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Venton Unibox HD2 Review

 

 
Overview
 

Manufacturer:
 
Tuners:
 
Tuner Type:
 
Card Readers:
 
CI Slots:
 
PVR:
 
HDD:
 
CPU:
 
Hbb-tv:
 
Release Year: 2012
 
Price: From €349
 
Our Score
85%
85/ 100


User Rating
6 total ratings

 

Positives


Twin Pluggable tuner support for DVB-S2, DVB-C and DVB-T2
Stylish front

Negatives


Picture in picture mode caused crashes
No picture in picture with HD channels


Bottom Line

Unibox HD2 offers twin pluggable tuner support for DVB-S2, DVB-C and even DVB-T2. Read our review of this PVR and Hbb-TV ready receiver.

3
Posted January 25, 2013 by

 
Full Review
 
 

Venton Unibox HD2 introduction

unibox_venton_tunersThe Unibox HD2 from German Venton is a pluggable twin tuner receiver with internal PVR support. It is a step up from the single tuner Unibox HD1 which we have reviewed previously here at Linux-TV.

Venton offers 3 dirfferent tuner modules for the Unibox HD2 supplying both DVB-S2, DVB-C and DVB-T2 making this a very versatile receiver. Read our full review of the Unibox HD2 below.

Design and Connectivity

Unibox HD2 Review

The Unibox HD2 is very stylish and gives a high end brushed aluminium impression. Actually it is just plastic but it looks great. The size of the Unibox HD2 is 320 x 58 x 230 mm.

unibox_hd2_buttons

Embedded in the front as touch buttons are a standby button and navigational buttons, so basic controls are available without the remote. The fact that Venton decided to go with touch buttons adds to the high end impression of the Unibox HD2.

unibox_hd2_frontdisplay

In the middle of the front we find a 12 character alphanumeric display. It is very easy to read also from a distance.
unibox_hd2_frontopen

As you can see the Unibox HD2 is also a step up from the Unibox HD1 when it comes to card readers and ci slots. Here we have 2 of each.  Also included behind the front flap is a front mounted USB connection.

unibox_hd2_rear

On the back of our review unit we find a good selection of connections:

  • 1 x LNB in/loop thorugh
  • 1 x DVB-C in/loop thorugh
  • Composite video and analogue audio out
  • Component video out
  • 1 x Optical digital audio out
  • 1x scart
  • HDMI
  • Ethernet port
  • 2 x USB
  • Serial RS-232 port
  • Power connector and switch

unibox_hd2_insidetuners

As the Unibox HD2 is a pluggable dual tuner receiver you can setup you tuners as you wish. Our review unit came with DVB-S2 and DVB-C but you can do any other combination of DVB-S2, DVB-C and DVB-T2. It is very positive to see Venton offering DVB-T2 tuners as we often only see Enigma2 vendors supplying DVB-T tuners. Do remember that the Unibox HD2 is not CI+ certified if you need that for your DVB-T2 channels like in some Nordic countries.

Changing the tuner module is easy to do.

unibox_hd2_inside

Inside the Venton UNiBOX HD1 we find a 400 MHz MIPS processor , 512MB NAND Flash and 512MB DDR SDRAM. Granted it is not the 1300 MHz of the most recent receivers released but then again Enigma2 is not optimized for those fast CPUs so for daily use not a big issue.

As you can tell from the image the Unibox HD2 has an internal power supply. The trend seems to be going in the direction of external ones but still some might prefer the internal option for less clutter outside the receiver.

unibox_hd2_contents Unibox HD2 Review

Venton includes the basics with the receiver:

  • Power Cable
  • Remote with batteries included
  • User Manual in English/German
  • 4 Screws for internal PVR

Unibox HD2 Remote Control

unibox_venton_remote

The Unibox HD2 is a bit different than the one supplied with the Unibox HD1 but that is positive. The button layout is clear and logical and responsive wise it seems good.

