Much thanks to Roy for the following report


  Comparison of Nokia 9500S with DVB2000 installed,

              Compared against the RSD OMD 300 and RSD OMD 302.


              Report by Roy Carman.

 First some basic facts.

 The Nokia 9500 and 9600 in their basic format will hold only a derisory 300 channels. Not enough to cover the Astra series one craft at 19.2 degrees east.

 With DVB 2000 installed, the memory is extended to over 2000 channels.

 The RSD OMD 300 will hold 1000 channels and all of these can be single channel per carrier.

 The RSD OMD 302 will hold 4000 channels and once again all of these can be single channel per carrier.

 When talking of channels held all three receivers include radio channels in their counting.

 All three receivers are MPEG 2 compliant.

 Now for the comparison.

 It is fair to say that the Nokia 9500S has a marginally better threshold than the RSD receivers that it is being compared with. However it will not detect channels of low signal pressure using the auto detect search. (Please note that the receiver used had the auto symbol rate and forward error correction processor installed, more about this later.) The RSD receivers found the signal, but would not display video or audio.  

The Nokia 9500S has an annoying habit of going for a stronger signal many megahertz away from the inserted parameters, The Nokia has a search parameter of an estimated 30MHz, where as the RSD has a more confined search parameters which I estimate to be of some 6MHz, unless the signal is particularly strong and then maybe it will extend its search to some 10MHz.

 Example 1. I set the Nokia over the frequency of 11.043GHz Horizontal on the Satellite W1 at 16 degrees East. The Nokia did not find the resident channel at that frequency, TMF from Belgium, but detected a data feed at 11.057GHz. Whereas both RSD’s detected the correct channel on there first sweep.

 Example 2. A weak signal on 2F3 at 0830Hrs BST on 05 September 2001. 11.071GHz Horizontal. The Nokia would not auto detect at all, but the RSD OMD 300 found the channel on its first sweep, and the RSD OMD 302 on its second sweep. The picture was pixellating badly on both receivers, but the subject matter was still discernable. The Nokia was given the encouragement of a correct symbol rate, but still failed to find anything. When the forward error correction status was inserted, the receiver paused for a while before detecting the signal it was sitting over. I must be fair at this stage and say that the Nokia picture was a fraction more stable than those of the RSD’s.  The audio was about level between the three receivers.

 Example 3. At the top end of the frequency range on Telecom 2A at 8 degrees west there are five Italian channels some of very odd content. The Nokia would only locate one of these, when set across the five frequencies. The RSD’s did not have a problem, locking up all five without error. The one “chosen” by the Nokia to scoot off to had the highest symbol rate.

 The frequencies used were:-

12.684GHz Vertical.   SR 3257   FEC ¾

12.702GHz Vertical    SR 2500   FEC 2/3

12.696GHz Vertical    SR 2500   FEC 2/3

12.691GHz Vertical    SR 2892   FEC 2/3

12.687GHz Vertical    SR 1879   FEC ¾

 The RSD receivers will store all found channels by satellite by use of a simple on screen display, whereas on the Nokia they appear in a long list where you cannot define the satellite. The RSD’s also display the satellite name, frequency and symbol rate when individual channels are accessed. All the Nokia gives you is the channel name and you have to manually sort the channels into their various satellites, and notes have to be consigned to paper where various satellites begin and end. This has to be updated manually every time a new channel is added.  

However there is a computer link system available that alleviates this particular problem with the Nokia. To that I add this argument. I do not expect to have to buy a computer to resolve the defects of a receiver!

 (Absolutely personal thought. I believe that Nokia have made their name on a false premise, in that, yes their receivers do present decent video and audio, but they are destroyed utterly by the restrictive amount of channels and awful menu and channel gathering systems. Also their receivers will not work with all types of LNB as I found out to my expense. Nokia’s customer services in the UK I also found to be wanting in no uncertain terms.)

 The RSD receivers will add a channel immediately it has been detected, they will reject a found channel if that channel already exists in the satellite list. The Nokia requires further menu juggling and button pushing to add the found channel to the single long list.

