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Test Report for ECHOSTAR DVR-7000


ECHOSTAR has existed in Europe since 1989 and buyers of highest receivers. Whenever a new line of receivers comes out , it always seems to happen in grand fashion since it is not an everyday occurrence. Of course ECHOSTAR has to realize that any new receiver that comes out of their shop will always be compared to those first-class analog models from days gone by. But in the end, the people still claim to design and produce high-end receivers.

When you take a look at the remote control, it might all seem a little confusing at first. 40 buttons plus the numeric keypad is quite a handful. But if you look closer at this remote, you will see that it doesn’t only control the receiver, but also any other consumer electronic device such as a TV, a VCR, a Dolby Surround amplifier or some other external unit. And if you look even closer, you’d notice that there is definitely a logical layout to all of these buttons. Of course a remote like this will be somewhat bigger than normal and this means that smaller hands may have to work together as a team.

The silver-colored front panel brings the image of a ghetto blaster to mind and won’t be immortalized in any manual on modern design anytime soon. But ‘looks’ aren’t everything and, as we all know, it is this box’s capabilities that are much more important. The front panel buttons not only let you change channels but also allow you to program the receiver without having to use the remote. The two CI slots are hidden behind a flap.

The backside is equipped with everything you’d expect to find on an ECHOSTAR receiver. The three “F” connectors can be used to connect one antenna for digital reception and another antenna for analog reception. But in most cases the IF output from the digital side is simply fed through to the input of the analog side so that a single antenna can be used for both tuners. A short jumper cable is included in the package just for this purpose. Three (!) Scart connectors are provided (TV, VCR and external decoder) and video and analog stereo are also available via three RCA jacks. And if you happen to own a Dolby Surround amplifier, you’ll be happy to know that the DVR-7000 also comes with a Dolby digital audio output. New software can be loaded into the receiver automatically.

Beginners might wonder what the USB connection on the back of the DVR-7000 is for. A quick check of the user manual reveals that it is used for the transfer of MP-3 files to the receiver’s hard drive, but that’s all it does. Control of external switches is handled by the programmable 0/12 volt output on one of the RCA jacks. A total of eight quick connectors serve to connect the receiver to the antenna actuator of larger systems and also to drive a mechanical polarizer or Ferrite polarotor with the all-important skew control. Unlike most receivers that come with integrated DiSEqC 1.2 or USALS, ECHOSTAR seems to have forgotten about these features.

Whatever you might have learned from other receivers in the past can be almost completely ignored. The menu structure in the DVR-7000 is logically laid out but it will take some getting used to. As is normal, the first task is to select the proper language for the display, the audio tracks and the sub titles. For the display the user can select between English, German, Russian, French, Turkish and Arabic. For the audio tracks almost any language in the world can be selected.

Finding the right local oscillator frequency (LOF) won’t be difficult as the DVR-7000 comes pre-programmed with a wide selection a LOF’s for both the C-band and the Ku-band. If by some chance the value you need is not in the list, it can be manually added. Whether this receiver is used on a single antenna, a multi-feed antenna or a motorized system, the desired satellites must first be selected. This list included a good selection of C-band, Ku-band and S-band satellites. Before a manual or automatic transponder scan can take place, the receiver first makes sure that a proper signal exists and only then will it perform a scan. Symbolrate can be entered and the subsequent scan will only locate and list those signals that have that particular symbolrate. This function can provide some very interesting results especially when used on feed satellites .

The Edit menu also takes some getting used to but it will help to organize the many different programs found during the scans. Popular programs can be moved into one of eight different Favorites lists arranged in specific categories. Other programs can be deleted, moved or renamed. Programs can be sorted alphabetically, by character, by specific word, by FTA or PayTV or by locked channels.

Switching from one digital program to another is very fast with hardly any noticeable delays. Though, even with this, “zapping” is not possible. If you should come across a channel with some fast moving action, the picture will shake at first for a fraction of a second. PAL and NTSC signals are automatically identified time.

Model: DVR-7000 Function: Satellite Receiver, Digital, Analog, CI, Positioner Channel Memory: 50000 Satellites: Unlimited EPG: Yes Scart Connectors: 3 Dolby digital audio output: Yes SCPC Compatible: yes C-Band Compatible: yes Positioner: yes Hard Drive: 40 Gb PAL/NTSC: yes



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