Author Topic: My first review of the Vantage HD6000T/NZ  (Read 4705 times)

kilaru

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My first review of the Vantage HD6000T/NZ
« on: February 04, 2009, 12:03:15 am »
My first review of the Vanatge HD6000T/NZ which I posted on the NZ DTV Forum.

I have been using this receiver for some time and have been very impressed with what I have got. I have done a walkthrough/review (whatever you want to call it) of the product so that everyone can get some information about this wonderful receiver. It is the only receiver which can record HD and does it well.

Vantage HD6000T/HD Walkthrough

The Vantage HD6000T/NZ attaches to a UHF antenna and includes a loop through connection to allow your antenna signal to pass through to other devices supporting analogue services. It is simple to set up, plug it in to your UHF antenna and connect it to your TV using HDMI. If your TV does not have HDMI, then connect it via Component. The Vantage HD6000T/NZ offers High Definition output via both HDMI and Component. If your TV does not have HDMI & Component, you can still get good picture out of the S-Video or Composite (Red,White,Yellow) outputs. The Vantage offers sound via analogue and digital outputs. For digital outputs, it offers both an Optical Out and Coaxial Out. There are many options for connecting this receiver so most of your needs will be met.

Once attached and power plugged in, the receiver will ask you for your local time information and will begin scanning the entire spectrum for signals and channels. This is a one time process which can take about five minutes. In some locations in New Zealand, it is possible for your UHF antenna to receive a signal from another nearby transmitter. The Vantage will find these for you and select the channels with the best possible signal strength and quality. Once the channels are scanned, you will be asked to save the channels and you can begin viewing normal television.

The picture quality via HDMI and Component HD is superb. The SD outputs can be improved but those who want the SD output would want to feed it to an external recorder which you don''''t need with the Vantage if you attach a HDD. You just record on to the HDD.

The Vantage HD600T/NZ has a full VFD display to allow the channel name and information to be shown on the LCD display. The elegant design and colours used hides the appeareance of the VFD and can only be seen when the receiver is turned on. Impressive!! It is the only actively marketed receiver available with a VFD among the High Definition set top boxes.

Picture settings including aspect ratio settings can be done via the VFormat button on the remote control. It is also possible to select these values via the Menu. The Vantage separates the Television and Radio channels. The Radio channels can be selected using the TV/Radio Mode button.

Channel list on the Vantage can be obtained via the OK button or by pressing the List button. There are various types of channel sorting options available including, Alphabetic, Frequency, and HD. Favourites are also allowed. Extended channel information is available by pressing the Info button. Press the Info button once and it will show "Now & Next" channel information. Press the Info button again and it will show detailed information on the current program. Press the Info button the third time and it will show the "Stream Information". The "Stream Information" shows technical details about
the channel including the transmission resolution and audio type.

Additional buttons are available on remote control to allow "Mosaic" display, Zoom, change the Video Format, Guide or EPG. Unlike many receivers on the market which are promising PVR functions, the Vantage comes with a full remote control with PVR control buttons as it has a working recording function already.

The Vantage HD6000T/NZ software allows recording of High Definition programming and allows you to enjoy playback of the programming in High Definition. To enable the PVR functions, simply add a USB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) to the USB port at the back of the receiver. If you already have a formatted USB Hard disk drive, ensure that it is FAT32 formatted as NTFS is
not supported currently by the Vantage software. The Vantage HD6000T/NZ however, does not impose any upper limit on the size of the USB HDD so you can purchase a drive that suits your budget and needs.

The Vantage HD6000T/NZ allows several methods of recording. The first is via a Grid based EPG. This can be accessed by pressing the Guide button. The EPG will show you the events which you can record. Highlight the programme you want to record an dthen press the Timer button (green) to add the recording to the Timer. A full EPG is not shown as it is not transmitted by the broadcaster currently from where the Vantage can pick up the information.

The Vantage HD6000T/NZ also offers direct recording facility via the Timer. This facility is called Reservation in the menu and allow a total of 40 timer events. It supports once, daily, weekday timer options which just about covers most of the requirements. The Vantage implementation of the weekday feature is clever. It allows selecting of individual days so you can effectively select to record on a particular day or as many days in the week, like Saturday & Sunday to record only in the weekends. It will also allow you to turn a recording "off" in the case if you have event you want to keep in the timer but not record at the moment.

There is also an instant recording option to record the current program. Just press the record button and it will ask you if you want to stop the recording at the end of the scheduled programme. If you respond with "yes", then the recording will stop at the end of the programme. If you say "No", then the Vantage will continue to record up to the recording limit set. To avoid filling up your entire hard disk drive, the Vantage allows you to set the maximum hours it will record under its PVR settings.

Two channels can be recorded simultaneously on the Vantage HD6000T/NZ. As there is only one tuner, it is technically only possible to record two channels on the same multiplexer. Transmission in New Zealand is via three multiplexers, namely, TVNZ, TVWorks and Kordia so the channels are in three groups. With a single tuner you cannot hop across a group while recording.

Recorded programs can be accessed via the Media button on the remote. All programs are stored under the "Record" directory on the HDD. It is all nicely laid out via either Programme Name and Date or Channel Name and Date. Each recording has it own directory and there is another suprise!! Press the Info button to the navigated program and the Vantage will show you a Synopsis of the program!! To playback a program, navigate to the ".trp" file and press OK.

Playback of recorded programs on the Vantage is seamless. The playback is via the "Vantage Player" which also allows additional functions. You can seek through the program by pressing the left and right buttons. You can also set bookmarks to allow easy navigation to your favourite parts of the program. You can also edit your program and cut out bits that are not required. The editing and bookmark features are very simple and do require enhancements.

The Vantage HD6000T/NZ can also playback some media created by external sources. Playback of some XViD files is possible. Reporting of each type of file is beyond the scope of this article. Other media, images can also be played back via a slide show.

The Vantage HD6000T/NZ is the most developed receiver currently available in its kind. Where most manufacturers are still trying to stabalise picture and sound issues on their receivers, the Vantage picture and sound has been working for a long time and their development has progressed into offering a working PVR function.

Developed and manufactured in Korea, the Vantage HD6000T/NZ is the real winner when quality and realiable operation of your set top box is a concern. It had been a real winner for me.