• Fanless Silent Operation
Inside the Zero,, at the rear right, is the single fixed tuner, in the centre, is the
Broadcom BCM 7362 2K DMIPS 752 MHz single core, dual thread Cpu, protected with the same new design passive heatsink as found in the SoloSE, then to the front right is the single card slot. There is no room for an internal hdd in the Zero and therefore you will not find any Sata or power connectors inside.
I connected my Zero up to my motorised dish. I also connected up the HDMI
cable to my TV, connected an Ethernet cable from my router (there are many Usb Wi-Fi
dongles that will work just fine with the Zero if you would rather use Wi-Fi
), and then I connected the power lead.
I flicked the switch on the rear and powered on the box for the first time.
First Power up and Flashing:
Before I did anything else, I let the receiver boot up, to make sure it was all working ok. Once booted and I was happy, I then proceeded to shut the Zero down, pulled
out my trusty Usb stick, and loaded on the Black Hole 2.1.4 image for the Vu+ Zero.
If this is your first Vu+ receiver, you will be pleased to know, that installing an image onto any of the Vu+ receivers is a very simple process. Simply grab a Usb stick, format it in fat32 with your pc, download the Black Hole image from www.vuplus-community.net
or (other images are available from different teams) and extract the zip file contents to the root of your newly formatted Usb stick. Once this is done, plug the Usb stick into 1 of the rear Usb ports and then power the box on.
The Zero will do the rest and once flashing is complete it will flash the LED
on and off, to let you know that it has completed. So you simply power the box off again, and remove the Usb stick, and then power the Zero back on again.
It’s a very quick and simple process and typically takes around 1 minute to reflash.
On first boot after flashing, you will be greeted with the setup wizard, just follow the simple onscreen instructions to setup your new Zero.
Time to Play:
So first of all I decided to do a channel scan, which didn’t take very long at all, I scanned 985 services on 28.2°E in about 15 minutes.
If you would rather not wait, you can grab a channel list from the BH addon’s server, or choose one of the many available on the internet.
With the channel scan done, I then added the EPG, I personally used CrossEPG.
The Zero from a cold boot gives me a picture on my screen less than 60 seconds (time will vary depending on how many plugins, skins, plugins etc are installed) which is truly outstanding.
The Zero is not just a budget receiver, it is still a "Smart Box”, which means you can browse the internet with it, stream IPTV channels, and it also supports HbbTv, it will run all the plugins that it’s big brother and sisters can run, and you can even connect to your other Vu+ box’s and watch movies or TV recordings stored on there hdd’s. This box might be tiny, but it still has all the multimedia capabilities found on the full size box’s.
The Zero has the ability to browse the Internet with the integrated Opera browser. In the Green Panel (green button), activate the Opera browser and enter the URL you want to view using the remote control.
Navigation can be directed to local LAN address’s such your NAS drive, or to the internet such as www.vuplus-community.net
without leaving the comfort of your sofa.
The arrows on your remote control will allow you to move the cursor to the middle button of your browser or just use the OK button (the ok button replaces your left mouse button). At any time you can call the virtual keyboard (yellow button) if you want to enter data in a field of the displayed page or to Exit to return to our page.
The Zero also supports HbbTv, just tune to a channel that provides the service (ZDF HD on Astra 1 19.2°E for example) and press the red button, the Zero will then use your internet connection to connect to ZDF’s ondemand services.
Well I have to say, when I first read the specs of the Zero, I wasn’t too excited about it. I have had the Duo2
and SoloSE for a while now, and I am used to the speed these box’s run at, with there Dual Core 1.3GHz CPU’s. When I use my original Duo or Ultimo, I find myself pressing buttons and waiting for things to appear on the TV screen, and I was expecting something similar from the Zero.
But I am very happy to say this is not the case, in fact in normal use, it is as fast as the 1.3 GHz machines. The only really noticeable difference in speed is the bootup from cold take around 20 seconds longer. Even with a 1080p HD Skin, the box is as lively and responsive as it is with the standard definition skins.
Over all I have to say I’m shocked and seriously impressed. The Zero is tiny, however it’s performance is anything but. It is fantastic value for money and I’m really not sure how Vu+ can produce such a great product for the price. This is a no fuss machine that will just get on and do what you want, fast response and seemless channel zapping, ideal for the bedroom, kid’s room or a spare room.
I think it’s fair to say, that the new Zero really is “The True Standard of HD Zapper”
Review written by Ev0
Black Hole Team.
Vu+ Zero Review.pdf