Comag SL30/12 £70
19th Mar 2010 | 10:00
This free-to-air satellite receiver offers up some quality pictures despite the basic spec
The Comag SL30/12 is also sold as part of a suitcase system, together with a 43cm dish, cable and accessories for £139.95. But how does it fare taken on its own merits?
Well, unlike the competition this is a free-to-air-only receiver, albeit one reasonably suited to Euro sat reception.
A 12V power supply makes it suitable for caravanners, which is clearly the intention in the spec, although you'll need to add a plug adapter if you use it abroad.
Appearance-wise, it's on the functional side, with only three operating buttons and two lights in evidence.
Connectivity is basic – a single LNB loopthrough, a single Scart with composite-only support, a separate composite output and stereo phonos. The remote is also bland-looking and can be slow to respond to commands.
Scanning abilities surpass expectations with DiSEqC and USALS and an Auto Scan feature that acts like a simplified version of blind search. You can't specify frequency increments or polarities, but it proved adept at finding transponders and reasonably fast too, taking 5.5 minutes to scan Astra 19.2°E.
Alternatively, you can scan individual transponders or FTA channels only and add transponders to the stored database. Scanning is quick, on the whole, and the tuner appears very sensitive.
Disappointingly, there's only memory capacity for 4,000 channels, which is rather low and you can create one favourites list only.
The EPG is also basic, displaying now-and-next info for selected channels by default, which can be expanded to show synopses or a complete schedule for the next seven days (where available) derived from DVB data.
Surprisingly, despite the comparative limitations of composite, pictures are actually sharp and audio is also clear using the phono options.
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