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Test Report for SAMSAT S 1200


SAMSAT is the world's leading satellite receivers manufacturers and a leading supplier of digital satellite receivers for the world market. The SAMSAT S 1200 receiver provides digital free-to-air & Card Based satellite reception for the Asian market. This new box provide the freedom to discover, enjoy, create and share the things that matter, all in one device. This latest model from the well known manufacturer has been introduced to the market very recently and has also arrived at the test labs.

Unlike the majority of today’s digital PVR, SAMSAT S 1200 is unique for time being, is the double tuner.

After unpacking, we discovered a full sized unit of an elegant sober design in metallic grey colour. On the front, you see different buttons. These buttons control the whole commands of the box, incase remote control is missing.

The rear panel is even more surprising: Besides the classical two Scarts, the RCA analogue outputs for stereo and video and a serial interface, you will discover two sets of LNB in/outputs for the 2 tuners, a UHF modulator, an optical digital audio output, a USB and an Ethernet interface and even a power switch. The remote control is rather small for the considerable amount of functions it has to command on a PVR receiver and people who use glasses for reading will certainly need them for this remote. The overall workmanship of this receiver makes a very solid and visually appealing impression.

After the external appreciation, let’s now take a closer look on the features of the SAMSAT S 1200. The channel memory allows up to 4000 TV and Radio channels to be stored, which is very convenient since the SAMSAT S 1200 implements the DiSEqC 1.0, 2.0 and 1.3 or USALS protocols. The TV output signal can be configured RGB, CVBS or YUV. Since this receiver has two tuners, we decided to connect the first tuner to an antenna on a Stab USALS motor and looped the signal trough to the second tuner.

The next step is somehow unusual since each satellite the user would like to access, has to be installed in the tuner menu as a different LNB (i. e. one for Hotbird, another for Astra etc.), and here again each of these LNBs has to be assigned the appropriate DiSEqC protocol, in our case USALS. While each satellite/LNB is assigned, the signal strength and it’s quality are displayed on the menu page. The next step is to scan these satellites. The scan is fast. The satellite fans who decide to look for new channels will certainly know in advance the frequencies and could enter them manually to memorize this very particular station they are looking for. Even better, the transponder list can be edited.

After the scan, you always end up with an almost endless list of TV and radio stations. Many of them will either be scrambled or not interesting for the one or the other particular user. Now that all these preliminaries have been dealt with, the next step would be to sit back and start watching your favourite channels.

The switching from one channel to another is immediate, even on scrambled channels, the picture quality is flawless.

The user interface of the SAMSAT S 1200 receiver is simply exemplary – they could not have done it any better in terms of ease of use and clarity. The channel list is very cleverly arranged as well, with four areas and two columns, so that channels of a specific satellite, of the favourite list or pay TV channels (sorted according to CAS) can be displayed at a touch of the remote control.

Owning a PVR with a double tuner is factually a challenge for the user not to miss any of his favourite transmissions. The SAMSAT doesn’t deceive here, neither. Just press the Record button while you watch a movie and it will be stored on the hard disk. Another way to achieve a recording is via the EPG, in this case the receiver inserts a “reservation” time before and after the programmed recording to allow for any changes in the schedule.

Last but not least, thanks to the double tuner, a second simultaneous recording can be started manually or programmed in the EPG.

The time shift function is available too. All these recordings on the hard disk can be downloaded to a PC where in a first pass they will have to be transformed into MPEG format and then edited with your preferred edition software. Despite all this, the SAMSAT S 1200 remains a well thought-out receiver for the whole family with a very stable operation. During our test, we never experienced any lock-ups, even after an intensive use.



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