Every once in while something comes along in the world of electronics and promises to be a game changer.
You've had miniature marvels that turn things upside down and inside out and have their competitors running in fear. Sony once did it with the Walkman, Apple did it with an iPod (and then later again with the iPhone).... and so it now comes to the world of satellite.
gives you the Solo2
For those already familiar with VU+ models, this is their latest and new shrunk to size powerhouse of a receiver.
The packaging is pretty much the same as always. A friendly recyclable cardboard box with a commitment emblazoned upon it to make a donation from their profits to children's welfare institutions.
You will notice the sticker that the outer box wears. It's a 'badge of pride'. The receiver unashamedly professes to be the fastest
twin pvr satellite receiver on Earth. The package may appear deceptively diminutive on the outside but that claim certainly alludes to what lies within.
As you can see everything comes very neatly and professionally packaged.
It's a handsome receiver. Beauty is not just skin deep though as this is undoubtedly a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Profile view makes a style statement.... like a smiling assassin
The rear of the box harbours all the AV connections. You'll notice the all important twin tuners, Ethernet, HDMI, USB socketry. The Solo2 also heralds a first for the VU+ range which is an external PSU socket.
The departure from an internal PSU has it's pro's and cons. Internal means everything is housed in a singular package. An external PSU has many upsides though. There is no unnecessary heat build up within the machine and should your PSU ever fail on you, it's a far simpler job getting an external replacement for sure.
The Solo2 draws 3.5A on 12V.
Onto the accessories, here you get an external PSU, HDMI & SATA cable, remote control and some batteries thrown in for good measure. You will also notice a small pack of HDD mounting screws. The Solo2 has the ability to mount an internal 2.5" HDD, something it's predecessor could not do. This really makes the Solo2 a very competent PVR proposal for satellite enthusiasts.
The receiver retains much of the Solo's original footprint. For those not familiar with it's sizing here is how it ranks alongside a genuine Dreambox DM800HDSE
Another size comparison for you to marvel at. The best of technology harnessed in the smallest of packages
The VU+ remote is the same as the programmable type supplied with the Solo and Duo. This is no bad thing. It is perfectly sized and very tactile. If you thought the Solo, Duo or Ultimo were responsive (and they are) you've got another thing coming here for sure. In short the VU+ remote and the Solo2 are very responsive indeed.
The only other tactile remote that I personally favour is the Dreambox Omikron, that however is of course for Dreamboxes only.
Whilst there are two USB2 ports at the rear of the machine, you will find another one behind the front drop down flap. You can for example attach an external HDD on the rear USB's. The front USB is especially handy when you plan to upgrade the firmware and images. In time you will come to appreciate this accessibility. There is of course a twin card reader built into the Solo2.
The front flap is held in place magnetically. It feels robust and is in pretty much the same ilk as that found on the Ultimo.