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Lidl Satellite Receiver.

Messages
1,514
Likes
1
My Satellite Setup
Pace 2200 Sky digibox with ftv card, Comag SL65 FTA sat receiver, 40cm Sky minidish, Setpal terrestrial receiver (for free uk tv only!).
My Location
Midlands
#1
This is brilliant! (they’re probably sold out by now, but for next time …..).

Lidl advertised a “complete satellite kit” for £60, so I went there on the off-chance. In fact, all the bits are sold separately (receiver, dish, lnb, etc), with the receiver alone costing only £40 (!), so at that price I bought one.
You get the FTA only receiver (obviously, no CI sockets at this price!), complete with mains lead and plug, remote control and batteries, SCART lead, and user manual.

The receiver has some front panel buttons (for main user functions). On back panel, lnb loop-through (for when in standby), mains power on/off switch, 2 SCART sockets (tv/ video recorder), RCA outputs (baseband video, L/R analogue audio, as phono sockets), S-VHS socket, coax and optical digital audio outputs, Also built-in teletext, with fastext and 1000 page storage, 7 day epg, a mode displaying all 6 channels (on one transponder!) simultaneously, and a picture “zoom/save” facility (phew!).
There’s no UHF modulator output, for TV aerial socket (although you can still “set” UHF output channel in software!). I miss that, since I like to “loop” a coax through several devices, then select them by changing channels. But, at this price, it would be crazy to complain!

LNB current is 300 mA max (that’s fine!), with lnb socket short circuit protection (I “accidentally” tested this!). There’s also 12v provision, for C band lnbs, and lnb frequencies are changeable in case of “non universal” types (there’s also a “skew” setting, but useless since there’s no polariser control output!).
There’s built in Diseqc 1 and 1.2, with USALS, and configuration setup page (which I assume all works, but couldn’t test!).
Power consumption is 20W max (at 300mA lnb current!), 3W standby. TV receiver input is CVBS/ LUV /YGB selectable, also different PAL formats, S*caM, and "NTSC" (would that be 525 lines 50Hz?).

The receiver is tiny, has “Silver Crest” on logo badge, was “manufactured” (?) in Germany, and has card with fault servicing addresses (Great Yarmouth for UK). If you open it up, it’s very well made, with electronics all on one board (one ic says “Samsung”, is that a clue to origins?), the power supply board being separate (so you can lift it out, to replace dried out electrolytics, or even put in a new one!). Otherwise, it’s probably un-repairable, but there’s little to go wrong, and at the price it’s “throwaway”.
(WARNING! Opening up the case invalidates the guarantee, in theory, although there's no "manufacturer seal", so it's undetectable. If you're going to do this anyway, then completely disconnect from mains power, since there's a switched mode power supply just underneath cover, with possibly lethal dc voltages!).

To test reception, I used my existing Sky minidish (43cm), with its “oldish” Cambridge 0.7 dB (noise figure) lnb, resting on kitchen sink and pointing through window (not an “ideal” setup!).However, I got all Astra1 channels with no problems. I also got most channels on Hotbird (many fine, some more badly pixillating but still received). I reckon that’s pretty good performance (comparing it with my existing Pace 2200 Sky digibox, receiving Astra2, it's "similar", which means sensitivity is "fair to good").
So, using a 60cm dish with standard lnb would do fine for Hotbird (in fact, just putting my 43 minidish outdoors would probably do the trick, at least in fine weather!). Obviously, a larger still dish (with maybe a low noise lnb) would get a few more satellites.

The receiver comes factory preset with several satellites (not including Astra2!), so you can use it straight away.
Otherwise, there’s “blind search”. You can use a built-in audio sounder to “find” a satellite, and on-screen meter shows signal strength/quality. Finding all transponders on a satellite takes about 3 mins (you can set 3 different symbol rates, although 2 always default to 22000 and 27500, unless you change them!). Then, you can do a channel scan, which takes maybe up to 10 mins. This can be any combination of ALL channels (which includes those scrambled, and hence unshowable, but some of them still have teletext/epg info), FTA only, TV, Radio, in any combination, with or without additional “network” searching. You can also do limited searching (enter frequency limits and polarisation), transponder editing, etc.
Once “found”, the channels may be organised in different ways. At any time, you can select whichever satellite, and immediately “sort” the channels into “unsorted” (in “order added to channels list”), alphabetical order, transponder order, or network order. You can also compile “subject lists” (sport, drama, news, kids, etc), and “favourites”.
Any or all sats/transponders/channels may be deleted. “Delete everything” puts receiver in factory setup mode. Then, you can either “restore factory presets”, which brings back preset channels, or scan satellites “starting from scratch”.

