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A Buyers Guide To The Best Box

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by bees, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. bees

    bees VIP Member


    I have noticed lots of requests on this subject so to try and help anybody
    just starting I am posting this as an outline of what you can expect for the budget
    you have got.

    (Please don't give me hassle over the prices for a couple of quid here and there, this is just a
    general outline as I see it at the mo)

    Budget Sat boxes.

    Buy a box, buy a line and any broadband package, plus an existing sat dish.

    Budget boxes such as the openbox V8s, costs approx £40.
    single tuner box, EPG (program guide is ok but basic) You can add an external HDD
    to record but it has problems with the clock loosing time so you might miss the end
    of your program, unless you add an extra few minutes on when programming.lol

    If you not bothered about recording and just want to view
    then it's fine, you will have to update your channel lists (it can be done manually via a USB stick, 5 min job, or downloaded direct to the box over the net) to keep
    it running, maybe about once a month or a bit more regular if things get moved around.

    E2 Single Tuner Sat Boxes

    Still on single tuners, but now we have moved on to E2 type boxes, these have a better EPG approx £80 - 100 such as the Miraclebox micro, Edision OS,Mutant HD1200, VU+Zero these are a bit more fiddly to set up, but once they are done no more channel list updates or EPG updates as they update themselves over night.

    Single tuners basically lock themselves to the program while recording is taking place, E2 boxes are easy to set up for recording.

    E2 Twin Sat Tuners

    If you want more flexibility when recording then you need a twin tuner, watch one program and record
    another, E2 boxes again so good EPG, I would go with something like the XTrend, Miraclebox, Edision OS, Technomate, Gigablue, VU+ range, in no specific order, flashed with OpenViX about £99 - 150 plus you will need an external USB HDD approx £30. The boxes mentioned are officially supported by Vix so they can be updated over the internet direct to the box, which is very handy.
    Also you get a 2 yr guarantee with an officially supported box.

    ZGemma 2S, H.2S, (H5.2S newer model £94) twin sat tuner, officially supported by OpenATV. Similar to the above twin tuners, but now only slightly cheaper, there used to be quite a big price gap when they where first introduced but there is not much difference with the OpenViX boxes these days.

    These boxes are popular, users tend to flash them with a "build" which makes setting up a bit easier. There are plenty of builds on the forum.

    The Zgemma section is also the busiest section of the forum with people posting various problems ROFL

    Don't just take my word for it, decide for yourself, have a look at the main board on the forum for a couple of days, sorry Zgemma fans I can't take this out as it's still true. lol

    Single Tuner Cable Boxes

    Buy a box, buy a line, and VM broadband package is needed

    Similar to single tuner sat boxes, Edision OS Mini is about £80, Miraclebox Mini about £90
    E2 boxes, so no messing with channel lists and they have good EPG's.

    HD channels with cable, yes glorious HD !!! yeehaa

    Combo Boxes

    Buy a box, buy a sat line, buy a cable line, use an existing sat dish and VM internet.

    These have a cable tuner and a sat tuner so basically a twin tuner, HD on the cable side,
    record one channel and view another on sat or cable or vise versa. Approx £99 - 200 plus HDD.

    Gigablue, Mutant, Edision OS, XTrend, VU+,Miraclebox,Technomate, etc,

    Zgemma H2,H.2H,(H5 newer mode £98) E2 combo, see comments on Zgemma 2S ,H2S and H5.2S lol

    Messing with the Big Boys

    Gigablue, Mutant, XTrend, VU+,Miraclebox,Technomate, etc,

    These boxes come with switchable tuners, 2,3,4

    Any combination of sat or cable tuners, they have faster processors and can take internal Hdd's
    as opposed to external, they can go up to about £350 plus the HDD.

    Oh !

    You can request recommendations for a sat line in the general sat section, there is a similar thread for cable in the general cable section
    Please read the advisory on the first page before requesting ;)

    I hope that this will help any newbies starting out to sift through the the info quicker, there are plenty of other boxes out there
    but I have just tried to narrow down the field a bit.

    Finally, don't buy a box nobody has ever heard of, if you get stuck you may be on your own, all boxes mentioned above have plenty of support on the forum,

    good luck, there is plenty of help about if you take the plunge !!! :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  2. mortmaru

    mortmaru TK Veteran

    You missed out building your own and boxes like the wetek

    It is good to have this laid out but I can't see people looking at it I haven't been here super long but i see people still asking the same questions when there is clearly topics with them so unless they start getting strict here it will continue.
  3. wheelo

    wheelo Super Moderator Staff Member Forum Supporter

    So why not write it here yourself? At least it will be in the right thread for others to find.

    Sent from my D2303 using Tapatalk
  4. Philip1

    Philip1 Member

    Bees you say

    Combo Boxes
    Buy a box, buy a sat line, buy a cable line, use an existing sat dish and VM internet.
    These have a cable tuner and a sat tuner so basically a twin tuner, HD on the cable side,
    record one channel and view another on sat or cable or vise versa. Approx £150 - 200 plus HDD.

