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  1. 1. TEST REPORT HDTV Satellite Receiver OPENSAT XT-9500 HD Designed for High Definition I’m one of those people who prefers The front panel contains an pay-TV modules and even a on/standby button, and the Smart card reader. Also under function over aesthetics – beauty is only vertical set of buttons control the flap is a USB socket, used to skin-deep after all. There’s no point in channel and volume. These light up in red when the unit upgrade the receiver’s firmware from a USB stick. something looking good if it doesn’t do is powered up, and they’re the job. But I have to admit, as soon quite bright too - almost too bright when watching TV in a Initial setup as the box was opened, I was seduced dark room. A crisp text display There’s plenty of options to choose from when it comes to shows the name and number of by the minimalist good looks of the the channel being received, or hook-up time. Two Scart sock- ets are available for TV and OPENSAT XT-9500 HD. This classy black the clock in standby. In standby mode, the button lights are still VCR. Helpfully for recording receiver from distributors ABC BIZNIZ of on, joined by the matching red purposes, the VCR Scart always glow of the on/standby button. outputs in standard definition, Slovakia boasts HD reception and good so even HD channels can be connection options at an attractive price, Under the flap on the front easily recorded to DVD or vide- panel we find two CI slots for otape if required. The TV Scart could we have both style and substance in a single package? 0.52 38 TELE-satellite & Broadband — 12-01/2009 —
  2. 2. TELE-satellite World Download this report in other languages from the Internet: Arabic ‫ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﺔ‬ Indonesian Indonesia Bulgarian Български Czech Česky can be set to use component up to 1080i. This gives an extra German Deutsch English English video, so if your TV can handle use for the permanently stand- Spanish Español such signals and only has a ard definition VCR Scart, and Farsi ‫ﻓﺎﺭﺳﻲ‬ French Français Scart connection available, this cured my initial confusion. Greek Ελληνικά you can still get HD resolution. You can use this as a backup Croatian Hrvatski Italian Italiano HDMI, the standard connection when finding the correct reso- Hungarian Magyar for HD is also present along with lution for your TV. Mandarin 中文 Dutch Nederlands component video RCA jacks. A Polish Polski composite video output is also If you end up with a scram- Portuguese Português Romanian Românesc available, but there’s no place bled picture in a resolution your Russian Русский in the modern world for our old TV does not support as I did, Swedish Svenska Turkish Türkçe friend the UHF antenna loop. you can switch over to the VCR Available online starting from 28 November 2008 Scart and still see the menu. I am somewhat unusual in Once I’d got it up to 1080i, I had having an old-tech CRT TV a perfect HD picture and could between this and HD delivered able increase in picture quality which can handle HD signals via say goodbye to the temporary via component is amazing, and and sharpness over the stand- a component input. After just a VCR Scart route. makes the usual picture look ard Scart, but of course it’s not few minutes of head-scratch- quite fuzzy by comparison. So close to the clarity of a true HD ing, I was viewing BBC HD from The picture quality of HD much for RGB then! broadcast. ASTRA 2. is, as you’d expect, superb. My usual everyday TV view- Sadly, we’re still in the early Audio output is available via Whilst the type of connection ing setup consists of stand- days of HD so there are few FTA the traditional RCA connec- in use can be switched between ard definition broadcasts via a channels to choose from. We tors, or a S/PDIF digital optical RGB, Composite, or Compo- Sky+ receiver, and I am usually can still get the benefits though, output. nent in the menus, a dedicated quite proud of the picture qual- as standard definition broad- button on the remote sets the ity from an RGB Scart connec- casts are upscaled when view- The receiver’s menus are screen resolution. Available tion with good quality cables. ing through component video or clear, simple, and logically laid resolutions range from 480p The quality increase though HDMI. This results in a notice- out. Choice of language is very 12-01/2009 OPENSAT XT-9500 HD Style and substance in a single package — 12-01/2009 — TELE-satellite & Broadband 39
  3. 3. is quite fast – an entire network betically, or by FTA/encryption scan of ASTRA 2 takes 16 min- status – and even filtered by utes to scan 83 transponders. just one encryption system if After the scan is complete, the more than one is in use - per- list of found channels can be haps useful if using more than edited before they are commit- one CAM. ted to the receiver’s memory. There’s no blind scan func- The best feature relating to tion, but as this is a receiver channel lists though is perhaps designed to be used to watch the most obvious, yet so often standard TV rather than search forgotten when receivers are for unusual channels, it doesn’t designed. The receiver remem- really feel like it is missing. bers which favourites list is in use, or what type of filter you With the channels safely in have applied, until you decide memory, we get to the further to choose a new one. This alone editing of the list to suit our makes the receiver so much individual preferences. This is nicer to use on a regular basis never much of a pleasurable than so many others I’ve used good, with 18 languages avail- also supported and all neces- experience, but the XT-9500 in the past. able. Most major European lan- sary LNB parameters are edit- does a good job here of making guages are covered plus Arabic able, so most setups will be it easier than most. One possible criticism how- and