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Sep 15, 2008
Optibox Pony - "small but handy pony in action"

In today's review we will introduce the HDTV satellite receiver Optibox Pony ( here ). Optibox brand in our market is relatively well known. However, this receiver was made by German company Crenova and the name of the receiver was chosen solely for business reasons.

The receiver has a built-in ****** decoder PI system and obtained the certificate from the satellite operator Skylink . It can therefore boast the brand " Skylink ready. It is one of the first receiver on the market, which is also a full HD, that works in HD 1920x1080p.

The satellite receiver has one tuner and is capable of processing signals in a standard DVB-S2 and lets you receive both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4/H.264.

Of course, that the receiver meets the EU standards on energy consumption of the receiver in standby mode, which is less than 1W.

Optibox Pony can record programs on a flash drive or external hard drive connected via USB 2.0.

Receiver Description
Small unobtrusive receiver in black, with dimensions of just 195 x 40 x 150 mm (W x H x D). The front panel is only the on / off the receiver and the numeric display. Under the hinged lid can find reader-decoder system ****** PI and one slot for CI module.

On the rear panel, we find F connector (input tuner output is missing), SPDIF optical audio jack, two audio RCA output jacks and an RCA video output (SCART is not fitted because of the size of the receiver). Of course there is an HDMI connector to connect to your LCD or Plasma TV.

We have a service connector 232, USB 2.0 port for connecting an external drive or flash drive, rocker switch, external sensor input and IR input for external power.

The package is also very nicely prepared Czech-English manual and power supply 12V/3A.

Menu description
The menu is also available in Czech with some misspellings in the translation. The graphics are very nice. The menu structure is clear and easy to orient ourselves in it.

First selection in the menu "Edit channel". Channels can delete, lock, skip, move and rename. Multiple channels can be designated simultaneously. You can also change 8 favorite groups, including the group name.

The second menu in the menu is the "Install". There is both automatic and manual channel search for satellites. Transponders can be edited, you can change the name of the satellite. There is DiSEqC 1.0, 1.1, 1.2., 1.3 (USALS) and also features Unicable. More transponders can be scanned simultaneously.

The menu is also a function of the factory settings of your device, you can find it in the menu once more (probably a typo programmer).

The third offering in the menu is the "User Settings". We find here information about setting time zone, child lock, set the menu language, audio and subtitles. There is also an auto shut down the receiver.

The fourth menu in the menu are the "Multimedia". We have a timer for 10 events, enters the starting and ending time. The recording can also extend the set of footage before and after the show. In the properties you will find information on the HDD embedded HDD or flash drive, there is a formatting features.

The fifth proposition is "Common Interface". Here you can learn about the embedded decoding module and the access card inserted in this module.

Another offering is "****** card. Here you will find the version called SoftCellu, the status of your ****** decoder card, you can select a mailbox and set the parental lock.

The last menu is "System". In this menu you can find out what version of firmware in your receiver, you can upgrade over the air via satellite Astra 3A (transponder 12565 V), if available, or upgrade from a USB flash drive.

Revenue programs and receiver behavior
The receiver I had the latest firmware available May 2, 2005 (from November 11, 1910), which is available OTA. The receiver is able to find instructions channels in the SR range 1-45 Msym / s DVB-S standard, the standard DVB-S2 is in the range of 10 to 30 Msym / s.

When you first install the wizard will offer you, whether you want to quickly install a receiver channels Skylink AB or Skylink BA automatically (a very good feature because DiSEqC 2 / 1 switches are different) or you can manually search.

As is known Skylink used for distribution of programs from its offer satellite Astra 3A / 3B and Astra1, a request to set the DiSEqC switch them very precisely in the introductory guide.

Speed channel switching is standard. The picture and sound and the sound was excellent, especially HD channels.

The strength and signal quality is displayed in a traditional indicator stripe percent. The receiver can store in memory up to 5000 TV and radio programs. There are also 8 favorite groups to which you can add any programs.

Remote control is easy, the buttons are easy to crush. Directivity control is quite broad.

The receiver supports full 1080p HD resolution, this option is necessary to confirm press "1" as indicated in the instructions of the receiver.

The sound track is stored in the code, but can not save the left or right audio channel to channel. The receiver has a built-in OSD Teletext. Czech and Slovak characters appear in the order, without diacritics on capital letters. Use the "option" can enable the "Zoom". VBI Teletext (teletext decoder used in TV) is also available (via RCA output).

Subtitles can not save the code, they can only centrally to activate / deactivate. So distracting that acts as the HBO broadcast if the subtitles for the deaf. Czech Teletext subtitles are displayed correctly, this has been done to txt subtitles on programs NGC NGC Wild.