Installation / Choosing an image

Egamiboot

Venton receivers have support from many image teams like Openvix, OpenAAF and also has the Egami image 3.0 which is updated with the latest features like Hbb-TV support.  Venton likes to keep things simple so no need to hunt down a specific version for the HD2 as the Image releases work for both HD1, HD2 and HD3.

uniboxhd2_openvix_plugins

uniboxhd2_egami_plugins

The Egami 3.0 image including Kernel 3.6.0/OE 3.0 would probably be our choice for this receiver packing all the latest features like Hbb-TV, blindscan and web browser.

Installing an Image on the Unibox HD2

usbupdate

  • Download you image and unzip to USB  key
  • Unzip to a USB stick
  • Turn off the HD2 on the back
  • Put the USB in on of the rear USB ports
  • Turn on the HD2
  • Wait while Image is flashed and the receiver automatically reboots

Daily use

Egami_mainmenu

uniboxhd2_blindscan

The menus and zapping seem pretty fast and in general the receiver feels stable. Where we did have some issues was using the Picture in Picture mode. Here we could reproduce crashes if we did a swap services. Also this receiver does not support HD PiP.

Picture quality is good and there is good driver support in the Egami Image for various usb devices wlan or usb tuners.

uniboxhd2_dvbc_tunersetup uniboxhd2_dvbc_search

The DVB-C scan is very fast if you enable network scan. We found all channels without any issues.

uniboxhd2_harddisk_ini

uniboxhd2_hbbtv_menu

uniboxhd2_hbbtv_erste

The web browser is not super snappy to use while Hbb-TV seems a bit faster. A faster CPU perhaps would have shown its power in this area.

If you are into hunting down feeds you will appreciate the blind scan function all though we have not tested how good it is working.

Boot speed wise we clock the Unibox HD2 at 65 seconds.

PVR – Recording tv on the Unibox HD2

PVR install

unibox_hd2_insidepvr

The PVR install is pretty basic at least if you want to use a 3.5″ hard drive. It is just a matter of taking the cover of and you then have the hard drive mounting plate in the center of the receiver. The power and sata cable is already connected inside the receiver so one thing less to worry about.

A 3.5″ hard drive just fits if you want to use a 2.5″ hard drive you would probably need to buy a 3.5/2.5″ adapter mounting kit.

PVR use

With dual tuners there is no problem recording one thing and watching another or even recording 2 things at the same time. More is also possible if those are on the same transponders.

All our recording tests worked as expected and timeshift too.

All recordings are of course saved as .ts files which you can transfer via Ethernet if you want. Do not expect the fast file transfers of Gigabit Ethernet as we are only taking of a  10/100 MB Ethernet interface on this receiver.

Multimedia

uniboxhd2_mediaplayback

Music wise there were no trouble playing MP3 on this receiver while we had no luck with .ogg, .wma and flac. We had success playing .m2ts, mkv, vob but not wmv and flv.

Verdict Venton Unibox HD2 Review

The Unibox HD2 gives a good overall impression. It is very stylish with its brushed aluminium look and very versatile with its pluggable tuner support.

There are several Image teams with support for this receiver but the most feature packed seems to be the Egami Image.

Picture quality and zapping speed is quite good and it seems pretty stable apart from the Picture in Picture mode where we had issues.

If you are looking for a pluggable twin tuner Linux receiver right now the Unibox HD2 is a good choice.

Linux-TV.com thanks MultiKom-DeltaSat for letting us try the Unibox HD2 for this review


  • karolek

    Hallo!

    Die PVR Funktion ist nicht zu gebrauchen,fast je versuch der Wiedergabe verursacht GS.
    Die Tasten 3,6,9 für vorspüllen kann mann vergessen,dauert länger als normale Zeit.
    Vergleich mit Vu+ Uno,wie Tag und Nacht,leider UniboxHD2 ist Nacht.
    Für normale TV ist OK,aber Aufnahme und Wiedergabe grauenhaft

    Gruss

  • Evgenij

    Good day! i’minterested DVB T2 receiverwhit linux tu translate content
    in IPTV multicast network. Can you help me. What the price 1 pcs order.

    • linuxtv

      We do not sell receivers here so cannot help you sorry, Try Google to find resellers.