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Review of Vu+ Solo by Stardust

Discussion in 'Vu+ General HowTo & Guides' started by stardust, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. stardust

    stardust Vu+ User

    Messages:
    20
    Review of Vu+ Solo
    001 solo BH.jpg

    The Vu + Solo is created by a Korean company Vu Plus , already established to have created older brother Vu + Duo with twin tuners. Let's see what are the peculiarities and characteristics of this product, which in a few months has already gained a good market share and especially an important development team, being a perfect combination of excellent performance and very low cost.

    Package

    You will find Vu + Solo packed in a cardboard box that from the outside does not show much, if not the specific characteristics of the product. It’s done with corpulent cardboard that is an optimum benefit for transportation, with a package so strong in fact, our decoder will be protected from any impact. Inside the box you will find: receiver, remote control, batteries, the instruction manual and HDMI cable, all carefully and individually wrapped.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Technical characteristics

    My personal opinion is that the appearance of the box is very pleasant. Compared to Vu + Duo in fact it looks a bit 'less Spartan with an appearance much more accurate. On the left there is a circular glass that contains the remote control sensor, and three status LED, green, orange and red. On the front you will find five buttons, which are very useful if you do not have near you the remote standby, ch +, ch-, vol +, vol-.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The reclining door conceals a generous endowment for a decoder so economic: 2 common interface, a cardreader conax embedded, and a USB 2.0 on the front, that is for sure a strong point of this decoder, if we consider that it’s one of the few in its class to possess it.

    [​IMG]

    On the back, the supply of the connectors are rich and generous. From left, the BCM7325 DVB-S2 tuner, serial port for any emergency update , a scart.

    [​IMG]

    The central part is the heart of the decoder: a reset button, HDMI, ethernet, and USB 2.0: this last one is multi-functional that will give us the opportunity to add hard drives, usb pen drive, digital terrestrial tuner , wlan, all functions that we shall see in detail later.

    [​IMG]

    Further to the right , the generous rear panel Vu + Solo is completed from the output component (please notice that the direct competitors such as dreambox, has this kind of output is present only on the l DM8000 mode), 3 RCA audio video, optical digital audio output . The big lack is unfortunately represented by the absence of an on/ off power button, but it must be said and emphasized that after the first update , we won’t miss it. Vu + Solo is stable and functional and we'll hardly have to pull the plug due to a problem. The link is easily carried out for almost any video device, it could be a CRT television, a projector, LCD, Vu + Solo always have the right output you will need.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The remote control is undoubtedly the biggest surprise of this decoder. Seeing it on the net I was worried, but I realized that it is the most beautiful and valuable part of this decoder. The buttons are small but very precise, the switch on the decoder is a real bomb and it would never happen to press a button without it working. The remote, even if pointed in a direction completely opposite to the decoder, it will always be able to do his duty. I've never really seen anything like this on other decoders brands, you can hardly find a remote control so precise and responsive as the one of Vu Plus

    [​IMG]

    At a first look inside what you immediately will notice is the absence of a plug & play tuner. On the Vu plus the tuner is in fact an integrated part of the motherboard. You may also notice that everything in the box is neat, clean and well-studied: separate power supply of the motherboard can be easily replaced in case of failure, and the front cam and the card reader completes the inside equipment. There is no fan installed on this box, so it will always work silently and the temperature inside will never be a concern. In the test I have done, even after several hours of using Vu + Solo it remains always cold, the decoder produces a very small amount of heat that is quickly dissipated by the slits. The hardware has the maximum of the votes

    This is the complete details of hardware of the decoder::

    Open-Source Linux Enigma2
    Processor Broadcom 333 Mhz MIPS
    BCM7325 DVB-S2 Tuner
    128MB NAND Flash/256MB Ram
    MPEG2 / H.264 decoding Hardware
    2 x Common Interface slot
    1 x Smartcard-Reader (Conax embedded)
    Ethernet 10/100 Mbit
    2 x USB2.0 (1in the fronta/1 on the rear)
    1 x V.24/RS232
    HDMI Output
    Audio / Video cinch out
    1 x Scart
    1 x YPrPb
    1 x S / PDIF optical digital
    1 reset button
    Size: 28cm x 20cm x 4cm (width / length / height)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. stardust

    stardust Vu+ User

    Messages:
    20
    Tests of the Vu + Solo

    We have finished promoting the hardware part, now we will analyze in detail what this decoder is able to offer in terms of daily use. It is in this that Vu + Solo gives the best expression of itself.

