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Test Report for Metabox HD Combo CI

Metabox HD Combo CI

The Metabox HD Combo CI of Korean manufacturer Metamultimedia is a new innovation. There are two scart euro connectors, a total of six RCA jacks for composite video, stereo audio and YUV, as well as an optical digital audio output on the rear penal. The HDMI interface that is also located on the back panel makes sure digital video and audio are transmitted free of loss. The remote control which sits pleasantly in your hand and boasts clearly labeled buttons which can be reached quite easily and have a nice feel to them.

English, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, Italian and Farsi are available for communication. Once the receiver knows how to communicate with you it swiftly moves you to the main menu which cannot be left until a channel scan has been performed.

In the Installation sub-menu we first have to decide which of the two tuners has to be configured. Choosing DVB-S/DVB-S2 a list of 57 pre-stored satellites is made available, and the Metabox has no issues with addressing more then one satellite positions as it features DiSEqC 1.0 for up to four stationary LNBs and DiSEqC 1.2 and/or 1.2 (USALS) for rotating antennas. The only protocol missing is DiSEqC 1.1, which means owners of large multi-feed antennas are left in the rain for the time being. There are pre-programmed settings for several types of LNBs which means almost any reception equipment will be set up and working with this box in next to no time. Should you require more exotic frequency settings you can always enter these manually.

Both satellite and transponder data can be edited in a dedicated sub-menu at any time and without a lot of hassle. Contrary to many other manufacturers Metamultimedia offers a cleverly designed solution for that even below the surface, when you go into more detail. The Metabox boasts a 10,000-channel memory which can be filled using either an automatic or a manual signal scan. Owners of dishes with a DiSEqC motor installed will particularly appreciate that up to ten satellite positions can be marked before the actual scan begins. This is a feature that can save a lot of time if you have a rotating dish. Looking for digital terrestrial channels requires even less patience and expertise. Simply choose whether you want to perform an automatic or a manual scan and that's it. An automatic scan will check the UHF frequency band that has been defined prior to starting the scan. If the attached terrestrial antenna has a built-in amplifier the receiver can be set to provide a 5-Volt power supply directly over the signal cable. In order to organise the usual chaos that prevails after an initial scan the Metabox HD Combo CI offers a whole range of sorting and editing functions, such as sorting the channels according to alphabet, satellite, transponder, encryption system, child lock or S-ID.

You can either call up details for each single channel or an overview of five channel sat a time. If you press the OK button the channel list is displayed as expected, but even here Metamultimedia has gone beyond the conventional and offers a virtual keyboard which pops up when you press the green button on the remote. Simply key in the name of a channel you're looking for and the box will call up this particular channel if it's in the overall channel list. The time it takes the HD Combo CI to switch from one channel to the next is a little more than one second, which we feel is fine.

Usability of the Metabox HD Combo CI is brilliant with all the features already mentioned above. But there are even more nice little amenities that add up to move this receiver right to the best of the pack: NVOD support, language and subtitle selection or multi-picture mode for displaying up to 16 channels at the same time.

Software updates are avail-able at regular intervals as the manufacturer is striving to constantly improve its products.



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