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The Openbox / Skybox , a cheap HD sattelite receiver that provides a lot of bang for the buck

03 Nov

Introduction

A couple of years ago I bought a Dreambox DM-800HD sattelite receiver. At the time, HD receivers were pretty expensive (300-400 euros) and there weren’t many good alternatives. I wanted additional HD receivers, but I wasn’t willing to pay 300-400 euros a piece. As such, I started investigating and found out that you could get an Openbox / Skybox HD receiver for about 70 euros including shipping, so I was quite interested and bought an Openbox S11. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now with a duo LNB with Astra 1 (19,2) and Astra 3 (23,5) and I’m very satisfied with it.

Advantages

  • It’s cheap and provides a lot of bang for the buck.
  • It provides good image quality.
  • It supports cccam.
  • It boots very quickly.
  • The remote is easy to use and comfortable in your hand.
  • You can timeshift / record to an USB drive.
  • You can play multimedia from an USB drive. Music, Images, Video (including MKV X264 !!!! ).

Disadvantages

  • Menus and options are very basic.
  • Only a single tuner.
  • Lack of support.
  • Custom firmwares are limited.
    • Hard to find out which firmware is best. Each has its own advantages and disadvantes.
  • Creating channel lists / favorites from the device itself is very time consuming and troublesome.
    • You can use external tools to create channel lists. By example Ali Editor / PVR800-Editor or MediaBox Editor Studio (MES). Even with these tools, the editing experience is not as good as I was used to with my Dreambox.
    • Already created channel lists / favorites can easily be shared using either USB or over the network using STBHD_LAN_MM.

Conclusion and advice

If you’re looking for a sattelite HD receiver that provides more bang for your buck, be sure to take a look at the Openbox / Skybox HD receivers. While I paid 70 euros back then, they can now be had for about 50 euros including shipping. Keep in mind though that initial configuration can require some manual work. After that you can simply re-use your configuration.

There are now many more versions available of the Openbox / Skybox however and I have to admit that it’s often not clear to me which types provide which advantages so be sure to take a look at this as well. Versions include the S9,S10,S11,S12,S16,S18,F3,F4,F5,X3,X4,X5,X6,S1000,S6000HD. Also keep in mind that there are a lot of clones available. Personally I just ordered the X6 here because I want a spdif output, I’ll write a review about it as soon as I receive it.

For people looking for HD sattelite receivers that provide more features, take a look at the Vu+ Solo2 or Duo2 that have been reviewed very well, but are also a lot more expensive.

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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in Hardware, Sattelite Receiver

 

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