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Best Combo box for Satellite, Saorview and with an ability to record series

  • 12-09-2022 9:44am
    Registered Users Posts: 8

    Hi all,

    I have a satellite and saorview aerial installed and working with a cheap combo box.

    The combo box software (Amiko) has the functionality to record at particular dates and times. It does not have the functionality to record a series - specify a programme that's being broadcast and it figures out when it's being broadcast and records all episodes, even if the times and dates change.

    I want to get a combo box that will do this for me. I see people on here talking about Enigma 2, Gigablue, Zgemma, etc. When I look at the user guides for these, I'm not sure they will do what I want.

    Has anyone got a setup that will do this for them?

    It would be an added bonus if I could record on one TV and watch through another. I've seen people say that this is possible with Firesticks (

    I've been looking for a Smart TV that could do all of this for me without a Combo box, but can't find one in any of the retail places I've looked. There are TVs that have two tuners and recording facilities, but none that could record series that I could see.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,499 ✭✭✭Gerry Wicklow

    The Zgemma H7S does all you need. You can build your own favourites lists with any combination of Saorview and satellite channels you like. You have full 7 day EPG for all channels. The builtin WEBIF function allows any device on your home network with a web browser to stream live or recorded. You can also use this function control the box, set timers, edit bouquet lists etc. 'Series linking' or autotimers are based on a clever search function that matches program names (or parts of) in the EPG. You can specify days, time ranges and channels if needed although the default settings usually suit most needs. To use it, you would select a show on the EPG. Pressing a coloured button on the remote will set a timer or a different button would set an autotimer. If you pick autotimer a window opens to confirm the default settings should you wish to change them or just hit OK to accept the defaults. In other words, two button presses is all you need to set a series link timer. E.G. if you set it for 'Great British Bake off' on Ch4 without specifying a day, it will record the main show and the 'Extra Bits' show if you want.

    I am not aware of any Smart Tv that comes close to a box in terms of functionality. I have no experience with Firesticks so cant vouch for them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Mullass

    Thanks @Gerry Wicklow , that looks good. It's difficult to source one in places I am looking, seemingly due to chip shortages in some sites - any ideas where I could get one now.

    Does anyone know how this box compares to some of the Gigablue boxes??

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Mullass

    I found some at

    It's a bit pricey compared to prices I've seen on here, but there are some available and it's local. Is this the correct box ans is there anything like OpenATV or CrossEPG that I should ask to have installed on it?

    Apologies for the image - I'm not able to post a link yet. Hopefully it's ok to do it this way


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,499 ✭✭✭Gerry Wicklow

    Personally I prefer openVIX as the OS because it includes most of the plugins by default. Others on here prefer openATV. There's not much in the difference. The HDD is simple to install if you have a spare 2.5" drive already or you can get a 120Gb SSD for ~€20 delivered.

    I've lost track of suppliers but someone else here might know of better prices for the Zgemma. Make sure it is the H7S model there is another similar named one that doesn't suit Ireland. Pre-Brexit I used to recommend world-of-sat in UK but they are out of stock currently.

    As for Gigablue or VU+ boxes, You are paying 2X premium prices for not a lot more.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,210 ✭✭✭Schorpio

    Hi Mullass,

    The H7S is cheaper here - (also an Irish supplier, so no customs worries).

    I've purchased to H7S for family members post-brexit and that's where I got them.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Mullass

    I got the Zgemma H7S box today in the freesat shop today. The guy in the shop was fairly sure that it won't allow me to do series recording (just scheduled recording for the same time every week), but I looked back on the threads here while I was there (and other stuff online) and I think it can!

    Let's see how I get on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,210 ✭✭✭Schorpio

    Enigma2 operating systems (which the H7S runs) have their own version of series link called Autotimers.

    It basically creates a list of criteria (what the show is called, when it's on etc.) and automatically records whenever the criteria are met.

