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Fortec Star Passion HD Satellite Receiver - any good?

T-Rex

Standard Member
In Maplins they are selling the above receiver that can receive free to air HD satellite channels and also upscales SD to 1080i or 720p. I read a review at tech.co.uk and they gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Priced at around £150, thought I might get one (we have a Sky dish but do not subscribe) as I've just bought a 42" Pioneer plasma. I don't want the expense of subscribing to Sky HD but would like the best picture quality available.

Has anyone got/ used one of these? Is the picture quality for upscaled SD material good?
 

Cliff

Distinguished Member
I bought one of these just before Christmas to watch BBCHD after it was confirmed that they would continue transmitting.

The receiver is well built and gets frequent updates. (no rf modulator by the way)
You select UK or Europe for a different set of preloaded channels after initial switch on. No need to do a scan.
BBCHD is channel 1 and picture quality is very good. In my case I have to use the component inputs as I have a 42in Sony plasma that was pre HDMI.
It outputs 1080i 50 and no problems at all. Quality, resolution and colour are all excellent. My TV is actually 1024i native.

Upscaled stuff from SD channels is not as good as the TV's built in Freeview tuner and a little worse than than RGB virgin media.

Recommend it for the price.

Hope that helps.
 

Cliff

Distinguished Member
It gets all the Free to air channels including all the BBC regions. Some of the main channels like Ch4 Ch5 and others are encrypted though.
If its there and unencrypted the receiver will get it!
 

tigertimtim

Prominent Member
the main consensus is its a poor reciever with better pic quality to be found elsewhere, have a look at a technomate or arion reciever
 

T-Rex

Standard Member
Is it just a plug and play type of system or do I need a 'card' or anything? Does the Technomate and Arion do a good job with SD?
 

Starburst

Distinguished Member
Im not a sateelite buff... How come you dont get free to air channels like CH4 ,5, E4 etc?



They are not free to air channels:)

Currently CH4 and Five are encrypted but non-subscription (known as Free To View) and require a SKY digibox and smartcard and E4 is a subscription channel.
The CH4 encryption contract is due to end in October and all their channels are expected to go free to air, Five's contract ends I think in June but they are keeping quiet on what they intend to do.

Hopefully Five (and Five US/Life) will go free to air as well to take advantage of the launch of Freesat sometime this year.
 

Chrimbow

Standard Member
thanks...
bit of a swizzz. I would have thought that stuff thats free to air on terrestial digital was free on satellite too.
 

Starburst

Distinguished Member
thanks...
bit of a swizzz. I would have thought that stuff thats free to air on terrestial digital was free on satellite too.




Nope, some channels subsidise their FTA operation with subscription revenues from SKY and Virgin plus there have been rights issues for broadcasting on satellite (overspill to other countries) which isn't an issue on terrestrial and encryption solves that although both the BBC and ITV negotiated deals which mean they could operate in the clear by using a satellite (2D) which has a much more narrow footprint over the UK.
 

Mr___Flibble

Standard Member
I own one of these boxes and to honest with you I think it's well worth the money. I have it attached to a 90cm dish with motor and although HD content at the moment on most satellites is pretty sparse, what you reecive in HD looks fantastic. It also upscales the SD content to 1080i, if you have the chance to compare the upscaled to the standard, it is surprising the difference it makes!

Freesat has just been launched and the good news is that Channel4 and E4 is now available through the Astra28.2E satellite, Fortec have also released a new firmware which when updated via USB on the box will update the channel list for you automatically.

For first time users to satellite, if you have a Sky Dish sat there doing nothing the initial setup is very easy. Simply plug it in, tell the box where you live and it will then sort out all the channels for you (all the Freesat boxes default you to BBC/ITV London). Also, unlike Freeview, you can actually see all of the news throughout the UK.
If you don't have a Sky Dish - putting a dish up can be tricky (the DIY side isn't too bad) as the alignment is key. Meters can be purchased for around £10 to help you out - without one it is a nightmare!

The EPG on the box is intuitive and very easy to use. The remote (although the supplied batteries are pretty poor) is very user friendly and can also act as your TV and DVD remote also.
There are parental features for family use and unlike Freesat this box can tap into other satellites and give you all the listings.
The front USB can also play MP3 from an external storage device, and if you have hooked up the Passion to an AV amp (either by coaxial or optical) then the sound is fantastic. The same can be said from the satellite radio stations - crank that volume up!

If I was to choose between a Freesat box or this unit, I would favour the Passion no doubt. I would hate to be restricted to the one satellite when there is a world of TV content out there on other satellites. Shame there are no HD Satellite PVRs yet!
 

crosslak

Standard Member
I bought one of these machines today and cannot get channel 4 channel 5 and all that is connected with these channels i have been on the fortec website but the latest download is November 2007 any help:lease:
 

Healer

Established Member
I bought one of these machines today and cannot get channel 4 channel 5 and all that is connected with these channels i have been on the fortec website but the latest download is November 2007 any help:lease:

I don't have one of these receivers but I know from what I was reading on satpimps forum that you can get hold of beta firmware for it from laurals.net
The latest is v1.12 dated 10th May. As far as I know the latest update gives picture and sound on ITV HD but only after you've loaded the channel list in to your receiver using setedit. Can't help with C4 and C5 sorry. Do you mean no signal or channel not clearing?

