[PRODUCT REVIEW] TBS MOI STREAMER (DVB-S2 Streaming Box)

Flapster

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Nov 13, 2013
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The Black Country, UK
As promised my full review of the MOI Streaming Device.

I am in no way affiliated with TBS or the MOI streaming box and this review is an honest and open opinion made from my own findings with the MOI. TBS sent me a box to test so that I could share my findings with the XBMCHUB, after I was cheeky on a Facebook chat with them asking for one to test.

First up i'd like to share my XBMC setup and what the MOI was tested on.

- I'm using a Samsung Smart TV
- Virgin Media SuperHUB with 60mb
- Satellite LNB from an old SKY digital dish setup to receive Freesat. I have 2 LNB connections of which one was used.
- OUYA with Discover Store XBMC, running confluence skin. Manual Fusion install (nothing fancy !!)
- MOI Streaming box sent for testing purposes from TBS.

Overview

The box is a dual DVB-S2 TV tuner and dual CI slot linux server for streaming satellite TV channels to client end devices within your wired or wireless network. Put simply this is a backend server running TVHeadend (amongst others - DVBlast, mumuDVB, szap, scan) which has the capability of streaming live free to air TV around your home for devices that have a front end TVHeadend attached, like XBMC. For me personally I wanted a "do all" box in the OUYA. Although I can simply receive Freesat through my TV I wanted something that could do it all in one box and make me even more lazy, so that I didn't have to change my TV's source to watch Freesat (I know, mega lazy).

From an XBMC point of view and for those of you with a satellite dish, its a way of getting your "LIVE TV" up and running.

For the testing purposes TBS had never tried to run this device with an OUYA. Their website had information on Android devices running it within XBMC, but it look a little bit of a workaround. What I wondered was that, being as the OUYA is a powerful device, would this work as intended within the LIVE TV section of XBMC. I wasn't disappointed !

Whats in the Box

The MOI is very well made. The MOI itself is about the size of a standard router, so not very big. It comes with an RJ45 Network cable, Power adapter (I needed a plug adapter for it as it was a 2 pin plug. Not included). A Quick Start Guide and an RS232 adapter board. I didnt mess with the RS232 as i'm not really that way inclined, but as this is an "open" machine this would be useful for anyone that wants to tinker.

The box itself has 2 tuner ports for your satellite feeds, USB slot, MicroSD slot, LAN, CAM and an RS232 Port. You can find the full specs on their website, but I have to admit, from a Chinese made unit, I very impressed with the build quality and the fact that it seems as no corners were cut in the design and manufacture.

The Setup

OK. Firstly, this is not the MOI's fault, but for me, I haven't had any experience with backend TV servers and satellite feeds, so the learning curve to set the box up was rather large. The MOI software was easy to navigate and was very user friendly. Where I came unstuck was 2 fold.

First, the MOI's IP address is set to 192.168.1.188. My routers IP is 192.168.0.1, so couldn't pick it up when I started it up. Unfortunately Virgin Media are complete massive dicks when it comes to changing IP addresses with the Superhub and I had to mess around with the router as they hide the guest IP. But with a bit of research I managed to change it and change the MOI to my normal IP and change everything back again. Not the MOI's fault, but if you are on Virgin, you will probably know how much a ball ache they make things!!

Secondly, for me anyway, and again nothing to do with the MOI, the lack of online information, even on their website for TVHeadend is poor and for someone like me who has reasonable computer knowledge this was a learning curve and a bit of a trail and error thing. Fortunately the MOI picked up the satellite without me having to do too much satellite tinkering, otherwise I may have lost my mind !!

My one comment for TBS and the manufacturers would be to make a definitive guide for all of the workings for the product. The website and forums for TBS were useful, but not indepth enough. There was one video in spanish which helped, but a multi language guide to TVHeadend, the MOI UI and region specific satellite instructions would have been helpful.

However, I finally hashed my way through the setup and managed to get an abundance of channels loaded. One good thing from my point of view is that I know know more about setting up satellite feeds and backend TV servers. But for me it was a steep learning curve. Lets put it like this. I didn't even know what a MUX was before this. If you are planning to do anything like this I would advise you arm yourselves before hand !

Setting up XBMC with the OUYA for Live TV

Ok this one was very straightforward. I enabled the LIVE TV and TVHeadend frontend, set the IP address in the settings and voila ! The channels were there. It took a while to load as I had quite a few channels. In hindsight I should have setup TVHeadend only with a few channels to test, which I did later on and it loaded alot quicker

Using the MOI on Live TV in the OUYA

This is where the MOI is great. Channels loaded like a charm with EPG. HD worked very well with no lag whatsoever. Channel changing was smooth, although some took a few seconds to load, which I believe happens anyway. I managed to record part of one show which worked fine. The only downside was that I could not for the life of me work out how to get pause to work. I think that this is a TV Headend thing or a "how I set things up thing". Im sure with a bit more playing I would work this out. Along with the OUYA I tested this on my Windows 8 XBMC setup with the exact same results. Overall I was very impressed and quite chuffed that I managed to get things working !!

In the week of my "deepish testing" I had a few crashes. This was mainly when I went to BBC HD, and only BBC HD. This again may have been me or the fact that BBC does all the "red button" stuff, but all other HD channels worked as they should like a charm.

