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Author Topic: First Look: AzBox miniMe American edition  (Read 3454 times)


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First Look: AzBox miniMe American edition
« on: November 03, 2012, 10:09 am »
Our friends at AzBox Canada have just provided us with a sample of their newest receiver, the AzBox miniMe American edition.

The AzBox miniMe is the newest model of this popular HD satellite receiver brand from Portugal based Opensat.
The American edition of the AzBox miniMe from AzBox Canada is customized and tested for the North American market.

The following is a first look of this small but powerful HD FTA satellite receiver.

Unpacking the receiver, we find the set top box neatly packaged along with the remote control on the side, quick start guide, composite and component breakout cables. The receiver normally comes with only a European style power cord but the American edition also includes the American style power cord.

The AzBox miniMe features a compact but stylish design with a black plastic casing which blends in well with today's modern home theatre equipment. Unlike most set top boxes, the AzBox miniMe features rounded side panels which adds to its flair and elegance. Ventilation holes can be found on the top of the unit to help keep the receiver running cool, even without an internal fan.

The front panel features a single button to turn the receiver on or off. The LED light surrounding the power button changes colour based on the current operating mode of the receiver. For example, orange indicates the receiver is in standby mode and blue means that it's on. The LED light also flashes when the receiver is busy doing something such as scanning or playing back a recording. The front panel also features the AzBox miniMe logo along with the stylized Z from the AzBox logo and a 1/8" headphone jack for an external IR receiver (not included) if you wish to install your receiver in a location with no clear line of sight for the infrared remote control to function. However, we believe that most people will want to have the miniMe as the centrepiece of their home entertainment system so the external IR receiver should not be required.

The back panel features a variety of connections including IF input, loop out, Ethernet LAN connection, S/PDIF optical audio output, HDMI output, two USB ports, an e-SATA port, component and composite outputs using the included breakout cables. Although a hard disk can't be installed inside the unit due to its small size, the e-SATA port will ensure high performance for your external hard disk.

The AzBox miniMe American edition features a customized firmware adapted for our market.

The main menu allows the user to change from TV to radio mode, setup event timers, play various media files including recordings, change system settings and scan for channels after configuring various tuner options and satellite preferences.

Although the unit currently comes with only one tuner, the firmware is already designed to support a second tuner as well. Additional tuners for this receiver will soon be available. The AzBox miniMe features some unique tuner configuration options such as tuner timeout adjustment, useful to try and tune those hard to lock feeds ...

Three different types of scans are available, manual transponder scan which scans a specific transponder from a specific satellite ...

automatic satellite scan which scans all transponders from one or more satellites ...

and blind scan which scans for all frequencies on a specific satellite.

Manual PID entry is also available under Manual transponder scan in order to manually add certain channels that don't scan in otherwise.

Feed hunters rejoice!

The blindscan feature on the AzBox miniMe is fast and very powerful.

A full scan of Galaxy 17 as shown above takes about 5 minutes and finds numerous feeds.

As this is an AzBox HD satellite receiver, various signal formats are supported including 4:2:2, an AzBox exclusive

And once scanned in, detailed technical information on the currently tuned channel can be viewed. This includes the list of PIDs, resolution, bitrate signal and quality levels. A graph also shows current signal, quality, bitrate and BER levels.

The AzBox miniMe also easily allows recordings to be made and later played back.

Recordings can be either scheduled using an event timer or on demand by pressing the record button on the remote control.

A timeshift feature is also available which once activated, can pause and resume live TV.

Recordings are stored in TS format which can easily be played back using your computer without conversion by using a media player such as VLC.

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