Technomate TM-5402 HD PVR ready satellite receiver

Features

  • Full HD 1080p & 3D Ready.
  • Record up to 3 channels and playback a recorded file at the same time.
  • USB PVR (Timeshift, Rewind, Forward (fast or slow), Record channels, Playback Music and Picture files).
  • 1x Smart Card Reader & 1x Common Interface (CI) slot.
  • Ethernet port (access YouTube, Weather, Maps...and more).

The Good

  • Full 1080p HD Satellite Receiver, can work in a single (e.g. Astra2), dual (e.g. Astra2+Hotbird) or fully motorized multi-satellite system.
  • Can record 3 channels while watching another from the same TP. Time-shift and pause live TV (via optional external hard disk).
  • Runs CCcam, one multicrypt smartcard reader and one CAM slot, 2 scart sockets + LAN, serial and USB ports.
  • Picture & sound quality are superb.
  • Good Build quality.

The Bad

  • None.

 

Customer Comments

Amazing alue satellite receiver. Don't believe reviewers who can't even write properly! The common interface and the card reader are both multidecrypters.
Here are some features:
HD, full 1080p Satellite Receiver, can work in a single (e.g. Astra2), dual (e.g. Astra2+Hotbird) or fully motorized multi-satellite system. Thousands of free channels, can record 3 channels while watching another from same TP, time-shift and pause live TV (via optional external hard disk), also runs CCcam, one multicrypt smartcard reader and one CAM slot, 2 scart sockets + LAN, serial and USB ports. No. 1 rated by "What Satellite" magazine.
 
♦ ♦ ♦
 
I still don't know for sure whether you can get non-Freeview channels with Freesat boxes (which are a lot cheaper than this one) despite asking a couple of sales people for those boxes, so I plumped for this box as I wanted to upgrade from my nine years old pre-HD receiver aimed at German Astra in order to receive HD channels.

It was very easy to set up and the manual is quite good and easy to follow. There are a number of satellites already programmed in and you can choose which ones to scan or install others. Obviously, what you can actually get depends on what your dish is pointed at, but I get channels from several satellites, and though I didn't scan all of them I ended up with well over a thousand channels! This is something of a problem because you will find many duplicate channels which are available on several satellites and when you first see the list it's a bit mind boggling particularly as none of the channels you want may be near the top of the list.

I was surprised to see how little the software has advanced since I bought my first such receiver twenty years ago in the pre-Sky box days. It's galling that in order to move channels up or down the list you have to manually move them. I haven't even found a way of swapping their positions, something which I could do with my first receiver all those years ago! However, with so many channels it makes sense to use the favourites function which allows you to identify, and categorise, channels you want to have easy access to, for example, those you use most. There are several categories to choose and you can give them your own labels.

It is in this area that the apparatus has an annoying "habit". Once you select a favourites set (e.g. the folder you defined with News channels) it continues to work only with that set. In other words, you have to go back to the menu and choose another set in order to see those channels. It also sticks with that favourites set when you want to edit, delete, move channels which would be fine if the manual explained how to get out of it. It doesn't and I spent a lot of time trying to work out how to do it. In certain circumstances (and the top level menu isn't one of them) you can hit the "SAT" button which selects all available satellites (if you're working at the satellite menu level) or all installed channels. Remember that button - it will save you form tearing your hair out!

All such gadgets have their idiosyncrasies and once you get used to the Technomate's it works well and is easy to use. I have yet to use the USB PVR facility but intend to do so once I've cannibalised the hard drive from my old laptop. Comparing the price with other, similar, models and not being sure whether I needed PVR or not (I have Sky HD for most of the stuff I want to record) this solution is ideal. You don't pay the extra for the internal HD but the functionality is there so you can hook it up if you want to, maybe at a later date.

All in all, it does what it claims and I'm pleased enough with it. If you don't want HD (and the continent is still some way behind the UK in that regard) and recording isn't of interest (i.e. you just want to get foreign language channels to watch in real-time) then check out other options such as buying from Europe first. These non-Freesat boxes do seem to be very expensive in the UK. If you want foreign channels as well as UK ones then this might be the solution, though I don't know for sure. A couple of years back I bought a simple receiver in Germany and was able to get the free UK channels - Beeb etc. - that are on Sky's Astra satellites. Finding reliable information, as always in the fast moving world of consumer electronics, is difficult...