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Test Report for Fortec Star Passion HD

Fortec Star Passion HD

The Fortec Star Passion HD satellite receiver can connect to your HD-ready television using the HDMI output connection. The component (YPbPr) output can also be used. For analogue connectivity, SCART jacks, composite and S-Video outputs are provided. In addition to the analogue audio RCA jacks, PASSION also provides for digital audio output. For software loading, the USB port can be used. It is conveniently located behind the front panel door next to the two common interface slots.

Fortec Star Passion HD Receiver is one of the HDTV satellite receivers for the new high-resolution television format. Thanks to the latest MPEG-4 technology and improved DVB-S2 reception, the Passion HD is set for the standards of the future while still serving the classical SDTV (PAL) standard. With the Passion HD, you can enjoy crystal-clear pictures tomorrow without having to give up your favorite programmes today.

In addition to being able to receive all available HDTV programmes, the Passion HD Receiver also supports all SDTV programmes. The two Common Interface (CI) slots open up a whole new world of exclusive television experience, including a spectrum of Pay-TV options.

Of all HD receivers we have seen, this one has the most logical easy to use menus. Good edit menus. Easy to organize channels into a logical order. The receiver has the capacity to store 10,000 TV and Radio channels. It supports DiSEqC 1.0, 1.2 and the most user friendly USALS protocol. Excellent alpha numeric display on the front panel that shows the channel name - not just a number. (Can be fitted to a Sky dish for free HD transmissions from Astra 2).

Of course, Passion HD Receiver receives HDTV signals from DirecTV, as well as many over-the-air channels. As you may have heard, digital TV reception is hit and misses even in cities with digital service. Much like a digital cell phone (as opposed to the good old analog phone), there is very little margin for error with an HDTV signal. You either get it or you don't. For DirecTV HDTV and NTSC feeds, you need to connect to a dual LNB satellite dish. This is an elliptical dish with two coax connectors on it, as opposed to the round dishes that have only one. You need two runs of coax wire from the dish to your receiver, but connection is pretty easy. The hardest part of making the system work was cleverly and safely installing the antenna and getting power to it. Another trick is programming an input on your video system to take an HDTV signal. This can be a whole new ballgame if you have a traditional CRT projector, which will likely require a visit from your video guru. For rear projection big screen, tube and plasma HDTV sets, it's easiest to get your HDTV to look right on your screen. Select the correct input (component video), assign that one the HDTV feed, and you are in the game.

Once you have your entire component video sources connected, consider the ease of controlling these switches, along with the input on your video source. The colours available in HDTV from my Passion HD are bright, vibrant and stunning.

Quite surprising is the ability to handle SCPC and MCPC signals. The manufacturer claim that symbolrates starting at the rate of 1.45ms/sec can be processed easily and it proved right during our tests. Even though in some channels, low symbolrates were handled. Many satellite receivers create problems for MCPC signals, but this is not a problem for Passion HD Receiver. In nearly every menu, the video of the current channel is displayed in a window.

Switching between channels will not disappoint you. A push of the info button displays the channel's specific data and all other it's technical parameters. The Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) shows more detailed programme information. The included video games will help you to pass the boring moment. The zoom function will let you close to your favourite player. The Passion HD Receiver also supports Teletext function. Attractive design, enough channel memory, SCPC compatible and fast switching will gain much importance for Fortec Star Passion HD Receiver.



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