Tiviar Alpha Plus Review
Tiviar Alpha Plus is a 1300 Mhz non Enigma2 based alternative with triple tuner receiver with both DVB-S2 and TVB-T2/C tuners.
Tiviar Alpha Plus Technology, design and connectivity
Tiviar Alpha Plus is a triple tuner receiver from Korean manufacture Fortis. It comes equipped with 2 x DVB-S2 tuners. These are not pluggable tuners but the third tuner, a DVB-T2/C tuner is. Tuner modules should be sold later on but right now there is really no option to change the third tuner into something else.
- 1300 MHz CPU dual core
- 512MB Flash / 1GB DDR3 DRAM
- Option to fit Internal SATA HDD 2.5″
- Dual Card readers
- Dual CI+ Ports
- Front Display 12 digit display
- GigaBit Ethernet
- HD PiP is possible
- iPad and iPhone App
The Tiviar Alpha Plus stands out from the crowd because of its artistic front with its two curved leds in the center. One of these is actually the standby button. The front has a clear 12 digit alphanumeric display which is easy to read.
If we flip down the front flap on the left 2 internal Conax card readers are revealed along with 2 common interface slot. Those 2 slots are CI+ ports which support those newer types of Cam modules with added security features. Add to that a front USB connector which is very useful for putting a new Image on the box or for a simple file transfer without having to plug in the USB device on the back.
Behind the flap we also find 2 buttons for channel zapping but you will need the remote to control the receiver as there are no other buttons.
- 2 x LNB in
- 1 x LNB loop through output
- 1 x DVB-T2/C in
- 1 x Antenna out
- Optical digital audio out
- Composite video and analogue audio out
- Component video out
- 1x scart
- GigaBit Ethernet port
- 3 x USB
- 1 x eSata
- Serial RS-232 port
- Power connector and switch
Great selection of connections no much more you can ask for here. As you can see on the picture of the Tiviar rear there is a fan mounted at the back. It is not a noisy fan so should not be a problem but in a totally quiet room it can be noticed.
- Power Supply
- Remote with batteries included
- 1 x HDMI cable
- 1 x LNB loop cable
- 1 x USB WiFI Adapter
- Fitting Screws for internal PVR
Great to see Tiviar offering a USB WIFI as well as the GigaBit wired port.
The Tiviar Alpha Plus Remote
The included remote fits quite nice in the hand with the buttons sensibly positioned and with a comfortable size. It is very responsive and great to see dedicated Picture in Picture buttons which makes you want to use this feature more.
The Tiviar Alpha Plus Remote also can act as a Universal remote for controlling your tv. Codes for these are in the user guide.
The Tiviar Alpha Plus is not a Enigma 2 based receiver so you will not be searching down different websites for third party image images. In fact there is no need to download new software for the box on a PC and doing updates via USB as this receiver supports updating over directly via the Internet.
Inside the Tiviar Alpha Plus
Everything is pretty tidy inside and nicely separated.
Installing a hard drive is quite easy. All the necessary screws and cables are included. The hard drive must be a 2.5″ sata hard drive.
The setup guide is pretty easy. As there are no preinstalled channellists scanning takes a while. Scanning must be done separately for each tuner type. There is support for DiSEqC 1.0,1.1,1.2 and USALS as well as UniCable.
As we hoped the Tiviar Alpha Plus is really fast. Booting a full feature Image including Hbb-TV support and everything is done in 33 seconds which is on par with the fastest Enigma based receivers.
Menus and usability
The Tiviar has a iOS similar icon based menu look. It is customizable by order and further contents which you can access from the expanded menu by pressing arrow up. For some reason the settings menu is separated and has a different look but after a short time you get used the the controls pretty easily.
The EPG information can be viewed both in a timeline and regular list view which is great. While you are viewing the EPG you still have the tv channel showing in a small window.
Picture/tuner quality, zapping speed and Picture in Picture
The picture quality is great on this receiver and has a max output resolution of 1080p.
Channel zapping is very fast on DVB-S2 perhaps a bit slower for DVB-T2/C and if you are using a CI+ cam you can expect to having to wait a while but that is common for all CI+ receivers.
The Tiviar Alpha Plus offers an excellent Picture in Picture mode which even support full HD channels. As we have mentioned previously there are dedicated PiP buttons on the remote which makes it easy to use these functions like turning PiP on, switching between the channels, putting the 2 channels in a side by side window and more.
PVR and Multimedia playback
The tripple tuner PVR works as advertised and of course you can watch 1 channel and record another at the same time. You can record up to 3 things at once. All recordings are of course saved into .ts files which are easily transferred over the high speed Ethernet if you want to edit them on your computer. But be aware only recordings from Free to Air channels seems to be able to play on a PC.
The Tiviar supports media playblack, playing video, pictures and music stored on the box hard drive, an usb drive or even on your home network. There is DLNA support on the receiver but do not expect every file format out there to be supported. We did not have success with flac files playback.
Hbb-TV, YouTube and Internet Browser
Hbb-TV is working well on a fast receiver like this. Again Hbb-TV is a feature that works out of the gate which is great to see. Hbb-TV is mostly used by the German broadcasters.
The Tiviar also offers some added webbased content apps. YouTube is available along with Free TV+ app which offers content from various known content sources like NHL, NBA, NBC and so on. Notice we are talking clip based content and not the full tv shows or sports. Internet TV+ gives you the opportunity to add your on urls with Internet tv streams.
Using the Vu+ Solo2 you are also able to browse the Internet with the integrated WebZeal browser. Using the browser via the remote control is perhaps not terribly comfortable but you can hook up a USB keybord and mouse if you want to.
Using the Tiviar Alpha Plus from your iPhone and iPad
Tiviar must be commended for their iOS app for both iPhone and iPad. With the Air Tivi+ you are able to control your receiver from you iOS device, view the EPG information and setting up recordings.
Streaming tv from the receiver via this app is also supported but did not work at the time of our testing. We have been informaed that a fix should be ready within a week.
If you are using Android devices you will be pleased to hear that Tiviar is almost ready with an app for this platform.
Tiviar Alpha Plus Conclusion
The Tiviar Alpha Plus offers an attractive alternative to the Enigma 2 based receivers and includes support for DVB-T2 and CI+ which mostly are lacking on Enigma2 based devices.
Tiviar offers a strong receiver with powerful hardware and support for the latest technologies. The Tiviar has fast booting and channel zapping and supports Gigabit Ethernet and Hbb-TV.
The receiver seems stable even at this early stage we did see an issue with watching recordings while they were still being recorded and hopefully the iOS app will soon support streaming tv.