Sonicview SV-360 Elite PVR

					TEST REPORT                  Satellite PVR

SV-360 Elite PVR
Easy To Use
PVR Receiver
PVR boxes are becoming more and more popular every day.
And with the large variety of channels available via satellite and
so much to choose from, it’s easy to see why. Your favorite pro-
gram could be playing on the night you have to attend a wedding.
Or maybe it’s that championship boxing match you simply don’t
want to miss. Thanks to PVR boxes, any channel can be recorded
for playback at a time convenient to you.

   Because of this increasing            USB 2.0 ports. These buttons
popularity, more and more                let you completely operate the
manufacturers are producing              receiver should the remote
PVR boxes than ever before.              control go missing. They are
Sonicview has also joined this           somewhat recessed into the
group with their new twin-               front panel and because of
tuner SV-360 Elite PVR sat-              their small size, someone with
ellite receiver. Naturally, we           larger fingers might have some                       outputs (Y, Pb and Pr). To go
wanted to see what this box              minor difficulties pushing the                       along with that is an optical
was made of so when the                  buttons sufficiently, especially                     S-PDIF digital audio output for
package arrived a few days               the ring buttons. The USB port                      superb audio quality. Round-         be used to control your other
ago from Sonicview we knew               is protected from dust by a                         ing it all out is an RS-232 serial   electronic equipment such as
that we had the opportunity to           rubber flap that easily pops off                     interface, two USB 2.0 ports         your TV, DVD player or VCR.
do just that.                            to reveal the connection.                           and a main power switch.             All in all, it is a very versatile
                                                                                                                                  remote control.
   When we opened the pack-                The rear panel is also very                          The power cord is hard-
age we found a sleek-look-
ing satellite receiver that
                                         nicely equipped. Since it is
                                         a twin tuner box, you’ll find
                                                                                             wired into the receiver and
                                                                                             comes with a North American            Everyday Use
was completely black in color            a pair of satellite IF inputs                       plug. The receiver’s power              Now that we had a chance to
except for a thin chrome-                as well as a pair of looped-                        supply is rated at 95-250VAC,        look at this box from the out-
colored stripe that ran hori-            through IF outputs on the left                      50/60Hz and can therefore be         side, let’s see what it can do
zontally through the center              side. Then, of course, there                        used anywhere in the world;          when we turn it on. The very
of the front panel. This stripe          are the typical set of RCA jacks                    just make sure you have the          first thing we noticed was the
also wraps around two small              that provide video and stereo                       right adapter plug and you’ll        Sonicview logo on the left side
buttons (on/off and menu)                analog audio outputs. But for                       be good to go. A modulator           of the front panel: when the
and a set of ring buttons (left/         improved video quality, there’s                     output is not available and          receiver was plugged in (main
right/up/down arrows and OK)             an S-Video output and, better                       since this particular box is         power switch on), this logo
on the front panel as well as            yet, another set of RCA jacks                       meant for the North American         was illuminated from behind.
one of the receiver’s three              that give you component video                       market, Scart connectors are         The soft blue color of the logo
                                                                                             also not provided.                   gives the receiver an elegant
                                                                                                Unlike the receiver, the uni-     look to it. When the receiver is
 TELE-satellite World                  
 Download this report in other languages from the Internet:
                                                                                             versal remote control is mostly      powered up for the first time,
 Arabic         ‫ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﺔ‬   silver in color except for a small   the SV-360 Elite PVR asks what
 Indonesian     Indonesia   black portion in the center. The     on-screen language should be
 Bulgarian      Български
 Czech          Česky   remote sits nicely in your hand      used. You can choose between
 German         Deutsch   and, contrary to the buttons         English,     French,    German,
 English        English
 Spanish        Español   on the receiver, these but-          Spanish,      Italian,   Russian
 Farsi          ‫ﻓﺎﺭﺳﻲ‬   tons are not recessed and can        Turkish, Dutch, Czech and
 French         Français
 Greek          Ελληνικά   easily be pushed by fingers of        Polish. Don’t take too long
 Croatian       Hrvatski   any size. The ring buttons and       to make your choice – if you
 Italian        Italiano
 Hungarian      Magyar   the buttons for the numeri-          don’t select a language quick
 Mandarin       中文     cal keypad glow in the dark so       enough, the Sonicview auto-
 Dutch          Nederlands
 Polish         Polski   that you can easily see them         matically opts for the default
 Portuguese     Português   if you’re watching TV without        language, in this case English.
 Romanian       Românesc
 Russian        Русский   any lights on! This feature          If this happens, it’s not a prob-
 Swedish        Svenska   could even help you find the          lem at all to go into the menu
 Turkish        Türkçe
                                                                                             remote in a completely dark          and change it to a more suit-
                    Available online starting from 26 September 2008
                                                                                             room. The remote can also            able language.

