HDTV Satellite Receiver Nanoxx 9800HD, Sharp, Sharper, Nanoxx! This advertising slogan pops up on German manufacturer Nanoxx’s website and with good reason as our tests will show. But one thing at a time. When Nanoxx asked us a few weeks ago to take a closer look at their new 9800HD, naturally we said yes. We’ve already tested a variety of Nanoxx HDTV receiver and were impressed each time.
Nanoxx 9800 HD Satellite Receiver
We were quite excited when the delivery truck dropped off the satellite tv package with the receiver at our test centers. The 9800HD managed to earn its first plus points while we were unpacking it; as has been typical with Nanoxx, they stuck with an elegant and above all slim design.
At just 30×6.3x22cm in size, it easily fits on any TV stand or in any living room cabinet.Its discreet silver/black color combination is inconspicuously elegant and it has an easy to read blue colored alphanumeric display.
The front panel comes with six buttons used to operate the receiver in lieu of the remote control plus a seventh Standby button that is illuminated in blue while the receiver is in use. Two CI slots capable of working with all the popular modules, such as Irdeto, Nagravision, Cryptoworks or Viaccess along with a card reader for Conax, X-Crypt, DG-Crypt, Firecrypt and Crypton can all be found behind a flap on the right side of the front panel.
When you take a look at the rear panel and all of the connectors on the new Nanoxx receiver, you would have to ask yourself, “did they forget anything?” If you look closely, you’ll see that every possible interface is available and usable.
Of course the most important of these would be the two satellite IF inputs for DVB-S and DVB-S2 that also sport looped-through outputs. The 9800HD can be connected to a TV or projection system using the HDMI interface, the three RCA jacks for YUV, an S-Video jack, a CVBS jack as well as two Scart connectors.Exceptional audio is supplied by optical and coaxial S/PDIF outputs.
Communicating with other devices can be handled via the two USB jacks (Type A and Type B for linking to an external hard drive or a PC), an e-SATA interface as well as an Ethernet interface.
There’s even a good old RS-232 interface available that can be used to upload/download channel lists. It’s all topped off with a main power switch, something that you unfortunately don’t always find on other receiver brands.
The included remote control is just as elegant and sits nicely in your hands. The buttons are ideally labeled and after only a short time getting to know the remote you’d be able to operate every function blindfolded. All of the buttons are easy to reach and easy to depress.
The detailed, fully illustrated user manual printed in English and German will answer any questions you might have regarding the operation of this new Nanoxx receiver. The manufacturer gets a nice pat on the back for this effort.
After the receiver has been connected to the satellite antenna system and the TV and it has been turned on for the first time,the Installation Assistant immediately appears.
It is a very helpful tool when setting up the receiver for the first time.For the OSD (on-screen display) language,25 choices are available including English,German,Turkish,Russian,French,Arabic, Italian,Portuguese, Spanish,Danish,Dutch,Polish, Czech,Swedish,Norwegian,Finnish,Greek, Serbian,Hungarian,Croatian,Albanian and Farsi.All in all,a very international receiver.
The next step involves setting up the local time zone and whether daylight savings time should be turned on or off. Once this is taken care of, the receiver is then matched up with the existing antenna system. 153 European, Asian and American C and Ku-band satellites have been preprogrammed into the Nanoxx all with relatively up-to-date transponder data.
The Nanoxx concept sees to it that the satellites are set up and activated during the initial settings phase so that later on during a scan only those satellites that can actually be received will be available. The user simply checks off all of the satellites that his system is set up for.
Each satellite has its own configuration menu in which numerous parameters can be set up. In addition to a variety of useable local oscillator frequency (LOF) values, there are also LNB settings available based on the SCR standard.
Manual LOF entry lets you set up other LNB’s such as those for the S-band. Natu-rally the Nanoxx 9800HD also supports all of the DiSEqC protocols: 1.0 for multifeed antennas up to four satellites, 1.1 for the expanded version for use with up to 16 LNBs, as well as 1.2 and 1.3 (USALS) for motor control and naturally also the SCR standard (Unicable).