According to user manual, you can update the operating software, either using serial port on back (via a computer, or maybe just 2 receivers conected via "null modem" cable), or direct from Astra1 (which they say takes 1 hour, so sounds iffy, I wouldn't want to try it!).

Apart from no UHF output, I've just 1 or 2 small quibbles. In "list" mode, you can select a satellite, then scroll through the channels list (which at any time can be "re-sorted", as above), whilst simultaneously viewing that satellite's channels in "thumbnail" format. However, if you then make tv picture full size again, the channels list suddenly reverts to "all stored channels"; so you can only scroll "per satellite" in tumbnail mode. Slightly awkward, but not really a problem! And the software sometimes locks up, then nothing works, and you have to switch off and reboot by flicking mains power switch on back. Reboot only takes about 15 secs, so not really a problem, but receiver seems a bit prone to it! Lastly, I did several complete satellite scans, during 2 of which the receiver "hung" (got halfway, then stopped). Not sure why, but each time just restarting the scan a 2nd time worked fine.
And there's no screensaver, for radio listening, although "picture save" will change the default radio "background picture".

For value, this is unbeatable. The Fortec Star can be got on Ebay for about the same price, but does rather less (I believe has no blind seach?), and you pay postage and take delievery etc. The Echostar 707 has a UHF modulator, but costs £30 more.

(Thanks to Tapfit2004, below, for pointing out this is a Comag receiver, a "brand name" not as familiar in UK as Technomate, Echostar, etc. Their website is: www.comag-ag.de , the Lidl receiver is the SL65, and it seems you can download the entire operating software + editor for it).

PS - this receiver seems prone to a particular problem, especially annoying when setting up a dish, where it says "no signal", even when there is one (if you don't know about this, you can spend ages "hunting" a satellite, wondering where it's gone, when it was really there all the time!). I've got round this by switching receiver off, at back, and re-booting.
 
Messages
1
Likes
0
My Satellite Setup
none
My Location
lancs
#2
cheers for this. i was just looking at them, so had quick google to see if anyone was talking about it.

bob.smith
 

tapfit2004

lula member
Messages
65
Likes
0
My Satellite Setup
humax 5400
fortecstar
sl65
quali tv ir
4 digiboxes
dragon cam
funcard7
sm3d12 motor
wavefrontier t90
90cm dish
1m dish
My Location
dublin, ireland
#3
i think this is a comag receiver same as the older lidl receivers were. should be some newer software available for it soon. it seems to be a good little box for the price.
 
Messages
5
Likes
0
My Satellite Setup
SKY
My Location
West of Ireland
#4
This was my first attempt at setting up a receiver and it worked perfectly first time.
I cant believe the picture quality.
 

gameboy

Ding Dang Doo
Messages
4,305
Likes
4
My Satellite Setup
DreamBox 7000s - Nokia Freeview - Several GameBoys - DS Lite - ZX81 - SNES - N64 - Saturn - Dreamcast - PlayStation - PS2 - Gamecube - PSP - iPod - iPhone - XBox - PS3 - Wii - iPad - No Life!
My Location
Scotland
#5
stiofanfitz said:
This was my first attempt at setting up a receiver and it worked perfectly first time.
I cant believe the picture quality.
:-Welcome1

Well done.
 

xecuterbox

Regular Member
Messages
19
Likes
0
My Satellite Setup
Standard sky atm
temp setup on chair also-see siggy
My Location
UK
#6
its a nice lil piece of kit as you will know if you have this box, great review, I didnt know what picture save done but now I do hehe

Lidl advertised a “complete satellite kit” for £60, so I went there on the off-chance. In fact, all the bits are sold separately (receiver, dish, lnb, etc), with the receiver alone costing only £40
hehe - they did have the complete sat for £60 - me thinks you just got to lidl to late for that offer ;)

Thanks foer the tip about signal lol - hopefully sometime theyll be an upgrade to the firmware, Iv checked astra 1 but it sdaid no firmware was being transmitted.
 
