- General, plans
- Old/new models, etc
- Buying the receiver. Distribution
- Temperature sensor
Q. I already have some product made by your company (i.e. Dr.HD F16, Dr.HD F15, Dr.HD 900s), and I am interested in new products. What are your current plans?
A. This year, we have launched two new STB models (HotCake brand) and are launching three more set-top boxes under Dr.HD brand (D15, Grand, Grand Triple), and also another family of receivers under HotCake brand. Also worth mentioning new HDTV Dr.HD 1000s sat-meter. We will present these models at three Trade Fairs at the same time: Hong Kong Electronics (13-16 October, Hong Kong), Canton Fair (15-19 October, GuangZhou, China), and together with our partners, we will display some products at the Eastern Europeand Broadcasting Convention (17-19 October, Kiev, Ukraine).
Q. What about support of older models?
A. It is our high priority, and it continues. For Dr.HD F16 model, there will be new SW releases with some internal fixes for current customers, but because of CPU limitations of F16 (model is made in 2008, 4 years old now), we can not make any major upgrade like HDTV on-screen display, etc. For Dr.HD F15, we have recently released new versions of software 2.xx with new HDTV OSD, and other upgrades. Now all our new models (except for Dr.HD F16) share the same HDTV OSD. For F15 there will be some other fixes soon, for YouTube (you know that right now, YouTube changed addressing and it stopped working on almost all the hardware players), for other relevant issues, and also will be some upgrades with new functions.
Q. Why can't we buy the Dr.HD 900s sat-meter anymore?
A. Technically, we can currently produce this model. But we do not keep any stock for small orders. Therefore, if any distributor has order of 1000 pcs or more, we are able to produce the 900s. However, we think that life of that model is coming to an end. The Spectrum Analyzer, etc functions are still OK and appealing to customers, but many customers are looking for newer sat-meter which will be able to scan the DVB-S2 channels, and will be compatible with HDTV. So, we are currently busy with our new model, called Dr.HD 1000s, which will have all the functions of 900s, but will be compatible with DVB-S2, HDTV, HDMI, USB. Also it will have some new nice functions, which will be announced when the specification of 1000s is public. Currently, we hope to present the new sat-meter at the three exhibitions which take place in Octuber:
- Hong Kong Electronics (13-16 October, Hong Kong)
- Canton Fair (15-19 October, GuangZhou, China)
- Eastern Europeand Broadcasting Convention (17-19 October, Kiev, Ukraine)
Q. What is the situation with the F22 project?
A. The F22 project was never officially announced by us, it was just a project name for our internal use, like every Hollywood movie has its own production title. There were some 'leaks' from our company engineering centres to some Internet forums, where some information got published, unofficially, and without details. When we came closer to finalizing the project, and were able to see the shape of what kind of Set-Top Box is being born, we came to decision that the product should not be named after one more fighter jet. Just see for yoursels: big Hi-End box 430mm/17" for Hi-Fi stand, completely silent in work (no fan used, as opposed to all the competitors we know of), rich in inputs and outputs, controllable from iPod/iPhone/Android, and with many new functions... Therefore, we decided not to confuse the customers, and to call it Dr.HD Grand. It gives better impression what this model is about. Also, there is one more model, Dr.HD Grand Triple. It is similar to Grand, but it has even more tuners (three), that's why it is Triple. It can record few channels at the same time, from different tuners, etc... Both models are to be presented during exhibitions in October, and they will be in shops in October-November (our old distributors served first, new ones will have to wait a little!!!)
Q. So no more F16 receivers?
A. Yes, we discontinued production of F16 early in 2011. Yes, we know that this model became classic, and famous for its real specifications. But time goes by, and it is hard to buy the CPU the F16 is based on. Besides, now there is no need to continue the F16, because we have Dr.HD Grand, which is also Combo (can be S+T combo: DVB-S2/S tuner + DVB-T2/T tuner), but has much more functions than F16. Also, the Dr.HD Grand is more versatile, because it can be DVB-T2, and even works as DVB-C receiver (or at the same time, DVB-T2 and DVB-C!!!), depending on the second plug-in tuner.