Nanoxx 9800 HD Digital Sat Receiver
Before the installation assistant permits a channel scan to be started, the final set up step involves deciding how incoming signals should be routed to the two tuners. This could be separate cables with identical switches, separate cables with different types of switches or a loop through connection between Tuner 1 and Tuner 2.
Don’t worry, at first it seems complicated but the proper choice almost happens by itself; Nanoxx blends in connection diagrams that makes it much easier for the user to make the right choice. For those who don’t have much patience, Nanoxx satellite tv offers instead of a channel scan a preloaded channel list for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
It not only carries the advantage that all unwanted channels have already been done away with and that all of the remaining channels have been sorted, it also saves viewers in these countries a lot of time since in the end all they want to do is get to watching TV as quickly as possible.
The receiver stores the selected options thus completing the initial installation. Before the owner of his newly purchased receiver actually gets down to using it, there are a few recommended additional settings that can be handled via the main menu.
By pushing the menu button on the remote control, the Main Menu appears with the current TV image minimized to a small window in the upper right corner of the screen.It was designed especially for high resolution TVs and is thus sharp and easy to read. It is divided into seven sub-menus (Installation, System Settings, Channel Settings, Child Protection, Games, Multimedia and Conditional Access.
The installation menu will only be needed again when looking for new channels or when new satellites need to be added; everything else was already taken care of in the initial installation. Here you will also find a variety of other options that, for example, would allow you to reset the receiver to factory settings plus among other things load one of the preprogrammed channel lists.
In addition to a variety of language choices (subtitle, teletext, audio language, etc.), it is also possible to change the video output signal. The 9800HD supports PAL and NTSC in 1080i, 720p and 576p resolutions. There’s also an automatic mode that matches the resolution to each transmission resulting in optimal picture quality. Naturally, the receiver can also automatically recognize and take 4:3 signals and either display them with black bars on either side of the image on modern 16:9 TVs or zoom in on the image.
Also worth mentioning is the Video switching option. This option essentially keeps the current channel image on the screen until the new channel is ready to be displayed. This has the advantage of making it appear that the already short channel Magazine switching time of about one second is even shorter. It’s nothing more than an optical magic trick, but it looks really good!Even the on-screen display can be adjusted a variety of ways; for example, level of transparency and display time. Another useful feature is the Lip-sync option. In cases where the video and audio of a signal are not quite 100% synchronized, this feature lets you match them together.
As practical as the pre-pared channel list is, we here at TELE-satellite are especially interested in the Channel Scan menu that was the next step for us. The Nanoxx 9800HDcomes with four different modes. The first is the automatic scan. In this mode the user only needs to select a desired satellite and choose between ALL, NIT, Fast, Free, TV or Radio. These choices can be set up individually for as many satellites as needed. Owners of DiSEqC motorized systems can thus select all receivable satellites for an automatic scan and sit and enjoy a DVD while the receiver takes care of the work. Through all of the different search modes it’s also possible to scan a satellite like ASTRA 28.2 east with all of its encrypted channels only for those channels freely receivable, while scanning ASTRA 19.2 east for all channels and HOTBIRD 13 east only for radio channels. It doesn’t get any more user-friendly than that!
Manual scan mode lets you search on one transponder. The well thought out and logical operational concept of the Nanoxx receiver can only be appreciated when you see it for yourself. For all you DXers out there we want to point out that of course a manual scan with PID entry is also possible.And while we’re on the DXer subject, they would be very happy with the third scanning mode, namely Blind Scan. We’ve all seen this prob-lem before: new channels are always being added, old ones removed and symbol-rates are constantly changing. If you want to keep your channel list as current as possible, you either have to refer to the up-to-date chan-nel lists from www.SatcoDX.com or you simply use the Blind Scan feature of the 9800HD. This feature lets you scan a user-defined frequency range for all active transponders, identifies the symbolrate and FEC and reads all the available satellite TV and radio channels into the receiver. Since this type of scan can take much longer than a simple scan of a preprogrammed transponder list, the Blind Scan on the one hand can be limited to a single polarization while on the other the scanning steps can be adjusted between 1 and 4 MHz in an effort to speed up the overall scan. If you want to use Blind Scan to search a DTH position such as HOTBIRD at 13 east, 4 MHz scanning steps would be sufficient.If you are searching for SCPC signals, then 1 or 2 MHz scanning steps are recommended.
