Author: Peter Dobson
The early days of Linux based satellite receivers was the DBox in 1997, followed by Dbox2 with hardware developed by Nokia. Due to bankruptcy, production ceased in 2001.
The Dbox is the predecessor to the more popular, and better known Dream Box, still being manufactured today (including clones). The key principle of the Dream Box was not only the Linux firmware, but the ability of network connectivity, which opened the gates to many “opportunities” including 3rd party apps giving functionality beyond just being a satellite receiver.
Today the market is awash with Linux based satellite receivers, including the unit we have available on our website, the X Cruiser XDSR 600HD Twin Tuner.
The twin tuners are inserted into the motherboard in the same way you would a PCI card into a computer. This means they are interchangeable, so you are able to have double satellite, double DTT or DTT and satellite. The unit comes out of the box with two satellite tuners in the mother board, and a DTT board loose in the box.
The unit will take via SATA an optional internal 2.5″ HDD. Which allows recording, timeshifting, pausing live television. HDD drives can also be attached externally via USB and e SATA. (A/V rated HDD recommended)
The Network connectivity allows the ability to upgrade firmware direct from a server. See story here. The unit, if connected to your Local Area Network will become a searchable device. DHCP option will allow this process easily, by automatically allocating a local IP address. You will be able to search, move, and delete files stored on the internal HDD from a computer on your network. If you have multiple Xcruiser units in rooms of your house, it is easy to set up central NAS system whereby programs from any unit in your house can record to, or view from the central NAS system. More information on NAS here.
The network allows access to You Tube, web browsing, Internet TV, conveniently on your TV rather than small computer screen. MCAS and card sharing is also a reality on most Linux receivers with the right plugin. A subject that you can find out plenty within forums on the internet.
This unit will take a Sky television card that have a serial number that starts 00. That is the blue sky card used in My Sky receivers. This unit is MPEG4 compatible which means it will open Sky’s HD channels. All sky’s non HD channels are currently MPEG2. (NB you will need to subscribe to sky still to get the blue card. ) The beauty of using this box as your Sky receiver is that you can have the channels in the order you want, you can get rid of channels you may not watch, (like Disney, or Nickelodeon for example). You will be able to record to your NAS system should you decide to go down that road.
Let’s look inside:
The features that matter:
* Interchangeable tuner – DVB-C (cable), DVB-T (terrestrial) DVB-S (Satellite) *Records 3 services, and watch 2 others (PIP) *Three USB 2.0 ports (playing MP3, JPEG) *Xvid playback support *Multi Language support *HDMI A/V output (576i – 1080p) *Subtitle support *Picture in picture (PIP) & Multi picture display *1 watt standby power consumption (when that option chosen)
Interested in purchasing?