Vu+ announced the Uno 4K SE at the Anga Cable and Satellite fair earlier this year, so naturally people have been wondering what is different from the previous Uno 4K model.
So let’s take a look and find out.
- 1.7 GHz ARM Dual-Core Processor
- 4GB Flash (eMMC)
- 2GB DDR4 DRAM
- 2.4” LCD for MiniTv
- Gigabit LAN (10/100/1000 MBit/s)
- 1x Advanced Pluggable FBC DVB-S2 or DVB-C or Dual DVB-T2 Tuner
- HDMI in and out
- HDR10/HLG support
- 1x Common-Interface
- 1x Smartcard-Reader (Xcrypt)
- 2x USB 3.0
- S/PDIF audio output optical (digital)
- Quad PIP (Picture in Picture)
- DiSEqC 1.0/1.1/1.2, USALS
- External 12V power supply
- Power Switch
- Fanless Silent Operation
- Advanced Linux Operating System
- Media Player
- Downloadable Plug-Ins supported
- EPG supported
- Unlimited channel lists for TV / Radio
- Automatic & Manual Service Scan Supported
- Multiple LNB control (DiSEqC) supported
- OSD in many languages
- Skin change supported
Inside the box:
I am testing a pre-production model here, therefore the contents of the final retail models may differ slightly.
On opening the box up, you find the following inside:
- Vu+ Uno 4K SE Satellite Receiver
- Remote Control (new model)
- 2x AA Battery’s
- High Speed HDMI cable
- IR Sensor
- Power Supply unit
- Mains Power cable
The Uno 4K SE is a nice sized box (the dimensions are (W x D x H): 280mm x 222mm x50mm). The front panel is basic with only a white Led glowing on the left and the 2.4” LCD screen in the centre. The box is finished with a gloss black on ¾ of the front, and the other ¼ has a shiny matt finish as does the top, which looks great (although the glossy part is a fingerprint and dust magnet).
- 1x Advanced Pluggable FBC (Full Band Capture) Satellite (or cable) or Dual DVB-T2 tuner
- 2x USB 3.0 ports
- S/PDIF audio output optical (digital)
- 1 x HDMI 2.0 port
- 1 x HDMI in port
- RS232 / IR Sensor port
- External 12V power supply connector
- Power switch
Inside the Uno 4K SE:
Looking inside the Uno 4K,, at the rear right, is the advanced pluggable FBC tuner, (this will work with the dual FBC DVB-S/S2 tuner, the dual FBC DVB-C tuner or the new Dual DVB-T2 tuner). The DVB-S/S2 and DVB-C tuners are the same as used in the Uno 4K and Ultimo 4K. The large black heatsink you can see in the centre covers the Broadcom BCM 7252s 1.7 GHz dual core 12,000 DMIPS ARM v7 cpu,, then at the rear left is the the card slot and CI slot at the bottom and above that, there is a bracket for a quick release internal 2.5” hdd (this the same system they used in the Solo 4K).
I connected my Uno 4K SE up to my motorised dish. I also connected up the HDMI cable to my TV, plugged an Ethernet cable from my router (there is no built in Wi-Fi on the Uno 4K SE), and then I connected the power supply.
With all the connections done, I flicked the switch on the rear and powered on the box for the first time.
First Power up and Flashing:
Before I did anything else, I let the receiver boot up, to make sure it was all working ok. Once booted and I was happy, I then proceeded to shut down the Uno 4K SE, pulled out my favourite usb stick, and loaded on the Black Hole 3.0.5 image for the Vu+ Uno 4K SE.
If this is your first Vu+ receiver, you will be pleased to know, that installing an image onto any of the Vu+ receivers is a very simple process. Simply grab a usb stick, format it in fat32 with your pc, download the BlackHole image from www.vuplus-commuinity.net (other images are available from different teams) and extract the zip file contents to the root of your newly formatted usb stick. Once this is done, plug the usb stick into the usb 3.0 port at the side and then power the box on at the rear, the LCD display on the front panel will ask you if you want to update, and tell you to press the power button, once you do this the led will start to flash in a slow (almost like it’s breathing) sequence, and when finished, it count down before it automatically reboots.
At this point you can remove the usb stick.
It is a very quick and simple process and it doesn’t take long to reflash this box.
On first boot after flashing, you will be greeted with the setup wizard, just follow the simple onscreen instructions to setup your new Uno 4K SE.
Time to Play:
So first of all I decided to do a channel scan, which didn’t take very long at all, I scanned over 2000 services on 13°E in under 10 minutes.
The Uno 4K SE from a cold boot gives me a picture on my screen less than 38 seconds (time will vary depending on how many plugins, skins, plugins etc. are installed) and an enigma2 restart takes only 15 seconds.
