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Freeview Set-top Boxes

This page provides information and specifications on the range of Freeview set-top receivers available in the UK, and advice on how to select the right box

 

Freeview set-top boxes allow you to access over 40 channels of digital TV without subscription. Boxes can be purchased for a one-off fee starting from around £20.

Below, you’ll find a summary of the range of UK Freeview set top box receivers, and some advice on how to pick the right set-top box for you..

Choosing the right Freeview box

Freeview boxes start from around £20. Just about all Freeview boxes do the same thing – receive digital TV and radio, support subtitles and text, etc, so the key things when making a decision are:

 

SCART sockets: SCARTAll boxes have at least one socket, but if you’re looking to connect to both a video and a TV that have SCART sockets, you may want to consider getting a box with two SCART sockets.
Subscription Card Slot: Some boxes have a card slot that can support subscription services. Handy if you want to get a subscription service, such as ESPN sport.
Hard Disk Recorder: If you’re looking to get more from your box, consider a box with a hard-disk recorder. This allows you to record Freeview programmes onto the built-in hard disk – it’ll change the way you watch TV. Some have twin tuners to allow watching one channel whilst recording another.

 


Radio and Telly’s Freeview Quick Picks
Philips DTR230GOODMANS GDB18FVZS2: Basic box with 2 SCART sockets. Amazon / Currys £25 YouView from BT BoxBT YouView: Freeview HD recorder plus on-demand content.
More info: get.youview.bt.com
Humax PVR-9300Humax PVR-9300: Includes a hard-disk recorder that holds 160 hours of TV. Currys £164

 

Key: Modulator With modulator PVR Hard disk recorder


YouView box from BT
PVR
YouView LogoYouView box from BT

Following on from BT’s first offer, BT Vision, the YouView service offers live TV from Freeview, and TV-on-demand via broadband. The box has a twin-tuner, supports Freeview HD and records hundreds of hours of telly. YouView is designed for those wanting a little more than the basic Freeview service.

You can buy a YouView box for a one-off fee of around £250, or get a free box with your broadband from either BT or TalkTalk.
More on our YouView Review


Bush SCART adapter
Bush SCART Adapter

Want Freeview without having to clutter up your TV system with a set-top box? Then this could be the answer. This adapter from Bush plugs into the back of your TV’s SCART socket, and lets you receive the Freeview TV and radio channels without a set-top box. An infrared pod plugs into the idapter, so that the remote control can work. The Idaptor supports the 7 day programme guide.

Available for £29.99 from argos.co.uk (Cat no: 532/2082)
Available from Amazon.co.uk
Also available on Ebay.co.uk


Bush TU160DTR 160GB
Top Up TV Anytime
Bush TU160DTR – Top Up TV PVR

  • Freeview, plus extra content via Top Up TV Anytime
  • 160GB hard drive – Up to 80 hours
  • Twin Tuner
  • 14 Day EPG
  • 2 x SCART sockets

Price: £87.99 from Argos (Cat no: 527/0299)

Daewoo DSD-9520
PVR
Daewoo DSD9520

PVR to allow recording of Freeview onto hard disk. Card slot suitable for subscription services and has EPG

  • Hard Disk: 80Gig (40 hours)
  • Outputs: 2 x SCART, stereo audio, digital audio

Listed for £175.95 from Amazon


Dion Eco 1
Dion Eco 1BUDGET MODEL

A budget model with a 7 day programme guide and one SCART socket

Available for £19 from the Tesco Direct website.


Fetch TV Smartbox
Fetch TV Smartbox 8000

Fetch TV launched towards the end of 2008. It combines Freeview, hard disc recorder, and content over broadband

Specs: 80Gig hard disk, 8 day EPG, Freeview, hard-disk recorder, USB connector. Made by NetGem

More on our Fetch TV page.


Humax DTR-T1000 YouView

Freeview HD Logo

Humax DTR-T1000 – Freeview HD and YouView

The first YouView box on the market. Offers catch-up TV, Freeview HD and on-demand content over the Internet.

1 x SCART ; HDMI ; RF loopthrough ; Ethernet

More details: See our Humax DTR T1000 YouView Review


Humax HDR-Fox T2 Freeview HD Recorder
Freeview HD Logo
Humax HDR-Fox T2 – Freeview HD Recorder

Storage: 500Gb (125 hours of HD)

Features: 8 day EPG, twin tuner and access to Internet services such as BBC iPlayer via the Humax Portal.

Connectors: HDMI, Ethernet and USB ports

More details on our Humax HDR Fox T2 page.


Humax HD Fox T2
Freeview HD Logo
Humax HD Fox-T2- Freeview HD

The first Freeview HD receiver to be produced by Humax

Available in February 2010 for around £180.

