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Vu+ Zero Review

 
vu zero review
vu zero review
vu zero review

 
Overview
 

Manufacturer:
 
Tuners:
 
Tuner Type:
 
Card Readers:
 
PVR:
 
Hbb-tv:
 
Release Year: 2014
 
Our Score
86%
86/ 100


User Rating
24 total ratings

 

Positives


Fast bargain receiver
Small and compact

Negatives


No CI slot


Bottom Line

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.

2
Posted March 12, 2015 by

 
Full Review
 
 
Our extensive review of the VU+ Zero, the entry level is pretty cheap but does it still offer the quality Vu+ is known and loved for? Read our full Vu+ Zero Review below. The review sample was supplied by www.satellietzaak.nl who sell the Zero for € 115,00

vu +zero 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.

Key Features on the Vu+ Zero:

  • 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

vu+ zero front

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.

vu zero top case

 

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.

vu+ zero rear

On the rear of Vu+ Zero we find a pretty good selection of connections in spite of the compact design.

On the back we find these connections:

  • 1  x DVB-S2 Tuner input
  • HDMI
  • 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+ zero box open

vu+ zero box contents

Vu+ always have the cables covered and even on a budget receiver like this you still get a HDMI cable included.

The VU+ Zero is delivered with:

  • Power adapter
  • Remote with batteries included
  • HDMI cable
  • IR Extender Cable
  • Analogue audio/video cable
  • Setup guide

vu_zero_remote

The supplied remote is well known to VU+ buyers. It has a good selection of buttons.

Installation and Image support

vu+ zero vu soft ScreenShot
vu+ zero vu plugins ScreenShot

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+ zero BH ScreenShot

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.

Installing a new Image is easy on the VU+ Zero

usbupdate

  • 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.

Receiver Boot (secs)
Vu+ Solo 4K 32
Vu+ Duo2 33
Formuler F1 35
Vu+ Solo2 35
Formuler F3 38
Vu+ Zero 39
GigaBlue Quad HD 47
VU+ Ultimo 49
VU+ Uno 54
Clarke-Tech ET-9000 63
IQON IOS 100 HD 65
Venton UNiBOX HD2 65
Dreambox 7020 HD 71
Venton UNiBOX HD1 72
VU+ Duo 80

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 speedvu+ zero BH TV ScreenShot

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

Vu+ Zero  Specifications
CPU Type MIPS
CPU (MHz) 742
RAM (MB) 512
Flash (MB) 256
Flash type (NAND)
DVB 1 X (S2)
HDTV Yes
3D TV Yes
PiP No
Common Interface No
Smart card 1
USB 2 X 2.0
RS232 Yes
LAN (Mbit/s) 100
HDD No
ATA No
eSATA No
SCART No
HDMI 1
Display Status LED
Other connectors Composite Video & Analog Audio (Stereo Jack X 1)

  • aQ

    Awesome little box. Had it for over a week now. A huge upgrade from my crappy Skybox F5s

    • msebko

      I have 3 of them, and all works perfect with open atv 5.3 image together with xtrend et7500 in LAN