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Satellite Receiver TEST REPORT

Pixx Event
Twin tuner PVR with
CI slots and Blind Scan
The first Blind Scan receivers introduced a couple of years ago were very basic boxes, and a DVD player. The user manual contains
because this new feature was enough to make them appealing for the DXer. In parallel, there the codes to emulate hundreds of different
were receivers designed for common end users with PVR functions, CI slot, easiness of use brands.
and so on.

Today, these two lines of products are with corresponding looped-through outputs, Installation
becoming convergent so that every user can two Scart connectors for TV and VCR, three The user manual, unfortunately avail-
take advantage of the Blind Scan feature not RCA jacks for analog audio and video out- able in German only, contains very detailed
only to search for exotic signals, but simply to puts and a fourth RCA for the programmable instructions with pictures for connecting
keep his receiver up-to-date without having 0/12 volt output. For a better video and audio the Pixx Event receiver to TV, VCR, satellite
to enter new transponders data either manu- quality a S-Video connector and an optical dishes and terrestrial antenna. At the first
ally or connecting to a PC. The digital satel- S/PDIF output are available too. Via the RS- activation of the box, the user can choose
lite receiver Pixx Event introduced here is an 232 interface new software can be uploaded the language for the menu among English,
example of a complete box: twin tuner PVR either from a PC or from another receiver. German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Turk-
with Blind Scan feature and 2 CI slots for Pay- The PC can also be reached via the USB 2.0 ish, Arabic and Russian. Then, the Main
TV reception. port. The UHF modulator output with the cor- menu is displayed and the user is expected
responding terrestrial antenna input com- to select the Installation menu and the
The standard size silver colored cabinet pletes the well equipped rear panel. Antenna Setup. Here, each different satellite
looks very elegant. In the middle of the front that can be received must be activated and
panel the green display shows either the cur- The silver colored remote control is light all the antenna parameters for its reception
rent time or the active channel. The good and comfortable to hold in hand, but there can be entered.
news is that this receiver is able to store up are too many buttons and most of them are On the right of the screen two graph bars
to 10000 TV and radio channels. Below the too small. Except for the arrows keys, the OK show signal strength and quality for the first
display a long flap protects the 2 CI slots for button among them and the on/off button transponder of the satellite being setup, but
pay-tv reception. On the left, three buttons that lights up every time a command is trans- a different reference transponder can be
and a round shaped one with the four arrows mitted, all the other keys are almost unrec- selected. A test tone to help the dish align-
allow also the complete programming of the ognizable in the dark, especially those for the ment without having to watch the TV screen
receiver, except when a number (frequency, HDD control that are very small and too close can be activated pressing the green button
symbolrate, etc.) has to be entered. to each other. However, the remote can be on the remote.
The stand-by on/off button is located near programmed to control also a TV-set, a VCR
the display, while the main power If a DiSEqC motor is in use, a
supply switch can be found on the specific submenu allows to enter
back panel. Here is also a full set of all the necessary parameters
connections: two satellite IF inputs and to control the motor. Unfor-

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TEST REPORT Satellite Receiver

bolrate and/or PID rate as low as 1.320 Ms/sec. Performing an


codes. The signal Advanced Scan with these exact parameters,
bars on the right the receiver found the Mosaique channel and
allow to verify if had no problem in keeping it locked, so we
there is a signal lock can confirm the manufacturer specification
before starting the of the symbolrate range 1-45 Ms/sec.
search. It would be Unfortunately, the channel switching time
nice to be able to use is not very fast at about 1 second (a little
right and left buttons to increase/decrease more for different transponders and scram-
the frequency by 1 Mhz instead of having to bled channels). A very long interval is also
key in all the 5 figures. required for switching between different
audio subcarrieres.
The last option is the Smart Search, that is
tunately, some of the 54 preprogrammed
satellites are associated to a fixed DiSEqC
how the Pixx Event names the feature more
often known as Blind Scan. After selecting Hard Disk
position between 0 and 26, while user entered
satellites can be assigned a position from 27
the satellite, the user can choose to scan
both polarizations or one only, and whether operation
up to 49. This is a problem because the user to perform a search for all symbolrates, only The unit we got for our tests didn't come
could have different positions stored in his symbolrate less than 5.6 Ms/sec or only with the hard disk installed, so we mounted a
motor and there is no way to change prede- those above 5.6 Ms/sec. This threshold value standard 80 GB EIDE disk using the flat cable
fined positions in the menu. The only solu- let a doubt raise: if I'm looking for feed sig- and the four screws included in the package.
tion would be to rename existing satellites so nals, which often has a symbolrate of 5632, We recommend to let your dealer to install
that mandatory positions match those stored which option should I choose? No problem, the hard disk because opening the receiver
in the motor, delete their preprogrammed they are found in all cases regardless of the usually voids the warranty. Furthermore, the
transponders and then use the blind scan to selected option. Unfortunately, it's not pos- user manual doesn't contain specific instruc-
search for actual frequencies and channels. sible to limit the scan within a frequency tions even if this is not different than install-
Fortunately, USALS motor owners don't have range. ing a hard disk into a PC.
to worry about this issue because the USALS
protocol uses the satellite relative azimuth We performed a Smart Search at the The Pixx Event is able to record two pro-
instead of fixed stored positions. Hotbird position selecting both polariza- grams at the same time as well as to record a
A separate menu called User Setup allows tions and symbolrate above 5.6 Ms/sec channel while playing a previously recorded
to enter all parameters for the connected since these satellites host nearly no SCPC program. Using the PIP (Picture in Picture)
equipment. A good idea is the warning mes- signals. After almost 10 minutes the screen feature, it's possible to control what is being
sage that pops up if the user selects NTSC listed 93 transponders, 6 of them not previ- recorded while watching a different live pro-
output: “NTSC is the American type. Choos- ously stored in the database. A second test gram. Up to 60 recordings can be scheduled
ing it will create a picture rolling problem was performed on the PAS 12 satellite (still either manually or from the EPG. Stored pro-
when using European PAL TV type set. Select named as Eurostar 1 in the receiver menu) grams can be edited to cut off unwanted por-
NTSC TV type ONLY in the area where this TV at 45° East. According to the coverage map, tions at the beginning and at the end of the
type is used”. To confirm this choice the PIN at our location we can receive only vertical recording. Unfortunately, we didn't manage
is required. transponders, so we selected this option to cut off commercials from the middle of a
together with ALL symbolrates. In 7 minutes movie.

