It's a budget option, but the single-tuner XT-CM's blind search functionality puts that of some more expensive receivers to shame.
You get a single common interface, two card readers, DiSEqC 1.0/1.2/USALS and SCR support, TV/VCR Scarts, and a DVB-compliant, seven-day ready EPG (but no ability to schedule the timer) and teletext.
General setup is simple. It's infuriatingly easy to overshoot menu options while the receiver catches up. Regular searching exceeds our expectations – automatic (with network and all/FTA-only searches), plus a manual single-transponder option with the ability to enter PIDs and FEC.
A nice touch is the audible signal strength meter. Flexible then, but all pales into insignificance when compared with the powerful blind search features.
As with the other modes, you can choose all or FTA-only channels and search a selected range of frequencies. Blind searching can be restricted to horizontal or vertical channels if you don't need both.
Lower symbol rates
Cleverest of all is the ability to home in on the lower symbol rates used by sporadic feeds (<2000, 2000-4000) if you don't need the full range. If you only want this type of material, narrowing the range will speed up searching a lot. Searching resolution (step-size) is automatic – 8MHz normally, or 4MHz for symbol rates below 4000.
During blind searches the receiver works through the vertical polarised signals before moving on to horizontal ones. It notes transponders as it proceeds, and if they're not in the database they're added automatically.
After this process completes, channel searching begins; other receivers search for channels as they go along. In use, searching is fairly fast – behind the Technomate TM-6900 HD and Eurovox EX8000 HD+, but ahead of the Vantage HD8000S – but the other receivers found more channels.
Audio and video quality are both great. Eurosat is launching a new model with improved sensitivity and user interface that we'll review soon.