Vu+ Zero Review
Small and compact
Vu+ has something for everyone. The entry level Vu+ Zero is pretty cheap but still offer the quality Vu+ is known and loved for. Read our review.
VU+ Zero specifications
The Zero is currently the cheapest and most budget receiver from Vu+ but still you do get a very capable satellite receiver. Controlling the unit is a Broadcom BCM 7362 2K DMIPS 752 MHz single core, dual thread Cpu. Granted it is certainly not the fastest or greatest on the market but powerful enough for a single tuner entry level receiver like this.
Memory wise the Zero offer 256MB Nand Flash / 512MB DRAM.
- Broadcom BCM 7362 2K DMIPS 752 MHz single core, dual thread Cpu
- 256MB Nand Flash / 512MB DRAM
- 1x Fixed DVB-S / S2 tuner
- Single Card reader (X-Crypt)
- 100 (Mbit/s) Ethernet
- Dolby Digital Plus & DTS supported
- 2 x USB 2.0 Ports
- External 12V power supply
There is no CI ports on this model from Vu+ and we are talking a single fixed satellite tv tuner so no way to change tuners so you cannot receive terrestrial or cable.
VU+ Zero design and connections
The Vu+ Zero is a very compact and low key receiver design wise. It only measures 160 x 145 x 30 mm making it the most compact receiver in the Vu+ lineup. It is available in both white and black. We are reviewing the black version.
The design is in plastic but it actually looks nice and glossy. On the front we do not find a display that would obviously had added some cost to the unit and actually there also really is not any room for a usable sized display anyway so we have no issue with that.
There is a simple power led on the front.
On the front there is room for the single card reader which like always you need to activate yourself using some kind of soft cam software.
On the rear of Vu+ Zero we find a pretty good selection of connections in spite of the compact design.
- 1 x DVB-S2 Tuner input
- Ethernet port
- 2 x USB
- 1 x A/V video output (3.5mm analog Jack)
- IR Sensor input (the IR sensor is supplied)
- Power connector and switch
If you need analogue video and audio output you can use the supplied cable. There is obviously no room for a full sized scart. Some might miss an optical digital audio output but we pretty much always use HDMI.
Using the supplied IR Cable you can hide the receiver behind the TV or in your TV furniture and only have the IR sensor visible so you can still control the receiver.
Vu+ Zero what is in the box
Vu+ always have the cables covered and even on a budget receiver like this you still get a HDMI cable included.
- Power adapter
- Remote with batteries included
- HDMI cable
- IR Extender Cable
- Analogue audio/video cable
- Setup guide
The supplied remote is well known to VU+ buyers. It has a good selection of buttons.
Installation and Image support
The Vu+ Zero is of course delivered with software already pre-installed but most likely you will want to install a third party image.
Vu+ is probably one of the most widely supported receivers so you will have no trouble finding images from the likes of Blackhole, Vix, VTi and many more. Check our Vu+ information box for links. You find this to the right at the top of the review.
- Download the VU+ Zero image you want to install on your PC.
- Unzip to a USB stick
- Turn off the VU+ Zero on the back
- Insert the USB stick into a USB port on the Zero
- Turn on the VU+ Zero
- The image will auto install. Wait until the power led blinks on off in a pattern
- Turn off / on the Zero and the receiver boots up with the new image
We went with The BlackHole Image for the Zero which worked great.
|Vu+ Solo 4K||32|
|GigaBlue Quad HD||47|
|IQON IOS 100 HD||65|
|Venton UNiBOX HD2||65|
|Dreambox 7020 HD||71|
|Venton UNiBOX HD1||72|
We measured a boot up from power on to 39 seconds. That is with the default settings in Blackhole Speed up.
The BlackHole SpeedUp feature allows you to enable / disable various plugins and features that are included by default in the image, so you can disable any plugins you do not wish to use, and this will in turn speed up the boot (and restart) time of your Vu+ receiver.
In our experience you can shave a few seconds by using this but it is plenty fast even without.
The boot and general speed of the receiver is quite fast and stands up well against the more recent receivers we have reviewed. So we would not worry about speed if you are considering this budget Vu+ receiver.
Picture/tuner quality, zapping speed
Picture quality is great on the Vu+ Zero and we have no complaints about tuner sensitivity as well.
Channel zapping is really fast and you can of course play around with the on screen graphics look by downloading and changing skins.
Since this is a entry level single tuner receiver you do not get picture in picture or transcoding options but that is to be expected.
Recording TV, Hbb-TV and Media Playback
If you want to record TV you need to connect a USB storage device to the receiver. Then it works as a PVR but do remember that this is a single tuner device so in general watching 1 channel and recording another is not possible.
Hbb-TV the interactive Internet based tv service worked just fine in our review. As did media playback both mp3, flac, avi and mkv files are handled pretty well.
Vu+ Zero Summarized
The Vu+ Zero offers a lot in a small package and at a great price. With the Vu+ Zero you get a well supported and well built single tuner satellite receiver that is easy to install and use.
Despite the fact that it is not using the latest and greatest CPU it still performs and feels faster than many other receivers we have reviewed.
If you do not need twin tuners and CI ports we have no problem recommending the Vu+ Zero. It is great value for the money and a great zapper box.
Linux-TV.com thanks satellietzaak.nl for supplying the receiver for this review
Vu+ Zero Specifications
|DVB||1 X (S2)|
|USB||2 X 2.0|
|Other connectors||Composite Video & Analog Audio (Stereo Jack X 1)|