Q. And what about the F15?
A. Similar. We can produce the F15, still - as long as our distributors ask for it. But we have almost finished the newest model, called the Dr.HD D15, which is about to hit the stores by early November 2012. It has all the functions of Dr.HD F15, and more! Also, it shares the same design (same size front panel) with F15, but it is smaller in length. And it is cheaper than Dr.HD F15, so it is just more attractive to our customers. By the way, it is faster, too!
Q. What new festures do we see in Dr.HD D15, Dr.HD Grand, Dr.HD Grand Triple?
A. Please wait untill our public presentation which we will do at three Trade Fairs within October 2012. News will be at web-site, too. We will publish PDF with presentation and some specifications, and also user manuals, so you could see for yourself. Generally speaking, the D15 is faster (due to new CPU), but lower-cost version of F15, with removed SCART connector, and only 1 USB port. Grand and Grand Triple are new models in big 17"/430mm Hi-Fi stand housing, with 2 and 3 tuners on-board, and with HDD tray inside, with universal learning remote control, and other new functions to surprise our faithful clients, etc.
Q. There is request to enter pin-code in the menu. What is the pin-code?
A. By default, it is '0000'.
Q. Doesn't help me. I have entered some other code, locked the menus, and forgot it.
A. Please, use the buttons on the front panel, and do the 'Factory Default' reset. Step-by-step manual:
- Disconnect the receiver from AC power supply. (Use the power switch on the back panel.)
- Press the MENU button on the front panel, and keep it pressed.
- Switch AC on.
- You will see 4 lines on blue background.
- Now you can release the Menu button and select line number 3 (either by front panel buttons, or with Remote Control). Press OK on remote or SELECT on Front Panel.
- Go down to line 4 and press OK to exit on the RC or SELECT on Front Panel.
- Receiver is reset to factory defaults, and ready to use.
Q. Sometimes I have to do 'Factory Default' after uploading new software. And it makes me unhappy, that I loose all my settings and scanned channels.
A. Use the CNDF save function, and stay happy! To do save your settings:
Go to File Manager menu (or to "Download" menu, depending on version of SW that you use). Then use on-screen prompt to "Upload NDF". (In older SW versions you can use red button, in newer and HD-OSD SW versions, press the INFO button). Anyway, there will be option to Save NDF . CNDF file will be saved to your flash-drive. CNDF is file type to save all the scanned channels, settings, etc.
When you want to download saved CNDF-file, go to File Manager, locate CNDF file on your Flash-Drive, and you will have options "Install as default DB" and "Normal DB". Please, choose "Normal DB", and in few seconds you will have all your saved settings and channels back.
Q. Can I edit the CNDF file on my PC?
A. Yes, there is software to do it, NDFedit. There are two options:
NDFEdit_162_F16.exe (original software by Dr.HD)
NDFSettingsEditor.exe (completely different software, created by our customer, Infinity.)
Choose one that you like more.
Q. What receiver is the best for the DXing, and for getting most channels from my dish.
A. All our models. Most famous for its DX-functions is our classic F16 model. In F15 model, which followed, we have used different tuner solution, and there are reports that F16 was better with weak satellite signals. (Anyway, the F15 is still better than most competitors on the market!!!). In newer models, Dr.HD D15, Dr.HD Grand, Dr.HD Grand Triple - the sensitivity will be highest-possible with modern technologies.
NOTE TO NORMAL NON-DX CUSTOMERS! When we're talking about sensitivity, this isn't something that you may notice in your real life, when watching your HotBird, Astra, AsiaSat, Eutelsat, etc... We are talking about slight differences that matter to professional users and to DX community, users who use moving polar-mount dishes, and are interested to receive most channels possible, rare channels, weak transponders, from distant satellites and countries. Every STB we produce has more than enough 'sensitivity' for any customer. Actually we are one of few companies that really cares about the sensitivity issues, and other antenna matters (like the short-circuit in cable), and because of that, we have got good reputation not only in retail markets, but in professional DX-communities (where all our models are highly appreciated). Such appreciation is sign of acknowledgement of our high internal standards.