2 x SCART ; HDMI ; RF loopthrough ; Ethernet

More details: See our Humax HD Fox T2 Page


Humax 9150T

PVR

Humax PVR-9150T

Freeview receiver with a built-in hard drive. Features:

  • 160GB built-in hard-disk (up to 100 hours recording)
  • Twin Tuner
  • 7 day Electronic Programme Guide

Available for £149.99 from Argos (Cat 532/1681)


Humax 9300TB
PVRHumax PVR9300 Logos

Humax PVR-9300T 5 stars

Freeview receiver with a built-in hard drive. An upgrade from the popular PVR-9200. Became available in July 2008. Supports Freeview+ . Features include:

  • 320GB built-in hard-disk (up to 160 hours recording)
  • Twin Tuner (watch one channel while recording another
  • Picture-in-Picture
  • HDMI out for upscaling to a Hi-Def TV
  • 8 day Electronic Programme Guide
  • Card slot suitable for subscription services. (requires CAM)

Available from £155 – Latest prices

Full details on our Humax PVR9300 Review.


Icecrypt T2200 Freeview HD box

Freeview HD Logo

Icecrypt T2200 – Freeview HD

Freeview HD, support for Dolby Surround, Ethernet socket and 8 day programme guide. Supports playback of DivX, AVI, MP3, MP4 and MKV content via USB.


Icecrypt T5000 Freeview HD box

Icecrypt T5000

Freeview box that has an RF Modulator, handy for TV sets without a SCART socket. Has 7 day programme guide, 2 SCARTs and digital audio out.


Metronics Eco Zapbox
Metronics Eco Zapbox

Freeview box with 7 day programme guide. Two SCART sockets

Available for £34.99 from Currys


Nikkai Freeview LCD TV
Nikkai 7″ Freeview /Analogue TV and Media Player

OK – So this is not a Freeview box – it]’s a Freeview desktop telly, but we thought it was worth a mention. Capable of getting Freeview and analogue telly, this TV can also watch DivX video, play MP3 files and show a slideshow of pictures via a connected USB stick.

Under £100 and a good buy. See our collection of photos and our review: Nikkai 7″ LCD Review, or find out more at maplin.co.uk


Panasonic DMR-XW380 EBK Freeview HD Recorder
Freeview HD Logo
Panasonic DMR-XW380 EBK – Freeview HD & DVD Recorder

Storage: Freeview HD, 250GB Hard Drive

Features: DVD Recorder with Twin Freeview HD tuner, Freeview +, High Speed Archive to DVD, SD transfer, DivX, MP3 and JPEG playback


PANASONIC DMR-EZ28EB-K
Panasonic DMR-EZ28EB-K DVD Recorder/Freeview

Top quality DVD recorder with built-in Freeview tuner and HDMI upscaler, for better picture.

  • DVD Recorder: DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, DVD-RW, +R, +R DL, and +RW.
  • Has an HDMI socket for use with High-definition TVs – 1080p upscaling.
  • Supports DivX playback.

Output: 2 x SCART , RF loopthrough

Available for £179.99 from Currys
Available for £199.99 from Play.com


Panasonic DMREX75
PVR
Panasonic DMR-EX88 DVD Recorder/PVR/Freeview

400Gb HDD Recorder (for up to 700 hours), Freeview Tuner and DVD recorder.

  • DVD Recorder: DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD-R DL.
  • Has an HDMI socket for use with High-definition TVs – 1080p upscaling.
  • Supports DivX, MP3 and JPEG compatible.
  • USB Flash Drive playback

Output: 2 x SCART , RF loopthrough

Last seen for around £350. No listed suppliers


Philex FV400
Mod
Philex FV400

This box has an RF modulated output – handy for TV sets that don’t have a SCART socket. Also supports connection by SCART, digital audio out and a 7 day programme guide.

Last seen for around £35 from Amazon – Consider the Icecrypt T5000 as an alternative box that has an RF modulator


Philips DTR-210
Philips DTR220

Features: Electronic Programme Guide, digital text.

Outputs: 2 x SCART, digital audio, RF loopthrough

Available for £33.23 from Tesco.com

 


Philips DTR-230
Philips DTR230

Features: 7-day Electronic Programme Guide, auto retune, interference suppressor, low energy.

Outputs: 2 x SCART, digital audio, RF loopthrough

Available for £29.99 from Amazon.co.uk

Available for £29.99 from Currys

Available for £39.99 from Tesco.com

Available for £39.99 from Argos


Philips DTR5520 Freeview HD
Freeview HD Logo
Philips HDT5520 – Freeview HD

Available Now (May 2010)

Features: 8-day EPG, HD resolutions up to 1080p, surround sound support, low power consumption, auto-switch off.