 On screen display wise the RSD’s are more straightforward to use than those of the Nokia. A beginner using DVB2000 on the Nokia could soon find his or herself having heart failure when first broaching the on screen display! But an exceedingly good receiver handbook is available via the Internet, which is more than could be said for the Nokia original handbook!

I found I had only to refer to the highly understandable RSD handbooks in extreme cases, as each on screen display is fairly self-explanatory.  

When the Nokia was first switched on after the DVB2000 was installed, the Vicar was visiting with us. He dropped his cup of tea on the carpet and spit his scone all over the TV screen when he heard the introduction song to DVB2000. The language is strong to say the least. If you have heard the song “Father Christmas you ****” by Kevin ****** Wilson, you will instantly recognise what I am getting at. Definitely not to be played when the younger grandchildren are around. This introduction can be removed by use of one of the myriad of on screen displays that can be accessed by the use of the DVB2000 software.

There are no such hazards with either the RSD 300 or 302. The RSD OMD 302 comes instantly on when cued, and the 302 has a little lead in with a picture of a satellite over the earth.  

The RSD’s do have their problems. The 302 version especially. The RSD OMD 302 was the successor to the 300. It doesn’t perform so. In fact at the time when the 302 arrived on the market I wrote to RSD saying that the 302 was a retrograde step on the 300, except for it’s channel holding capacity, and definitely not an improvement. This was not received by RSD very well. Firstly it had an over active remote control setting, the receiver would do two or three jumps in the onscreen display each time a button was depressed on the remote control. This was corrected by a software upgrade. Now many people are reporting that a button has to be depressed two or three times to get the on screen display to react. Out of the frying pan into the fire!

 Very often the 302 will download a channel and when you go to view the channel content, you will be informed that the channel is encrypted, “Please Insert Cam” appears on screen. Often this turns out to be untrue. I have loaded the received data onto another receiver only to find out that the channel is very clearly free to air.

 With the RSD’s you have to select the satellite you wish to check a frequency on. This in itself is easy to do. You will find that if you have carried out several searches of a couple of frequencies on the 302, the receiver takes it in it’s head to slip back to the previous data of the last satellite the receiver was on. It’s very easy to miss this event happening, resulting in the satellite change not being noticed and newly found data having been downloaded onto the wrong satellite heading!

 Another annoying fault with the 302 software is when you have put the receiver into standby using the remote control, it very often comes back on again, and not always immediately. Sometimes it is after several minutes.

 Fortunately the RSD OMD 300 does not suffer with these problems, and is the far more positive of the two RSD receivers.

 I haven’t finished with the quirks of the 302 yet. When you have been watching a programme for some time, you cannot get the receiver to behave properly in the search mode or any other mode to come to that. Switching off and switching back on again is the only way of clearing the gremlins, and getting the receiver to function correctly again.

 Also the 302 certainly does not like to be in close proximity to such things as receiver amplifiers. The 302 refuses like my Harmon Kardon Surround Sound Amplifier, nor my Pioneer VSX 909. It reacts by duplicating every channel down load, oddly though this only happens on single channel per carrier channels. I have had the 302, duplicate a channel 301 times!!!! Admittedly the 302 does not do this when I move it away from the other electronics in the cabinet.  

I think by now that you the reader would have gathered that the 300 by far, is the better of the two RSD receivers. To that thought I also concur.

 Getting back to comparisons then. Both the RSD’s do not always give the accurate frequency that a channel is working on, they are reliant on what you the user inserts as the frequency. I use an Echostar LT 8700 analogue receiver to find the working digital frequencies, how this is done will be explained in a future article for those who do not already know how this receiver is used. The potential frequency is then loaded into the RSD, whichever one I am to use, and set to search. If the search downloads with digital parameters, then the inserted frequency is the one the receiver displays. The Nokia will correct the frequency at the time of download, and this to me is an endearing function. Before the Nokia arrived in my armoury, I used to insert the found digital data into the Praxis 9500 Pocket Sat, an excellent little free to air receiver, (Especially excellent when her in doors does not like the idea of  “ANY MORE BLACK BOXES”.) as the Praxis likes to be precise on the received frequency. Often I had to change the frequency by a couple of megahertz on the data I had discovered.

