I bought Dune DVB-T Stick for my Prime 3.0 running latest (from 27 January) beta firmware.
So I decided to make a "mini-review" for it.
So I got the nice, magnetically sealed box that contained:
1. USB Stick itself
2. USB cable.
4. Antenna cable.
5. Robber vacuum cup (to stick antenna to surfaces)
The writing on the box also suggested that I should get a manual, but that was missing (however not sure that needed).
So the first thing I did... I put the stick into my PC running Windows 7 x64.
The system recognized the device as "DibCom Dib7070"
and somehow installed drivers for it.
The Windows Media Center was able to detect it and show TV channels.
So it looks like in worst case I can use it with my laptop
But let's turn back to the Dune.
Next thing I did is connected the stick to my Prime 3.0, set up antenna and... well here I encountered first glitch - the vacuum thing that supposed to hold antenna "sicked" to the surfaces just did not wanted to hold - the plastic was too "hard" and it does not mater what I did to it (washing with soup, tried to stick to polished surfaces etc.) it just won't stick.
Since I still have two hands (despite the fact that some people think they are both left
) I just glued the damn thing to the wall with two side plaster patch, so that problem was solved, however I would prefer that HDI put more mind into testing this thing or using different plastic.
Well, now when everything is connected I turned on my Prime and went straight to the "setup" of the DTV.
Selected DTV to appear in main menu, selected "il" as a location (after all I live in Israel
) and pressed the SCAN.
Here where another bit problematic point appeared - the scan took a long time, I mean REALLY long time, first the system scanned the frequencies for 2-3 minutes (which is OK with me) but then it showed "loading resources" message and ... let's put it this way, when it was on minute 28 of this "loading" I went to bathroom (had a chance to eat in meanwhile) and when I returned it finished. So it took at least 1/2 hour to scan without any real progress on the screen besides the fact that clock was counting. I really wish HDI added some progress bar there if this delay is unavoidable.
Anyway, the scan finished and the system reported that it found 37 stations , that really surprised me since we have only 5 in Israel. After reviewing channels later it appears that it detected all 5 "normal" channels, 2 test channels that show or transmit nothing, and about 2 dozen radio channels , only 2 of which actually transmitted something.
Here is btw another place I did not liked - there is no way to distinguish between radio or TV channel besides actually starting to watch it, I would prefer to have a different icon or(/and?) some way to sort them separately.
Ok, now everything seems connected and working, so let's test it.
First thing I noticed right away is that P+/P- functionality not working with DTV as well as direct entering channel number , this a bit strange since it works with Kartina IPTV and quite inconvenient.
As a general comment it really bugged me - the inconsistency between DTV and Kartina IPTV - in Kartina the controls are not ideal either but they are "normal" TV style controls, here it looks like very basic functionality implemented.
The channels itself looking good and I got perfect uninterrupted reception of all our Free to Air DVB-T 5 channels just by few seconds of rotating small internal antenna that was supplied with the stick.
Another problem I noticed right away is actually with the Hebrew - when I pressed "info" button I could see current program name and next program name shown in Hebrew font but the direction of the text was wrong. Since I selected "il" in DTV region settings it should reverse text as well, well, I guess it's just a bug, and not interesting to the most of the Dune users too. Just hope they will fix it sometime.
The other thing that disappointed me a bit was absence of functionality to add (scan for) new channels. The system have only full scan functionality that resets all the channels and as I mentioned takes about 30 min. Not something you want to do each time you turn the antenna in hope to catch few more channels.
The other big feature I was unable to find is EPG. It looks like there is no EPG screen at all yet. The system surely reads the EPG data (after all , as I mentioned earlier it shows current and next program/show name when you press "info" while viewing the channel) but there is no place to view it.
Other than that the DTV works fine - video and sounds are clear.
Next thing I tested is recording functionality. Having to press "play" button to record is a bit strange but since there is nor "rec" button on remote I guess it's ok with me
Anyway, here what is missing is timer recording, but I guess since no EPG yet than there is no way to order timer recording as well...
Another thing I noticed when recording is that when I started recording the video and audio started to break up, like with bad reception and when you stop recording - you get another long "pause like" break up. I hope it was related to my USB Sandisk Cruiser 2GB being too slow and not due the fact that system was out of resources both for decoding and recording.
Bottom line - the basic functionality (besides EPG) works fine, more advanced things are missing and there is a huge inconsistency in UI, but I guess beta firmware is beta firmware, let's wait and see what will be in final.
For now you can use it as DTV tuner more or less ok, but it's surely not ready to be DVR.