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VU+ Ultimo 4K Review

 

 
Overview
 

Manufacturer:
 
Tuners:
 
Tuner Type:
 
Card Readers:
 
CI Slots:
 
PVR:
 
HDD:
 
Hbb-tv:
 
Release Year: 2017
 
Price: 549 Euro
 
Our Score
96%
96/ 100


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

Positives


Fast FBC Tuners Built in WiFi HDMI in

Negatives


High End Remote is not included


Bottom Line

Is the Ultimo 4K the best imaginable UHD receiver? We have reviewed it and you can read our opinion here

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Posted July 17, 2017 by

 
Full Review
 
 

VU+ Ultimo 4K Review

VU+ has a new top of the lineUHD / 4K receiver. The Vu+ Ultimo 4K has 3 pluggable tuner slots for tuner modules. 2 og these are for the Full Bandwith Capture (FBC) with 1 port for a old style pluggable tuner module. We bought this unit from our site sponsor www.ac-sat-corner.eu Read our review below.

VU+ Ultimo 4K specifications

The VU+ Ultimo 4K is ARM based, so old MIPS plugins you may use will not work on this model.

It is a ultra fast receiver with ARM-Quad-Core-CPU (4 x 1,5 GHz) with 20.000 DMIPS. We measure a boot time of 32 seconds from power on using the stock image so not as fast as the DM 900 in regards to boot speed.

As you can see from the comparison table below there are some differences. The Ultimate is more flexible regarding FBC tuners since these are pluggable.

Vu+

Ultimate 4K

Solo4K

CPU Type ARM BCM 7444S ARM BCM 7376
CPU (MHz) 4×1500 2×1500
RAM (MB) 3072 2048
Flash (MB) 4096 4096
Flash type eMMC eMMC
DVB 2 x FBC Tuner slots (S2/C)
1 x slot for Dual S2/C/T/T2 tuner
2 x Fixed Dual FBC
1 x Dual S2/C/T/T2
UHDTV Yes Yes
3D TV Yes Yes
PiP Yes Yes
Common Interface 2 1
Smart card 2 2
USB 2 x 3.0
1 x 2.0
2 x 3.0
1 x 2.0
LAN
(Mbit/s)
Gigabit
WiFi 5 Ghz support
Gigabit
WiFi 802.11n
HDD 2.5/3.5 in Detachable 2.5″
ATA SATA III SATA III
HDMI 2 (output / input) 1 (2.0)
Display 4.0″ LCD 3.5″ TFT LCD
Other connectors Digital Audio:S/PDIF,
Phono audio
Digital Audio: S/PDIF

For some users the inclusion of 3.5″ drive support may make you happy.

FBC – Full Bandwith Capture

The FBC technology adds more possibilities by capturing more transponders. So the 2 FBC tuners can pull in up to 8 transponders providing they are in the same frequency band/polarisation that is.

As you may know these are the 4

  1. (950 MHz – 1950 MHz) : Low-Band / Vertical
  2. (950 MHz – 1950 MHz) : Low-Band / Horizontal
  3. (1100 MHz – 2150 MHz) : High-Band / Vertical
  4. (1100 MHz – 2150 MHz) : High-Band / Horizontal

So say you are watching a channel in band 1 on tuner 1 you can with the same tuner pull 3 additional transponders in that band at the same time. So with the two FBC DVB-S2 tuners in the VU+ Ultimo 4K reception of up to 8 transponders simultaneously is possible.

By using Unicable/SatCR technology each tuner gets 4 Unicable/SatCR-Frequencies. So Unicable LNB is an advantage if you wish to take full advantage of FBC.

VU+ Solo4K VTI Tuner settingsIf you look in the Tuner settings you will notice the added tuners as well.

So now you can record a lot of content at once even more freely than before with regular Twin Tuners. 24 channels at once if you are really crazy. There is blindscan option as well for you feedhunters.

FBC tuner is also possible as a DVB-C tuner  but not yet at least for DVB-T2.

