Digital TV Guides

Freesat HD boxes

Freesat HD boxes

By Becca Talbot - becca@consumerchoices.co.uk

Wednesday 14 July, 2010

Looking for a high-definition satellite TV service but donít want to pay an expensive monthly subscription? Get a Freesat HD set-top box and youíll be able to watch great high-definition TV on BBC HD and ITV1 HD.

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Satellite TV provider Freesat offers a high-definition television service without the added extra costs. Read our guide to Freesat HD set-top boxes below, and find out whether Freesat HD is right for you.

Freesat HD set-top boxes

Choosing a Freesat HD set-top box can be a little confusing, as there are plenty on offer. The best deals will be available online, but if youíre unsure about which set-top box to buy, speak to an adviser in store.

Here are three HD boxes that Freesat recommends:

Bush BFSAT01HD

  • Brand - Bush
  • Model - BFSAT01HD
  • Guide price - From £65
  • Available from - Comet, Currys, Maplin, Argos, John Lewis
  • More information - Watch free HD programmes on the BBC and ITV high-definition channels, and view an 8-day on screen programme guide. The box is fully interactive with a LAN port for future internet TV connection, and it has a built-in auto detect feature, so you wonít need to re-tune to find new channels.

Grundig GUFSAT01HD

  • Brand - Grundig
  • Model - GUFSAT01HD
  • Guide price - From £100
  • Available from - Comet, Currys, Maplin, Argos, John Lewis, Sainsburyís
  • More information - This Freesat digital set-top box will give you HD TV with great quality picture and sound. An electronic programme guide and menu service allow you to plan your viewing with minimal fuss - so all you have to do is pick what you want to watch, without worrying about any monthly subscriptions.

Humax FOXSAT-HD

  • Brand - Humax
  • Model - FOXSAT-HD
  • Guide price - From £130
  • Available from - Comet, Currys, Maplin, Argos, John Lewis, Tesco
  • More information - With automatic software upgrades, a full colour electronic programme guide and a LAN port for future internet TV connection, the Foxsat-HD is easy to use and comprehensively equipped for the future.

Freesat+ HD set-top boxes

If youíre looking for a bit more from your Freesat HD service, a Freesat+ HD digital TV recorder could be the answer. The ď+Ē functionality of the set-top box will allow you to pause, rewind and record live TV, so you never have to miss an episode of your favourite show.

Though prices have come down in recent years, Freesat+ HD boxes are a bit more expensive than a standard box. Take a look at some of Freesatís recommended Freesat+ HD boxes below:

Humax FOXSAT-HDR

  • Brand - Humax
  • Model - FOXSAT-HDR
  • Record time - 160 hours
  • Hard disk size - 320 GB
  • Guide price - From £230
  • Available from - Comet, Currys, Maplin, Argos, John Lewis, Tesco
  • More information - This set-top box won a 2009 What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision award. Itís perfect for watching Freesat HD channels, and has the ability to record one channel while watching another. The Humax box is easy to install and operate, with clear instructions and a full-colour high resolution electronic programme guide.

Goodmans GFSDTR500HD

  • Brand - Goodmans
  • Model - GFSDTR500HD
  • Record time - 312 hours
  • Hard disk size - 500 GB
  • Guide price - From £270
  • Available from - Comet, Currys, Maplin, Argos, John Lewis, Tesco, Amazon
  • More information - The Goodmans GFSDTR500HD Freesat+ set-top box features high-definition twin tuners, which enable the recording of up to two programmes at the same time. It also has a massive 500 GB hard drive, allowing you to record up to 125 hours of HD programmes or 312 hours of standard definition broadcasts.

Sagem DTR94500S HD

  • Brand - Sagem
  • Model - DTR94500S HD
  • Record time - 250 hours
  • Hard disk size - 500 GB
  • Guide price - From £230
  • Available from - Amazon, Play.com
  • More information - Stylish and slimline, the Sagem DTR94500S HD is perfect for your high-definition TV viewing, and with digital audio output, you can connect the set-top box up to your home cinema system to feel part of the on-screen action.

What is Freesat HD?

Freesat HD is the high-definition (HD) TV service from subscription-free satellite TV provider Freesat.

With a Freesat HD box, youíll get over 140 standard definition digital channels and radio stations, as well as two free-to-view high-definition channels:

  • BBC HD - The channel shows top BBC programmes such as Hustle, The Royle Family and Silent Witness in high-definition.
  • ITV1 HD - ITV1 HD is a high-definition simulcast of ITV, showing a range of entertainment programmes, like Coronation Street, X Factor and Britainís Got Talent, to millions of viewers.

To watch programmes in high-definition on Freesat HD, youíll need a high-definition enabled set-top box connected to a HD ready TV with a HDMI cable. These are now available from retailers such as Argos, Currys and Comet, and prices start from around £60.

If you need to upgrade your television to high-definition, consider buying a HD ready TV with Freesat HD built-in. These are more expensive than a standard Freesat HD set-top box plus a new TV though, with prices starting from about £500.

More HD TV options

Donít know which digital TV high-definition service to go for? Use our online price comparison tool to find out more about the other digital TV providers available in your area. Packages from Sky (www.sky.com) or Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com) could suit you more, as subscription TV deals tend to offer a wider selection of channels, so make sure you consider all your options before buying a set-top box.

And if you want to find out more about HD television, download our Complete Guide to High-definition TV.

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