The device with the current firmware can not view photos or play MP3 audio files. The receiver is able to handle concurrent firmware AAC audio track.

As you know from previous articles, the operator can send a text message - the notification that appears on the screen while watching a program. It may be a different message that you will end a subscription package or the satellite broadcast a new firmware for your receiver, etc., see Figure

Another option is to send traditional e-mail messages. While watching a program where Optibox Pony appear at the top right screen symbol envelopes. You can then enter the menu "****** card" and the message read, see Figure

When you turn off the standby on the receiver display clock. The receiver is heated by default, the advantage is that power is supplied via an external adapter 12V/3A.

Cooperation with ****** decoder sys-PI and CI Slot
I've tried a number of encoding options such as SMIT ****** / Cryptoworks, Easy TV module (Mascom), TechniCrypt CW 4.00 *****, ******** 1.20 T-Rex and Diablo 2 rev. September 3 All modules worked flawlessly.

When you insert the card Cryptoworks module CS Link no problems with decoding of all programs. You can also deactivate the receiver directly in the disturbing message from the module. So switching between Skylink and CS Link programs is perfectly fine without any interference.

That made me very happy, because most receivers ****** has this problem. Attention old Cryptoworks cards can be used in internal reader!

EPG (electronic program guide) is quite well done. Font is big enough so legibility is excellent. You can see both in grid mode, and only one specific program for up to 7 days.

The information bar contains information about the program and then running. Detailed information about the program in no way cut off.

Czech and Slovak characters on programs SkyLink , CS Link , and UPC Direct display in order.

The receiver can receive the EPG up to 7 days if the provider sends.

Cooperation with external hard drive
The receiver, I added External Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Green Power series with a capacity of 500 gigabytes embedded in an external box with power supply. This HDD is designed for recording media. After I successfully tested the 2.5 "HDD Western Digital My Passport Essential 500 gigabytes supplied with the receiver. We tested the HDD version with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, which is backward compatible .

The receiver has a special feature of the HDD speed, of course, that the resulting data write speed to HDD is only indicative. The measurement results are almost correct, compared with measurements using a professional's HD Tach.

Unfortunately, the firmware in the receiver and even a small error when the disk speed compliant, and up to 10 MB / sec displays a warning that speed is not sufficient for entry. It's really just an error in translation. Records will be absolutely fine, tested on a flash drive Patriot X-Porter 16GB ( here ).

Personally, I prefer to drive externally powered. The receiver allows you to record one program, another program can not be monitored.

Unlike other receivers, this receiver is loaded ****** Recordings in an unencrypted form. They can be easily processed on a PC. The file extension is "suffer", the classical transport stream (includes all video and audio tracks).

Note that when replaying the receiver is not possible to choose the audio track or subtitles. It is automatically selected soundtrack, to which the receiver is switched during recording of the show, the same is true of the headlines.

The quality of recording and playback of both SD and HD recordings I have no comments. Seek records on the hard drive there and back at speeds of 2x, 4x, 8x and 16x. Rewinding works flawlessly even in high-definition recordings. Slow Rewind is possible at speeds of 1/2x, 1/4x and 1/8x.

The hard disk must be formatted with the FAT32 file system. Formatting the receiver can handle itself, it was necessary to use a PC. The receiver also has TimeShift - timeshift live broadcast.

The receiver also features a detailed view of certain technical data on broadcast channels (the "status"), such as the type of video compression, image resolution, coding systems used, etc.

Working with PCs
Upgrading the receiver can be done several ways. Probably best is to use the OTA (Over The Air), it worked perfectly fine. The latest version, which is available over the air, was fixed many bugs, so I highly recommend you upgrade the receiver for installation.

The menu of the receiver is already predefined transponder STV which is broadcast over the air. Perhaps just a small thing, to update the screen a few rows with different dates, the last line contains "error". This is not necessary to notice. Everything will be fine, the update is completed and the receiver reboots itself.

Another option is to use a USB flash drive with FAT32 format, where you will copy the firmware from the PC.

Finally, I would like to thank the technicians satellite operator Skylink for their excellent cooperation during the testing device.

Receiver Optibox Pony with the card can be purchased separately or prepared complete with the sellers of these businesses Omko Digital receivers with both the individual branches and prostřednickým e-shop .

Ing. Martin Švehlík
Digital and Omko
January 15, 2011


Hi Remo,

Enigma Virtual Box does not extract files on the disk, it does the virtualization in memory only, thus it is very strange that such error appear there. Probably, AppLocker works as intermediate level between application and protection and does not allow applications call to reach the protection...

As an idea, could you try to enable running from TEMP folder? EVB uses temporary files for working process, maybe this helps.