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Test Report for ASTON XENA


Aston is a leader in a complete range of professional conditional access modules (DVB-CI), viaccess, irdeto and conax able to descramble a full transport stream for CATV and SMATV applications and a complete dual conditional access module range. Aston had recently introduced a new version(1800 HDU) for the digital recording of programmes.

XENA 1800 (HDU) is a multitalented receiver. It has the two common interfaces for use with irdeto, betacrypt, cryptoworks and modules plus two card readers. It can record upto 20 hours. It has embedded viaccess and Aston crypt.

The front panel is attractively designed. It will leave a smile on your face. XENA 1800 (HDU) shows the channel name along with all other functions. It has easy to read display for radio channels. So there is no need to tell what radio channel you are listening.

The two CI slots and two smart card slots are located behind a flap. There are four quick clamp connectors stand out. It allow a magnetic or mechanical polarizer to be controlled. The XENA 1800 HDU come with two way DiSEqC, a corresponding motor can be driven to up to 50 satellites positions. The IF is looped through. Three scart connectors allow the receiver to be connected to a TV, a VCR and a third external device. There is also a S-VHs video output plus a digital audio output for good and high reception of the picture. If you are not interested in a digital audio, you can simply connect the receiver to a stereo system using the two analogue audio outputs. There is also a port 1 and a port 2 like a PC. Here you can upload a new receiver software or connect a modem. It has also the dedicated main power switch, so that if needed, it would not be necessary to reach behind the cabinet to try and find that elusive power plug.

One programme can be re recorded while watching another pre-recorded programme, but not another live programme. The time shift function is a unique one. If you are going to disturb in the middle of a programme, a simple push of a button starts recording the programme you were watching. At the end you may watch the programme from the point of interruption. Similar to a VCR, there are fast forward, remind and pause functions. The hard drive itself hardly makes any noise while it is running. The remote control sits well in hand, there is also a set of motor control buttons. With the freeze function, you can freeze the video of the current channel. The zoom function is a nice one.

XENA 1800 (HDU) has a comprehensive user manual. It has all the detailed information and graphics. You may communicate with the receiver in English, German, French and Spanish. You can also add you own geographical conditions in a system menu. The receiver calculates the azimuth and elevation values for all the activated satellites. The LNB protection system is nice when the antenna type is selected in the menu, it is displayed on the screen in a high resolution graphic. Signal strength and quality information is also displayed. Once the desired satellites have been selected and the LNB’s are properly configured, the automatic channel scan is started. Symbol rates is also a plus point. Five symbol rates can be selected for scanning. It is specially for those unidentified weak signals who have low symbol rates. All the parameters of the current transponder are displayed during a search routine. New channels scan will take your little time.

There is also a PID information, language, teletext EPG and encryption data is also provided. With the help of edit menu, you can easily delete or move channels. You can made a separate list of popular channels in one of six different favourites lists.

It has a fast switching between channels. The electronic programme guide provides information up to seven days in advance. The digital receiver will really suite your room and you will be satisfied. Its fast channel searching made everything easy for you. Model : Aston XENA 1800 HDU Function : Digital Satellite Receiver Satellites : 50 SCPC Compatible : Yes Ku/C-Band : Yes DiSEqC : 1.2 and 2.3 S-VHS Output : Yes Teletext : Yes EPG : Yes NTSC : No



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