Spectrum analyzer and ffbs
Q. I tried to find your famous spectrum-analyzer function in the menu, and I couldn’t find it. Why?
A. It is there. It is always there, since 2008-2009, as it is our own proprietary technology and invention and our own know-how.
Here is some short manual about the Spectrum Analyzer.
Spectrum Analyzer is the technology developed exclusively by Dr.HD™ to enable the customers to enjoy some pro-grade functions, usually available in the professional meters with Spectrum Analyzer. It is a tool that gives a lot of fun to satellite enthusiasts, and quite useful, too.
For using the SPECTRUM ANALYZER please do as follows:
On Dr.HD F16 receiver
- Press MENU on the remote control
- Go to the Dish Setting menu. (Press pin “0000” if needed)
- Go to “8. DiSEqC motor”
- Use the green button
Note: in newer SW versions - no need to go to DiSEqC motor, just follow on-screen prompt in Dish Setting Menu.
Dr.HD Grand / Dr.HD Grand Triple / Dr.HD F15/ Dr.HD D15 receivers
- Please use the special button to call the Spectrum (long press of '0', unless it is re progammed in your SW), or go to Main Menu, then to Dish Setting, then follow on-screen help-bar (two lines at botton of screen).
Now you see the Spectrum Analyzer. Some hints: With yellow columns, the level of signal is shown. When the column is blue-coloured, it means that this frequency is within the Transponder List for the current satellite. With the red colour, the current Transponder is shown. When the column is green colour, it means that the receiver tried to receive that frequency, and successfully locked to it (please press the yellow button to do the lock test!).
Using the keys at the bottom of the screen, you can choose the Horizontal/Vertical polarization, and 22kHz on/off for Low/High Band. If you press YELLOW button, then the receiver will try to LOCK the signal for the transponders, and with GREEN COLOUR will display the transponders that are LOCKED.
Using Spectrum Analyzer, you can change the LNB’s functions. By pressing the GREEN BUTTON you can select either Vertical, or Horizontal polarization of the LNB. The RED BUTTON selects either High Band, or Low Band, when using the Universal LNBFs.
The size of the columns correlates to the signal level. Columns around zero indicate that signal is too low, signal/noise ratio is bad, and quality reception is not possible. Levels of 255 (maximum value) show that there is “too much” signal, and there is some chance that the tuner is over-loaded. Too high levels of 255 typically happen when additional high-gain amplifier is inserted, which wasn’t really needed. The signal is at its best when the level is somewhere between 200 and 250.
Another use of the spectrum analyzer is for testing your equipment and finding the weak points. When the signal is high at low frequencies and low at high frequencies – may mean that you are using extremely low-quality cheap RG-6 cable. You can even evaluate the quality of the cable or your DiSEqC switch, or your DiSEqC 1.2 positioner. In case, after connecting that cable/switch/positioned the signal drops significantly (especially at high frequencies) – it is better to avoid such components.
And, of course, you will be able to tell one satellite from another, by a simple glance at Spectrum.
For better examining of some part of the spectrum – you can use the scaling/zoom function. For example, if all of your signal is between 200 and 250, and you want to see the exact details, you can opt to display the signal levels from 200 to 255, only. You can also “zoom in” some specific frequency band, and discover some transponders not in current database (yellow-coloured peaks). So you can add them to database and blind-search them, so you will get the excusive up-to date TP database.
Some versions of the SW, have the SAT ID function. When you already have good signal (spectrum is high!), but you are not sure what the satellite you are receiving, you can call the SAT ID function by pressing the INFO BUTTON. The receiver tries to identify the satellite and will give you the result after some processing time. Please, note:
For each satellite, some unique TP shall be used (first in the list). For HotBird, it is the TP 10723 H with SR=29900. For Amos, the TP 11167 H with SR=12500, etc. Please avoid the typical TPs with SR=27500 and SR=22000
After pressing the INFO BUTTON, the receiver starts checking all the TPs, one-by-one
When TP is locked (there is digital transmission on that frequency), the checking stops. You have option to re-start, continue or commit a full-search of the satellite
Q. Will there be Spectrum Analyzer for the Terrestrial (DVB-T)?
A. Yes, we have released it in some 2.4x and 2.5x, 2.6x software versions for F16 receiver. (It is of much less use, compared to satellite spectrum, as we think. But if you want to play with it … okay.)
