The 0.9.3180 has a sound bug with mkv/dts over hdmi.
  25. Gathering

    Gathering Member

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    Hi. Can you explain me how do I put the AzBOX reading files from the network external hard drive? Thank you
  26. BlueTec

    BlueTec Member

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    Just use a FTP client like FileZillie to FTP the movie to your movie folder. You need to activate ftp in de settings of the AZBOX. Default credentials to login root and azbox.
  27. Gathering

    Gathering Member

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    Ok, I'll try it when I go home and i'll tell you something. Thank you.
  28. Gathering

    Gathering Member

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    I couldnt do it with FTP: message "FTP not connect".

    But i create a Home Network with my PC and now the AZbox can read files in external hard drive.
    The only problem is that the PC must be on.

    Thank you
  29. TUT

    TUT Member

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    The new Dreambox DM500HD will be out in December according the email i got from Dream Multimedia and will be for sale for under £300 which is not a bad price giving the huge support the Dreambox receivers has.
    For me i will wait for the 500HD and treat myself for Christmas.
  30. foghorn

    foghorn Member

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    Might have been better to have posted in the Dreambox 500HD thread.

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/satellite-tv/1005935-new-dreambox-500hd.html

    Foghorn

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