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Test Report for Space S9 HD PVR

Space S9 HD PVR


Space is a new arrival at Dish Channels technical centre. The black S9 HD PVR manufactured by Space comes with all the usual outputs expected from a high definition receiver. HDMI, USB and RCA jacks are available. Picture quality through HDMI and component are as excellent as you'd expect from high definition and when an HD resolution is chosen, standard resolution broadcasts are upscaled.

The front panel display of Space S9 HD PVR will really surprise you. It is designed very pleasantly. There are few buttons for controlling the receiver without a remote control.

The single USB port is located on the side of the receiver, near the front. This is a good halfway house between a hard to reach port on the back if you're connecting and reconnecting often or an obtrusive cable sticking out of the front if you have a permanently connected hard drive. Switching on the receiver gives the first pleasant surprises. There's no wait forsoftware to boot up, no pretty logo to sit through for those impatient seconds that last forever when you know the show you want to see is already starting. As soon as the power button is pressed, we're up and running and this speed is echoed throughout the whole machine. There's no delay from pressing a button to the action happening on screen. Switching between channels and navigation o the menus is nice and quick. It's a real pleasure not to have to wait at all.


Space S9 HD PVR supports DiSEqC 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and USALS protocols. This HD receiver has the facility to store 5000 TV and radio channels.

Scanning for channels is always the most tedious part of setting a receiver up, there's no getting away from it. Space S9 HD PVR have done well though and the menu clarity continues into this step. Once the satellites we want to scan are set, the Multisat search will search each one in turn – either for all channels or just free-to-air. As always, the channels found in the multisat scan, or the single satellite scan, depend on the transponders that are pre-programmed into the receiver, have been added though using the network search option or input manually.

For the viewer who needs to get everything though, a blind search is also available. Once the channels are in memory, a comprehensive editing section allows them to be sorted, renamed, deleted, moved or added to one of the favourites lists. Navigating the large number of channels in the receiver after scanning continues the fast and logical feel of the setup menus. The main navigation buttons on the remote are large and well-spaced. A nice option is a dedicated USB button on the remote control.


The recording functions are best accessed via the EPG. Here again, some good design has been used, navigation is easy and intuitive. Two views can be chosen – the traditional grid, or a list of all programmes on a single channel. This comes into its own in places like ASTRA 1, where a full set of EPG information is available. It's such a pity that even now in the age of the PVR that so many channels still only transmit the data for the current and next programmes. The timer entries can be edited to run daily or weekly which helps a little, but just seven available timer slots are simply inadequate for life in today's multi-channel world. Channels can by sorted by HD/SD, FTA, CAS and Alphabetic order.

Recordings are stored as the programme name with the time appended, with the date in the next column. Time-shifting is also present – this can be turned on permanently in the setup menus, or accessed as required by pressing the pause button.



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