Q. Is there Spectrum Analyzer in your new models?
A. Yes, of course. All our models under Dr.HD brand have this function.
Q. How to use the FFBS (Fully Functional Beep-Search) function?
A. Please, follow these steps:
- Press MENU on the remote control
- Go to the Channel Search menu. (Press pin “0000” if needed)
- Select the right transponder/frequency
- While on the “5. Network Search” line use the green button
You will hear a beeping sound, which corresponds to the strength of the signal received. We tried to make it more informative, so, unlike other receivers, both volume and pitch of the sound is changed, for better accuracy and functionality. So, you can be few rooms away from your TV, and still able to fine-tune your dish. You can even call from your home phone to your mobile, go to the roof and tune your dish, easy and convenient.
Q. I have uploaded the new software and something happened, like: 1) sound disappeared on some channels, 2) some channels do not show, 3) receiver doesn’t memorize the Terrestrial channels, 4) some channels are lost, 5) some function not working, etc, etc.
A. (Attention! It is an old answer, more relevant only to older F16 receivers and older SW releases for F16. However, we have decided to keep this answer here for history. Besides, remember that it is ALWAYS better to do Factory Default on every set-top box after software change.)
When making a new SW, we use new memory map for some new releases. It means that receiver becomes “uncompatible” with the data in the memory, and it is better to do full factory default reset after each software change. After such resetting, receiver will work like it should.
Q. But I don’t like that! I have to re-scan the channels after software upgrade.
A. No need. We advice to use the function of storing the current databases to USB. Just go to the “File manager” (or to "Download" menu) – and store all the channels, settings, etc to USB. After upgrading the SW, you need just few seconds for re-installing the channels, etc. More details in the "PIN-code" FAQ chapter.
Q. I was told that the recordings made with the Dr.HD™ F16/F15/Grand/D15 can be opened on my PC with the free GOMplayer, without any conversion. After installing the GOM player, it says “Can not play the file.”
A. Yes, you can watch the recordings made with the Dr.HD receivers on any PC with the free GOM player, without any need for conversion. We (and our customers) tried it many times, and it works. Please go to the http://www.gomlab.com/eng/GMP_download.html page, and download the latest version (free!). Then, read the manual at http://www.gomlab.com/eng/GMP_Howtouse.html. There, you will find out how to download the missing codec, etc.
Dr.HD F16 receiver and F15 receiver
WARNING! If you have the F16 Blue Edition , please do not upload older software 1.00…1.25. If you do that, some functions of the receiver may be blocked, upload of a new SW using the COM-port may be needed. To avoid this, please use SW with numbers 2.xx and newer.
Q. I have uploaded new SW into the F16/F15, and the remote control stopped working. Is my remote control broken?
A. Your remote control is OK. You just didn't notice our warnings and uploaded wrong generation of SW to your set-top box, or maybe you have tried to use software from some other receiver (and you know it isn't a right thing to do!!!). Now you have to call nearest service centre and get help there.
Q. But can I fix this issue at home, without sending receiver out?
A. Alternatively, if you have Null-Modem 3-wire (GND, RX, TX) cable, it is possible to upload new SW (2.xx) using the COM-port of your receiver. Also, it is possible to restore SW by using the special Forced SW upload hidden function in our bootloader. Actually, there is enough information mentioned in the "PIN-code" part of this text. If the hints there are not enough for you to make out what to do, we strongly insist you contact nearest service centre or your dealer. Remember to use latest SW.
Q. (F16 only). I am confused. How come older SW for F16 had the numbers of 1.xx and newer releases are 0.xx, also there are versions 2.xx. Please, explain.