Messages
1
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0
#7
Thanks for your exhaustive investigation Spiney.I have Comag SL 55 and except for some secondary features, it seems quite similar to the SL 65 you reviewed.
I too had some problems while scanning, it hunged without apparent reason and in fact ordering channels is a rather heavy task.
Anyway, I agree that price/quality ratio is unbeatable.
Cheers
 
Messages
1,514
Likes
1
My Satellite Setup
Pace 2200 Sky digibox with ftv card, Comag SL65 FTA sat receiver, 40cm Sky minidish, Setpal terrestrial receiver (for free uk tv only!).
My Location
Midlands
#8
As suggested above, the Lidl kit certainly is extremely good value, and I would have got one had there been any (was quite surprised to find even any receivers, just 3 left!).

My above review was slightly wrong (now corrected). If you delete a satellite, then re-install and scan, in fact you do initially get the option of what type of channels to install (not just all the ones found!). It isn't necessary to first find the transponders, then go back and reset for the channel types scan (a minor detail, but let's get it right!).

But yes, the receiver is quite prone to hang (especially if you try to view all tv channels on 1 transponder). Somewhat annoying. Pressing the remote buttons too quickly seems to cause this too.
 
Messages
2
Likes
0
#9
I have a Lidl system Comag SL 55 which i use as a digital radio attached to a hi-fi.I had quite a few radio stations tuned in as favourites,recently i notice when i go to a particular station such as Capital Gold i find that it is not being picked up and the yellow lock indicator does'nt appear,other stations are ok though.What could the problem be,would a complete reset or rescan help?
 
Messages
2
Likes
0
#11
I did a reset and a rescan and all radio stations came back except for Q,Mojo and Heat although other stations on the same frequency did come through.
 
Messages
1
Likes
0
My Satellite Setup
Lidl Sattelite
My Location
England Hull
#12
Well I am glad I saw you wrote it is a good deal buy one sattelite dish in Lidl cause I did. But a lot of channels they are locked at all and a friend of mine said I could do something about unlocking them. Is it easy and which would be the easyest way for me to do that, if I can do ?
Thanks spiney
spiney said:
This is brilliant! (they’re probably sold out by now, but for next time …..).

Lidl advertised a “complete satellite kit” for £60, so I went there on the off-chance. In fact, all the bits are sold separately (receiver, dish, lnb, etc), with the receiver alone costing only £40 (!), so at that price I bought one.
You get the FTA only receiver (obviously, no CI sockets at this price!), complete with mains lead and plug, remote control and batteries, SCART lead, and user manual.

The receiver has some front panel buttons (for main user functions). On back panel, lnb loop-through (for when in standby), mains power on/off switch, 2 SCART sockets (tv/ video recorder), RCA outputs (baseband video, L/R analogue audio, as phono sockets), S-VHS socket, coax and optical digital audio outputs, Also built-in teletext, with fastext and 1000 page storage, 7 day epg, a mode displaying all 6 channels (on one transponder!) simultaneously, and a picture “zoom/save” facility (phew!).
There’s no UHF modulator output, for TV aerial socket (although you can still “set” UHF output channel in software!). I miss that, since I like to “loop” a coax through several devices, then select them by changing channels. But, at this price, it would be crazy to complain!

LNB current is 300 mA max (that’s fine!), with lnb socket short circuit protection (I “accidentally” tested this!). There’s also 12v provision, for C band lnbs, and lnb frequencies are changeable in case of “non universal” types (there’s also a “skew” setting, but useless since there’s no polariser control output!).
There’s built in Diseqc 1 and 1.2, with USALS, and configuration setup page (which I assume all works, but couldn’t test!).
Power consumption is 20W max (at 300mA lnb current!), 3W standby. TV receiver input is CVBS/ LUV /YGB selectable, also different PAL formats, S*caM, and "NTSC" (would that be 525 lines 50Hz?).

The receiver is tiny, has “Silver Crest” on logo badge, was “manufactured” (?) in Germany, and has card with fault servicing addresses (Great Yarmouth for UK). If you open it up, it’s very well made, with electronics all on one board (one ic says “Samsung”, is that a clue to origins?), the power supply board being separate (so you can lift it out, to replace dried out electrolytics, or even put in a new one!). Otherwise, it’s probably un-repairable, but there’s little to go wrong, and at the price it’s “throwaway”.
(WARNING! Opening up the case invalidates the guarantee, in theory, although there's no "manufacturer seal", so it's undetectable. If you're going to do this anyway, then completely disconnect from mains power, since there's a switched mode power supply just underneath cover, with possibly lethal dc voltages!).

