I got a new digital TV box (Xoro DTV-M5) which is capable of receiving Saorview channels from the ever friendly guys over at TvTrade.ie and I have to say I’m very impressed with it.
It’s a receiver capable of displaying HD at 1080p, digital teletext (Mheg5), subtitles, pause & record (you’ll need to use your own USB key), view pictures & play movies (AVI) from external storage devices.
The box construction is sturdy, not the prettiest thing you’ll ever see but is quite compact. The remote control is functional and standard compared to a lot of boxes like this. The front of the box has USB slot (for external storage devices), a LED channel display, a channel up/down and a power button.
Around the back, are the SCART & HDMI outputs which is great for old and new TV’s. (see picture for other inputs/outputs).
Setting it up was really easy – connect antenna, connect hdmi to TV and plug in. Starting the box for the first time requests you to scan for channels. It found all the Saorview channels (Tv/Radio) in a few minutes. Just so you know – I don’t have an antenna mounted on the house so I used my trusty small whip antenna which worked just fine once it was outside the house. As you can see from the photos in the gallery the strength wasn’t that great but the quality was good and I didn’t have any glitches with the picture.
Only RTE2 is broadcast in HD at the moment and you can really noticed the difference between SD and HD. The 7 day EPG works as you expect and it’s easy to navigate no problems here.
Plugging a USB key into the port on the front enables the PVR features, hitting pause works well and is handy if someone rings you in the middle of watching the Father Ted or something 😉 You can rewind, skip forward just like regular PVR.
The only problem I came across was with the USB key and recording. My USB key is quite old and was nearly full with about 400Mb free but it caused the box to freeze on one occasion. The remote couldn’t turn the box off so I had to unplug and restart it. I found a different key and couldn’t recreate the problem so it might have been the key.
The USB key happened to have a video file and it played just fine – the box supports a wide range of video formats: mpg, avi, vob, dat, asf, mkv, rm, wmv, tsf, and qt.
I didn’t try viewing pictures, nor did I try all the games.. only tetris but who really plays these kind of games on tv anymore? I also didn’t try the recording of programs listed in the future – when I do I’ll update the blog post.
The only downside of the box is that it doesn’t have a satellite FTA receiver built in – but at that price it would be impossible to squeeze it in and I can’t really complain as this box packs in so much already.