    Can you you run 2 softcams at the same time in a Zgemma H1 or H2 or Mutant HD2400?
    I can only run one softcam in my current Amiko Alien2 Triple with HDMU.
    I have put a cline(sat) and nline(cable) in mgcamd but the cline goes to sleep and stops working if not used by viewing a sat channel.

  5. bees

    bees VIP Member

    No you can't run two softcams at the same time in any box that I know of.

    It is best if both lines are the same type i.e. N lines run using MG Cam 1.38 seems to be the most common setup.

    However if you end up with a C line and an N line, it's not the end of the world, you can run both lines using CCcam 2.3.0

    Generally the first option is preferred.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  6. Philip1

    Philip1 Member

    Bees, thanks for the reply.
    I have put a cline and an nline in mgcamd and they both work but as I say above the cline for sat can go to sleep while watching a cable channel. After a restart the cline will work ok again.
    If I could just stop the cline going to sleep it would be fine. Sadly I don't know of a way to do this.
  7. inbed79

    inbed79 TK Veteran

    you nee to add them to ccam not mgcamd for them to work together
  8. gallagj8

    gallagj8 Member

    Sorry about the noobness of this question but with a cable box can you get all the channels you can get with sat box? But in HD. If so what's the vu+ solo2 equivalent on a cable box. And how do the servers compare I price?

    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
  9. bees

    bees VIP Member

    You get the same on cable as you do with sky, but with the HD channels,

    Servers are £60-80 per year (ball park) so it's more expensive than sat
  10. reddevil1

    reddevil1 Member

    Can someone please clarify something for me. In the OP under combo boxes. It says existing sat dish and VM broadband. I basically have a sky dish at the moment with a sat cline, however due to cable getting the HD i would prefer that. Can i get combo box and plug in my sky dish with a cable line. I assumed to get cable lines you would need a cable dish or whatever it is you get. I have VM broadband.
  11. Philip1

    Philip1 Member

    reddevil1, you are nearly there!
    Satellite: Dish needed + typically a sat cline usually run in a cccam softcam emu.
    Cable TV: Active Virgin Media TV coax cable coming into the house - you will have that as you have VM broadband + typically a cable nline usually run in an mgcamd softcam emu.
    So then yes you would use a combo box. An E2 enigma based box is best as you can get good epgs for your channels. A low cost example is the Zgemma H1 or H2. A better box would be a Mutant HD2400. There are lots more out there.
    Regarding running the lines together see early posts in this thread.
  12. bees

    bees VIP Member

    @Philip1, put both your line in a CCcam.cfg file in the ETC folder.

    Run them in CCcam2.3.0 instead of MgCamd, that will
    keep both line working all the time.
    Johnmcgowan likes this.
  13. Philip1

    Philip1 Member

    Bees, thanks for pointing it out again. My problem is that my cable nline supplier says cccam users will be banned!. Don't know why - will ask him.
  14. bees

    bees VIP Member

    Oh, I see now, most supply N lines on the cable side and I have seen a few
    mentioning the CCcam thing, not sure as to the reason why myself.

    Seen one go bust in the first few months of cable re starting on the c/s side.

    I got the impression his lines where being re-shared using CCcam by his customers.

    Then he got loads of stick about a crap service and went bang.

    That was just reading between the lines though, i'm not certain.
  15. moleyv

    moleyv Member

    Hi all.

    I am looking for a recommendation for a box.

    Looking through this thread. I was originally considering a vu zero.

    I saw a lot of good things about the xpeed lx2. I don't necessarily need two tuners, although I liked that one was a hybrid and I may use it for terrestrial.

    I have concerns about the processor though, I would prefer something maybe one step up without vu duo2 prices.

    So preferably (in this order)

    1 sat, 1 hybrid
    2 sat
    1 sat

    Enigma 2 and PVR capable.
    Faster than 700mhz processor.

    And a separate question, are there channel lists that will just show the freesat channels. I am not interested in any lines just yet. Or would I need to just edit lists myself?

    Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk
  16. moleyv

    moleyv Member

    Well this thread is an absolute bust...

    Would have been better off doing the 'wrong' thing and starting a new thread.

    Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk
  17. Forcefire

    Forcefire Banned banned

    This thread is to give you an idea but if you want certain questions asked try the search feature to see if your question has been asked and answered already. There are loads of topics on hybrid boxes but you have to accept low cost equals low power you can't have both low cost and high power so decide what you want, low cost or high power.
  18. moleyv

    moleyv Member

    So you are saying there is nothing available on the market in between a lx2 and a vu duo2.....

    A condescending tone doesn't help either.

    I can easily search and research boxes if I am given a few options.

    Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk
  19. gallagj8

    gallagj8 Member

    Try here for box reviews removed - Admin.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2015
  20. Forcefire

    Forcefire Banned banned

    My tone wasn't condescending, I was simpling offering some advice to help you find the answers you needed as I didn't have an exact answer for you

    but hey sorry for trying to help out, I'll know for future lol

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