46 TELE-satellite & Broadband — 10-1
                                   1/2008 —
                                                                                                             SONICVIEW SV-360 ELITE PVR
                                                                                                          A family-friendly receiver and easiest to
                                                                                                              use with a multitude of features


   With the correct language
selected, the receiver goes
right into channel reception
mode. Since there are no chan-        All of the antenna settings
nels as yet saved in memory,       are on the left side of the Dish
there was nothing to view. This    Setting screen. On the right
simply means that we have to       side is a graphical display of
go and find the channels we         the signal strength and qual-                                          Before you begin, make a
want to watch. You can do this     ity levels with a green line rep-                                   mental note of which antenna
by pressing the Menu button        resenting the signal strength                                       input on the rear panel you will
on the remote to access the        and a red line the signal qual-                                     be using. If you’re using both
Main Menu in the receiver. The     ity. These two levels are also                                      inputs, make sure to remem-
Main Menu is divided up into       shown in numerical format.                                          ber which antenna input goes
four categories (Installation,     Underneath the graphical dis-                                       to what satellite antenna.
System Settings, PVR and           play is a bar graph representa-                                     Naturally the first step is to
Advanced Settings) and each        tion of the signal strength and                                     select the satellite or satel-
of these is further divided up     quality levels as well.                                             lites that you want to receive
into additional sub-catego-                                                                            and there is quite an extensive
ries. All of these sub-catego-                                                                         list to choose from: the SV-360
ries can be seen to the right                                                                          Elite PVR comes to you with a
of the highlighted Main Menu                                                                           pre-programmed list of 195 (!)
category. Of course, the logi-                                                                         satellites. And you can even
cal first step would be to go                                                                           add five more! This list is fairly
into the Installation menu so                                                                          up-to-date although there are
that you can tell the receiver                                                                         some satellites in the list that
what you have attached to it.                                                                          no longer exist or have recently
With the Installation menu                                                                             changed names; a few of the
highlighted on the screen, a                                                                           newer satellites are also miss-
click of the OK button let’s you                                                                       ing. Thankfully, the colored
choose from one of the four                                                                            function buttons on the remote
sub-categories. In the Dish                                                                            control make it easy to add,
Setting screen, you can set up                                                                         edit or delete satellites.
your receiver to match your
antenna configuration.                                                                                    The      Sonicview         is    DiSEqC

