FTA Receiver INFOSAT Zimple Box 3 The first thing that impressed us when we first opened the parcel that contained the Zimple Box 3 FTA receiver, systems was it’s compact size. The test box was a silver receiver with some Thai letters on the right side of the front panel. We could also spot the Stand-by button as well as another two buttons that allow to change channels without the use of the remote.
A three digit seven segment display gives information about the channel number, and when the info button on the remote control was pressed, it showed the signal quality percentage.A signal level bar on the right side was also useful as it presented the signal quality.
At the rear panel we found the usual LNB input, but without a loop-through output. Three RCA plugs feature the video output as well as the right and left audio signals, and are used to connect the Infosat receiver to a TV. An additional video output can be used to connect to a video recorder. A main power switch was also present, which is useful to reduce the power consumption to a minimum when the receiver is not used.
As the number of satellite and transponders is growing, it would be nice to use a simple way to update the receiver’s data-base quickly and correctly. Here comes in handy the embedded RS232 port, as it’s the only way to upgrade the firmware and install updated settings.
The remote control is in a black color and with an ergonomic style it‘s easy to use. Its infrared transmission is so powerful that there is no need to aim it directly at the receiver you can even point it to another direction and it will work.
When we turned on the FTA receiver for the first time,Zimple box 3 was already configured.To check it‘s factory settings, we applied the default settings, which changed the language in all menus into Thai. Some satellites that mainly broadcast international East Asian programs were already installed.
Infosats’ Zimple box 3 supports Thai,Chinese and English menu languages. Going through the system menu, you can configure the language,video output to either PAL or NTSC, OSD color and transparency, and even enable the shut down timer so that the receiver will turn off automatically after a desired time.
In the Tools section information about the firmware of Zimple box can be seen, as well as information about the current channel like transponder, frequency and signal strength. The Satellite Guide menu is a useful tool for setting the dish to a specific satellite.Fill in the information about your longitude,latitude and satellite longitude,and the guide will provide you with the azimuth and elevation to setup your TV. In the Tools menu you will also find the usual Default settings, Game,Software upgrade,calendar, and calculator.
Installation and Blind Scan
Diseqc 1.0 and 1.2 are fully supported which means that up to four LNBs or a Diseqc 1.2 antenna motor can be connected and controlled by the receiver. Adding new satellites to the already installed ones is not a big deal. Just enter the name of the desired satellite tv, select LNB port and then you can either manually add transponders or call the blind scan function to scan for transponders and channels. The receivers channel scan speed is more than good.Zimple box 3 needed only 5 minutes and 57 seconds in blind scan mode to find active transponders and to download the channels.In automatic scan mode with already installed 77 transponders, Zimple box managed to complete the scan for both FTA and Encrypted channels in 1 minute and 22 seconds.
The Zimple Box 3 even has a very convenient and easy to use function for a quick Blind Scan: press Exit on the remote control for 5 seconds, then a menu will appear asking Blind Scan or not? and after confirming“FTA or CAS”. After pressing OK the scan starts immediately. Quite a handy feature!
The receiver has a very sensitive tuner and this was experienced when we compared it with another three receivers and the Zimple box was able to produce a clear image despite very poor signal quality, when other boxes hardly produced mosaics. Zimple box was able to lock almost immediately to frequencies with low symbol rate proving its SCPS compatibility.