A. Correct. Our older SW numbered 1.00-1.25 is “single” version. It means that it allows to process only one channel at any given time. Later, we released the beta-versions of software (0.xx), which allows processing of two-three channels, at the same time, giving more possibility of recording one-two channels + watching channel, etc. Also, we were beta-testing some new nice functions including external temperature sensor, etc. First releases of the 0.xx were not very stable, so we didn’t want to make them public and marked them with “0”. Now the new core is more mature and stable, so new SW got numbers 2.xx and we encourage to use of the SW from 2.01 and up.
Also, read the warning above: please, do NOT use software older than 1.25 for the F16 Blue Edition.
Q. I have bought the F16 Blue Edition, how many card-readers shall be there?
A. By default, there is only one card-reader (bottom slot). The second card-reader is optional, sold separately and can be installed later, if needed. There is a check-box on the receiver’s giftbox, when the second card-reader is inside, it shall be marked.
Q. I have read that there is F16 v.2 receiver in production. Can I buy it?
A. It is just some rumours on the Internet. We have never produced any F16 v2. (Hey!!! We are getting popular! There are rumours about us on Internet!) We have the first edition of F16 (black-and-white giftbox, produced from 2008 until August 2009) and the newer “F16 Blue Edition” (available from September-October 2009). You can easily tell one from another by looking at the Dr.HD logo on the giftbox.
Q. What is the difference between the first release of the F16 and F16 Blue Edition.
A. There are few new features in the Blue Edition, including:
- Now it can work with our External Temperature Sensor (no extra cables needed, current RG-6 is used), so you can see the current temperature either on the TV screen, or on front panel of the receiver. You can see the front panel picture here: Dr.HD_F16 new panel temperature meter.jpg. (Optional temperature sensor needed. It is currently under production, will hit the shops soon.)
- Blue Edition may have two card-readers (optional; by default only one is installed, second one can be added and installed without any special tools)
- New remote control is used, with IR-beam’s wider angle, so there is no need to aim the remote to the receiver
- Now buttons of the remote controller are fluorescent and glow in the dark
Other changes of the hardware applied
IMPORTANT!!! We respect our customers, so our goal is to make all our modifications of the receivers compatible. It means that when adding new functions, whenever possible we try to make these functions available for all the current customers that had previously bought earlier releases. Our goal is to guarantee compatibility of newest software and older hardware releases.
Q. How can I tell the F16 Blue Edition from the F16 First Edition?
A. By looking at the giftbox of the receiver.
The logo for the Dr.HD F16 First Edition is here:
The logo of the Dr. HD Blue Edition is here:
The logo for the Dr.HD F16 First Edition is here:
The logo of the Dr. HD Blue Edition is here:
Q. I am in Germany. Where can I buy the F16?
A. Currently we do not have direct distributor in Germany, because so far the requests from distributors in Germany were too small to sell to them directly. At the time of writing there is one shop in Germany, friendly for DXers, called http://www.satshop24.de/ that sells some of our products. However, they do not directly buy from us, and they are not our official distributor, as they buy from another dealer in Europe.
Q. I don’t want to wait, where can I buy it now. I live in ***********.
A. Please take a look at our “Where to buy” page at our web-site (http://www.dr-hd.com) , and locate a dealer nearest to you. Also, there are retail offers on E-bay (http://www.ebay.com/, http://www.ebay.ie, http://www.ebay.de, http://www.ebay.co.uk ) with world-wide delivery.
Q. There is still no dealer in our country. I want to buy your products within my country, as I will get better support in my language, etc.
A. We understand. Let’s explain. We are relatively young as a company (our team is together since 2007), but most of our team are in this business for a long time, with big experience. Therefore, we know what happens when some new companies start to offer their new ‘revolutionary’ box to distributors in many countries of Europe, etc. The purchasing managers start thinking “Oh, just one more box from one more potential supplier.” Quite natural, isn’t it?
