Group Test - Linux Receiver Firmwares (Part 1)

- Free product key for windows 10
- Free Product Key for Microsoft office 365
- Malwarebytes Premium 3.7.1 Serial Keys (LifeTime) 2019

We try four of the latest freely-available firmware ‘images’ for Dreamboxes and other Linux-based satellite receivers

Ehgma2 – the most common incarnation of the Linux-based firmware originally developed for the Dreambox by its manufacturer continues to form the basis of practically every Dreambox firmware ‘image’ that is currently doing the rounds; indeed, its influence can be seen in all of the firmwares in this group test. A wide range of non-Dreambox Linux receivers have benefitted from Enigma2 too – we list the compatible receivers for each of these four ‘images’.

Four of the latest freely-available firmware ‘images’ for Dreaboxes

Four of the latest freely-available firmware ‘images’ for Dreamboxes

Dream Multimedia isn’t too happy about this state of affairs, as it has in effect subsidized the software development costs of its competitors! As far as Dream is concerned, the original idea behind ‘open-source’ firmware was that a worldwide community of Dreambox users and third-party developers could collaborate to improve it.

Such modifications have included the elimination of ‘bugs’, a change of user-interface ‘look’ or the addition of radically-new features. Some of the latter, such as blind scan, have since been incorporated into Dream Multimedia’s ‘official’ firmware releases. Others, including the ability to support a second (USB) tuner or ability to emulate various CAMs, haven’t.

Replacement firmwares help to keep obsolescence at bay – the limiting factors are the imaginations of the programming teams and the capabilities of the available hardware. Think of an alternative firmware as a ‘personality change’ for your receiver – albeit a moderate one, as its origins are usually evident in the basic structure of the original firmware’s user interface.

So why is Enigma2 so important? Apart from the fact that the source code was made available openly, thereby removing the need to develop a new image ‘from the ground up’, its power and overall stability are something to aspire to. Another of Enigma2’s draws is that you can choose from a wide range of ‘plugins’ – free third-party ‘apps’.

The only disadvantage of Enigma2 (and its variants) is that it’s not quite as intuitive to use as the average firmware built into the non-Linux set-top box. Over time, though, the user will quickly acquire familiarity with these idiosyncrasies and indeed see them as the advantages they can be!

Install tips

·         A Dreambox’s second-stage ‘bootloader’ can be used to quickly install new firmware. From its webpage, select a firmware .nfi ‘image’ file that you’ve previously downloaded to your PC.

·         Choose an image specific to your receiver. Even with the correct file, you might experience an error message – you might need a new bootloader. Some plugins are also hardware-specific

·         You can only have one firmware installed at a time. Some ‘multiboot’ utilities (notably ‘Barry Allen’) will allow you store several firmwares on an external storage device

Dream Elite EXP 4.0

A well thought-out firmware with a web-browser built in as standard – in addition to more useful features

This image is based around version 2 of the ‘Open Embedded’ software environment (‘OE2’). Its software ‘sources’ may be experimental, but the image is claimed to be stable, its basis in the official Dreambox image is obvious; for a start, the useful web interface (For controlling the receiver and network-streaming channels) is identical. Installation involves the usual Dream ‘wizard’. Although ‘restore settings’ is present, we had to reset the ‘mount-point’ of the hard drive fitted to DM800HDse before use.

Dream Elite EXP 4.0

Dream Elite EXP 3.0

The most noticeable change has been the addition of a web browser to the usual ‘main menu’ entries. Indeed, Dream Elite is the only image to include this as standard. It’s difficult to use without a wireless keyboard and mouse (both of which are supported here), and was rather slow. Without these a handset-driven virtual keyboard is used to enter URLs, which can thankfully be bookmarked. Another major difference is the ‘device manager’, which lives in the setup/system menu. In addition to storage devices, this will look after USB DVB-T tuners. Only a limited number are supported; the PCTV 290w we tried was alas not among them.