 The symbol rate information given by both RSD’s are often a little out as well. For example the SR of 27500 will download as 27531. 5632 will appear as 5640, 6111 as 6117, and 6666 as 6671, and so on. You soon learn the default figure and therefore it does not present much of a problem.  

Channel changing reaction times are about the same on all three receivers, maybe the Nokia has a slight edge here.  

For discovering received data, the Nokia will tell you infinitely more than the RSD’s. The only info that the RSD’s will give is, the symbol rate, Forward Error Correction, and the PIDS for video, audio, PCR (Clock) and text. If you like to search the Nokia’s DVB2000 on screen displays you will find not only what the RSD receivers display but a whole host of other information. Whether it interests you or not is another question, and is also dependent on your technical expertise.  

I have a final gripe about the RSD over the Nokia and that is the Cam slot is at the rear of both the 300 and 302 receivers. RSD’s answer to this is that it keeps the card and cam away from the children. OK if you can access easily the rear of the receiver. Most guy’s set ups that I have seen and played with, this is a pretty difficult thing to facilitate. The Nokias Cam slot is conveniently on the front, although it doesn’t work on the 9500S.

 So I will now summarise these three receivers.

 All three receivers do have auto symbol rate and auto forward error correction function. The RSD’s search function can be observed as it happens, the Nokia you input the frequency, reduce the symbol rate to 0 and FEC to ---, and wait and wait and wait, until either you get a result on the signal present display, or simply give in. The RSD’s are much quicker in searching.

 The RSD’s once they have found a working MPEG 2 channel will download it immediately. The Nokia you need to do other on screen display functions. With all three receivers, to discover the working Pids you have to come out of on screen display and then re-enter the on screen display to the Pid position.

The Nokia gives you a reasonably accurate frequency, SR and FEC. The RSD’s display the frequency you inserted and the SR can be several numbers out, but the default soon becomes easily recognised.  

The Nokia has a slight edge on Video and Audio display. When receiving an NTSC channel the bottom quarter of the on screen display drops out of sight, this is a real pain in the proverbial when you carry out your next search. The only way out is either change to a PAL channel or be brave and mess about in the Red OSD.

 The RSD’s have a far better channel listing set up, to the virtually non defining Nokia system. Unless, of course the Nokia is linked to a computer.

 When searching through already installed channels, all three receivers will adjust to new Pids. That is to say many Broadcasters can use the same single channel per carrier frequency on a transponder and use the same SR and FEC, but different Pids. For example UK Broadcasters often use Video 308, Audio 256, PCR 8190. Italian Broadcasters often use Video 4194, Audio 4195, and PCR 4194.

 The Nokia has a slight edge on threshold level.

 The RSD’s can be seen to be carrying out a search, the Nokia you just hope.

 Sadly you cannot buy any of the three receivers now. It will have to be a second hand purchase.

 RSD have passed all their receiver production over to a South Korean company and Nokia now fit a cheaper Latvian built processor to their 9500 and 9600 receivers that does not facilitate the auto SR function. If offered one of the Nokia’ and you want to check that it has auto SR, look down through the air louvers on the top of the receiver and look for the following lettering NDT 1006A. If NDT is not present on the tuner can, then the receiver will not facilitate auto SR. If you see the letters DF1ST you will need to enter the SR on any search. Stick a note of this in your wallet, as you may run into a receiver at a boot sale and this will allow you to buy wisely. They do turn up at boot sales quite often, mainly because the seller doesn’t understand satellite television Dxing, and to him it’s just a useless piece of junk that Sky has outmoded. Just how wrong some people can be.

 Both the RSD OMD 300 and 302 are Auto SR. I don’t think RSD made any other commercially available receivers.

 Well which do I find the better receiver? I go for the RSD OMD 300, then the RSD OMD 302 and lastly the Nokia. I want a receiver that tells me about what I am looking at, not one that goes off elsewhere ignoring the obvious.  

I have tried other Auto SR receivers and sadly none, but none of them come near the capability of these three receivers.  

As with all things, each has it’s advantages and disadvantages, and remember this is solely my view.