You may have heard of it in the papers, but Starhub is finally upgrading their Set Top Boxes. It’s part of the content delivery technology roadmap to offer more interactive content.
The HD Interactive set-top box (SAMSUNG GX-SH530CF) is available for a monthly rental subscription of $6.42 (with GST) per box. An additional screen charge of $8.56 (with GST) per box applies from 2nd box onwards.
The new Samsung GX-SH530CF HD interactive set-top box has a a list of modern feature set, including the typical TV Guide, info bar, etc, and also for recording of programs (similar to that of the hubstation). In addition, it will also allow global search and channel listings for on-demand channels and StarHub’s Catch-up TV. It also sports an integrated DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem that provides two-way interactivity. It also adopts Nagra Kudelski’s OpenTV 5 ‘connectware’ solution. Incorporates Nagravision encryption, duh.
Connectivity-wise, the GX-SH530CF supports HDMI (a 1.5m HDMI cable is part of the standard issue) and component video interfaces, and S/PDIF for digital audio. The new set-top box will be in stores next Tuesday, April 15. The HD interactive set-top box has no TV-out connection, so you are limited to recording on the device itself. The Western Digital My Passport AV (320GB), which seems to be the only HDD compatible is only available for purchase at our StarHub Shops at $88 w/GST (U.P $139).
Interestingly, the GX-SH530CF is just the first of three new boxes that StarHub is planning to roll out. The next box will be an all-in-one box that enables features like multi-room recording and multi-screen capability. This feature should be pretty neat, and lastly, for the third one, it is going to be IPTV-enabled.
StarHub has also improved the user interface to a slightly more modern look. The menu system is obviously less cluttered now, and it’s easier to go from one function to another. For example, Catch-up TV now resides at the first level of the carousel-style main menu. It sort of reminds of the XBMC interface personally. The TV guide is also available in both grid and list views, and the VOD (video on demand) function is only a couple of clicks away and loads way faster than before.
Can I Swap to the New Samsung Set-top Box?
Simple Answer is No. Starhub states that although the Samsung model provides some new features, both models of HD Interactive set-top box provide similar features. Hence, Starhub do not replace existing set-top boxes with the new model or provide the option to choose between the two models of HD Interactive set-top box.
Of course, that’s not stopping you from encountering difficulties on the old set top box, and seeking, making a fuss for a unit upgrade.