                                                              — 10-1
                                                                                                   1/2008 — TELE-satellite & Broadband           47
                                                                            the task in a mere 4 min 38       while watching one of those
                                                                            sec. There was no need to         channels will display the chan-
                                                                            fumble around looking for a       nel list. As you look through
                                                                            stop watch; the total scan time   the channel list you will
                                                                            was conveniently displayed on     undoubtedly notice that some
                                                                            the screen. But a good por-       organization of the list will be
                                                                            tion of this time was used to     necessary. For example, the
                                                                            scan from 12.2 to 12.9 GHz;       list may include both FTA and
                                                                              the extra time spent scan-      encrypted channels. If you
                                                                                 ning this segment was not    don’t care about the encrypted
                                                                                    necessary for INTEL-      channels, the now-infamous
                                                                                       SAT AMERICAS 5         colored function buttons on
                                                                                          and there was no    the remote control come into
                                                                                          way to limit the    play once again. With the chan-
                                                                                          frequency range     nel list displayed, a push of the
                                                                                          during the Blind    red function button displays
                                                                                    Scan set up. The abil-    only the FTA channels. Push
                                      remote control. Simply refer to       ity to set up frequency limits    it again to display only the
                                      the bottom of the on-screen           would have saved a little scan-   encrypted channels and then
                                      display to find out what func-         ning time.                        once again to bring back the
                                      tion is assigned to each colored                                        original list. Sorting the chan-
1.0/1.1/1.2/USALS         compat-
                                      button.                                  Naturally, we also wanted to   nel list is also just as easy:
ible allowing you to connect
                                                                            check out the detailed Blind      with the channel list displayed,
its two tuner inputs to almost
                                        As we just mentioned, the           Scan. It turns out that the       pushing the yellow function
any possible antenna configu-
                                      transponder data for all the          detailed Blind Scan completed     button displays the available
ration from a single antenna to
                                      satellites is mostly up-to-date.      its task in roughly the same      sorting criteria (alphabetically,
a motorized system. The most
                                                                                                              by channel number, by satel-
popular free-to-air (FTA) sat-
                                                                                                              lite or default).
ellite in North America would
have to be INTELSAT AMERI-
                                                                                                                From the channel list you
CAS 5 at 97 west. So, naturally,
                                                                                                              can also easily switch between
we wanted to start our testing
                                                                                                              tuner inputs by pushing the
by setting up the receiver for
                                                                                                              green function button. The
this bird. Since the coax cable
                                                                                                              SV-360 Elite PVR also comes
was connected to the IF-A input
                                                                                                              with a multi-picture mode that
on the receiver, we selected
                                                                                                              displays the still images of 4,
the Tuner 1 input in the Dish
                                                                                                              9 or 16 different channels all
Setting screen. The LNB type/
                                                                                                              on one screen so that you can
frequency was set to single and
                                                                                                              get a quick overview of what is
10750 MHz. Of course, if the
                                                                                                              currently on TV. You can use
LNB you’re using utilizes a dif-
                                                                                                              the arrow keys to move around
ferent local oscillator frequency
                                                                                                              from one image to another and
(LOF), you will most likely find
                                                                                                              press the OK button when you
the correct LOF already stored
                                                                                                              find something interesting to
in the list. If the LOF you need
                                                                                                              watch. The receiver will then
is not in the list, simply enter it        Main Menu
                                                                                                              switch to that selected chan-
using the numerical keypad on
the remote control.                   If you happen to find an error         time as the fast scan and man-
                                      while looking through the             aged to find the same number
                                                                                                                Switching between chan-
   Next we chose a transponder        transponder list for a satel-         of channels.
                                                                                                              nels on the same transponder
from the preprogrammed list           lite, it is a simple matter to edit
                                                                                                              required almost one second.
for this satellite. The left/right    the data. But if you can’t be            So, now we have all these
                                                                                                              Going from one channel to
arrow keys on the remote can          bothered with doing that work         new channels in the channel
                                                                                                              another on different trans-
be used to select an active           manually, the Sonicview’s Blind       list. Pushing the OK button
transponder or you can press          Scan function will do the work
the OK button to view a list          of updating the transponder list
of all the transponders stored        for you automatically. Simply
for the selected satellite. For       push the blue function button
INTELSAT AMERICAS 5, the              on the remote while in the Dish
transponder list was mostly           Setting screen to get started.
up-to-date. As it turns out, the      You can select a single satellite
same can be said for he stored        scan or a multi-satellite scan.
transponders of all the satel-
lites.                                   For this test we opted for a
                                      single satellite scan. We also
   With the transponder list          chose to scan both polariza-
displayed, you can select the         tions (vertical and horizontal)
desired transponder by high-          although one or the other could
lighting it and then pressing         have been chosen. We next
the OK button or, if necessary,       selected the Fast scan instead
you can add, edit or delete           of a Detailed scan. Pushing the
transponders right from this          OK button started the Blind
screen by once again using the        Scan. It zipped through both
colored function buttons on the       polarizations and completed               User Settings

48 TELE-satellite & Broadband — 10-1
                                   1/2008 —
ponders needed roughly 1.5          pan & scan or full screen).      recording the program on
seconds before the picture          The Time Setting screen lets     the current channel. Simply
appeared. These times are           you adjust all of the clock      push the stop button to end
something you can live with         settings. The time can be        the recording. If you want
but it does take some of the        set manually or automati-        to record a second chan-
fun out of channel surfing.          cally, daylight savings time     nel while the first is still
                                    can be turned on or off, etc.    recording,   simply    switch
   Of course, there may also        And then of course there         to the channel you want to
be channels that you’ll never       are those channels that you      record and repeat the proc-
watch or need to be renamed.        don’t want your kids to see.     ess mentioned above. Both
In that case you simply go to       The Parental Control screen      channels will be recorded at
the Channel Edit screen – the       lets you block out any inap-     the same time. Pushing the
second sub-category of the          propriate programming. This      stop button will give you the   Channel List
Installation menu. Once in          screen also allows you to        option to stop recording one
the Channel Edit screen, the        put restrictions on receiver     of the channels or both chan-
video of the current chan-          access, menu access and          nels.
nel can be seen in a small          encrypted channel access.
window on the right side of                                             To see a list of all the
the screen with the channel
list on the left side. Even the
                                      Personal                       recordings that have been

