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This review is done by a professional tester who loves testing different applications on Freeview STBs in his free time.
I have developed certain test cases for testing the STBs and evaluating the results vis a vis different STBs availaible in the market. The following are the test results
1. Initialization: This is the first phase of testing done and is called as Initialization. The results are from basic test like booting the STB and allowing it to Load the programme/Applications and the initial tests around it. The results are given below
1.1 Loading Check ---Time taken for loading the welcome screen Less then 20sec (normal standard is 20 Seconds) 1.2 Arrow keys Press the arrow keys while loading: up, down, left, right. It runs pretty well 1.3 MENU Key----Press MENU----- Exits app; displays resident software Main Menu. Which is pretty good 1.4 GUIDE Key----Press GUIDE ----Exits app; displays well 1.5 EPG.Power key---Press Power---Turn off STB: Passes well 1.6 Remote button '0'-'9'---Press '0'-'9' ----No effect: Passes well 1.7Color key---Press the color key No effect----Passes well 1.8 INFO key---Press INFO ---Channel Information shows up good
Picture is clear and channel change is almost instant.Interactive services load very quick compared to the nokia mediamaster on digital box .EPG is fantastic no need to buy a cretain saturday paper for telly mag again.Have only had slight picture break up but not serious.Only gripe is that i lost top up for 2 days after change over (all back to normal now) i also like the fact that it comes with a 2 year warranty as standard is very small and so simple to use even kids can change channel without having to ask what to do.
2. Screen testing: Screen testing is the last and final testing where the screen is tested using the Remote control. This gives us a and performance of a STB with respect to its Remote Keys, Arrow keys, EPG loading speed, Interactive application speed, Red Keys, pop ups functions etc.
2.1 Banner ---Check for Banners at the Top and iFrame at bottom----It pasees well. 2.2 Default focus---Focus on first menu item--- Passes well 2.3 Loading---Average load time other than the first time. Loads is less then 2 seconds. 2.4 SELECT key----Press SELECT ---Corresponding screen is loaded. 2.5 Arrow keys----Press the up, down arrow keys----Moves the selection on the menu items.
Conclusion: This is a good STB for first time users or for people who are switching from Analogue to Digital Freeview ( or the ones who find BSkyB and NTL/Telewest too expensive). One can swtich from analogue to digital at the cost of less then 65 Pounds. The STB has 2 years Support from Humax. Easy to use for new comers. Some users have compalianed regarding the slow support from Humax, but i really cannot comment on it. I would not recommend this STB to some professional who uses TV extensively. Humax has cut down the extras in this to make it more affordable like it has one slot, does not have any CAS (conditional access system) like connax, Viacess, iredeto etc. It supports interactivity and teletext and has MHEG engine.
A better review than the Samsung, I think, although still a bit too technical for the average Joe Schmoe to understand. The review would be better if it details the pros and cons of the box's features; you mention the EPG being fantastic, for example, but readers might not know what the EPG actually is or what information it gives them... All the best, Markd.