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VU+ Ultimo Review

 
VU+ Ultimo review
VU+ Ultimo review
VU+ Ultimo review

 
Overview
 

Manufacturer:
 
Tuners:
 
Tuner Type:
 
Card Readers:
 
CI Slots:
 
PVR:
 
HDD:
 
CPU:
 
Hbb-tv:
 
Release Year: 2012
 
Our Score
86%
86/ 100


User Rating
15 total ratings

 

Positives


3 Pluggable Tuners Fast Zapping Speed

Negatives


Remote Control could be better


Bottom Line

Unboxing VU + End comes packed with accessories: WLAN VU + USB Adapter (300N) Quick start manual (English) Manual (English) Remote control with batteries Hard drive cable (Data / Power) Hard drive mounting screws (2.5 “/ 3.5″ screws and four rubber rings) Loop Through cable LNB HDMI Cable Power Cable So you have the option […]

2
Posted April 1, 2012 by

 
Full Review
 
 
VU + has delivered several popular linux boxes. Previously we have reviewed the VU+ Uno. Now VU +  has released the Ultimo model, which is their top of the line box with 3 tuner capabilities. Linux-TV.com is ready with our VU+ Ultimo review.

VU+ Ultimo Review

Unboxing

VU+ Ultimo Unboxing

VU + End comes packed with accessories:

  • WLAN VU + USB Adapter (300N)
  • Quick start manual (English)
  • Manual (English)
  • Remote control with batteries
  • Hard drive cable (Data / Power)
  • Hard drive mounting screws (2.5 “/ 3.5″ screws and four rubber rings)
  • Loop Through cable LNB
  • HDMI Cable
  • Power Cable

So you have the option of connecting the box to both wired and via wireless network.

The box is wrapped in plastic at delivery, and you must remember to take the plastic around the box enclosure off before use, since it covers  the ventilation holes.

Design and Connectivity

VU + Ultimo is not a super compact receiver but that is understandably since it offers internal PVR option and three tuners. But the VU+ Ultimo is definitely very stylish, with the large VFD display in the center, which, incidentally, with a little tweaking can be configured to also show the channel logo. There are no physical buttons on the VU + front end, but touch areas for stand by, changing the channel and volume control.

Behind the front flap on the front we find 2 integrated card readers, which require softcam installation and addition to those there are 2 common interface ports.

VU+ Ultimo rear

The rear of the VU+ Ultimo does not disappoint:

  • 2 x DVB-S2 tuners with loop thorugh outputs (plug and play changeable)
  • 1 x DVB-T/DVB-C tuner (plug and play changeable)
  • 1 x Scart
  • Component video
  • Composite video
  • Analogue audio
  • Optical digital audio out
  • 1 x HDMI
  • E-Sata connection
  • Ethernet
  • 2 x USB
  • RS-232 port
  • Power Switch / socket
The 3 tuner sockets offer incredible user freedom. You can really make this box into a powerful PVR, recording many channels simultaneously.We do though miss a DVB-T2 tuner option.
On the rear we also find the grid holes for the built in fan. Luckily the fan is very silent so I doubt many will find it an issue.

VU+ Ultimo Remote Control

VU+ Ultimo remote

The VU+ Ultimo offers a brand new remote control that differs from previous VU + remotes both because of its form factor but also since it is equipped with a QWERTY keyboard. Obviously this indicates that the box is more than just for watching regular TV. The VU+ Ultimo is being branded for easier use of YouTube, surfing the web and more. The keys on the QWERTY side are locked by default so you must first press the unlock button to use this side. Pressing the front again locks the qwerty part again.

We have to say that some buttons on the remote are not so great, and we could really have liked to seen VU+ sticking with the same remote as used on the Uno and put a keyboard on the back of that. If you do not like the new remote you can can instead buy the well-known model for Uno model and use that instead. The remote codes are the same.

The remote control can also control most TVs by entering the appropriate remote control code.