signal strength and qual-             Video                          stored thus far, go into the
                                                                     receiver’s PVR menu. You
ity bar graphs are included
here. While in the Channel
                                      Recorder                       can use the arrow keys to
                                       Yes, this is a PVR box,       scroll through the list and
Edit screen, you can switch
                                    but if you’re the observant      then push the Play button
channels by scrolling to
                                    type, you might have noticed     on the remote control to
another channel and simply
                                    something: where’s the hard      play back the desired selec-
pressing the OK button on                                                                            Dish Setting
                                    drive? You do need a hard        tion. The remote comes with
the remote. Once again, the
                                    drive to record programming,     control buttons that let you
colored function buttons on
                                    don’t you? Well, as it turns     pause the playback, rewind
the remote control make it
                                    out, the SV-360 Elite PVR        and fast forward at various
easy to delete, rename or
                                    does not come with a built-      speeds and play back in slow
lock out channels. You can
                                    in hard drive. Instead, you      motion.
even sort channels from this
screen as well! Software ver-       need to connect an external
                                    storage device. This could be      There’s also an eight-
sion information and a fac-
tory reset function can also        an external hard drive but       event timer so you can set
be accessed via the Installa-       it could also be some other      the receiver to record your
tion menu.                          external storage device such     favorite   programs     while
                                    as a memory stick. And           you’re out of the house.
  The System Setting screen         that’s where the three USB       There’s even a time shift
is broken up into four sub-         2.0 ports come into play.        function to save the day if     PVR List
categories and lets you                                              someone comes knocking at
set up the receiver to your            For our tests we decided      your door while you’re watch-
personal tastes. For exam-          to use a 4 GB memory stick       ing that four-star movie.
ple, from the User Settings         we had lying around. The
screen you can change the           memory stick can be plugged         The receiver also comes
menu language, adjust the           in to any of the three USB       with a number of other useful
menu transparency, change           ports. We used the front         features such as picture-in-
how long the Info bar is dis-       panel USB port for conven-       picture (PIP). It can also be
played plus much more. From         ience. Recording a program       used as an MP3 player and a
the A/V Settings screen you         is as simple as pressing the     JPEG viewer so you can show
can switch between NTSC             red Record button on the         off all those pictures you
and PAL, change the aspect          remote control. When the         recently snapped on your
ratio (4:3 or 16:9) or select       Record button is pushed,         last vacation to your rela-
the display mode (letterbox,        the receiver instantly starts    tives and friends.              PIP Channel List

50 TELE-satellite & Broadband — 10-1
                                   1/2008 —
                             TECHNIC                                                           Expert Opinion
                      Sonicview USA, Inc., San Diego California, USA
                                                                           The Sonicview SV-360 Elite PVR is one of the
Tel                   +1-760-842-8931                                    easiest to use receivers on the market today. All
                                                                         of the menus are for the most part self-explana-
                                                                         tory although a detailed user manual (English
Model                 SV-360 Elite PVR                                   only) is also included should any questions arise.
Function              Digital Satellite PVR Receiver with two tuners     Many of the more critical software functions can
                                                                                                                                Ron Roessel
                                                                         be accessed from only one location; no need to         TELE-satellite
Channel Memory        6000                                               hunt through all the different menu screens to           Test Center
Satellites            195 (plus 5 user-settable)                         find what you need. It is definitely a family-friendly
Symbolrate            1-45 Ms/sec.
                                                                         receiver that comes with a multitude of features that would make
                                                                         any user happy.
SCPC Compatible       yes
USALS                 yes                                                   -
                                                                           The receiver does not have a modulator output but since most
Audio/Video Outputs   yes
                                                                         modern TVs today have more than one type of input, this really
Component Outputs     yes (Y, Pb, Pr)                                    isn’t that much of a problem. It is also not possible to set up fre-
S-VHS Output          yes
                                                                         quency limits for a Blind Scan.
S-PDIF Output         yes
USB 2.0 Interface     yes, three                                                                     ENERGY
Power Supply          95-250VAC, 50/60Hz

                                                                                             Apparent Power

                                                                                             Active Power

                                                                                                                    Mode        Apparent   Active   Factor
                                                                                                                    StandBy     24.5 W     16.5 W   0.67
                                                                                                                    Operation   26.8 W     14.7 W   0.54
                                                                                                                    PVR         27.5 W     15.3 W   0.55

                                                                       After Stand-By the receiver is switched on at 10:18. The slight spike from
                                                                       14.7W to 15.3W occured when the memory stick was inserted. At 11:05 the
                                                                       receiver went into Stand-By, with the harddrive still active.

                                                                    — 10-1
                                                                                                         1/2008 — TELE-satellite & Broadband             51

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