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Test Report for Dreambox DM-8000 HD PVR

Dreambox DM-8000 HD PVR

This is the long-awaited high definition PVR. This PVR supports pluggable tuner modules. In addition to High Definition, it has also a DVD drive and USB 2.0.

The Linux-based software used by Dreambox was originally developed for DBox2, by the Tuxbox project. The Dreambox shares the basic design of the DBox2, including the Ethernet port and the PowerPC processor.

The front panel is occupied by the window display. There are three buttons on the front panel. There is also a smartcard Reader slot on the front panel. The smart card reader accept firecrypt and dreamcrypt.

The rear panel is equipped with two scart connectors, USB slot, S/PDIF, S-Video, serial interface RS-232 for updating a software, DVI output and digital audio output and a power button. The remote control presents a very pleasant look. The well-written user manual comes with numerous pictures written in English. There are four common interface, two are in front and other two are in the back where you can use Irdeto and Seca and Nagra and any encryption needed.

The Dreambox DM 8000 HD PVR has a 400 MHz MIPS Processor, and come with 2 slots and 2 integrated card readers. It also have an internal DVD drive (recordable) and space for an HDD of between 80 and 300 GB. It may be that the HDD is on some kind of removable caddy system.

The DM 8000 HD PVR supports multiple HDTV standards, including MPEG4/H.264 - that to be implemented by Sky. An improved power supply unit is included which will finally solve all previous PSU-related problems for good clap. A USB 2 port is also included as well as the standard RS232 serial port and Fast Ethernet port. It looks like the front of the box will house a multi-function (10) card reader so that you can easily load/access data, photos, mp3 etc. The LCD display has increased in size to 3,5x 5.5 cm.

Naturally Linux is still the operating system, however it will be packaged in an 'easier to use form'. We can only guess that means a complete re-write of Enigma.

Especially important with Dreambox DM 8000 that will most likely be used with LCD or plasma TV's, is naturally the HDMI output and above all the video format to be used.

German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch and Polish, Finnish and Hungarian languages are available for communication. It also has an optical digital output for sound, which will give good quality stereo should you have an amplifier or speaker system that can accept it. Finally, there's a USB port on the back that allows the box to be connected to a computer.

In addition to DiSEqC 1.0, access to multiple satellite positions can also be accomplished with DiSEqC 1.1 for up to 16 LNBs as well as the motor control protocols DiSEqC 1.2 and 1.3 (USALS).

Dreambox DM 8000 HD PVR is designed with the 16:9 and 4:3 video format in mind. Dreambox DM 8000 HD PVR have automatic scan, manual and other expanded scanning modes are also available whereby the latter lets you enter not only the frequency, symbolrate, polarization and modulation, but also the correct PIDs.

Scanning for channels themselves is nice and fast with a full scan. Once the channels are in memory, a good selection of functions are present to allow further editing and sorting.

A nice touch is the “zoom” function, where the channel list can be switched between filling the whole screen or just a part of the left-hand side, so that the TV picture can be seen at the same time. Everyday channel-surfing is fast, and thanks to the good widescreen implementation, mostly painless.

By pressing the info button in TV mode, you are supplied with detailed information about the current show and by pressing the right button afterwards about the next show. The Multi-EPG will be displayed according to your set time and date. With the help of a timer, you can record shows. You are offered two different ways to programme a timer, the manual way and via the EPG. An ongoing recording is indicated by a flashing symbol in the info bar. During a recording, you can watch another service, view a previously record movie or add an additional recording. The number of recordings depends on the number of services residing on a transponder. It is possible to make up to four simultaneous SDTV or two HDTV recordings.

On the plus side however, good picture performance, ease of picture size and shape adjustment with dedicated buttons and CI slots, for an everyday PVR it should do the job just fine.



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