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  1. 1. TEST REPORT HDTV PC Receiver TechnoTrend S2-3650CI Handy HDTV-CI Receiver for Your PC 10-11/2007 TECHNOTREND S2-3650CI HDTV Reception with Many Features for Little Money The German company TechnoTrend has for some time now been working on HDTV solutions for your PC or laptop. Since many PC’s have problems with avail- able card slots, TechnoTrend decided to design an external box that is easily con- nected to your PC or laptop through the USB 2.0 interface. Incorporating a USB 2.0 checking out Irdeto, Alphacrypt, definite possibility. The included Some extra points were awarded interface was not an arbitrary Conax and Viaccess modules, 48-page user manual provides here. choice; this type of connec- we also confirmed that a Crypto- detailed instructions on how tion has established itself as a works module was just as easily to use their own “TechnoTrend TechnoTrend recommends standard that can be found on recognized. PayTV reception is Media Center” software. using an Intel Pentium 733 MHz most modern PCs and laptops therefore not a problem at all. PC for normal DVB-S. For DVB- today. There’s also a nice little Thanks to the USB connec- S2 it should be at least a 3.4 side-effect: thanks to the com- On the back can be found an IF tion, installation is a piece of GHz Pentium 4 or AMD 3500+/ puting power that comes with input, a USB connection as well cake. We also appreciated the Dualcore along with a powerful a PC, TechnoTrend can offer its as a connection for the external overall mechanical quality of the graphics card such as the ATI little HDTV receiver box for an 12V power supply. box; no plastic parts were used. X1800/X1900 or NVidia 6600GT/ unbeatable price. This left us with a very positive 7600GT. The PC itself must also The included remote control impression. be operating under Windows XP On the front side of the S2- sits nicely in your hand although or Vista. 3650CI box that is only 15x10x3 the buttons themselves are Everyday Use cm in size can be found a CI rather small; unless you have The included software is module slot for reception of smaller fingers, pressing two divided into two sections: the any PayTV form. In addition to buttons at the same time is a The installation of the S2- TechnoTrend Media Center 3650CI box and its accompa- software for TV reception and nying software is plug&play a tool for accessing data ser- compatible. After connecting vices such as Internet via sat- the box to a PC, the hardware ellite. The Media Center comes is automatically recognized by preprogrammed with a nearly Windows at which point it asks complete channel list from the for the driver CD. popular European ASTRA 19.2° east orbital position. The entire Once installed, the only channel list is sorted by provider remaining step is to set up the making it easy to find the chan- “TechnoTrend Media Center”. It nel you want. isn’t even necessary to restart the PC; the box can be used If you want to receive other immediately. We also had no satellite besides ASTRA, this trouble setting up this box on a can be handled via the Channel HDTV via ASTRA 19.2° east as an example 32-bit Windows Vista machine. Search menu. More than 90 22 TELE-satellite & Broadband — 10-1 1/2007 —
  2. 2. European, Asian and American is also offered. In this mode satellites are preprogrammed the software displays the EPG with up-to-date data; this helps data of all previously defined to make channel scanning fun channels next to each other in again. It is also just as easy to an organized way so that, for expand or edit the transponder example, with a single glance data. you can see what your favorite channels have in store for you in Even every possible local the evening. oscillator frequency (LOF) is freely selectable. If you’re sitting comfortably watching TV and the telephone In addition to a manual tran- rings or someone comes knock- sponder scan, an entire orbital ing at your door, the TimeShift position can be scanned auto- function lets you pause the pro- matically. An 80-transponder gram you are watching and pick satellite required about nine it up again at a later time. minutes for this task to be com- pleted. With the help of the Timer function, numerous programs The Media Center as a Jukebox – MP3 playback DiSEqC 1.0 is available for can be marked for recording; the control of up to four LNBs. weekly and daily timers are sup- Unfortunately, DiSEqC 1.1 for ported. Naturally, for record- the control of up to 16 LNBs is ings to take place the PC must currently not supported. At this be turned on; at the end of a point it should be mentioned that recording, the Media Center will an unlimited number of channels see to it that the PC is turned can be stored and thanks to its off. Of course a currently run- easy-to-understand presenta- ning program can be recorded tion and the Favorites lists, you at any time on the PC’s hard should never lose track of what drive. you have. We were quite pleased with The “main panel” of the Media the integrated teletext func- Center is divided into three sec- tion. In only a few seconds it tions. Thanks to the prepro- managed to download all of the grammed channel list, the user available pages making it possi- can jump