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Test Report for Star Track HD 7000 2CI

Star Track HD 7000 2CI

Star Track introduces an excellent new HD receiver. This HD product, via a USB 2 connection, allows the footage to be recorded onto an external stand alone-hard drive. High quality built-in. "Freeview" terrestrial tuner with upscaling.

Star Track HD 7000 2CI HDTV Satellite Receiver has the capacity to store 4000 TV and Radio channels. Unlimited satellites are available from worldwide. HD 7000 2CI supports DiSEqC 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and the most user-friendly USALS Protocols.

Thanks to the latest MPEG-4 technology and improved DVB-S2 reception, the HD 7000 2CI is set for the standards of the future while still serving the classical SDTV (PAL) standard. With the HD 7000 2CI, you can enjoy crystal-clear pictures tomorrow without having to give up your favourite programmes today.

HD 7000 2CI tuners will appeal primarily to owners of HDTV-ready TVs who want to take advantage of high-def local broadcasts. Its price is low enough, however, to attract a few owners of analog sets who want to check out digital broadcasts but don't want to invest in an HDTV just yet.

HD 7000 2CI back panel is packed with a full arsenal of jacks. HD video is available from component, VGA-style RGB, and HDMI outputs, while coaxial and optical ports deliver digital audio. Older TVs, meanwhile, can make use of the composite and S-Video connectors, as well as the twin analog audio outs. Significantly, the analog video and audio outs remain active no matter what HD output the resolution is set for-- component or RGB/HDMI. That means you can be watching Lost in 720p high-def resolution on your HD monitor while simultaneously recording it in standard definition on a VCR, a DVD recorder. The HD 7000 2CI also features an RS-232C port, so it can be controlled from external devices (for advanced home-automation installs or switching channels during timer recordings, for instance).

The HD 7000 2CI is no harder to set up than a standard DVD player. In addition to making the requisite connections from the box to our TV and our A/V receiver, we screwed a small indoor antenna to the RF connector on the rear panel. The HD 7000 2CI offered a guided setup mode that walked us through a series of simple menus. The mode ends by quickly scanning the wireless spectrum for any and all digital TV channels in the area and adding them to the lineup.

Minutes afterward, we were up and running, flipping through a variety of digital programming from the basketball playoffs. We compared the sumptuous high-def picture of the game on CBS to the same programme on our cable system's HD feed; the over-the-air picture delivered by the HD 7000 2CI was just as good, if not better, than the cable version.

The HD 7000 2CI has another trick up its sleeve in the form of a rudimentary electronic programming guide (EPG). Yes, its level of detail varies from station to station and the guide extends only a few hours into the future--but for a freebie, it isn't half bad.

With its easy setup and near-universal TV compatibility, the HD 7000 2CI has a lot to offer, especially for DTV newcomers, but there are a few shortfalls that may irk enthusiasts. A rear-panel toggle switch limits HD output to the component outputs or the RGB/HDMI out, but not both simultaneously. And the resolution through those connections must be locked in through a button on the front panel, not the remote. Furthermore, there's no option to pass the native resolutions of each station. That means you're stuck relying on the HD 7000 2CI ability to process the video, rather than off-loading the duties to your HD monitor--even though the monitor probably has a better video processor.

HD 7000 2CI is an impressive little digital tuner that offers remarkable bang for the buck. If you're looking to add HD programming to a tunerless plasma display, a PC monitor, or even just an old bedroom TV, the HD 7000 2CI is a capable and easy-to-use way to do it.



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