    The updating unit, a task that the people less practical are afraid to do, has been simplified. You just have to put in a pen drive your own firmware, which you need to place in the front usb slot of + Vu Solo. Within two minutes the updating is completed, and we will be ready to use our decoders. While the programming, the LED will turn orange (lecture) and red (writing) and at last it will be flashing green, to indicate that the transaction is completed. All this without using so often an uncomfortable web interface, procedures to be followed to put the box in flash mode.

    In this technical test I have used as an image the latest Blackhole, which brings out the maximum performance of this product. Within a few minutes after a first initial configuration, the product is ready for use. The boot is very fast and the decoder, carrying a 333mhz cpu, provides very satisfactory performance.
    013solobh.jpg
    The DVB-S2 tuner has a very good performance . The channels that could be SD or HD, are always displayed rapidly, the signal is always stable and on high levels, and there are no problems of tuning failure or what so ever , that are instead some of the problems of competitors.
    tunersat.jpg

    The USB digital terrestrial tuner is undoubtedly the most special feature in our vu + together with the blackhole. In addition to the classic inside tuner, we can assemble at any time on a external tuner using the usb slot of the decoder, by simply selecting from the menu the correct driver and installing it. The drivers for the tuner are developed constantly and are always created some new ones, thanks to constant Blackhole team that provides an impeccable functionality of this feature. Once you have installed the drivers, the USB tuner will appear in the menu as a common internal tuner, and we can proceed to search for channels. No mysterious disappearances of the sound, no delays, no problems. With Blackhole + Vu everything is as it should be, and the tuner works perfectly if it’s internal or external, and with the hardware decoders, we will be able to watch digital terrestrial channels in HD, even if the tuner that we will install does not provide tuning of digital terrestrial channels. It should be specified that the function of external USB tuner is not the only prerogative of Blackhole, but it is thanks to the Blackhole that we have the guarantee that it will work, the Blackhole team works with a lot of efforts so to ensure the maximum number of compatible devices and integrating them with extremely facility. In the screenshot in question I also installed an Avermedia A867.
    tunerdtt.jpg
    The network configuration is done not only through the classical LAN port, but also through wireless. Although vu+ does not have wireless lan inside, nothing is impossible: we can integrate it just like we do with the digital terrestrial tuners from the outside. We just insert a pen drive with a chip ZD1112 or RT73 compatible with Vu +, to obtain besides the classical panel for setting of LAN, another panel WLAN. Solution clearly preferred by all who have no chance of passing LAN cables, or who want to save money for the purchase of a power line adapter.

    016solobh.jpg
    Vu+ Solo is not provide with the possibility of adding an internal hard disk, but this is not a problem. We can assemble at any time an usb hard disk, and again Blackhole will help us. The only thing we have to do in fact is enter the hard drive into a USB port, and from the panel devices manager, we will format the device and perform the mapping of it in / media / hdd. Within three minutes, our usb hard disk is installed and working perfectly! Without using uncomfortable ESATA that require additional power but more importantly spending more money being that the ESATA boxes are not easy to find as the USB protocol.
    mediahddverbatim.jpg

    The versatility of blackhole with the panel manager devices will let us use simple pen drive as storage for our records, for example in the picture that is illustrated here I have used as a hard disk a 4GB pen drive. Therefore it is not strictly necessary to use a hard disk to store our records.
    mediahddpennina.jpg
    Vu + Solo is also very good as a media player. With high-definition files like mkv is perfect, no problems whatsoever and we can run smoothly even large files. There are still some minor problems with divx , that often triggers, but it's just a matter of internal drivers that will surely be fixed from Vu Plus, being that the company is working constantly to improve the product

    The cardreader conax embedded used on Vu + Solo is very functional, the card is completely insert and once the reclining door is closed it will be completely hidden from view. We would never encounter any problems caused by heat or high voltages that could burn a smartcard, the card removed from the decoder will always be fresh without burnings or blackening on the chip.