As far as onboard tuners are concerned, though, it’s business as usual. Configure the tuner, and then search for channels. We’re pleased to note that blind-scan is available. Channels are arranged in the Enigma 2 ‘bouquet’ format, and can be sorted by satellites, provider or ‘favorites’. The ‘current transponder’ option is also available, and owners of single-tuner boxes will know what channels can be simultaneously viewed and recorded.

Dream-Elite-4.0 has been updated image Dream-Elite-3.0 To become 4.0

Dream-Elite-4.0 has been updated image Dream-Elite-3.0 To become 4.0

The ‘stock Engma2’ EPG is compatible with now/next and 7-day schedules, and can set the timer. You won’t find CrossEPG among the numerous plugins and skins of the conventional ‘plugins’ list, but it can be installed. Pressing the handset’s blue button once brings up a menu that deals with ‘soft’ (emulated) CAMs. If you press it again you’ll access the Dream Enigma ‘Addons Manager’ and you’ll find CrossEPG in the ‘DEPlugins’ option of the ‘download addons’ menu. These plugins are specifically designed to work with OE2.0.

Others include file search, weather-forecasting, a sport portal and video streaming. Recording and TV use posed no problems, although you cannot use the TV recordings manager to directly access multimedia files. Instead, you have to rely on the separate media player and picture player (via the ‘plugin browser’) to cover everything.


Although Dream Elite is feature-packed, it’s a pity that our DVB-T2-compliant USB stick wouldn’t work (both HD satellite and terrestrial in a single box would be appreciated).

Dream Elite EXP 4.0

§  Version tested: Experimental 4.0 (001-r02) 02-12-2-12

§  Restore of previous settings: Yes

§  Blind scan: Yes

§  Network browsing: Yes

§  Receivers supported: Dreambox DM500HD, DM800HD, DM800HDse, DM7020HD, DM8000HD

§  Web interface: Yes (Dreambox Webcontrol)

§  Video formats: DivX, XviD, MOV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MKV (to 1080p)

§  Audio formats: MP3, MP2, WAV, WMA, M4A, FLAC

§  Image formats: GIF, JPG, BMP, PNG

§  Cue/review with all video formats: No

§  EPG days: DVB now/next and 7-day, CrossEPG

§  PVR: Via USB, network or HDD

§  Channel change: 1 sec

§  Reboot time: 1 min 26 sec



§  Stable and useful shortcuts

§  Decent spread of features


§  Dreambox-only multimedia playback arrangements could be improved

§  Ease to use: 8/10

§  Navigation: 8/10

§  Searching: 9/10

§  Performance: 9/10

§  Value: 7/10

§  Overall: 8.5/10


Top 10
Free Mobile And Desktop Apps For Accessing Restricted Websites
TOYOTA CAMRY 2; 2.5 : Camry now more comely
KIA SORENTO 2.2CRDi : Fuel-sipping slugger
How To Setup, Password Protect & Encrypt Wireless Internet Connection
Emulate And Run iPad Apps On Windows, Mac OS X & Linux With iPadian
Backup & Restore Game Progress From Any Game With SaveGameProgress
Generate A Facebook Timeline Cover Using A Free App
New App for Women ‘Remix’ Offers Fashion Advice & Style Tips
SG50 Ferrari F12berlinetta : Prancing Horse for Lion City's 50th
- Messages forwarded by Outlook rule go nowhere
- Create and Deploy Windows 7 Image
- How do I check to see if my exchange 2003 is an open relay? (not using a open relay tester tool online, but on the console)
- Creating and using an unencrypted cookie in ASP.NET
- Directories
- Poor Performance on Sharepoint 2010 Server
- SBS 2008 ~ The e-mail alias already exists...
- Public to Private IP - DNS Changes
- Send Email from Winform application
- How to create a .mdb file from ms sql server database.......
programming4us programming4us