HD Receiver Jiuzhou DTS6600 PVR For Jiuzhou it goes without saying that they provide up-and coming market segments with innovations. This is also why we were hardly impressed to find aprerelease model of Jiuzhou’s HDTV DVB-S/2 PVR receiver in our test lab. After all,HDTV Satellite in combination with PVR functionality is a clear step into the future. And with the Jiuzhou DTS 6600 intends to become a significant player in future.
The receiver comes in a rather plain but nonetheless good-looking silver case. The front panel supports a very easy to read 4-digit segment display, flanked by two LEDs to indicate the box’s operating mode.
Hidden behind a flap are seven keys to operate the DTS 6600 without remote control, as well as two CI slots which accept all standard modules such as Irdeto, Seca, Viaccess, Conax, Nagravision and so on. Only the standby button can be reached without opening the flap.
The back panel reveals a comprehensive range of connections such as the satellite input and loop-through output, a HDMI interfacefor fully digital video and audio transmission, three sockets for YUV as well as three additional RCA jacks for stereo audio and composite video and specifically for the European market two scart euro connectors.
A digital audio output makes sure any home cinema system is fed with crystal-clear audio and a USB 2.0 port is available for connection external storage media to use the PVR functionality. The perfect overall impression is rounded off by a main power switch.
The included remote control sits nicely in your hand, its buttons are easy to reach, clearly labelled and provide convenient feedback when pressed.
The user’s manual is drawn up just as smartly and provides a clear structure, features illustrations where they are needed and answers all questions that might arise when using the receiver. To sum up, this receiver creates a good first impression in terms of workmanship and hardware quality, even though some might lament the somewhat conservative design.
The Jiuzhou DTS 6600 does satellite tv offers an installation wizard and our test model arrived with a preset list of 122 mainly German language channels. On a positive note we can state that all available HD TV channel from the German and English countries transmitted via ASTRA 19.2° East and ASTRA2 28.2° East were already included in that list.
In order to customise the box according to personal preferences all you have to do is press the MENU button to call up a clearly structured and well organised menu of available options. The main menu is divided into five group swith a number of sub-groups each. For the time being the latest Jiuzhou receiver is not yet a genuine globetrotter as the OSD is only available in German, English, Dutch or French. You can be assured, however, that this list will be extended by the manufacturer in one of the upcoming software updates.
In order to allow full use of the HDMI connection the receiver supports video output in 576p, 720p or 1080i. The only feature we missed was an automatic switch, but we assume that the manufacturer will add this feature in due time as well.
If you connect a regular CRT TV set to the box you will most probably decide to use the RGB video output mode. CVBS is available as well and if your Dish Television set has the corresponding inputs you may also use the YUV output.
Of course, basic features such as the 16:9 aspect ratio and a number of 4:3 options are all implemented, as is a digital optical audio output which can provide a PCM or Dolby Digital (bitstream) signal.
This latest Jiuzhou receiver takes the correct time directly from the satellite signal, or you can decide to set the time manually, if you so desire.
What we like: you can set the HD receiver to show the current time instead of the channel number even when it is turned on. Before you can actually use all the features of the DTS 6600 it first has to be set up to work with your existing reception system. To this end DiSEqC protocols 1.0 for up to four satellites, 1.1 for up to 16 satellites as well as 1.2 and 1.3 (USALS) for motorised antennas are available.
A current satellite list featuring 56 European satellite positions is pre-stored and we noticed that even thetransponder data must have been updated only recently as they are very up-to-date. With an easy-to-use satellite and transponder editor it is child’s play to add, delete or edit satellites as well as transponder entries.
Apart from receiving Ku band signals the Jiuzhou HDTV receiver can also be used for C band signals and thanks to freely selectable LOF data even the most exotic LNBs can be made to work with this receiver. A whole range of options for switching between bands and polarisations makes it even more versatile.
Now that the basic setup is completed the 5000-channel memory needs to be filled with entries. To accomplish this, automatic or manual search modes can be selected. And here we were in for another pleasant surprise: the channel search OSD is remarkably clear and self-explanatory.
An indefinite number of available satellites can be chosen for an automatic search, which are then scanned in a single go. You can of course define whether FTA, encrypted or all channels should be found. In addition, you can tell the box whether you’re after TV channels,radio stations or both.