To test reception, I used my existing Sky minidish (43cm), with its “oldish” Cambridge 0.7 dB (noise figure) lnb, resting on kitchen sink and pointing through window (not an “ideal” setup!).However, I got all Astra1 channels with no problems. I also got most channels on Hotbird (many fine, some more badly pixillating but still received). I reckon that’s pretty good performance (comparing it with my existing Pace 2200 Sky digibox, receiving Astra2, it's "similar", which means sensitivity is "fair to good").
So, using a 60cm dish with standard lnb would do fine for Hotbird (in fact, just putting my 43 minidish outdoors would probably do the trick, at least in fine weather!). Obviously, a larger still dish (with maybe a low noise lnb) would get a few more satellites.

The receiver comes factory preset with several satellites (not including Astra2!), so you can use it straight away.
Otherwise, there’s “blind search”. You can use a built-in audio sounder to “find” a satellite, and on-screen meter shows signal strength/quality. Finding all transponders on a satellite takes about 3 mins (you can set 3 different symbol rates, although 2 always default to 22000 and 27500, unless you change them!). Then, you can do a channel scan, which takes maybe up to 10 mins. This can be any combination of ALL channels (which includes those scrambled, and hence unshowable, but some of them still have teletext/epg info), FTA only, TV, Radio, in any combination, with or without additional “network” searching. You can also do limited searching (enter frequency limits and polarisation), transponder editing, etc.
Once “found”, the channels may be organised in different ways. At any time, you can select whichever satellite, and immediately “sort” the channels into “unsorted” (in “order added to channels list”), alphabetical order, transponder order, or network order. You can also compile “subject lists” (sport, drama, news, kids, etc), and “favourites”.
Any or all sats/transponders/channels may be deleted. “Delete everything” puts receiver in factory setup mode. Then, you can either “restore factory presets”, which brings back preset channels, or scan satellites “starting from scratch”.

According to user manual, you can update the operating software, either using serial port on back (via a computer, or maybe just 2 receivers conected via "null modem" cable), or direct from Astra1 (which they say takes 1 hour, so sounds iffy, I wouldn't want to try it!).

Apart from no UHF output, I've just 1 or 2 small quibbles. In "list" mode, you can select a satellite, then scroll through the channels list (which at any time can be "re-sorted", as above), whilst simultaneously viewing that satellite's channels in "thumbnail" format. However, if you then make tv picture full size again, the channels list suddenly reverts to "all stored channels"; so you can only scroll "per satellite" in tumbnail mode. Slightly awkward, but not really a problem! And the software sometimes locks up, then nothing works, and you have to switch off and reboot by flicking mains power switch on back. Reboot only takes about 15 secs, so not really a problem, but receiver seems a bit prone to it! Lastly, I did several complete satellite scans, during 2 of which the receiver "hung" (got halfway, then stopped). Not sure why, but each time just restarting the scan a 2nd time worked fine.
And there's no screensaver, for radio listening, although "picture save" will change the default radio "background picture".

For value, this is unbeatable. The Fortec Star can be got on Ebay for about the same price, but does rather less (I believe has no blind seach?), and you pay postage and take delievery etc. The Echostar 707 has a UHF modulator, but costs £30 more.

(Thanks to Tapfit2004, below, for pointing out this is a Comag receiver, a "brand name" not as familiar in UK as Technomate, Echostar, etc. Their website is: www.comag-ag.de , the Lidl receiver is the SL65, and it seems you can download the entire operating software + editor for it).

PS - this receiver seems prone to a particular problem, especially annoying when setting up a dish, where it says "no signal", even when there is one (if you don't know about this, you can spend ages "hunting" a satellite, wondering where it's gone, when it was really there all the time!). I've got round this by switching receiver off, at back, and re-booting.
 

closetosoton

More dishes than Sense.
Messages
502
Likes
0
My Satellite Setup
Wavefield T55, 20 LNB's and a whole load of analogue boxes!
My Location
Close to Southampton
#13
djamgo said:
Well I am glad I saw you wrote it is a good deal buy one sattelite dish in Lidl cause I did. But a lot of channels they are locked at all and a friend of mine said I could do something about unlocking them. Is it easy and which would be the easyest way for me to do that, if I can do ?
Thanks spiney
Depends what model you have. Start looking for 'patched' software for you model. Alternatively get another receiver which allows easy patching/firmware updates and the ability to input keys (codes normally held on subscription cards).

-cts
 
Messages
9
Likes
0
My Satellite Setup
SKY
My Location
Devon
#14
If you have the SL 65 that can't currently be patched as far as I am aware.

Type into google smokie comag vault and that will bring you up a good site and there are link on that site to most of the info you need. and at the top of the page is the software link.

Hope that is of help