Freesat Receiver TechnoTrend Scart TV S100, What a sensation: The first invisible satellite receiver has arrived. How can it be invisible? Because the TechnoTrend Scart TV100 can be plugged into the scart euro connector on the back of the TV and thus is completely out of view in the living room. Even though, the little box (55 x 22 x 100 mm) is stuffed with all the features service cable tv providers we expect from a modern digital satellite receiver.
The receiver comes in two different varieties, one being a FTA receiver and the other one featuring an integrated card reader which is compatible with either Nagravision being used by German pay TV providers Premiere,or Cryptoworks, the encryption system adopted by Austrian public broadcaster ORF. In addition, the version with built in card reader comes with an optical audio output, which is missing in the FTA version. The unit we tested was the Scart TV S100, which is the FTA model.
When looking at the receiver for the first time it’s really hard to believe that TechnoTrend was actually able to squeeze all the hardware components into such a tiny box. While the golden scart euro connector is the striking characteristic on one side, the back side sports the socket for the external power pack and IR receiver, while the satellite IF input is located on the side of the receiver.The version with integrated card reader also has the card slot as well as an optical audio output.
The system comes complete with a remote control which is unusually flat,yet sits well in your hand and allows controlling the receiver quite comfortably.
The printed user manual is available in English and German and explains all installation steps in a comprehensive way,complemented by numerous illustrations.We have come used to TechnoTrendsatellite tv offers well-built and solid products, and this miniature receiver is no exception.
Before turning on the Freesat Receiver TechnoTrend Scart TV S100 for the first time it’s wise to find a suitable position for the external IR receiver to make sure the box can actually receive all the commands sent by the remote control. The IR receiver is also equipped with two LEDs indicating the operating status of the Scart TV S100 and confirming commands sent by the remote control.
Next, all you have to do is plug the box into any available scart socket, connect the antenna cable tv and the power cord and turn it on. If there is limited room for the box next to the scart socket you may as well use the included extension cable and find another spot.
Once the box is switched on for the first time the TV will display the installation wizard which starts with asking for the desired language for the on-screen menu. Next to German, English and French you can choose Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Turkish, Polish, Czech, Russian and Greek.
Next, the current location (which is important for setting the correct time), the aspect ratio of the TV screen (4:3 or 16:9) as well as the video output type (RGB, CVBS or S Video) have to be determined before the Scart TV S100 inserts the menu for theLNB settings.
Unfortunately the receiver only supports DiSEqC 1.0 or tone burst, so if you own a rotating satellite dish which needs to be controlled using DiSEqC 1.2 or 1.3 (USALS) or a multifeed antenna with more than four LNBs you’ll be out of luck with this cute little box. What we liked, however, is the fact that up to three repetitions of DiSEqC commands can be activated which is a great help for avoiding switches not being performed properly.
The pre-stored satellite list comprises the most important European DTH satellites (17 positions in total). Considering the missing DiSEqC 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 protocols this number of satellites is sufficient.
LOF frequencies can individually edited for each satellite,even though hardly everyone will use this feature because the satellite list cannot be extended.C band reception is possible and respective transponder data (for example THOR 1° West) are partly preset. The last step of the installation wizard is the automatic channels search, which can either be a full search or a search of individual satellites or for FTA or encrypted channels.
Once all initial settings are completed the receiver switches to the first channel of the list and also displays a comprehensive and easy-to-read info bar which includes information on the current and next program events. Pressing the EPG button will display a very convenient and perfectly working EPG and with the touch of a button a timer entry can be created for switching on the receiver for a specific program event.
The full channel list is accessed with the OK button. However, there is no option to sort the channels alphabetically or according to “providers” this can only be done in the main menu. On the bright side, though, a specific submenu can be used to conveniently customise the full channel list.
In order to make this procedure even easier the Scart TV S100 has a very smart function for filtering the channel lists. Several categories such as CAS/FTA, provider or satellite are available so that only those channels are displayed that you’d like to edit or move to a favourites list. For complex lists consisting of several hundred channels this is a Godsend.
The main menu allows some additional settings to be made which the initial installation wizard does not include. For example it can be selected whether the internal teletext decoder or the TV’s decoder is to be used or which colour the OSD inserts should have.
Thanks to AFD the Scart TV S100 detects aspect ratios that differ from the predefined screen ratio, which can be reformatted automatically to fit your screen.
New channels can be added in a breeze with a manual search, but unfortunately there is no way to enter a PID manually, a feature needed by the enthusiasts and DXers. Altogether the channel memory can hold up to 4.000 channels, which is more than enough for a FTA receiver.
Another convenient feature deserving special praise is the child lock with a PIN for channels that are unsuitable for children. In addition, the whole receiver or the main menu can be locked with a PIN as well.
The Scart TV S100 switches channels reasonably fast, taking approximately one second. The time it takes for a channel search is also about average with slightly over ten minutes for an 80-transponder satellite.
The tuner has a low threshold and was able to detect and tune into weaker signals as well,for example on ARABSAT 26° East, NILESAT 7° West or LMI1 75° East.
Even though this box has not been designed with techno addicts and DXers in mind it did a good job in our symbol rate test and was able to lock into our narrow band test transponder with a symbol rate of 2 MS/s flawlessly.Below this rate Video level, however, no signals came in.
The remarkably good overall impression of the Scart TV S100 is rounded off by an automatic software upgrade via network,which will keep the receiver up-to-date and fit for the future.