|Reviews placed here are based on our experiences with the units described. Faults & advantages of the various models are listed as we have encountered them.|
Samsung DTB-9401F Digital Set Top Box
For a long time, Samsung has been something of a sleeping giant of a brand. However, the majority of it's products are pretty solid & the brand has generally earned a reputation as a decent quality at a reasonable price point.
We haven't had a massive exposure to this model in the same rate as maybe Thomson or DGTEC, but as with most of the set top boxes around these days, the setup is very easy & fairly quick, getting near to the speed of scanning on a Nextwave TDR3100. In terms of size, this model is a little larger than the Nextwave TDR3100, though a little smaller than the Teac DVB300
Connections on the rear of the box are an optical audio, RF loopthrough pair & a pair of SCART connectors, one of which is the usual output, the other an input for an external device, which isn't a bad thing, especially if you're running low on inputs on your older TV.
Remote-wise, it's pretty much the Samsung form-factor & looks a lot like the majority of Samsung equipment. The feel & response of the remote for this set top box is quite good, which is probably owing to the large sensor window on the front panel. That front panel I think is probably the biggest let down here, as there is only an indicatr of whether the box is on or not, with no channel display, though to be fair, there are quitea few models which have this, including the Thomson DTI500AU & the DGTEC 2000b among a number of others.
All units we have installed have had good success in locking services in without much issue, though we have not had any really tough signal situations to really test this model out. I think the biggest plus for this model is the fastest channel changing we have yet seen, switching about as quick as your average analogue TV. This is excellent & I hope this becomes a trend for new set top box models.
The verdict - All in all, Samsung have done a good job with the DTB-9401F - I think we have pretty much arrived at the point where one set top box is little different to the next in terms of features & connections & it's the usability which is going to be the differentiating factor between brands & models. I'd certainly have no qualms about recommending this unit, though it's current retail pricing may deter some.
IT & AV Services rating - 90%
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