Andy
 

lovelldr

Established Member
afaik, channel 4 & 5 and all related channels are still encrypted by sky ... (unless you go to the test channels which are unenccrypted at the mo).

See here for what you can get without a subscription (or freesat card).
 

skmorgan

Standard Member
Just applied the latest firmware upgrades from Fortecstar and WOW... ITV HD as well as BBC HD (had this one before). It seems that now we have a "Freesat" box though the EPG is proprietry to th Freesat licensed boxes I believe.

I understand that ITV HD uses a different compression method to BBC HD hence need to upgrade.

Still makes this good value from Maplin.
Simon Morgan
 

boywonder786

Standard Member
Hi guys,would I be able to hook this upto 2 dishes that I currently have up,one for freesat and one for digitAlb?
Will it take the card for digitalb?
Would this be the best box to get,if not which? I don't need pvr or epg facilities,just want a box that can view hd freesat and digitalb.

Thanks for any help.
 

skmorgan

Standard Member
Hi guys,would I be able to hook this upto 2 dishes that I currently have up,one for freesat and one for digitAlb?
Will it take the card for digitalb?
Would this be the best box to get,if not which? I don't need pvr or epg facilities,just want a box that can view hd freesat and digitalb.
Thanks for any help.

Don't know about DigitALB but the Forsec Passion does have 2 CAM slots so if the DigitALB cards are compatible then you should be OK. The receiver is DiSEqC 1.0 compatible for up to 4 different dishes. It can also control a motorised dish. I think DigitABL is at 16E while BBC HD and ITV HD are on ASTRA at 28.?E so you would need something.


As far as "Freesat" is concerned, with the latest firmware upgrade, you can get BBC HD and ITV HD (though ITV seem to just have a demo running at the moment). The Freesat EPG doesn't seem to be available yet but maybe if I knew the Satellite and TP, it MAY be received.

I am very please with this receiver especially since the recent firmware upgrade.
 

frenchie0101

Established Member
look above


Don't know about DigitALB but the Forsec Passion does have 2 CAM slots so if the DigitALB cards are compatible then you should be OK. The receiver is DiSEqC 1.0 compatible for up to 4 different dishes. It can also control a motorised dish. I think DigitABL is at 16E while BBC HD and ITV HD are on ASTRA at 28.?E so you would need something.


As far as "Freesat" is concerned, with the latest firmware upgrade, you can get BBC HD and ITV HD (though ITV seem to just have a demo running at the moment). The Freesat EPG doesn't seem to be available yet but maybe if I knew the Satellite and TP, it MAY be received.

I am very please with this receiver especially since the recent firmware upgrade.
 

kjt2004

Established Member
Just applied the latest firmware upgrades from Fortecstar and WOW... ITV HD as well as BBC HD (had this one before). It seems that now we have a "Freesat" box though the EPG is proprietry to th Freesat licensed boxes I believe.

I understand that ITV HD uses a different compression method to BBC HD hence need to upgrade.

Still makes this good value from Maplin.
Simon Morgan

Sorry to be a pain

I have got one of these boxes which i intend to connect to an existing Dish tonight

How do i get the updates for this machine and how do i install them on the passion

many thanks in adavnce would like to download them before i leave work if possible:D
 

miltsharman

Established Member
Sorry to be a pain

I have got one of these boxes which i intend to connect to an existing Dish tonight

How do i get the updates for this machine and how do i install them on the passion

many thanks in adavnce would like to download them before i leave work if possible:D

fortec star website has the down loads

1download to pc
2unzip
3 transfer files to a usb stick (files must be in the root directory)
4 use menu on the box and select s/w update.
(make sure to run the loader file before the main file)
5 after the machine resets then from menu select 'factory settings'
6 sit back and enjoy
 

verved

Standard Member
Hi

I called maplins and purchased a "B" grade (£99) over the phone yesterday and it arrived today which stunned me abit on the speed. And its mint brand new and in black aswell when i expected silver.

But as for the box, Excellent very easy to use , i would say bbc hd , itv hd (test channel) and luxe.tv do look fantastic , but early viewing on sd channels do look abit soft in quality compared to my old pace v1 sky + box.
Overall i would buy another and would recommend one. Superb value

However i do have a humax freesat coming tommorow for another tv in the house.


Tim
 

ShadowTD

Established Member
Is the resolution setting of this box a 'global' setting ie can you make it output SD channels in 576i and HD in 1080i, or does it blanket convert everything to a single res? Any screenshots of the EPG?
 

kjt2004

Established Member
Many thanks Milt

I have managed to do as instructed

and successfully got it to display user tv something which i believe to be ITV HD

However today when i went to look there was no transmission at all

is this the case or have i done something wrong i still got BBc HD just nothing on the user tv

Before i got a HD logo with sound?

regards
 

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