Seite 19 - TELE-satellite-1203

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19 —
02-03/2012 —
TELE-satellite International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine
preciated the simple design;
it doesn‘t always have to be
a complex geometric shape.
Sometimes less is more.
Since the housing isn‘t coat-
ed in a glossy paint, you can
handle the receiver as much
as you want without having
to worry about getting fin-
gerprints on the surface.
It was at this point that
a question came to mind:
shouldn‘t this receiver have a
card reader? We checked the
back of the box and didn‘t
find one there. Only when
we looked at the right side
did we find a slit in the hous-
ing. Yep, that must be it. The
card reader supports Conax
SmartCards. If you want to
use this card reader, keep in
mind that the SmartCard will
stick out about 2cm so you
have to make sure there is
enough room on the side of
the receiver.
When we took a closer
look at the receiver‘s rear
panel, we instantly noticed
an inconspicuous switch:
BOOT Normal/Recovery. If a
problem ever occurs during
a firmware flash, there‘s no
need to panic! Simply move
the switch over to Recovery
and load new firmware via
the network. For the user
this means no more worry-
ing about accidentally up-
loading the wrong firmware
or having the power go out
during a flash process.
And while we‘re talking
about flashing, the AZBox
ME has the largest capac-
ity memory that we know
of. A fat 512MB lets us in-
stall three firmware images
in parallel. During the boot
process, Bank 0, 1 or 2 can
be selected. These banks
can be flashed however the
user likes so that there‘s re-
ally no excuse not to try ev-
ery available image!
shipped with two different
Linux images (Bank 0 and 1).
Actually, Android should also
be part of this but at the last
moment chip manufacturer
Sigma backed out of the
OpenMIPS project. That‘s
too bad. Although it‘s not
that big a tragedy; it would
still have been a MIPS pro-
cessor based Android which
means it couldn‘t have been
used to access the Google
Market not to mention the
thousands of apps that can
be found there - these are
all laid out for ARM proces-
sors. But since AZBox manu-
facturer OpenSAT makes the
source codes available to any
interested developer, there‘s
still hope that something will
happen with Android.
The rear panel also sports
an HDMI port and RCA jacks
for component outputs
(YUV) as well as composite
video and audio (L+R). In
addition there‘s e-SATA, USB
2.0 and an optical audio out-
We also liked the main
power switch that can be
used to turn the receiver
completely off. Many manu-
facturers omit this switch
even though it does make
sense to be able to turn the
receiver completely off if it
won‘t be used for a while.
Pulling the plug out is not
the best way to kill power to
the receiver especially if the
cables are all nicely placed
behind a cabinet.
The available YUV jacks
are perfect for those who
have, for example, a video
projector, that still don‘t
have their own digital inputs.
The component outputs pro-
vide a way to enjoy HDTV
using an analog pathway.
The AZBox ME only comes
with one tuner but it has a
looped-through output so
that additional receivers can
be connected. In addition
to instructions for program-
ming the three flash posi-
tions and a pocket guide,
there‘s also a remote control
and a SATA cable as well as a
set of screws.
Since a Linux receiver can
only reach its full poten-
tial with a hard drive, we
acquired a 2.5“ SATA hard
drive. You could, of course,
also use an external hard
drive via the USB port or
e-SATA interface, but this
would disturb the harmony
in the living room by add-
ing more visible components
and cables.
Installing the hard drive is
easy. A total of seven screws
need to be removed from
the receiver housing in order
to get the top cover off. The
designers of the AZBox ME
came through once again:
a sheet metal box is mount-