IceCrypt S3700 CHD Review – THE S3700CHD has not two tuners, but three. As well as two DVB-S2 satellite tuners, this receiver has a single digital terrestrial tuner too. Of course, this can be used for Freeview reception (just as the satellite tuners can pick up the Freesat channels), but is SD only. However, the Freeview EPG (and the CrossEPG) is available, and the HD channels are, of course, available via satellite.
The two LNB inputs can connect to all manner of DiSEqC switches and motors, but the S3700CHD’s tuners have both inputs and loopthrough outputs and the six sockets are close together at the rear, so connection is quite fiddly. Also on the rear are the output sockets – HDMI for HD and Scart, phono and (unusually) UHF for SD. The S3700CHD produces top-notch images and sound from HD signals and upscales SD for excellent HD display. However, you cannot view SD images from the Scart while HD is produced from the HDMI socket.
Satellite searches are fast, although the blind search for 13°E took three times as long as that for other satellites – surely a quirk with the test system. The S3700CHD is simple to operate with an eff ective menu system. It does not display either the Freesat or Freeview proprietary EPGs, but you may be able to fix that shortage as the receiver is Linux based and can take third-party software plug-ins to add facilities to its portfolio. You even have a choice as to which Linux operating system to use.
The S3700CHD normally runs the Spark image, but it can also be loaded with the ‘standard’ Enigma 2 for access to the huge range of compatible plug-ins. Storage connected by USB (front or rear) enables the receiver’s PVR functions. The two satellite tuners allow diff erent channels to be recorded simultaneously (the DTT tuner can only substitute for one of these), but it’s not possible to record further channels from the same transponders, although a third can be watched. PVR facilities are basic, with not directly accessible chase play (you must use the pause), no slow motion playback and, of course, no recording editing.
The S3700CHD will also playback video, music and picture files from USB and the local network, access specific website, such as YouTube and eBay, browse the web (albeit slowly) and run the HbbTV services found on some European TV channels. The flexible additions of multimedia playback, internet access and countless plug-ins for Spark and Enigma 2 make this an HD receiver to seriously consider. It’s also reasonably priced and puts in a good performance.
- Easy and intuitive to use
- Fast satellite searches (including blind search)
- Flexible online access
- Limited PVR
- Only two channels recorded at a time
- Slow internet browser
IceCrypt S3700 CHD 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: No
- 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; Freeview; CrossEPG
- Timer: 8-events, 30-years
- Hard drive: Via USB
- UHF modulator tuning: Ch21-69
- 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