right into TV viewing; ble to access any of those pages the first channel doesn’t need or sub-pages in those same few any more than two seconds to seconds. These pages can also HDTV via ASTRA 19.2° east in a window appear on the screen. be saved in HTML format on your PC. The channel switching time is actually quite good considering The TechnoTrend manufac- this is all happening through a tured tuner is quite sensitive PC. Switching between chan- and has no problems handling nels on the same transponder is small bandwidth SCPC signals. taken care of in just about one Our 1.6 Ms/sec test transpon- second; between two differ- der was no obstacle for the S2- ent transponders, the software 3650CI box; high symbolrates needs about two seconds. EPG also presented no difficulties. data can also be displayed as In addition to QPSK modula- long is this information is made tion (necessary for DVB), the available by the provider. Infor- box and software also supports mation on current and upcom- DVB-S2. Reception of the con- ing programs is displayed in a stantly increasing number of window near the bottom of the HDTV programs in MPEG4 using screen. the H264 standard is no longer a problem. The EPG in the S2-3650CI box might make some owners After checking out all of the EPG of standard set to boxes green basic functions, we naturally with envy. The software is able wanted to test its HDTV capabil- to read in all of the EPG data ities. It didn’t take long at all to only a few seconds after switch- find the FTA channels on ASTRA ing to a new channel. The user at 19.2° east and in just about can then take this data, includ- two seconds we were enjoying ing expanded EPG data, and the first channel in top-notch arrange it in a more easy-to- picture quality. read fashion with just the push of a button. Only in a direct comparison could we see what the difference A Channel Magazine function in HDTV quality meant. While 24 TELE-satellite & Broadband — 10-1 1/2007 —
  3. 3. TELE-satellite World Download this report in other languages from the Internet: Arabic ‫ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﺔ‬ Indonesian Indonesia Bulgarian Български SDTV channels hardly put any TV and work on your PC at the German Deutsch kind of load on the CPU of our same time. Video and audio English English Spanish Español Intel Core2 1.86 GHz machine, flowed smoothly with perfect French Français HDTV reception required much synchronization between the Greek Ελληνικά Croatian Hrvatski more CPU power. Our machine two at all times. Italian Italiano was able to handle this without Hungarian Magyar any problems; there were also If you happen to have an AC3 Mandarin 中文 Dutch Nederlands no negative effects to be seen or Dolby Digital stereo system Polish Polski on any of the other software linked with your PC, you can Russian Русский Turkish Türkçe programs that were running. It naturally also take advantage of is therefore possible to watch superior audio quality in addi- tion to a super-sharp picture. in the Media Center software it is possible to program all of the Contrary to some DVB-S2 buttons on the included remote set top boxes, the TechnoTrend control to whatever you need if Media Center has no trouble the default settings happen to handling BBC’s Sky Digital tran- not be good enough. In addition sponders on ASTRA 2D at 28.2° to TechoTrend’s Media Center east. software, a variety of other pro- grams are also made available In addition to TV reception, that can be used with this box. the Media Center can also play back videos from the PC in all And don’t worry; if you’re one the different formats. Thanks of those that simply can’t do to the integrated picture-in-pic- without ProgDVB, you can relax, ture function, the live TV picture this box also works nicely with can be displayed at the same this software. In the latest ver- time in a small window or vice- sion of ProgDVB, DVB-S2 sup- versa, the live picture in a large port was also implemented; the window and the video playback Media Center as tuning aid in Teletext in a small window. the background is now a thing of the past. Annoying commercials can be skipped over. Not only that, the A special note for DXer’s and software can also act as a juke- hobbyists: the TechnoTrend box and play back any music S2-3650CI box can, like many data format. This is all nicely other PC DVB-S solutions, also integrated into the channel list. handle MPEG 4:2:2 assuming of course that the proper Codec is Through its own menu page installed. Expert conclusion + The TechnoTrend S2-3650CI is a true alterna- tive to an HDTV set top box. You get quite a bit of power for not too much money. The included software functioned perfectly. TV Guide - Thomas Haring TELE-satellite Test Center An expansion of the DiSEqC protocol to 1.1 Austria would be nice to have. TECHNIC DATA Distributor DVB-Shop, Deutschland Tel. +49-34954/31960 Fax +49-34954/49233 Website E-Mail Model TechnoTrend S2-3650CI Function USB box for reception of DVB and DVB-S2 in SDTV/HDTV Channel Memory unlimited Satellites 93 Symbolrate 4-45 Ms/sec. SCPC Compatible yes (starting at 1.6 Ms/sec. in our test) USALS no DiSEqC 1.0 EPG yes C/Ku-Band Compatible: yes Picture in Picture — 10-1 1/2007 — TELE-satellite & Broadband 25