    That might sound complicated, but it's not. It's much more intuitive when you've tried it out. If you just select the program you want to 'series link', hit Add Autotimer, the box will just suggest some criteria, and you just hit OK.

    Like everything in the land of Enigma2, it's suuupper flexible, but for 95% of people the default options just work.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Mullass

    I got the H7S and set it with my satellite and aerial. It's all working well.

    I configured it with OpenVIX (managed to overwrite the installed OS instead of flashing it to a new partition, but I will get back to that) and tried out the autotimers to record series. They seem to be working well, so thanks everyone!

    I just have one cable each for my satellite and my aerial.

    1) Can I use splitters on those to get two signals so I can record and view from the same source at the same time? I think I saw somewhere that people have done this.

    2) Are there ways to access Netflix, Disney+, etc through plugins on OpenVIX? I think I read somewhere that this could be done with Kodi on OpenATV.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Mullass

    Just to feedback:

    I got simple splitters and they are working well - to generate two signals for the Zgemma box and also to generate signals (aerial and satellite) for the TV. Recordings are being done and it doesn't stop us watching channels on the inputs in a number of different ways.

    Thanks all

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,329 ✭✭✭swoofer

    You have me intrigued, normally its not possible to split a sat signal in the way you describe and it should not work. Is it possible the lnb is unicable?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 45,669 ✭✭✭✭muffler

    Not sure if it's relevant but I was able to split the cable / signal from the Sky box and run it to 2 different TVs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,329 ✭✭✭swoofer

    Do you mean sat cable? And will both work on different channels and polarity at same time??

  • Registered Users Posts: 45,669 ✭✭✭✭muffler

    Sorry, I meant the HDMI cable. Can only watch the same channels obviously. That's probably all different to what the previous poster was alluding to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,329 ✭✭✭swoofer

    yes totally. 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 683 ✭✭✭dingbat

    I have same use case. Is the Edision OS Nino Pro any good?

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,650 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Will the ZGemma EPG continue to be available for ever? I understand it is a bit of a hack, and they're pulling data from a source that they really shouldn't be using. Is there a risk that this source will be cut off at some point in time?

    How about the Freesat branded boxes, that have their own official EPG?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,499 ✭✭✭Gerry Wicklow

    CrossEPG is the plugin used to download the EPG data, usually during the night. It can be configured to use several sources direct from the satellite or from the internet if required. The main weakness of the FreeSat data is, obviously, that it only includes channels that are on FreeSat and not all of the FTA channels available. Some minor channels and +1s are not included which is why some people configure crossEPG to use the other sources.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,653 ✭✭✭DopeTech

    It’s being pulled from a completely legitimate source and isn’t going anywhere. Nothing to worry about on that front. The Zgemma h7s is ideal for your needs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,650 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,329 ✭✭✭swoofer

    read post 18. And can you give the source of your throwaway " I understand its a bit of a hack",

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,312 ✭✭✭andy1249

    And you understand that from where ?

    The EPG source is "Sky UK Open TV on Astra" and is available for free to any box that point and tune to it.

    It is not specific or exclusive to Zgemma boxes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,650 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Jeez, did I ruffle some feathers? No offence intended, and no particular expertise in this area on my part.

    My source was a fairly detailed discussion with a provider of bundled systems. They did both the Zgemma and the Freesat boxes, and wasn't particularly trying to steer me in one direction or another. I'm not sure if he used the word 'hack' to describe the Zgemma EPG source, but he did indicate that it wasn't an official source, unlike the Freesat box, using Freesat's own EPG.

    Does the Sky reference in the EPG source indicate that Sky TV are involved? Could they be motivated to block the source for their competitors at some stage?

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 11,392 Mod ✭✭✭✭icdg

    We might move past the issue of entitlement to use the EPG data for now please.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Mullass

    Sorry @swoofer - just seeing this query now! I don't know whether the lnb is unicable or not. We got the satellite from freesat in Fairview.