If required, you can also activate network scanso that any pay TV transponders that are not yet prestored will also be detected by the receiver. For our test satellite with just over 100 transponders finally took almost ten minutes, which means it is a little on the slower side.
Naturally, a manual scan gives you even greater options and you can manually enter frequency, symbol rate, polarisation, PID, modulation (with the receiver supporting QPSK in DVB-S and QPSK as well as 8PSK in DVB-S2) and FEC.
After our test search on several satellites we ended up with thousands of more or less useful channels, which is way too many for real viewing pleasure. So what needed to be done next is bring some order and tidiness into this huge mess.
Luckily, the DTS 6600 satellite tv offer a number of options for achieving this. Individual channels can be deleted, moved, renamed or protected with a PIN code to keep your kids from watching unsuitable material. A total of eight favourite lists are available to be filled with just the channels you really watch on a regular basis.
During our test editing both the channel and favourite lists went about smoothly and flawlessly.Here again the manufacturer has come up with a logical and user friendly concept which even novices will come to understand in next to no time.
Now that the channel list is filled and well organised we can exit the main menu by pressing the you guessed it! EXIT button. This prompts the receiver to switch to the first channel on the list.The OK button calls up the channel list which lists all available channels in a clearly arranged way. Using the FAV and SAT buttons of the remote control you can either call up the channel list of a different satellite or one of the favourite lists.
Sorting the channel list can be done by pushing the Zoom button on the remote.
The new Jiuzhou receiver is reasonably fast when switching between channels, which holds also true for changing between SD and HD offerings. What we really appreciated in our test was the video quality via HDMI on a 42-inch plasma and a 40-inch LCD flat screen TV. There really was nothing to be left desired.
Whenever the receiver switches to a new channel it inserts an info bar with details regarding the currently showing and next event as well as icons for encryption, subtitles, DD audio etc. Signal quality and signal strength as well as satellite and frequency of the currently watched channel are also shown.
The remote control comes with dedicated keys for selecting the audio track and subtitles (if provided). In case your TV set has no built-in teletext decoder you can always fall back on the integrated software teletext decoder of the Jiuzhou box. While the DTS 6600 does not (yet) offer automatic output resolution switching, it can be done easily by pushing the Function key on the remote control to quickly change between the available options.
This is very handy whenever a HDTV channel transmits in 1080i (and can best be viewed when this resolution is set for the receiver as well) and you then zap to a SDTV channel, when either 720p or 576p should be chosen for best video display.
The EPG menu always shows information for six channels at a time. With the help of the colour-coded buttons you can change the date or jump to the current time. Of course the info bar satellite tv providers information on currently showing and next events as well. If you need to make sure not to miss a particular event you can define upto eight timer entries. These have to be set up manually.
Just like all our test receiver the Jiuzhou DTS 6600 finally had to prove its worth when the going gets tough. What we liked in this regard was that it delivered useful results even when the signals came in very weakly, such as for horizontal transmission from NILESAT 7° West or ASTRA 2D 28.2° East at our location.
SCPC was a different story, though, as we could not verify the manufacturer’s claim of 1 to 45 Ms/s. We even encountered problems when trying to receive various TURKSAT 42° East transponders with symbol rates of way above 2 Ms/s. Yet, once the tuner is able to lock a signal reception becomes very reliable.
Finally, we want to address one of the main features of this receiver, the USB 2.0 interface. It can be used to attach external hard disk drives or USB memory sticks, which transform the DTS 6600 into a genuine PVR receiver. This feature worked without a glitch in our test and both HD and SD recordings could be played back perfectly, including the time shifting. The remote control does not come with a PVR key, which means that the ZOOM button and the colour coded buttons are used for PVR commands.
A File Explorer can be accessed via the main menu and is used to show data located on the external storage medium. The DTS 6600 does not only list all available recordings, it can also list and display JPEG images on the TV screen, which is a very handy feature and an excellent replacement for those old fashioned slide projectors.
Apart from PVR functionality and displaying JPEGs the USB interface is also used to update the receivers operating software, which is first downloaded from the Jiuzhou’s website to the PC and is then installed on the receiver with the help of a USB stick. If you prefer it the easy way you will also be able to download new software directly via satellite as this feature will be implemented by the time the final product hits the shelves.
Summing up, the new HD Receiver Jiuzhou DTS6600 PVR is a HDTV receiver with great potential. It includes a number of useful ideas which are combined with just the right mix of ease of use and comprehensive features.