AMIKO ALIEN 2+ Review – A RELATIVELY old receiver, the Amiko Alien 2+ is nevertheless, holding its own in the marketplace. This is due to an impressive set of facilities and recent software tweaks of the package.
In an unprepossessing black box, the Alien 2+ packs a lot of power and facilities. This machine has a third source of broadcasts – an HD terrestrial tuner – in addition to the two HD satellite tuners. This really gives you practical access to a lot of channels at the same time.
Surprisingly, the Alien 2+ will only record two channels at once – no more, even if they’re on the same transponder. The PVR functions are also pretty basic in that paused programmes cannot be converted to recordings and there’s no easy ‘chase play’, to start to watch a programme before it’s finished recording; this can only be achieved with the live pause.
However, the Alien 2+ is otherwise a remarkably able machine. Behind the front panel – with its dual clock- and-channel/ menu display – is a USB socket (there’s another around the back) for PVR storage and media playback and two Conax card reader slots. There’s no common interface slot, but for encrypted channel fans the dual-boot option of Spark or Enigma2 operating systems give much potential for pay-TV viewing. The satellite inputs are fully DiSEqC enabled and have loopthrough outputs too (as does the aerial input).
As well as the full HD HDMI output, the Alien 2+ has SD Scart and composite video outputs and audio from stereo analogue and both optical and coaxial digital outputs. Unfortunately, it cannot produce both HD and SD output at the same time. Setup is quite quick with fast database scans of the satellites and a blind search that’s almost as quick (and with a cool spectrum analyser-type display). In everyday use, the Alien 2+ is simple to use and produces excellent quality images and sound.
There is no provision for the Sky, Freesat or Freeview EPGs, but the popular online CrossEPG is supported. As well as recorded broadcasts, the Alien 2+ can playback files from elsewhere, in just about every format, from the USB sockets. The Ethernet socket provides access to local area storage and to the internet, and the Alien 2+ provides a web browser, dedicated access to web providers such as Picasa, YouTube, Shoutcast radio, and the Spark ‘Portal’ of Smart TV-like ‘apps’, even online HbbTV services used in some European countries. Three tuners, a worthwhile EPG and decent recording capabilities add up to real flexibility.
- Easy and intuitive to use
- Fast satellite searches
- Good online access
- No provision for internal HDD
- Only two channels recorded at a time
- Slow internet browser
AMIKO ALIEN 2+ Specifications
- No LNB inputs: 2
- LNB Loopthrough: Yes
- DiSEqC: Level 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, USALS
- No aerial inputs: 1
- Aerial loopthrough: Yes
- No. channels: Only limited by memory
- Selectable FEC: Yes
- Symbol rate range: 2000-45000
- Blind search: Yes
- Linux: Yes
- CAM: 2x Conax
- Common Interface: No
- Teletext: DVB decoded
- EPG support: DVB now/next and 7-day, CrossEPG
- Timer: 8-events, 30-years
- Hard drive: Via USB
- UHF modulator tuning: No
- Software upgrade: LAN; USB download
- Data ports: RS232; 2x USB; Ethernet AV outputs
- SD out: Scart (composite, RGB); composite video
- HD out: HDMI
- Audio out: Stereo analogue audio; coaxial digital audio; optical digital audio