Reviews – News Vu+, Dreambox, GigaBlue, Venton

 
 


Formuler F1 Review

 
formuler f1 review
formuler f1 review
formuler f1 review

 
Overview
 

Manufacturer:
 
Tuners:
 
Tuner Type:
 
Card Readers:
 
CI Slots:
 
PVR:
 
CPU:
 
Release Year: 2014
 
Our Score
86%
86/ 100


User Rating
24 total ratings

 

Positives


Fast operation
SD card reader on the front

Negatives


No internal PVR option


Bottom Line

The Formuler F1 is a tripple tuner receiver, the third one optionally for satellite, cable or terrestrial. Read our review

3
Posted September 22, 2014 by

 
Full Review
 
 

Formuler is a new brand of Enigma based receivers. Formuler takes inspiration from the Motorsport series Formula One for their receivers. They currently offer a single Tuner receiver called F3 and a tripple tuner top of the line receiver called F1. This review is about the F1 receiver but we have also reviewed the F3 click here for that review

formuler f1 review

Formuler F1, design and connectivity

Formuler F1 is a twin tuner tuner receiver which offers a slot for an optional third tuner (DVB-S2 or C/T2). Suggested retail price is 289 Euro.

Key Features on the Formuler F1

  • CPU / Chipset: BCM7356B2
  • 1300 MHz
  • Flash 512mb nand 1gb ram
  • 2 x SAT Tuners Fixed and 1 more optional tuner slot for SAT, or Terrestrial / Cable Reception
  • 2 card readers
  • 1 ci slot
  • Three USB 2.0 Host ports and SD card slot (for Video file Playback & MP3 Player & JPEG Viewer)
  • 1 e-Sata port
  • 10/10M / Gigabit Base Tx Ethernet port

formuler_f1_front_side

The Formuler F1 is a compact receiver and in traditional black design which is only interrupted by the 8 character alpha numeric display. This VFD front display is of course an upgrade over the one used on the Formuler F3. We like the F1 display much better.

The F1 is still a pretty compact receiver but of course bigger than the F3. The F1 measures 260 x 55 x 210.

formuler_f1_front_open

Behind the front flap we find 2 internal card readers along with a common interface slot. That is probably plenty for most people. Also conveniently located here are an USB port and a sd card reader slot which is great to see.

Apart from a standby button which is placed discretely on the side you need the included remote control.

formuler_f1_rear

The Formuler F1 has room for a bit more connections than the F3 and it takes advantage of this. Good selection of outputs available.

On the back we find these connections:

  • 2 x  LNB in
  • Optical digital audio out
  • HDMI
  • Ethernet port
  • 2 x USB
  • e-Sata
  • Component video out
  • Composite video out
  • Analogue audio out
  • Serial RS-232 port
  • Power connector
formuler_f1_open

A look inside the Formuler F1 – As you can see no option for an internal PVR

Formular F1 Tuner installation

formuler_f1_connectioninfo

Along with the 2 fixed DVB-S2 tuners you have the option of installing a third tuner module in Formuler F1. This can be either a DVB-S2 or DVB-C/T2 hybrid tuner module.

formuler_f1_dvbct_tuner

This is the Hybrid DVB-C/T/T2 tuner. You select between DVB-C or T/T2 in the tuner settings menu on the receiver

formuler_f1_dvbs2_tuner

The optional tuner module to add a third DVB-S2 tuner. Comes with LNB in and out

 

formuler_f1_open_tuner

formuler_f1_rear_tuners_mounted

The installation of course requires you to take the cover off and then carefully install the module into the slot. The pin solution on the tuner modules are perhaps a bit more difficult to install than slot in tuners as seen on other receivers but works fine if you are careful.

Formuler F1 what is inside the box

formuler_f1_contents

The Formuler F1 is delivered with:

  • Power adapter
  • Remote with batteries included
  • HDMI cable
  • Quick install guide

Here is an unboxing video made by a third party

The Formuler F1 Remote

formulerf3_remote

The included remote does not look or feel high end but it does fit quite nicely in the hand with the buttons sensibly positioned. Most buttons are reasonably sized.

Installation and Image support

formuler_f1_openatvboot

The Formuler F3 came with software preinstalled from the German Team OpenATV. You also can use HDMU image available here

Both images are of course Enigma variants and more options are coming Formuler tells us.

What Image you choose is pretty much a matter of personal taste.

Installing an Image on the Formuler F1

It is easy to install a new image. Simply download the Formuler f1 image you want and put the formuler1 folder on a USB key.

Y0u put the USB key into the front port on the Formuler F1 one and connect power to the receiver then it starts flashing automatically.

Here are some screen shots from the OPENATV image

formuler_f1_imageinfo

formuler_f1_mainmenuformuler_f1_chinfoformuler_f1_chlist
formuler_f1_epgformuler_f1_nownextformuler_f1_infopanelformuler_f1_meminfoformuler_f1_tunerconfig

Daily use

Booting speed

Since it is called F1 you would expect this receiver to boot fast and it does. We meassure 35 seconds on the HDMU Image.

Boot leaderboard

Receiver Boot (secs)
DM 900 16
Vu+ Solo 4K 32
Vu+ Duo2 33
Formuler F1 35
Vu+ Solo2 35
Formuler F3 38
Vu+ Zero 39
GigaBlue Quad HD 47
VU+ Ultimo 49
VU+ Uno 54
Clarke-Tech ET-9000 63
IQON IOS 100 HD 65
Venton UNiBOX HD2 65
Dreambox 7020 HD 71
Venton UNiBOX HD1 72
VU+ Duo 80

Picture/tuner quality, zapping speed

Channel zapping is very fast and you can of course play around with the on screen graphics look by downloading and changing skins. We also have no complaints about picture quality.

formuler_f1_cablescan1

formuler_f1_cablescan

We had no problems finding all DVB-C channels when we tested out the hybrid optinal DVB-C/T2 tuner module

PVR and Multimedia playback

You need to add an external e-Sata or USB 2.0 storage device to add the option of recording tv on this receiver. With up to 3 tuners you have plenty of options both for recording and watching a different channel at the same time. HBB TV is not yet support but Formuler tells us it is planned some time in the future.

formulerf3_mediacenter

Like most Engima based receivers the Formular F1 serves well as a media player, playing video, music stored on the box hard drive or your home network. Do not expect every file format out there to be supported. But common file formats are handled pretty well.

Formuler F1 Video

Here is a video of the Formuler F1 in action.

Note this video is not made by Linux-TV.com

Formuler F1 Review Conclusion

The Formuler F1 is a great receiver. With support of up to 3 tuners with the third one optionally for satellite, cable or terrestrial you have a lot of options.

The F1 has been stable to use during our review and very fast too. Should we add a wish it would be transcoding support like on the Vu+ Duo2 and others but not all really need this feature…

Users who prefer internal PVR option of course have to look for a different option as the F1 does not offer this.

Linux-TV.com thanks Formuler for supplying the unit for this review


  • Bavarian Wirtsbauer

    Whart about the real PVR and PIP capabilities ? A strong requirement for me is to have non interrupted PIP with two HD channels, playback of a recorded content with current PIP of an HD channel. Also an automatic timeshift on channel switch is recommended. Does the OpenATV image support all these features with this hardware ?

  • Dominique Fausser

    CI+ ?