HDTV Satellite Receiver Nanoxx 9800HD
In general, the larger the scanning steps, the faster the overall scan. An automatic scan of HOT-BIRD at 13 east needed 7 minutes and 33 seconds to be completed and managed to find1232TVand421radio channels. A Blind Scan required 17 minutes and 52 seconds during which 1344 TV and 455 radio channels were found.We also wanted to test the capabilities of the Nanoxx 9800HD tuner and were pleasantly surprised with the results: SCPC reception was possible starting at 2.0 Ms/sec and very weak signals such as those on NILE-SAT at 7 west and ASTRA 2D at 28.2 east were also easily handled by the receiver; it was able to present an interference-free picture with C/N values starting at 4.5 dB. Once all the basic settings have been taken care of, the 10,000 possible channels that can be stored need to be freed up of any unnecessary or unwanted entries. This is handled by the Channel Settings menu. From here channels can be deleted, renamed, moved or transferred to one of the Favorites lists.
It is also possible to delete a group of channels with the push of one button plus you can transfer channel data, system settings and timer entries to an external medium so that this data can be worked on using an Editor program on a PC. After wards, this modified data can be uploaded back to the receiver via its USB interface.After the channel list has been edited to your liking, a push of the Exit button takes you out of the main menu and the 9800HD switches to the first receivable channel. After each channel change an informative Info bar appears that provides information on the current channel including language selection, teletext, encryption, subtitles, etc. as well as programming information on the current and upcoming programs. Even signal strength and signal quality is displayed in the form of bar graphs. A push of the Info button displays an expanded EPG view of the current program as long as this data is made available by the provider.
A second push of the Info button displays detailed reception information on the current channel.As is typical with almost every receiver on the market, and the Nanoxx box is no different, the channel list appears with a push of the OK button. It is very clearly laid out with HD and encrypted channels easily recognizable thanks to cor-responding symbols. There are also a number of sorting methods that in the end will make it very easy to find the channel that you want. You can sort alphabetically, by frequency, provider and HD or SD.As we already mentioned, the channel switching times of the 9800HD are quite fast within the same transponder and also between HD and SD signals. During our tests we were impressed with the integrated upscaler. Its job is to convert SD signals in such a way that they can be shown on larger TVs with a sharp and high contrast picture in higher resolution. If automatic resolution has not been activated, a dedicated button on the remote control switches between the various resolutions so that the best picture quality can be achieved.
The more channels that can be received, the more important it is to have a decent electronic program guide (EPG) since in the end the user wants to maintain an overview and always be kept up to date on current programs. To that end, the Nanoxx comes with two different EPG modes: a single channel view and a multi-channel view in table format. Which of these is more useful will depend on the user; both functioned perfectly in our tests. The data was correctly sorted and above all quickly displayed.Timer entries can also be handled directly from the EPG as can recording set-tings. For example, you can dictate whether the record-ing should end up on an external USB or e-SATA hard drive and also in what sub-folder it should be stored.Up to 40 timer events can be set up and these can be one-time, daily or weekly recordings.
Nanoxx with its 9800HD has remained with their external hard drive concept and for good reason. Today’s external hard drives are not nearly as expensive as they used to be, come with plenty of space and can be easily car-ried around from one place to another. For our test we used a Freecom 2.5” hard drive. It comes with the advantage that it doesn’t need an exter-nal power source; it receives its power through the USB interface. The Nanoxx 9800HD can record up to two programs at the same time (SD and/or HD) on the hard drive while a third program is either watched live or played back from the same hard drive. Even hardcore couch potatoes will be satisfied with all the different possibilities. Thanks to the inte-grated time shift function, a telephone conference call from your mother-in-law can no longer interfere with your evening TV watching mood: the program is simply paused and then restarted at the point where it was stopped at the end of the conversation without missing a thing.
