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Openbox S9 Tuner Sensitivity and HDMI out contrast/brightness
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Openbox S9 Tuner Sensitivity and HDMI out contrast/brightness - 23-November-2010, 13:26

I would like to start installing Openbox S9 for customers but having evaluated a box, for two nights, I am having some concerns:

I have Mediastar HDX9100 (same as HD1100S or Vantage), which has the best tuner (least likely to pixelate).
The Strong SRT4990 is noticeable less sensitive (weak channels like hnstv on C6B 115.5E and TVB8 on A3S 105.5 pixelate sometimes from the same signal)

Previously I was using a 6x8 Zinwell multiswitch (only 3 outputs used). After running the Openbox S9 for about 40 mins many channels started to pixelate. I know for a fact that the signal is not the best (BER barely below QEF on my Promax Prodig 5) but the other two boxes were fine for over a year.

I figured I will increase the signal strength a bit by changing to a 4x4 multiswitch to gain ~3db from the extra loss of the 6x8 switch.

since changing the multiswitch it has been more of less ok. However, occasional pixellation still occurs every ~10mins on some channels that are ok on the other boxes (sound never cuts, and the Openbox S9 stats show ~72% signal quality).

SO the thing, is I am starting to think that maybe the tuner in this box is not so good...

what are your opinions on this? Is the Openbox S9 tuner weaker then other cccam capable boxes like Vu or Dreambox? Do you find it acceptable, below par or great?

Also, I have noticed the default picture settings for brightness/contrast/saturation of 50/50/50 results in some clipping on whites (i.e. color goes right to 255 so that parts of skin are completely white) on the HDMI out at 1080i/25, has anyone else has this issue on their TV? the picture seems less extreme when on 53/47/50 but I don't feel very comfortable running like this - I like things to be "original" if you know what I mean.

At the moment it is on the factory HDS2-10-06-18:021ECMT firmware. Does any one think these two points can be solved by software upgrades? does the ECMT correspond to the European firmware being the appropriate file? and should I reset to factory defaults after/before firmware upgrades on this unit?
   
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24-November-2010, 18:33

I'm currently evaluating the Openbox myself, and for similar reasons. Many of my clients have no interest in card sharing. They just want to be able to use their Sky UK cards in a box which will allow them to record from any region of any channel. At the moment, the Abcom 91HD is filling this role admirably, but it's no longer being made and is twice the price of the Openbox. My biggest problem so far with the Openbox is that I can't get it to recognise either of the USB hard disks I've tried it with.

Tuner sensitivity is a major issue where I am. I can't comment on some of the boxes you mention, but the best tuners I've ever come across are those fitted to the Abcom IP9xxx range. These are noticeably better than any fitter to a Dreambox or genuine Sky UK (HD) box. For our circumstances (weak Astra2D reception) the Openbox is on a par with the Dreambox 98000HD, which isn't a bad result.

I agree with you about the picture quality. I've changed mine to 54/42/47. This gives the closest result to my reference (Abcom 9000HD) on my Panasonic TX-42V20. For the money I'm impressed. I haven't tried any alternative software yet so can't comment.

It's looking good, and if I can solve the USB disk problem, I may well offer them.


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25-November-2010, 00:54

Regarding USB HDD, I have not had any problems yet. I am currently on a 250GB Seagate SV35 in a Vantec IDE USB Enclosure. The disk was formatted in FAT32 using swissknife (or easeus partition manager home which supports newer OSes). Apparently, the openbox can write to NTFS but I have not tried this. I do know however that it handles multiple partitions, which you can select in the manual. Due to the linux heritage, it should be about to handle ext2 (maybe ext3 depending on what kind of kernel options they are using) as well.

Thanks a lot for the picture settings - I will try those myself (very time consuming process to find "neutral" settings).

Try to repartition then format the disk and let me know it it works afterwards.

Other thing: any idea what the "BER" option does in the "LNB Power" section of the menu? I initially assumed it will give a BER reading somewhere be cannot locate such a display after turning it on.
   
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25-November-2010, 11:20

I found a USB hard disk that worked - formatted to NTFS, read and write, no problem.
As for the BER option, I assumed the same as you, but can't actually see that it does anything.

The box seems remarkably stable, and good value for money.


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Box does not boot from standby sporadically
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Box does not boot from standby sporadically - 27-November-2010, 04:04

I am now having a problem with the Openbox S9 I installed for a client on Thursday (luckily, a very nearby client).

Basically, everything works ok, once in a while, the box will not boot from standby. When it gets to this status, the rear power switch must be cycled for it to work again.

The annoying thing is that his does not happen all the time - but at least once a day.

I will be exchanging to box for them of course, but as I actually purchased the units direct from overseas, I am in a hard position (shipping it back to China >$30).

Meanwhile, I have not had any such issue on mine.

The thing is, I am pretty sure it is not a physical disconnection of electricity, and this is why I think this:

The Openbox S9 power indicator light has 3 states: red (standby), off (booting) and green (on). When the above problem occurs, it is always stuck in the off (booting) state, tough the the display never gets to the "boot" stage - it never displays anything.

The box is connected to a Moteck VBox II and using DiSEqC control with a C-band 2.3m dish and OCS LNB through a 2 way splitter tracking 5 sats.

Any opinions whether this is a firmware or hardware (i.e. RMA worthy) problem?

This, an my other test box, both run the 101108 firmware. This faulty one is not running any clines (LAN not connected at all) while the rest box has to active clines.
   
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contrast/brightness, hdmi, openbox, sensitivity, tuner


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