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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good picture but has big issues with encrypted channels (using a CI+ CAM), 3 Dec 2013
This review is from: VU+ Duo2 Full HD Twin Linux Satellite Receiver 2x DVB-S2 Tuner PVR Ready (Electronics)
I've used this receiver for a couple of weeks now. I flashed 'black hole' image onto it from the vuplus community website. This software is relatively easy to use but does require persistence in learning how to use it. Initially I couldn't quite see how to store favourites until I realised I must use the 'menu' button when selected on a satellite channel in the channel list.

Legally there is very little in the way of premium (English channels which are not freesat) content obtainable on this receiver and I'm not convinced paying the high price is completely justified (compared to say a 50 Skybox F5S) for novice users. I do also have a Skybox and although it is less user friendly (e.g EPG not as good, clunky remote, poorer PVR) than this box I can say the video quality is not that much different. So it really depends on what you want the box for and how much you intend to use it. This box is one of the best and has great online support.

I have tried an Irdeto CI+ CAM (Skylink ready) in this receiver with a Skylink subscription card (Astra 23.5) and it works well except I cannot record one encrypted channel and watch another at the same time (on same transponder). This appears to be a design limitation. Even though I know both of my tuners are working fine. I can record one channel and watch another with non-encrypted channels (say on Astra 28.2).
In fact I can (amazingly) record 2 non-encrypted channels and view another if I like. I've tried it and it works, even though I only have 2 tuners.

One negative with the Skylink package is that I have so far been unable to point the box to an English EPG. It's all in Czech. There is something called crossepg but that does not help me. Also the default audio language on channels like Discovery Showcase HD, National Geographic, History HD, etc are all in Czech but the language can be switched over by picking a different audio stream.

Another negative is that when I switch to Astra 23.5 from another satellite the CAM does not decode the signal first time. I must swap to another channel on the same transponder and then back again to the channel I want to view. But as long as I don't switch satellite then all is fine from that point on. I can swap channels with no problem at all and it is really fast going from one channel to another. This problem means if you set to record something (that is encrypted) in the future then you need to make sure you're on the correct satellite before recording starts. Otherwise if the receiver moves to the correct satellite then a blank screen is recorded!

I have set up a motorised satellite dish with it very easily. There is a very nice blind scan where you can sweep east/west for a particular frequency and then store the dish position. Scanning for channels over all frequencies takes a long time. It took about 1 hour which discovered about 3000 channels (most encrypted). It is possible to select 'free only' which means it will only find unencrypted channels.

There is a way to avoid a lengthy scan by loading in satellite/channel information but I did not try this. With a 60/80cm Sky (MK4) dish I was able to get many channels on Hotbird 13 (70% SNR) Astra 19.2 (80% SNR), 23.5 (90% SNR) and 28.2 (80-100% SNR signal strength). I found the box will happily views channels with SNR as low as 40%.

Note the receiver must be locked to the satellite before searching for channels. If a lock has not been established the receiver may still tell you it found 100's of services, but (a big but!) they will not be saved into the channel list. The receiver gives no error saying it did not store the channels. In this receiver you can check for lock in the positioner setup.

I installed a 2TB 3.5" hard drive with no problems at all. The recorded files are MPEG transport stream format (MTS) which can be played on your PC. The file sizes are between 2GB and 4GB per hour for HD content which is normal. For SD the file sizes were half the size of HD files. Timeshift is possible with the pause button. When starting to record any encrypted channels (using a CAM) the recording is sometimes jittery in the first few seconds. It is nice though to be able to record encrypted HD content in it's original broadcast quality. So I can accept this minor negative to have that benefit. Searching through recorded MTS videos is quite fast at up to 128X, but unfortunately only 8X max search speed for MP4's that you import. But luckily you can press keys 3/6/9 to skip forward by 30secs/2mins/5mins. Also use keys 1/4/7 to skip back by same amount.

There is DLNA, Samba, and FTP support which could be used to transmit/port video elsewhere. I've tried a UPNP server using mediatomb plugin and was able to send video/files to my linux (Ubuntu) based PC via a web based browser. I sent some files to my PC but found the transfer rate was very slow at around 4MBp/s. That means a 2 hour HD movie would take about 30 minutes to transfer over. Also tried FTP'ing to the box ('root' username and blank password) which worked fine, though data transfer rates of only 2MBp/s from box to my PC.

The picture quality is very good. The pictures are very sharp with good colour clarity.

Setting up favourites is very flexible. It is possible to create named favourite folders by using the menu button within the favourites menu. This software image calls favourites 'bouquets'.

The bootup time of this linux receiver is very fast. Less than 30 seconds for a full re-boot and less than 2 seconds from standby. The EPG (7 day on Astra 28.2) is very good (use CrossEPG Ski UK OpenTV provider). It's possible to view a single channel or multiple channels program information. Viewing basic program title or extended information. The speed at which you can search or scroll through the EPG is very fast.

It's possible to add application plugins and addons with ease in this receiver. One default plugin is the YouTube player. There is a nice blind scan facility using the blind scan plugin. You can pick a satellite and it will find services which the normal scan doesn't.

One negative so far was a really obscure error message saying 'couldn't record due to invalid service' when I tried to record a programme. The solution was to delete all timer events. Then I could record. This issue seemed to only occur with CI+ CAM related recordings.

The power consumption is quite low. Taking about 10-12W in standby and 20-25W when operating according to my power meter.

Another negative is that the receiver sometimes forgets which audio channel you set last which means you sometimes get the narrated audio stream rather than the normal Dolby channel. Also there is no series record by default.

I have tried CCcam 2.3.0 (softcam) in this receiver and it works with no issues. Installing custom software is very easy one you have a .ipk file. Simply locate the file from the internet and copy into the /tmp directory using FTP. Then go to the black hole menu and install .ipk file. Obviously the .ipk file needs to be for that image. Then select the soft CAM by using the blue button and finding it in the list. The WiFi is still active when the box is in standby and this means server connections do not need to re-established all the time.

When I installed the CCcam I also got sbox005-4.1. It's a very nice bit of software which gives you a web interface access the EPG from your PC. It gives you a radio times type listing. You can click on a program to get extended information or even setup recordings.

I have tried the optical audio output with it connected to my 5.1 Sony Theatre system. The sound quality is very good and it was clear all 5 speakers were being driven.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nice reciever but, 23 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: VU+ Duo2 Full HD Twin Linux Satellite Receiver 2x DVB-S2 Tuner PVR Ready (Electronics)
Nice reciever , the only negative point i put on the seller that he stated 2 x dvb-s2 tuner ready but actually it has one tuner DVB-S2 ready and the another is optional ( not clearly stated on the description).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing piece of kit, 22 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: VU+ Duo2 Full HD Twin Linux Satellite Receiver 2x DVB-S2 Tuner PVR Ready (Electronics)
Only setup it up with one dish after loading the openvix image. WOW!! very impressed with result. I set-up the unit the same day I got delivery of my yamaha YSP 3300 sound projector and the two compliments each other perfectly. I must have spend hours setting up the channels and the bouquet fav channels plugin is a must as it group the channels scans in various categories and auto tune the satellite positions etc.. The EPG is wonderful and for the first time in ages makes me hooked on watching TV again after years of losing interests.

The only side issue is that it's not so straight forward to plug external HD to the USB port and get it recognized by the unit. This partly has something to do with the fact that it's a linux box. you need a lot of persistence and searching for clues on the internet to find ways of connecting external HDD via the USB port if you're planning playing mkv and mp4 movies directly from and external HD source.
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