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Test Report for DRAKE 5500 Full HD

DRAKE 5500 Full HD

The US Company of Drake has recently put a new receiver onto the market. It is 5500 Full High Definition Receiver. DRAKE becomes one of attractive receivers which is able to reproduce full 1080p contents. As everybody knows, Full HD picture is much more clean and clear, showing to your eye more details, and more relaxing for your eyes. Enter the Full HD world with DRAKE 5500 Full HD Digital Satellite Receiver and enjoy more unlimited channels.

The front panel contains power, menu, OK and the set of buttons control channel and volume. A crisp text display shows the name and number of the channel being received, or the clock in standby. In standby mode, the button lights are still on, joined by the matching red glow of the on/standby button.

The rear panel is equipped with two scart connectors, RCA jacks, Serial interface RS-232 for uploading a new software, S/PDIF, HDMI out put, USB port connectivity out put, WLAN and a power switch for turning on and off the receiver completely.

For recording purposes, the VCR Scart always outputs in standard definition, so even HD channels can be easily recorded to DVD or videotape if required. The TV Scart can be set to use component video, so if your TV can handle such signals and only has a Scart connection available, you can still get HD resolution. HDMI, the standard connection for HD is also present along with component video RCA jacks.

Whilst the type of connection in use can be switched between RGB, Composite, or Component in the menus, a dedicated button on the remote sets the screen resolution. Available resolutions range from 480p up to 1080i. This gives an extra use for the permanently standard definition VCR Scart, and this cured my initial confusion. You can use this as a backup when finding the correct resolution for your TV. The picture quality of HD is, as you’d expect, superb. The quality increase though between this and HD delivered via component is amazing, and makes the usual picture look quite fuzzy by comparison. So much for RGB then! Audio output is available via the traditional RCA connectors, or a S/PDIF digital optical output.

The receiver’s menus are clear, simple, and logically laid out. Choice of language is very good and different languages are available for communication.

The installation menu will greet you as soon as you will turn the receiver on for the first time. DiSEqC 1.2 and USALS are included to give easy control of a DiSEqC motor for multi-satellite users. DiSEqC switches are also supported and all necessary LNB parameters are editable, so most setups will be easily catered for.

Channel scanning is well-thought out. All transponders can be scanned, or just a single one. Channels can be searched through Auto Search, Advanced Search and Blind Search. Searching is quite fast with DRAKE 5500 Full HD Receiver. After the scan is complete, the list of found channels can be edited before they are committed to the receiver’s memory.

All the editing, sorting and filtering functions we need are available, and are easy and intuitive to use. Favourites lists can be set up, and adding to these is easy too. A second window appears next to the channel list ready for channels to be copied into it. This can then be switched to, allowing arranging and editing in the same way as the main list.

Once we have our lists set up, finally we can sit back and watch some TV, and everyday viewing is helped by some good design here too. The main channel list can be sorted or filtered alphabetically.

The DRAKE 5500 Full HD EPG is also clear and easy to use, bearing in mind the limitations of the usual now/next data transmitted. Buttons are available to scroll forward and back by 24 hours, so perhaps in some places it can find further programme information. The EPG links to the receiver’s event timer, where sleep and wake-up options are available in addition to the usual function of changing to the required channel at the preset time.

The menus are logical, the on-screen displays are clear and helpful. The remote is well laid-out and matches the receiver’s beautiful black and silver looks.

DRAKE 5500 Full HD is an easy-to-use receiver. A push of the OK button blends in the channel list and that can then be sorted and filtered to various criteria using the colored function buttons on the remote control. In normal operation the currently running program is recorded in the background so that it can be paused or replayed at any time.

If the telephone should ring while you’re comfortably watching a program, a simple push of a button pauses the program. As soon as you are finished with your telephone conversation, the program can be restarted without you having missed a single second of that action movie or your favorite TV series. The Time Shift function makes it possible.

Just one single click of the button with a red circle on the remote, and your favorite show is marked for recording. This is where the wonderful PVR comes into sight.

From the hardware point of view 5500 Full HD leaves anything to be desired. All needed connectors, possibility to switch tuners as plug-and-play, ability to receive DVB-S and DVB-S2, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, HDTV and SDTV. You can even copy all your favorite films, music files and photos to its hard disk.



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