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Power-Box
Mediamaster 260 S
W
hy must a digital set top receiver
always be in the shape of a
four-cornered box? NOKIA has
proven with the unique design of the
new Mediamaster 260 S that it doesn’t
always have to be that way. The 260
S is not all that big and so you would
guess that what goes on inside the box
is typical of all receivers. That this idea
is completely false can be seen simply
by taking a quick look at the features of
this receiver. At first you will discover
a normal digital receiver with 3000
channels. Another look will reveal the
80GBharddrive that isgood forup to80
hours of recordings. And it is not only
video and audio that can be recorded
on the hard drive but also digital photos
from your PC or from a mobile phone’s
camera. How is this done? Via USB?
No, the NOKIA handles this with the
wireless Bluetooth technology.
As we mentioned, the modern looking,
silver-colored cabinet looks very inconspicu-
ous. This allows it to fit in with almost any
room environment. There are only two
buttons on its slanted front panel: channel
up/down and standby. The front panel can
be flipped open to reveal one slot for a CA
module (for all known encryption systems)
and another slot for the SmartCard for the
integrated Conax card reader. Two LED’s in
the center indicate not only the receiver’s
operational mode but also the return signals
of the remote control, any faults, the Blue-
tooth mode and the software download. On
the rear panel two Scart connectors link the
receiver to a TV and VCR. Digital audio (S/
PDIF) for a Dolby Digital system is available
on an RCA jack. If you want to use the 260 S
with a stereo system, you simplyneed to use
the two additional RCA outputs (audio L/R).
New receiver software can be uploaded via
the serial interface or via satellite. Unfortu-
nately, the 260 S is not compatible with the
up-to-date SatcoDX data. The LNB signal is
routed to a standard “F” connector. NOKIA
included a noiseless fan so that the hard
drive can keepa coolheadwithoutdisturbing
the user. The silver-colored remote control
doesn’t only stand out because of its elegant
appearance but also because of its ergo-
nomic configuration. Every single button
can be easily reached with your thumb. The
icons for the individual functions are clearly
recognizable and easy to read.
Everyday Use
If the 260 S is turned on for the first time,
it responds with the language menu. After
the desired language has been selected from
a total of 13, the antenna menu appears.
The receiver can be installed with a single,
multifeed (Mini DiSEqC, 2 or 4 LNB’s) or
DiSEqC motorized system. The motor can
be a so-called SatScan or a normal DiSEqC
motor. The widely used USALS protocol is
unfortunatelynot supported. The local oscil-
lator frequencies for all C-band and Ku-band
LNB’s are supported. If necessary the LNB
voltage can be adjusted up or down 0.5
volts. Initially the automatic scan reads in
all the programs from one or more satel-
lites. Later the NOKIA Navi Screen display
can be activated with the push of a button
to choose between all channels or just FTA
channels. The scan of an 80-transponder
satellite lasted just about five minutes. All
865 TV and 329 radio available channels
were found. The 260 S can handle SCPC
signals starting at 2.0 Ms/sec. without any
difficulties. More experienced users of sat-
ellite receivers enjoy the ability to perform
a manual transponder scan with or without
NIT and also the ability to manipulate the
video, audio and PCR PID’s. This is no prob-
lem for the 260 S.
Once the desired satellites have been
read, the activated Navi Bars can be used
to continue working. These Navi Bars may
take a little getting used to at first, but after
a few minutes you will realize that they are
much more practical and faster than going
through the menus within menus. The
parameters for the type of TV and the digital
audio format (PCM or AC-3), among other
things, can be set here. In the “Control”
folder, channels can be moved, renamed or
deleted. Popular channels can wander into
user-defined Favorites lists for quick recall
at a later time.
Channel switching times are quite fast at
0.5 seconds. An Info bar appears momen-
tarily at the bottom edge of the screen that
identifies the channel number, provider, cur-
rent time, current and upcoming program
running times and the channel status (FTA
or encrypted). A second push of the Info
button displays brief programming informa-
tion for current and upcoming programs. If
more information is needed on a current
program or if you want to know what’s going
up to seven days in advance, simply have a
look at the Electronic Program Guide (EPG).
This first-class designed electronic TV guide
magazine gives you a much deeper look into
what is available on satellite TV. The 260
S comes with its own teletext decoder. All
pages are immediately loaded into memory
so that any page can be displayed in only a
fraction of a second. There are also three
high-resolution video games at your dis-
posal.
The Hard Drive
A push of the red Record button brings up
a small menu. Here you can choose to start
a recording immediately leaving the stop
time open, set up the length of a recording
or identify exactly when a recording should
start and stop. An additional option would
be to go directly to the Timers to set up the
automatic recording of various programs
from different channels. An extra special
feature is the Time Shift function. If you
are interrupted by a visitor or a telephone
call while watching TV, all you need to do is
press one of the function buttons. The pic-
ture freezes on the screen and the program
is recorded from that point on. At the end of
the interruption, simply press that function
button a second time to continue viewing the
program from the point of the interruption.
The receiver continues to record theprogram
in the background. The end of the program
you are watching will simply end a little later
than planned.
But what if you absolutely want to get
back to a live transmission? This is also no
problem. Simply fast-forward through the
unwanted parts of the recording until you
get back to the live transmission. Previ-
ously recorded programs can be protected,
left unprotected or set so that it can only
be viewed with a PIN code. In this way,
important recordings cannot accidentally be
recorded over or deleted. If a protected pro-
gram is no longer needed, it can be moved
into the unprotected folder so that it can be
recorded over or deleted. If pictures on a PC
or from a mobile telephone’s camera need
to be transferred to the hard drive via Blue-
tooth, folders can be set up for their quick
and uncomplicated access and display on the
screen.
Conclusion
Equipped with a sensitive tuner, 3000
channels on 28 up-to-date preprogrammed
satellites, an 80 GB hard drive, Bluetooth
technology and Dolby Digital, the tiny NOKIA
Mediamaster 260 S definitely belongs to the
high-end receiver class. With so many fea-
tures the question on everyone’s mind would
undoubtedly be “how easy would it be to use
this receiver?” The NOKIA Navi Bars help to
make theoperationof this receiververyeasy.
Even a beginner should be able to get the
hang of it very quickly. The very well written
user manual will hardly be needed. The only
features missing are SatcoDX compatibility
and an S-VHS output.
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