Numerous PVR functions performed correctly during our tests no matter how hard we tried to derail the receiver with multiple recordings, timers and time shifting. The receiver did whatever we asked it to and reliably recorded all of our selected programs. We all know that providers don’t always follow their own broadcasting schedule so it’s nice to know that the 9800HD can automatically extend the recording time of a program by a user-defined amount of time.There’s also a special version of Haenlein’s video editing software from www.haenlein-software.com. This lets you edit both SD and HD recordings on your PC.And let’s not forget the media function. This is the control center for the play-back of all the multimedia content on the hard drive; it too functioned perfectly during our tests. Similar to a data manager, it presents a clear overview of all the data. To that end, the Nanoxx supports not only its own recordings, but AVI (XVID), JPEG photos and MP3 music. During playback there are a number of playback speeds available.
The receiver can also remember where a playback was stopped so that it can continue from the point it was stopped the next time playback is started. To uti-lize the PVR functions all you need is any external USB or e-SATA hard drive formatted in Microsoft FAT32. Most hard drives are shipped from the factory in FAT32, otherwise the manu-facturer offers a free for-matting tool through their web site.
Satellite TV Network
Slowly but surely, more and more manufacturers are including Ethernet connections network security devices on their receivers, Nanoxx is no exception. Thanks to the ability to link to a local network or the Internet, the possibilities are endless; receivers without a LAN connection can only dream of what it would be like. The connection is set up very quickly; the 9800HD utilizes DHCP and can automatically detect all the necessary parameters directly from the router or DSL modem network security hardware. For more experienced users a manual configuration is also available. Once the receiver is connected to the home network, it becomes possible to access the hard drive connected to the 9800HD from the PC via FTP. This makes it easy to further process recordings on your PC. The receiver itself prof-its from the Internet connections: a connection with the Nanoxx FTP server can be made directly from the receiver. There you will find current software as well as channel lists for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. And best of all: Nanoxx can expand this by offering more channel lists and other useful features that the user can upload to the receiver with the simple push of a button.network security software updates have never been this simple! The desired image data is marked and downloaded from the Internet directly to the receiver’s menu with the push of the OK button. The days of using USB sticks or null modem cables to link to a PC are over, even though the 9800HD still satellite tv offer these methods.
An especially interesting feature and typical Nanoxx is Manual Scan Every possible LNB setting is available Channel list editing standbythe ability to stream recordings between two different devices on the same network. Who hasn’t experienced this before: your laying comfort-ably in bed and want to finish watching the documentary you had recorded a few days ago in your living room. With most receivers that meant you had to get up and go back to the living room to finish watching it.Not true with the Nanoxx! It can create a link with the receiver in the living room, access then data directly from there and then play-back the recording on the receiver in the bedroom. An absolutely excellent feature!
To top it all off, theHDTV Satellite Receiver Nanoxx 9800HD comes with a variety of other practical features that we briefly want to touch on here: there’s a PIP function (picture-in-picture) that lets you watch another chan-nel during lengthy commercial breaks and also makes it easy to switch between these channels. The Mosaic function dis-plays the current program from 4 or 6 channels next to each other in a minimized format that gives you an overview of what’s playing, for example, on your favorite channels. And to guarantee that you’ll never be bored, the manufacturer also included two video games that can help pass the time during commercials. The Zoom function magnifies a highlighted portion of the video image and teletext pages can also be displayed.
Nanoxx 9800HD Firmware
The user can download a variety of useful programs from the website Nanoxx 9800HD Firmware including a channel list editor and a media player that can present recordings directly from the receiver’s hard drive on a PC.