As already said there is room for an internal 2.5” hdd in the Uno 4K SE, however you can use a network hdd if you have a NAS setup (or another Vu+ box that has a hdd installed), using the Network & Mount points feature in most images.
The Uno 4K SE will output tv pictures at many different resolutions, so you do not need to have an Ultra HD tv to use this receiver, in-fact viewing 4K UHD channels on a 1080p tv makes you wonder if you even need a 4K tv as the picture is bright and clear even when downscaled. However if you do have a 4K tv then you can set the Uno 4K SE to output at 2160p and this will do all the upscaling for you, obviously SD content does not look as good as HD and UHD, but it doesn’t do a bad job of the upscaling (probably a lot better than some of the cheaper 4K tv’s can manage on their own). On my TV, compared to the Solo 4K, the Uno 4K SE actually gives a sharper and clearer, more defined picture and if you have some HDR content on your NAS it will also play that back too.
Advanced Pluggable FBC Tuners:
The Uno 4K SE comes with swappable tuners, FBC stands for Full Band Capture. This new FBC tuner, will allow you to tune into 4 different frequencies per tuner, which means that you effectively have 8 tuners inside your Uno 4K SE and as it is a removable tuners, you can have either DVB-S2 or DVB-C. However there is also an option to have Dual DVB-T2 tuners instead, if you don’t have a satellite dish or cable feed.
To get the maximum from the DVB-S2 FBC tuners you will need to use a Unicable LNB, this means you can choose to view / record 4 different frequencies per tuner, however using a conventional lnb as found on most current satellite dishes around the world, it is still possible to tune to 8 different tv channels, but there are some limitations to which frequency’s you can tune at the same time.
The Uno 4K SE also supports HbbTV, just tune to a channel that provides the service (Vox Music on Hotbird 13°E for example) and press the red button, the Uno 4K SE will then use your internet connection to connect to Vox Music’s on-demand services.
As mentioned earlier, the Uno 4K SE gives you the option to use IPTV either from plugins, or directly from your channel list (bouquets), when using IPTV from the bouquets, it is just like watching TV directly from the Satellite or Cable tuners.
The Uno 4K SE (as with most recent Vu+ models), supports Kodi, which means you have access to a huge array of multimedia addons, video, movie, music and radio streaming from the internet.
Like all the previous 4K receivers from Vu+, the Uno 4K SE does have a Blindscan plugin, however this at the current time is not working (we are still waiting for Vu+ to fix this on all the 4K boxes).
The Uno 4K SE is a budget Ultra HD set top box and it has been upgraded from the original Uno 4K, therefore Vu+ are right to claim that the Uno 4K SE is “Strongly Enhanced”. It does produce stunning UHD pictures, it has HDR10/HLG support and it also produces great HD pictures, even the up scaled SD picture is a lot better than some tv’s can manage on their own.
The box has plenty of processing power as it uses the same processor found in the original Uno 4K, but it’s memory has been upgraded to DDR4 (the Uno 4K was using DD3) so you get fantastic boot-up and restart times, fast channel zapping and most importantly, it’s stable.
For the money (at the time of this review, the price seems to be the same as the Uno 4K) it has all the features you would expect and more, it is a budget receiver that punches well above its weight. You will not be disappointed with the picture quality, and if you are a keen satellite enthusiast, looking to move up to 4K, but with a limited budget, then this could be the machine for you.
It is ideal for use in any room and as it comes with the IR sensor in the box, you could even hide it behind the TV if space is limited (but then you will be missing out on that lovely 2.4” LCD display.
As it can house a 2.5” hdd this box is perfect to use as the main box in your living room as it has the same PVR features found on other models.
Should you buy the Uno 4K SE ? Well only you can decide that. If you are just moving into the 4K era, then it’s certainly worth a look, however if you are a Satellite enthusiast and require both DVB-S2 and DVB-C connections, then you would probably be better off looking at the Solo 4K or the Ultimo 4K instead, as these will offer more flexibility.
If you already own a Vu+ Uno 4K then it probably isn’t really worthwhile upgrading to the SE model, unless you need the internal hdd or want that lovely 2.4” LCD screen, however only you can decide that.
If you don’t have a 4K tv yet, but are looking for a new Satellite Receiver, then the Uno 4K SE should not be overlooked, it will give you those UHD broadcasts and downscale them so that you can watch them on your current tv, and this is something it does very well, the Astra and Hotbird UHD demo’s look stunning even on a 1080p tv set.
And don’t forget about the flexibility that you get from the Advanced Pluggable FBC tuner, it will give you, 8 different transponders with only 2 feeds from the lnb, you should never miss a TV show ever again.
Review written by Ev0, BlackHole Team.