DM7020 HD Review
Manufacturer: Dream Multimedia
2 Pluggable Tuners
There is a new Dreambox in town. DM 7020 HD is the latest box from Dream Multimedia most notably offering 2 plug and play tuner slots, so you can receive both DVB-S2, DVB-C and DVB-T signals. Video intoduction of the DM7020 HD Engineering, design and connectivity The DM 7020 HD is vy default delivered with 1 DVB-S2 tuner and […]
There is a new Dreambox in town. DM 7020 HD is the latest box from Dream Multimedia most notably offering 2 plug and play tuner slots, so you can receive both DVB-S2, DVB-C and DVB-T signals.
Video intoduction of the DM7020 HD
Engineering, design and connectivity
The DM 7020 HD is vy default delivered with 1 DVB-S2 tuner and 1 DVB-C / DVB-T hybrid tuner. But since these are replaceable you can change tuners easily yourself and probably many retailers will offer you the choice of specifying tuners when you buy.
Tuner module installation
Included with our review sample of the DM 7020 was a DVB-S2 tuner module so we had the oppertunity of testing the DM 7020 HD as a twin DVB-S2 receiver. Changing the tuner in the 7020 is dead easy. Of course the first thing to do is to unplug the DM 7020. Then it is just a matter of taking of the cover, gently pull out the tuner from the slot and pushing in the new tuner. There are no messing around with tiny screws inside the receiver which is great.
Twin tuner DVB-C and DVB-T has previously been possible on the DM 8000 but this also came with 2 fixed DVB-S2 tuners, so the new DM 7020 HD is a more obvious choice if you are looking to use it for anything different than satellite TV.
What is somewhat disappointing is the lack of a DVB-T2 tuner option, but if and when Dream Multimedia does release a such it will be easily be installed thanks to plug and play tuner slots. Replaceable tuners are also convenient if you should move and change the way you get your tv signals then you can still use the DM 7020 HD just by changing the tuners.
The design is in the familiar Dreambox look, glossy black with the curved silver stripe on the front. The front also has a beautiful OLED display, in white compared to yellowish one on the DM 8000 model. It is easy to read even from a longer distance. The front of the box also has a blue LED light. With the latest software you can configure the functionality of this led. The physical size of the DM7020 HD is 372 mm x 232 mm x 75 mm.
If we open the front we find 2 CI ports plus 2 card readers (Dreamcrypt by default) and 1 x USB connectivity.
On the back we find:
- 2 x USB 2.0 ports
- 1 x mini-USB port (Dreamup update)
- 1 x HDMI Output
- 1 x Scart Connection
- 10/100 Mbit Ethernet port
- Composite video out
- Analogue audio out
- Optical audio out
- eSATA external hard drive. It is also possible to mount a 3.5 “internal SATA hard drive in the box
As you may have noted component video output is missing on the DM 7020 HD. Dream Multimedia have also ditched the old RS 232 port for software update and added a mini usb port for service purposes. The easiest way to update is doing it via the network.
DM 7020 HD scope of delivery
- A very detailed user guide in English and German
- Screws and rubber pads for internal hard drive mounting
- Remote control with 2 x AA batteries
- HDMI cable
- Power cable
- WLAN USB stick
While the DM 7020 HD unlike the DM 8000 does not have an internal WLAN the included 300 Mbps WLAN USB stick is easy to install and is perhaps faster than internal WLAN on the DM 8000.
Inside the DM 7020 HD we find a 400Mhz BCM7405 CPU and 1 GB flash memory which should be useful for HBB TV use too.
We measure the DM 7020 HD to 26W in use with hard drive installed and 0,8 W in deep standby mode.
A new remote
The DM 7020 HD comes with a brand new remote control design from Dream Multimedia. The new remote feels better, the size is a bit different to the old design. You can program it to control your tv set so it can act as a universal remote for both the dreambox and your tv.
Here the DM 8000 remote on the left and the new DM 7020 HD on the right.
Installation and use
Boot speed wise the DM 7020 HD is faster than the DM 8000 but still does not beat the Clarke Tech ET 9000. We measure the 7020 to 71 seconds compared to the 80 on the DM 8000 and 63 on the Clarke Tech ET 9000.
Using the internal card readers of course require softcam installation. Initially the DM 7020 HD had a problem with high bandwidth DVB-S2 transponders but this has been fixed now and should work using soft cam solutions while a fix yet is to be provided for those using cams.
The installation wizard helps you getting everything set up right. DVB-S2 has the option of installing factory presets for 28,2 east and 19,2 east so you are able to get going really fast.
DVB-T is pretty straight forward, the 7020 HD offers you the possibility of providing 5 volt for use with active DVB-T antennas. We have tested both DVB-S2, DVB-T and DVB-C and all has worked fine.
PVR hard drive installation
The DM 7020 HD has the option of putting in a 3.5″ SATA hard drive but the eSata also makes the use of an external hard drive possible. When it comes to hard drive installation again the DM 7020 HD does not disappoint. We had no trouble installing a hard drive which is done simply by pushing the drive into the already fixed sata ports on the hard drive mount in the middle of the box. Do remember to add the rubber pads before you do this though and finally you put in the 4 screws.
What is new?
Inside the channel list we find a new category called FTA so you now easily can look up free to air channels. Another interesting feature is the new blindscan option which is useful for those wanting to do some feedhunting. The blindscan feature does lack a option to limit what symbol rate ranges to search for but it is positive to see this option included.
Channel Zapping is fast and picture quality seems better out of the box than previous Dreambox receivers.
Picture in Picture is available on the 7020 and we were curious to test this with HD channels. Sadly to say the DM 7020 HD does not do Picture in Picture with HD channels. It is possible to have a HD channel in the main screen and a SD channel in the small window but HD in the small windows is a no go the screen is just black. Perhaps iframe support is possible and will be added if not by Dream Multimedia then perhaps by third party image developers.
If you are a Dreambox fan the DM 7020 HD definitely does not disappoint. It is an excellent example of a versatile twin Linux receiver that offers easy use with all major signal types satellite, cable or terrestrial television. The design is very pleasing, user friendly and the receiver is very responsive. The included detailed manual also make Dream Multimedia stand out from the crowd in the Linux receiver market. Even the not so experienced user should have no problems with the basic installation.
The new remote is definitely a positive along with the new blindscan support.
The DM 8000 had a few weak points – the lack of eSata port, blind scan and the slightly old-DVI output. The DM 7020 HD has all these covered thus being a more modern receiver. Though the DM 8000 still beats the DM 7020 HD when it comes to the picture in picture functionality with its ability to display HD channels in PiP mode.
As we see it the DM 7020 HD is of most interest to those wanting to use it as a twin tuner DVB-T/C receiver. After all the price is somewhat higher than, for example. than DVB-S2 twin tuner model from Clarke Tech.
Finally we recommend to check for software updates regularly especially at present where the box is brand new.
Thanks to the Danish webshop TV Radio Shoppen for supplying the unit for this review