TELE-audiovision - The World’s Leading Digital TV Industry Publication - page 32

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TELE-audiovision International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine
— 07-08/2014
external DVB receiver in turn
sends back the completely
packaged AV signal as an AV
stream via the USB cable.
This procedure also explains
why it is not possible to per-
form a channel search right
from the Xbox Media Center,
since the software itself has
no direct access to functions
of the external DVB receiver.
Before you are able to
watch live TV for the first
time, the corresponding func-
tion has to be activated in the
basic settings of the Xbox Me-
dia Center. Once that is taken
care of, “live TV” appears as
a separate item in the main
menu and can be used to ac-
cess all available TV and radio
channels that have been iden-
tified and stored previously by
the Matrix ARM mini PC con-
figurator.
In case you’re worried how
two basically independent
systems can be streamlined
to create a purposeful user
experience, you can rest as-
sured: We found that the
Xbox Media Center and the
Matrix ARM mini PC cooperate
smoothly and without manual
input from users. You’re of-
fered all features and func-
tions you’d expect from a con-
ventional satellite receiver,
such as EPG data, a number
of different video resolutions
to choose from, an info bar
with details about the current
and next events, and so on.
When we tried to record an
event onto an external stor-
age medium while watching
another channel on the same
transponder, the system took
care of all that without fur-
ther ado and – even more
importantly – to our utmost
satisfaction. If you opt for the
TBS5990 dual tuner box as
your external DVB receiver,
it is even possible to record
two events simultaneously,
while watching a third event
live at the same time. Channel
switching takes less than one
second, something we cannot
praise highly enough. What’s
more, the quality of the AV
output signal left absolutely
nothing to be desired.
Two features most users
require regularly is timeshift
viewing and timer mode, both
of which we tested thoroughly
and could not fault in any way.
The range of convenience fea-
tures is completed by func-
tions such as an OSD teletext
decoder that must be one of
the best available today, lan-
guage selection and a very
efficient channel list editor
built right into the Xbox Me-
dia Center. It helps you create
favourites lists, among other
useful things. We should men-
tion at this junction that the
Matrix ARM mini PC configura-
tor does not come with such a
channel list editor.
It goes without saying, that
the Xbox Media Center does
not only provide live TV and
radio reception, but also a
bunch of additional multime-
dia features such as an excel-
lent audio and video player,
image viewer, RSS feed read-
er and a whole lot more. The
software is equipped with a
universal add-on interface,
which means users can fully
customise their version of
the Xbox Media Center with
almost boundless options.
In general, we can say that
only the sky is the limit when
it comes to getting the Xbox
Media Center to interplay with
the Matrix ARM mini PC – pro-
vided users have the required
skills and really know what
they are doing. If that is the
case, then you can also eas-
ily activate a softcam func-
tion that will allow reception
of encrypted channels, since
not all external DVB receivers
from Tenow come with a built-
in CI slot.
As an alternative to the de-
fault MatrixTV operating sys-
tem, Tenow provides a fully
pre-packaged Android sys-
tem for the Matrix ARM mini
PC, which can be downloaded
from the company website.
Should you choose to install
that system you only need
to follow precisely the same
steps as for the MatrixTV op-
erating system. We tried it in
our test and can confirm that
both the installation process
and the OS itself worked with-
out a glitch.
If you require some more
details before you’re ready
to take that decision, here’s
what you should know: The
Android version provided by
Tenow is 4.2.2, which means
it is a relatively current distri-
bution dating from February
2013. It’s always important
to run a current release of
any operating system since
it is the only way to make
sure as many apps as possi-
ble can actually be installed
and used. Once Android has
replaced MatrixTV the Matrix
ARM mini PC behaves exactly
like a smartphone or tablet
PC running the same Android
operating system. This means
you should link the device to
a Google account so that you
can actually make use of the
entire range of available fea-
tures. Thankfully, the Tenow-
customised Android OS comes
with Googly Play Store so that
users can browse through
millions of apps (both free of
charge and for a charge) and
install the ones that might
seem useful to them. Once
again, you’ll find that only the
sky is the limit and it didn’t
take us long to identify a
handful of essential apps we
would not want to do without:
Facebook or YouTube, any-
Xbox
60. EPG view
61. Events can be marked for automatic recording using the timer
feature
62. Radio reception is possible as well with an external DVB
receiver
63. EPG listings of a channel can be searched for keywords
64. Result of an EPG search for ‘news’
65. Channel list of the Xbox Media Center.
66. Need more details about a certain event? Simply call up
extended EPG information.
67. List of timer entries.
68. Every time you switch channels this convenient info bar shows
the title of the current event of the selected channel.
69. You can launch the main menu in order to adjust some settings
while the currently selected channel can still be watched in the
background.
70. Channel list editor of the Xbox Media Center.
71. Some functions – such as deleting individual channels, for
example – are missing.
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