Persian, and those in East- easily catered for. ern Europe will be pleased to ever is that the channels keep All the editing, sorting and their original numbers even see Czech, Slovak, Slovenian Channel scanning is well- filtering functions we need are when a favourites list or filter and Hungarian included along- thought out. All transpond- available, and are easy and is being used. There are advan- side the more usual choices. ers can be scanned, or just a intuitive to use. Eight favour- tages in this, as long as you can single one. Network scanning ites lists can be set up, and The installation menu is the is also available which is very remember the numbers. adding to these is easy too. A first port of call when setting useful on large satellites like second window appears next to up for the first time. A com- ASTRA and HOTBIRD. A nice I personally might have found the channel list ready for chan- prehensive list of 51 satel- addition is a PID filter func- it easier to have the channels nels to be copied into it. This lites is pre-programmed into tion, allowing scanning of only numbered 1,2,3 based on what- can then be switched to, allow- the receiver, and these can be TV or radio channels. The sat- ever list I’d chosen, rather than ing arranging and editing in the edited, deleted or added to as ellite and transponder menus their original numbers – espe- same way as the main list. required. The corresponding work together, aiding any edit- cially after I’d manually moved them around. But it’s still easier transponder lists appear to be equally comprehensive and up- ing required. The transponder list menu also contains a PID Everyday use to navigate than many other to-date. editing function, invaluable for Once we have our lists set up, receivers. those rare but important times finally we can sit back and watch DiSEqC 1.2 and USALS are where PIDs need to be entered some TV, and everyday viewing I was initially a little disap- included to give easy control of manually. is helped by some good design pointed there was no “view a DiSEqC motor for multi-satel- here too. The main channel list the last channel” button, which lite users. DiSEqC switches are Searching an entire satellite can be sorted or filtered alpha- is always good for those of us 40 TELE-satellite & Broadband — 12-01/2009 —
  4. 4. who try to keep up with two takes over. When our analogue this was available during our channels at once. But OPEN- transmissions end, so will tra- tests. The EPG links to the SAT have included a little sur- ditional analogue text. But receiver’s event timer, where prise along these lines, one while it lasts, the XT-9500HD sleep and wake-up options that’s not even mentioned gives us a choice of both ways are available in addition to in the manual. The “back” of receiving teletext – either the usual function of chang- button is usually used to exit through the receiver’s inbuilt ing to the required channel a menu to the previous level. decoder, or on the TV itself via at the preset time. But pressing it when no menu VBI insertion. is displayed produces a list of the last eight channels viewed The XT-9500HD’s EPG is also Summary Whilst there are no to select from. Not quite the clear and easy to use, bearing gimmicks or extras added one-touch zapping solution in mind the limitations of the such as games that get we’ve seen before, but it is usual now/next data trans- forgotten quickly, this still a nice feature to include. mitted. Buttons are available receiver does what it to scroll forward and back by needs to easily and well. It’s good to also see teletext 24 hours, so perhaps in some The menus are logical, fully supported. Here in the places it can find further pro- the on-screen displays UK, it’s rapidly losing out as gramme information, although are clear and helpful. its inferior digital counterpart I couldn’t find anywhere where — 12-01/2009 — TELE-satellite & Broadband 41
  5. 5. The remote is well laid-out and to pay for the extra horsepower matches the receiver’s beautiful needed to get pictures in HD black and silver looks. There are quality onto our screen. A new few downsides to the receiver. software should help to solve Perhaps a dimmer function, or this problem. one to turn off the front panel lights altogether could be good It’s just a pity that there is not for viewers who like to view in so much FTA HD material out the dark without distractions. there to watch at the moment. The secret channel history screen That will no doubt change in the One thing I did quickly notice near future, and when it does is how hot the case becomes, I’d certainly be very happy to even in standby mode. I sup- have the XT-9500 as a perma- pose that’s the price we have nent fixture in my living room. Expert Opinion + Great looks and design Intuitive menus, easy setup and editing Well implemented favourites lists and channel list filtering - Andy Middleton TELE-satellite Generates a lot of heat Test Center EPG UK Bright always-on front-panel lights TECHNIC DATA Distributor ABC BIZNIS, Krušovská 4646, 955 01 Topoľčany, Slovakia Tel/Fax Tel +421 38 5313508 - Fax +421 38 5313508 Contact Websites, Model XT-9500 HD Function Digital HDTV receiver for DVB-S and DVB-S2 Satellites / CI + Card 51+ / 2 Common Interfaces + 1 Smart Card Reader Modes MPEG-2 MP@ML, MPEG-4 Part 10/H.264 SCPC compatible yes PID editor DiSEqC / USALS 1.2 / yes Scart connectors 2 / USB2.0 Connector for Software Upgrades Symbol rates 1000-45000 Audio outputs 2 (L&R) Video outputs 1x composite, Component, HDMI Video Resolutions 480p, 480i, 576p, 576i, 720p, 1080i Digital audio output yes, S/PDIF RS-232 / EPG yes / yes C/Ku-band compatible yes Power supply 100-250V AC, 50/60Hz ENERGY DIAGRAM Satellite setup Mode Apparent Active Factor Apparent Power StandBy 28 W 14 W 0.50 Reception 36 W 19 W 0.52 Active Power User preferences 42 TELE-satellite & Broadband — 12-01/2009 —