Choose an image and installation

Only a few use the factory software on a box like this. Instead, you typically install a modified image from one of the many image teams that provide these on various forums. What you choose is a matter of taste, but in regard to the VU+ Ultimo, the images coming from teams like VTI and the Black Hole seem the most interesting moment.

VU+ Ultimo image installation

It is easy to install an image on the box. It’s just a matter of downloading the USB version of the image you want to install, the put this onto a USB key and inserting this in front usb port of the VU+ Ultimo. Turn the power on and the box will ask if it should install the software on the USB key. If you want to do this, then you press the – button on the front of the box. When installation is complete, it is displayed on the front display and you can then reboot the box with the new software.

The basic installation is quite like any other Linux / Enigma-based boxes, so I will not go much further into this part.  Everything relevant is of course supported. A full DVB-T search  found all available channels. Testing out DVB-C also did not reveal any problems. Satellite wise I have tested with the 3 positions 1 west, 19,2 east and 28 east.

The daily use of the VU+ Ultimo is a pleasure. Everything is running smooth and fast. I measure 49 second boot which is the fastest yet of the Linux receivers we have reviewed.

VU+ Ultimo HDMI CEC

The Ultimo is 3D gui ready which will give you a usable user interface even when watching 3D channels. It also comes with HDMI CEC support which can control your television. So you can set up the Ultimo to turn off your TV when you turn off the ultimo.

VU+ Ultimo PiP

The Picture in Picture or PiP functions of the Ultimo is quite useful with the 3 tuners. Sadly there is still no support for full frame HDTV PiP. That is still a Dreambox 8000 exclusive.

The picture quality of the VU+ Ultimo is pretty good straight out of the box but of course you still have the option of tweaking this and setting up output resolution conversion with the Auto Resolution plugin.

VU+ Ultimo UPNP tuners

The image support for the Ultimo is already quite good. During my review a new image from Black Hole was released which included UPnP tuner option. So you can use the Ultimo tuners as network tuners on devices on your home network.  A feature I have not tested yet.

PVR – Recording tv on the VU+ Ultimo

VU+ Ultimo installing hard drive

It is possible to record tv on an internal or external hard drive or even via a networked drive.

Installing a internal hard drive is pretty straight forward. The necessary screws and cables are included and you have the option of installing a 2.5 or 3.5″ sata drive.

You can record a lot simultaneously with 3 tuners. Up to 8 things at the same time providing some of the channels or on the same transponders.

Multimedia and web features of the VU+ Ultimo

VU+ Ultimo web browser control

VU+ Webbrowser

Besides from being a great tv receiver there are other uses for the Ultimo. The included mediaplayer plays most things from local, external or network drives. YouTube plugin is of course available and Web Browser. The latter is not the most user friendly of its kind yet anyway. Of course the QWERTY remote comes in handy here.

I have tested both using wired lan and the WLAN USB device and both worked fine.

VU+ Ultimo Review conclusion

There is no doubt that the VU+ Ultimo is the greatest VU+ receiver released yet. The Ultimo is a very good high end receiver that delivers on speed, stability and support. The fast booting and channel zapping is the fastest we have seen compared to similar boxes.

The new remote is not quite what we hoped for regarding design and size but some will probably find the QWERTY keyboard useful even though the Web browser on the Ultimo could use some work.

The 3 tuner option offers the freedom to receiver all 3 types of signals but we do miss an option for receiving DVB-T2.  The 3 tuners also provides the Ultimo with top class PVR capabilities when it comes to recording multiple things at the same time.

In our opinion the VU+ Ultimo is most interesting for users who really need 3 tuners and those looking for the newest and fastest around. There is a lot going on regarding plugins and image development which also makes it even more interesting.

The review sample for this review was supplied by TV Radio Shoppen Denmark


  • Basel Tafal

    Ok, what about price of it (VU+ Ultimo)

    • linuxtv

      I think it is about 399 Euro