Satellite radio is fast becoming one of the best alternatives to traditional radio available in the marketplace today. However, until recently the options available for listeners of Sirius Radio, one of the two major competing companies, were severely limited for listening in the home. If you wanted to listen to various stations in different places in your home, you needed to purchase a receiver for each zone, and there was no way to hook up your home control system to it without a great deal of work. With the release of the Antex Triple Play satellite receiver, this has all changed for the better.
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.