    The picture and sound quality, is in line with the competitors, actually it should be pointed out that on Vu Plus you won’t have a low audio problem on HD channels, on the contrary, they have a perfectly aligned volume as sd. On the video we will have an infinite number of parameters, so we will be able to adjust the image to our taste.
    parametrivideo.jpg
    The wide blue panel allows us to access a big amount of options, whatever we want to do with our Vu +, we can do it. Cron manager, advanced devices, servers, samba, cifs server, nfs server, openvpn, usb tuner panel are just some example of what Vu +can offer as equipment with a team picture of the Blackhole.
    019solobh.jpg
    Of course with all this characteristic, an advanced screen graphics could not miss, that is the most interesting part of Enigma. We will see on screen all the information we want to know during the simple zapping. Resolution of the channel, the frequency, which coding are present on the channel, the program that is on air on that moment and the next one, the signal received by the satellite dish, from which satellite we're getting the signal, from which tuner we are viewing it and much, much more.
    osdm.jpg
    You can also receive weekly epg for all channels that we want, even for large providers, and unlike of other images, you will not need to install any external plugins. It 's all already integrated, and Blackhole is the only one on the square to provides such a service already built in.
    epgsett.jpg
    Overall Product Rating:

    Channel change speed: 8
    Ease of Use: 8
    Equipment Hardware: 8
    Links: 9
    Remote control: 10
    Quality Audio / Video: 9
    Software features: 9
    Temperature: 10
    Conclusions
    Is it possible to ask anything more from this decoder? I think not. You can have Vu+ Solo with 250 € more or less, and you can enter into a universe that up to this moment has required the expenditure of much higher amount of money. Currently this product wins on all fronts, for the hardware level such as quality of components and equipment, and software thanks to the team as Blackhole, known from all and real fans as the ultimate decoder for linux based. Highly recommended!

    Stardust
     
  3. silver daily

    silver daily Vu+ Newbie

    Messages:
    17
    totally , its a good deal . thnx for the review . also thnx to B.H Team to reveal the true power of solo .

    RGDs
    silver daily
     
    X_CODE and a911 like this.
  4. Dachtus

    Dachtus Vu+ Newbie

    Messages:
    71
    Thanks Stardust for this detailed review...
    I hope this thread having more and more comments in the future!
     
  5. comeasyouare

    comeasyouare Vu+ Newbie

    Messages:
    14
    Great thnx so much =)
     
  6. trax020

    trax020 Vu+ Newbie

    Messages:
    29
    Thanks for this great review. I've bought a Vu+ Solo and I'm using latest BH image.
    However, when I check the specs of this receiver, I find CPU 333 MHZ and RAM 256 MB
    When I run cat /proc/cpuinfo and /proc/meminfo, I find respectively:
    cpu MHz : 220.67
    MemTotal: 109320 kB

    Is there any comment from Marusys about that?
     
  7. angelofsky1980

    angelofsky1980 BlackHole Driver Specialist

    Messages:
    16,922
    I have reported the question to VuPlus Team.
    When they reply to question I will report here the answer.

    I think is only a driver issue.
     
  8. trax020

    trax020 Vu+ Newbie

    Messages:
    29
    Hello,
    I've got a reply from VU+ about this issue. They said:
     
    gh_n, Mito, Tamaki and 1 other person like this.
  9. baybaysalah

    baybaysalah Vu+ Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    thanx for the review
     
  10. siodo

    siodo Vu+ Newbie

    Messages:
    10
    Great thnx so much
     
  11. haspac2

    haspac2 Vu+ Newbie

    Messages:
    31
    than ku so much, i just bought it, and it's a great box
     
  12. JOSSONM HAKE

    JOSSONM HAKE Vu+ Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    i can not see the picture
     
  13. sonci

    sonci Vu+ Newbie

    Messages:
    12
    Nice review,
    but mine gets pretty hot, what was room temperature during review?
    Is there any possibility to add a fan?
     
  14. a911

    a911 The BH Lover

    Messages:
    5,234
    Try Laptop cooling fan, it may work for U and select the proper size!
    And when connecting to a USB slot, it will power from there!

    141.jpg 142.jpg 140.jpg

    RgdZ
    a911
     

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