The Antex Triple Play is primarily designed as a multi-zone receiver capable of allowing three different channels to be played in different locations at the same time. However, unlike many components on the market today that are specifically designed for use in custom home installations, this one goes much further. In fact, as you will note later in the review, the front panel has enough information that you could use it as a traditional Sirius receiver without the least bit of difficulty.
While it is obvious that the single most important feature of the Triple Play is its ability to allow consumers to listen to three channels at once, it has a number of other features as well. The first is that it allows you to not only connect the receiver to your system via standard analogue interconnects, but by TosLink Digital S/PDIF as well for each of the different zones. This allows you to use your system's D/A capabilities rather then relying on the ones contained in the component.
The rest of the unique features revolve around its abilities as a home based receiver. It has a great display integrated into the unit, which shows just about any type of information you want, and some you probably would rather not see, like bad sports scores. Additionally, it has the ability to program a number of preset stations on a zone by zone basis, and can even block stations you would rather not have your children listen to.
Click to Page 2 for Installation, Evaluation, and the Final Take.
Installation/Setup/Ease of Use
Setting up the Antex Triple Play is relatively simple. I found that by following the directions, you can have the unit up and functioning in no time. About the only decisions you need to make before beginning are what type of connections you are going to use, analog or digital, and where you are going to put the antenna. After that, the connections are fairly straight-forward and the Sirius activation is the same as all others. It can be done by phone or website, your choice. One note: you will need to activate the different zones individually.
With the receiver activated, there's nothing more to do but sit back, relax and enjoy the Sirius Radio content. Well, okay, perhaps there is a bit more to it, but that all depends on the functions you want to use from the component.
The remote control is a fairly standard looking device, lacking bells and whistles. Honestly, I wouldn't have expected anything different, as the Triple Play is designed to work with a variety of third party remote controllers, and even has a data port to transmit the information that appears on its built-in display.
Though the remote control is nothing special in appearance, it does an admirable job of allowing you to navigate through the system. You can do anything from changing the channels in the three zones to programming the presets without leaving the comfort of your seat. In fact, it's simplistic in nature and well laid out, too. I found that I could do everything by only pushing a few buttons. You can also set up most everything from the front panel on the Triple Play unit itself.
The Antex Triple Play is definitely a unique product in the world of satellite radio receivers. The design allows consumers looking for a variety of different applications, from customized remote control systems to simple multi-zone systems, to find everything they need in one product. The features are extremely robust and satisfy just about everything one could hope for in a satellite receiver.
I enjoyed listening to the content Sirius Radio provides, as well as watching the screen on the unit that provides so much information. This is important because recently Sirius Radio has begun to transmit not only information on the specific programming, such as album and song titles, but also sports scores and stock market data. It is one of the first units I have been able to read easily, without straining my eyes or squinting or having to move closer in order to see clearly.
Although I think that the internal display is one of the best I have seen on a satellite receiver, that doesn't mean that I wouldn't have preferred the ability to display the content on a standard monitor. For whatever reason, there is no video output on the unit, at least directly, so you can only view the information on the internal screen. Hopefully in the future this will become a standard feature or option.
I would be remiss if I didn't say a bit about its connectivity to third party remote control products. While I didn't test these abilities out, the unit has numerous connections, which allow these products to use all the same audio and data content as the Triple Play itself. I did see the unit connected to a few different companies' systems with some pretty impressive results in demonstrations I have attended. You can even get song titles from remote locations if your system will allow it.
This is a product that contains everything but the kitchen sink and would be well suited for the individual or family looking for a multi-zone capable Sirius Satellite receiver. Regardless if you are looking for a satellite receiver to connect to your receiver/home theater system or a unit to integrate into your remote control home system, you needn't look much further. The Antex Triple Play Satellite Radio Receiver is one of the most impressive home satellite receivers I have seen, and I give it my personal recommendation, without question.