We came here to show that we are not “just one more company with just one more box”. We have released not just A new box, but we released THE new generation set-top boxes. We haven’t shown 5% of what we can do, yet. We know that. Also, we know that other companies, big and small, will try to copy our products. (And they are doing it now, we have seen as some companies try to steal/patch our software and to make it work on their receivers.) At the same time, we are aware that the clients will come to us. We don’t believe in the model of “active sales” (actually, “push-sales”), like many Korean and Chinese companies are using. We are working hard on new features and unique functions, making the Dr.HD set-top boxes the first receivers in the world of this class. New features are attracting active and sharp-minded clients, like you. These (potential) clients are pushing the importers of the satellite/terrestrial receivers in specific countries. They contact us and we start doing business. So, if you are interested to have a local dealer, why not to ask your nearest dealer/distributor/importer. Sooner or later, we will meet, and supply to them direcly, and you (as a customer) will get better price, and better support, too.
Blind scan, dxing
Q. Blind-scan function works wrong. It scans the same satellite FOUR times.
A. Please, read the Internet about the LNBs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-noise_block_converter There are, actually, four bands the Universal LNBs must scan: V low, H low, V high, H high. So, it may only look as “four-times scanning of the same freqs”, however it means the correct operation.
Q. Can the blind scan find the HD channels???
A. Sure! Unlike many competitors, our blind-scan function works with HD channels, too.
Q. Can we receive extremely low-SR SCPC channels?
A. Yes! Our receivers are already recognized in the DX communities around the world because of that, and because of other functions, too.
All our receivers are tested and according to our official specification, they can work with any SR from 1000-45000. (As you see, we have wider SR rate than most boxes in the market.) However, our models are exceeding the published specifications. For example, using the Dr.HD F16 model, there were reports of stable reception of channels with SR=300, 250 and even below! About the new D15/Grand receivers - the actual lowest SR shall be confirmed by our customers (we can not test it in out labs, as real reception from some special satellites is needed), we will be happy to receive confirmations/contributions and publish them here.
Q. How to use the External Temperature Sensor function.
A. Now this equipment is coming in two pieces, Sensor Control Box, and Temperature Sensor itself. All of them use RG-6 cable for connection. Just connect the external Temperature Sensor Control Box (supplied by our company; now it comes together with 3x1 DiSEqC switch) into any convenient place of your RG-6 satellite cable (outside your house, of course), and then connect the Temperature Sensor to the Control Box. Place the Sensor in some place NOT in direct sunlight, but in shadow, like every thermometer shall be placed.
Then swich on "Temp sensor" is your menu, your receiver will detect that sensor, and you will get the external temperature on your TV screen (by pressing the info button, or when changing the channels), or in standby, on the front panel. Now you could take a look to the front panel before going out, and you will be always dressed according to weather outside. Hint: of course, make sure that your current SW supports the temperature sensor function.
Q. Where can I buy the Dr.HD (tm) temperature sensor? I have checked all the online shops.
A. Back in 2009 we have launched the temperature sensors v1.0, and we have produced some quantity of them for our dealers. But after that time, we haven't kept stock of them, so dealers couldn't buy them. It happened for many reasons, technical, and other... We wanted to discontinue that v1.0 Temperature Sensor, and planned to add the pressure sensor there, so the receiver would show both temperature and the barometric pressure, and would even give prediction of what weather would be like next day. But the project stalled, as we had to launch few more set-top boxes at that time, etc, etc... Now we don't see much need in barometric pressure function, and in prediction of weather (because most of our new models have Internet widget with similar function). But! Indication of real temperature outside (not the temperature Google is giving to us) is useful! Besides, we keep our promises - so we hope to produce Thermo Sensors (new generation, with DiSEqC 1.1 switches 3x1) within 2012. Sorry for such a delay.
Q. Is the Thermo Sensor included in the package?
A. No, currently it is NOT included with the set-top box. It is offered as an option and sold separately. In the future, there may be some De-Luxe packages with ThermoSensor included, in case our dealers ask about such special release.
Q. I still don’t see reply to my question.
A. Please, send question by E-mail. If this question is relevant for other customers too - we would consider posting it here. But remember that we can only answer your letters in English, it is the main language of communication inside our company. In case there is official distributor in your area, the E-mails would be forwarded to that distributor. Our main goal is to help you with the questions your local dealer/distributor can not help you with.
Any further questions, please feel free to contact us.