Ultra HD channels and HDR availability

Solo 4K UHD demo channelThere is still not a lot of UHD channels broadcasting on satellite. Many are just demo channels. We have tested the Free to Air channels at Astra 19,2 East.

Look here for a up to date list of UHD channels on satellite

Apart from being UHD ready the Ultimate 4K is also advertised as doing HDR. We do not have the possiblility of testing this.

Vu+ Ultimate 4K what is in the box

Vu+ like always include a HDMI cable along with everything else you need to get going.

The Vu+ Ultimate 4K is delivered with:

  • Power adapter / cable
  • Remote with batteries included
  • HDMI cable
  • Setup guide
  • HDD mounting 4 screws

vu_zero_remote

The remote is the same as previous models. You can upgrade to a premium remote if you want to.

VU+ offer a high end bluetooth capable remote especially for the Ultimo 4K. It can be used for other Vu+ models but bluetooth only works on the Ultimo 4K.

VU+Ultimo 4K design and connections

The Ultimo 4K is again in the classic Vu+ design. Ultimo 4K has a front touch standby button in the front panel.

On the front you notice the large LCD display which is even larger than on previous models we are up to 4.0″. You can watch live tv on this display with the MiniTV option but honestly we did not see the point of this. It is too small unless you right in front of it.

In general the display is fine if you like to have channel icons displayed and such.

Behind the flap we find a 2 x CI slots along with 2 internal card readers.  There is also a front USB port useful for firmware upgrading.

On the back we find these connections:

  • 2  x FBC Tuner slots
  • 1 Optional pluggable tuner slot
  • HDMI
  • Ethernet port
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • RS 232 port
  • Optical audio out
  • Phono audio out
  • Power connector and switch (external power supply)

 

A view inside the Ultimo 4K

As you can see everything inside the Ultimo 4K is neat and tidy. Having seen receiver boards for many years we really notice how much more simple they have become. In the old days they would be a ton of chips and stuff now more and more is on a single chip.

HDD installation

Installing a hard drive is like in the old days. You have to remove the cover and mount the drive to the plate and install it inside the receiver. Then connect the cable to the board and the drive and you are ready to go. We do not find the lack of slot in hard drive option a negative. Actually on the Solo 4K we did notice some hard drive noise but none in this Ultimo 4k.

Installation and Image support

Of course the receiver comes with the VU+ Stock firmware on it but most want something else and both the VTI and the ViX team and Blackhole have great options. We have chosen the VTI image which seems to be the best for using the HDMI in.

Installing a new Image is easy on the VU+ Ultimo 4K

  • Download the VU+ Ultimo 4K image you want to install on your PC.
  • Unzip to a USB stick
  • Turn off the VU+ Ultimo 4K on the back switch
  • Insert the USB stick into the front USB port
  • Turn on the VU+ Ultimo 4K
  • The LCD display will inform you that an upgrade is available
  • Press the power touch button to install and wait until finsihed

Of course we now have a new resolution available to choose from. If you got a UHD TV then set it to 2160.

Picture quality, zapping speed

The picture quality seems great on the Vu+ Ultimo. Often we have found that ARM based receivers had the advantage over Mips when it comes to picture quality. Perhaps the difference it is most noticeable on SD channels.

UHD channels of course looks best. If you do not have an UHD TV you can of course still watch the UHD channels it will just be scaled down.

Channel zapping is super fast thanks to the FBC tuners. Faster than anything we have seen and of course on par with the Solo 4K.

 

Vu+ Ultimo 4K Summarized

The Vu+ Ultimo 4K is the best receiver on the market today in our opinion. It is stable, fast and very capable.  The support for Ultra HD tv channels is the most noticeable but also general speed, picture quality and the FBC technology provide a tempting incentive to upgrade if you own an older Vu+ receiver.

Still as of yet the number of UHD channels are very limited and many are just demo channels but still the channel zapping speed is worth the upgrade we think.