Satellite Receiver Kathrein UFS 821

Satellite Receiver Kathrein UFS 821 , a traditional manufacturer out of Germany, wants to offer the Kathrein UFS 821 a Sound & Vision Center to its customers. It would be a center for audio and video. Is that a good idea? We think so. The entire system is tv packages in an elegant cabinet that is available in either black or silver. On the front panel is a large multifunction control for volume, channel selection, etc. An easy-to-read VFD display was positioned in the middle by the manufacturer and shows the channel name as well as other information.

Behind a flap can be found two CI slots, four buttons for operation of the Satellite receiver without a remote control and also a USB interface. As expected from Kathrein, the rear panel is nicely equipped: in addition to the IF input and looped-through output and the two Scart connectors, you will also find three RCA jacks for video and stereo audio, an S-video output, an RS-232 interface, a USB interface for connection to a  PC and an optical digital audio output.The included user manual is of exceptional quality and describes even for the beginner all functions and settings of the UFS 821 in great detail. We were not as elated with the remote control.

It sits nicely in your hand but the OK button as well as other operational buttons were located near the bottom of the remote. On the one hand we are not used to seeing this and on the other it makes the buttons a little harder to reach.

The Kathrein UFS 821 is for the most part a plug & playreceiver. Simply connect the two tuners to the multiswitches, turn the box on and, thanks to the pre programmed channel list for Astra and Hotbird, in most cases installation in central Europe will immediately produce a picture on the TV. If you are able to receive more than one satellite with your system (DiSEqC 1.0, 1.2 and 1.3 are supported), you simply access the installation assistant to help set of the receiver step-by-step.

Once the desired OSD language has been selected (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Polish and Turkish are available), the next step would take you to the tuner settings.

From here you end up in the satellite list from which the desired satellites can be selected. The Satellite Receiver Kathrein comes preprogrammed with 21 European satellites. The box even satellite tv offers the partitioning of the satellite list into four continents.

The last and most important step of the installation assistant is the automatic channel scan. Six minutes was needed to scan 80 transponders without the network search activated. Of course a manual scan (with or without PID entry) is also available as is the ability to edit individual transponders, create new entries or delete existing ones. As with other Kathrein receiver, new programming data can be directly loaded into the receiver via satellite.

SatcoDX Compatibility

Especially exciting is this receiver’s SatcoDX compatibility. The Editor program made available from the manufacturer at no charge can import the up-to-date SatcoDX data in SDX format. This is great news for owners of motorized systems. It is unfortunate though that Kathrien only provided the Satellite Receiver Kathrein UFS 821with enough room for 4000 channels. It won’t take long to fill this list up.

The built-in tuner is relatively sensitive and managed to handle narrow band SCPC signals starting at 2.0 Ms/sec. in our tests without any problems. Additional basic settings can be handled in the nicely organized main menu. The receiver can provide the video signal in CVBS, RGB, S-Video or YUV formats for flat screen TV or projection systems. PAL and NTSC are also supported.

The receiver comes from the factory with a 160 GB hard drive. This is enough for up to 100 hours of TV and radio recordings. Operation of the hard drive is actually quite clever in the UFS 821. Should the available space on the hard drive not be enough for additional recordings, the receiver can be set to automatically delete older data. The time shift buffer for time-delayed TV recording is manually adjustable and can be set for several hours.

Should one or more encrypted recordings end up on the hard drive, the UFS 821 provides the ability to decrypt the signal after the fact. The recording would be marked in the replay list and as soon as the receiver is placed in standby mode, it begins to decrypt the recording.

Surprise! EPG from tvtv

We were pleasantly surprised when we pressed the EPG button. So that the general overview of all the available programs would not be lost and so that the user was provided with very up-to-date EPG data for up to a week in advance, Kathrein has not only relied on a channel’s own EPG data but has also entered into a cooperation with the company .Services. This company with its Internet program guide at   is a household name in many European countries. The up-to-date data can be set to download into the receiver via satellite at a preset time thus making this up-to-date data available at any time.

Additional features such as Now Playing with the current program of all 60 TV channels listed by tv can be sorted by Genre, by daily tips plus the detailed information of all programs can be displayed. The Search function can be used to help keep an eye out for specific programming. Thankfully,with tv EPG you are no longer limited to a certain number of channels; instead, all content is available since the receiver storesthe entire database on the hard drive.

Eventually, the available free space on the included 160GB hard drive will come to an end. At this point it would be a good time to transfer your favorite recordings to your PC and from there perhaps burn them to a DVD. Thanks to the integrated USB 2.0 interface, this is absolutely no problem. The necessary software for this satellite hdtv dvr system ,DVR Manager is also provided free of charge by Kathrein on their web site. In just 16 minutes a 2GB file was transferred.

When the DVR Manager is started, you get the idea that the Linux-based Kathrein receiver can still do more. It is possible to transfer jpeg pictures and mp3 music files to the box for playback. The USB 2.0 interface on the front panel can be used to connect a portable hard drive or even a digital camera through which, video, mp3 and image data can be transferred. In our tests this functioned perfectly using a standard digital camera.


Thanks to the large multifunction control and the VFD display, this box can easily be used as a simple radio receiver even without it connected to a  TV. At least now we know what Kathrein means by the term Sound & Vision Center. It would be a great pity if it were only used for this purpose, but satellite radio fans could use the Kathrein UFS 821 as an ideal radio receiver.

Firmware Update
DVR-Manager Software : Download
DVR-Manager Manual : Download
Kathrein UFS 821 Firmware : Download
Program Kathrein UFS 821 : Download
Instructions for update with USB stick : Download
Registration on cable system : Download
USB driver for Windows XP : Download
USB driver for Windows Vista : Download

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