Overall Impressions

The Good - Does what it says on the tin. Streams HD TV around your house. No lag and very powerful streaming.
The Bad - Learning curve. Hard to get your head around the setup if you havent used these types of things before.
The Ugly - None that I can report.

So my overall assessment of this box is very positive. I think this is one of the few times I have seen something that claims to do something that actually delivers. The majority of the problems I had were the fault of third party peripherals. The downside from the manufacturer is that there are no good guides to set up, which may put off potential buyers and weigh down customer service time. I would recommend them to make some indepth user friendly walk through's for novice users.

My rating 4/5 Smiley's :D:D:D:D(would have been 5 with better guides)

On-going use

If it was not for this forum and TPS, I would not have received this box to test. So, to give something back (it is still Christmas time after all) I am going to offer this box as a giveaway. I will have to check that TPS are ok with this first, but for me, I paid nothing and got to test a genuinely great box. I owe this forum alot and to give a little back I hope that TPS and XBMCHUB will allow me to do this.

As soon as I get the nod from TPS i'll contact the MODs to arrange this.

I hope that this was informative for you all. If you want further information please let me know and I'll be happy to oblige

Flapster.
 
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showgun

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Dec 23, 2011
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Firstly allow me to say GREAT JOB! You clearly have taken an initiative to get, and offer, help to our community and that above all else deserves a "that-a-boy"... especially with the interest in offering the device to the community.

If I could ask, does this company think you are affiliated with XBMCHUB.COM in any official capacity?

If I am being honest, I don't think it appropriate to link to a seller in this manner as their interests are clearly an attempt to vet sales from this community. This is something XBMCHUB.COM has always stood firmly against.

It is a slippery slope, and we do not want XBMCHUB.COM turned into a platform for companies/people to fill this forum with ads and/or links. As a policy XBMCHUB.COM considers this stuff SPAM.

I do BELIEVE that open and honest reviews are a GREAT, and NEEDED, part of the XBMCHUB.COM community. This is especially true when these reviews are unattached to any attempt to sell users the goods or send them to some specific seller of said goods. However; I do believe your review is honest and as such I will leave it where it is.

That said, It is one thing for a user to BUY a product and share their thoughts on it. It is another thing for a company donate a device in hopes of free publicity within our forum.

Despite the best of intentions... we would prefer that NO ONE, outside of our official team, attempt to use our site, our numbers, or our popularity as a tool for contacting companies or getting hardware.
 
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Flapster

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Nov 13, 2013
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The Black Country, UK
Hi Showgun. I made it clear that I was not part of the hub in anyway when I was cheeky and asked for one. I strongly agree that these kind of things should not be used as a marketing tool for any company. I just told them that I would honestly review this on the hub, good or bad and in all honesty if this was crap then I would have said so.

This is an honest review on a product that I have never used before. I was expecting the worse to be honest and was pleasantly surprised.

I got this for free, hence the reason why I would like yo to consider this for a giveaway. For me, I have freesat through the TV, so loosing this as a product is no real big deal...although I wont be able to be as lazy. I just figured that as this is more of a luxury for me there may be a Hubber out there that needs one more than me !!
 

showgun

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Dec 23, 2011
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Sorry... I edited that post a few times since your reply. I was very much taken off guard and went through many iterations of my response before seeing this. I agree that you were honest and and i made that clearer in my post above. ;)
 
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I've seen a few similar things on the net for sale, but i wish they would have a coax output... cause cheap splitters and poor grade coax cable ruin your cable signal... which is very important when you got cable internet. I think thats the prob of a lot of DVRs like the series 3 TiVO's, even though they allow for going to standby mode on such dvr's they don't have a pass-through method to go onto the tv for easy hookup so you dont have to mess with using another splitter and run a bunch of cheap coax cable majorly downgrading your cable signal. Coax Output would sure improve such an "Open" device greatly and make it a wonder for tinker'ers.

I"ve seen some youtube video(s) on setting up windows media center and such for similar coax-to-network-to-(pc/device) sort of devices, not sure what kind of pvr stuff xbmc has connections to that might work well with that from the get go, might be nice though to see someone work on an addon for adjusting the settings and displaying channels and linking to their feeds. Wish the USA had a better setup for a xml-method of channel line-ups so a tvguide setup would be more possible in xbmc. Nice to see someone keeping an eye out on the new tech hitting the markets.
 
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ggeorgiev

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Jan 23, 2014
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Montreal, Canada
As promised my full review of the MOI Streaming Device.
......
Flapster.
Hello, Let me just share my experience with TBS MOI box and TBS technologies:

TBS MOI was what I exactly needed, and I did order one from buydvb.net last August. The box arrived a month later, however it was defective - one of the tuners was not responding at all, and in the 'dmesg' log it was seen that it failed to initialize. Buydvb.net offers no guarantee, and they directed me to the manufacturer. I sent it to the manufacturer as per their directions, but the the box was never received. So, bad luck I decided, some money + 4 months lost, and did purchase a second one.

This time the box worked for about a week before starting to jam. After connecting to the serial port I saw 4 bad blocks reported right after mounting the yaffs volume on /. Pushing the 'reset' button did stuck the unit in a boot loop. This time I am just going to throw it out - at least save time and money to send it to China.

So, my experience is that it may be a great design, but quite bad execution. If someone can suggest a similar unit from another manufacturer, I will appreciate. Many hours lost in debugging / mails, plus the money for the boxes and the parcel to China.