Channel the Pixx Event managed to find almost all


frequencies listed by SatcoDX, except the Like every PVR receiver, there is also the

scan and most difficult one: 11627 V with a symbol- Time Shift function, but its behavior is some-

management
The channel scan can be setup to search for
FTA-only-channels, Scrambled-only, FTA +
Scrambled or FTA + Scrambled + Data chan-
nels. This setting is not remembered each
time the scan is started. There are several
scan mode available: Satellite scan, Network
Scan, Transponder Scan, Advanced Scan and
Smart Search. The first three modes use
the transponder data already stored in the
receiver memory. A Satellite Scan for FTA-
only-channels over 101 transponders of the
Hotbird satellites fleet took around 8 min-
utes and found 786 TV and radio channels.
During the scan signal level and quality for
each scanned TP are shown and the chan-
nels detected are separated between TV and
radio lists.

The Advanced Scan allows the user to


choose among stored transponder as well
as to enter a new frequency with its sym-

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how different than usual. It doesn't need to Connecting the receiver to a PC via the be in use either by the receiver or by the
be activated by the user pressing the Pause USB port, the hard disk is visible from PC, but not by both of them at the same
button, because the Pixx Event always starts the PC as a removable storage device in time.
to record the current channel after a few sec- the Windows Explorer (Windows 2000 or
onds of watching. So, it's always possible to later required). With usual drag & drop a Other features include a built-in teletext
jump back and forth, to watch in both direc- new firmware version can be uploaded into decoder, a MP3 player and the multipicture
tions at increased or reduced speed and to a specific directory of the hard disk from features. It shows on the screen 4, 9 or 16
pause within the recorded section. Pressing where the receiver will read and install it. different channels, but it's very slow to acti-
the stop button you are back at the live pro- In the same way, stored recordings as well vate (40 seconds to show 16 pictures) and of
gram (either in full screen or in PIP mode), as MP3 songs can be copied from/to the PC. course only the selected one is advancing,
while the receiver continues to record it in The only drawback is that the hard disk can while all the others are freezed.
the background.

It's a very good solution that allows in


Expert conclusion
every moment to watch again an important
scene that has been missed for any reason. +
The Pixx Event is a really complete receiver, suitable both for the
It's important to remember that this is not
DXer with its powerful features and for the family usage thanks to its
a standard recording, but it's stored in a
easy operation. We appreciate the way the Time-Shift function has
reserved portion of the hard disk that can be
been designed and the accuracy of the Blind Scan feature. A positive
up to 10% of its size and it's deleted as soon
point is the absence of unnecessary frills such as videogames. Alberto Boselli
as a different channel is selected to start the

-
TELE-satellite
whole process again. Of course, pressing Test Center
Italy
the REC button the current channel can be
The remote control has too many and very small buttons. The channel switching
recorded (and the recording is kept) in the time is somehow slow.
standard way.

www.TELE-satellite.com — TELE-satellite International


TEST REPORT Satellite Receiver Info-Box

Main menu

Pixx Event
Digital Twin Tuner with
2 CI and Blind Scan
TECHNICAL Distributor WISAT GmbH Sat-Grosshandel
Bürgermeister-Berger-Str. 6 a
DATA
92436 Bruck – Germany Smart Search (Blind Scan)
Internet http://www.wisat-gmbh.de/
Phone +49 09434 202913
Fax +49 09434 202929
E-mail info@wisat-gmbh.de
Model Pixx Event
Function Digital Twin Tuner PVR
with 2 CI and Blind Scan
Channel Memory 10000
Satellites 54 + others
Symbolrate 1-45 Ms/sec
DiSEqC 1.0 / 1.2
Info Box
USALS yes
Programmable 0/12 V output yes
Scart Connectors 2
Video/Stereo Audio Output yes
Digital Audio Output yes (optical)
Color System PAL / NTSC
S-VHS Output yes
Modulator yes, UHF
PAL/NTSC compatible yes
C/Ku-Band compatible yes
SPCS compatible yes
EPG yes EPG
Teletext yes
USB 2.0 Connector yes
Picture-in-Picture yes
Multipicture yes (4 – 9 – 16)
Power Supply 90-250 VAC – 50/60 Hz
Power Consumption Max 55 Watts
Standby Consumption Less than 8 Watts

Features
TEST
RESULT

NTSC Warning
Channel Memory

Channel
Scan Speed

Channel
INTERNATIONAL

Switching Speed
SATELLITE

Video Quality

Audio Quality

TELE
HDD Interface
Tuner Sensitivity

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