Connectors: HDMI, 1 x SCART. Ethernet socket


Technika Smartbox 8320 Box
Freeview HD Logo
Fetch TV LogoTechnika Smartbox 8320 – Freeview HD Recorder

A powerful box that offers: Freeview HD, twin Freeview recorders, plus Internet TV using the Fetch TV service.

Launched towards the end of 2008, offering Freeview, hard disc recorder, and video content over broadband.

Specs: 320GB drive, Freeview HD receivers, wi-fi, USB and BBC iPlayer.

More on our Technika Smartbox page.


Thomson DTI 6021
Top Up TV Anytime
Thomson DTI 6021 – Top Up TV PVR

  • Freeview, plus extra content via Top Up TV Anytime
  • Two versions: 250GB drive (Up to 180 hours), or 500GB drive (up to 310 hours)
  • Twin Tuner
  • 14 Day EPG
  • 2 x SCART sockets

250 Gig version: £99.99 from Amazon
500 Gig version: £149.99 from Amazon


TopUp TV Anytime Box
Top Up TV Anytime
Thomson DTI 6300 – Top Up TV Anytime PVR

  • Freeview, plus extra content via Top Up TV Anytime
  • Two versions: 160GB drive (Up to 120 hours), or 250GB drive (up to 180 hours)
  • Twin Tuner
  • Output: 2 x SCART, digital audio and RF modulated output

Reviewed: See our Top Up TV Anytime Review

160 Gig version: £49.99 (reconditioned), or £89.99 (new) direct from topuptv.com
250 Gig version: £59.99 (reconditioned), or £99.99 (new) direct from topuptv.com


Topfield TF5800PVR
Mod PVR
Topfield TF5800PVR

Twin tuners, 160Gig hard disk (up to 88 hours recording time), supports time-shifting & dual recording, Electronic Program Guide (EPG), MP3 via USB 2.0 for storage of personal files. CI slot suitable for subscription services. Became available April 2005.

250Gig version available for £188 at Amazon

More details on our PVR page


TVonics MFR-200
Mod
TVonics MFR-200

Ultra-small box, works with TV sets that don’t have a SCART socket. Has an 8-day Electronic Programme Guide and is energy efficient (1.5 watts).

Last seen for around £40 from Argos online , Tesco Direct Online , Play.com and Homebase.

More on this on our TVonics Freeview page

PC Cards

Hauppauge NOVA-T-USB 2 TV Card
Hauppauge HVR900 Hybrid USB

Receive digital TV on your PC. Run either in full-screen mode making your PC monitor behave as a TV, or having a smaller TV screen sitting in the corner of your desktop while you work. This model is a ‘hybrid’, so supports both analogue and digital.

Available from Amazon , Dabs.com and Play.com

For more on this, see our TV on your PC page


Nebula PCI card
More Freeview on a Computer solutions

There are several different solutions available, from different manufacturers:

  • Hauppauge - These seem to be the most common and popular – You can get these from Amazon , Dabs.com and PC World
  • AverMedia and Nebula – See the range at Misco and www.maplin.co.uk (under the ‘Computers’, ‘Build your own’ section).
  • Xpert V-Stream VS-DVBT – Available from Maplin.co.uk – Cat No A75BZ (PCI version) and A78BZ (USB version)
  • Got an Apple Mac? Consider the Equinux Tubestick

For more on the options available, see our TV on your PC page

 

Prices, specifications and offers are subject to alteration. Refer to the websites that we link to for latest prices, information and conditions

 

* RF loopthrough – Your main TV aerial connects into set-top box, and the box has an aerial output socket that can be used to feed a TV or video recorder regardless of whether the Freeview box is on or off. For a fuller explanation, see our Glossary
* RF modulator - Modulated output indicates that a box can ‘re-broadcast’ the output onto a new TV channel, so that your TV or video can ‘tune in’ to the Freeview signal (this is especially useful for TV and video equipment that don’t have SCART sockets). For a fuller explanation, see our Glossary

Boxes are available from: Currys, Argos , John Lewis and Littlewoods Direct.

 

Low-priced boxes?

Dion Eco 1If you’re looking for a cheap, basic Freeview box, you can find some simple models for around £20 at the Tesco Direct website. At the time of writing, there is the Dion Eco 1 Freeview receiver for under £19

 

Older / Discontinued Set-top boxes

If you’re looking for information on older, discontinued or hard-to-find Freeview or onDigital boxes, try our list of Older Freeview Boxes

 

Freeview Links

One Response to "Freeview Set-top Boxes"

  1. G.Hargreaves Says:

    I have a Sagem Freeview HD Set Top Box that does not NAME or give DATES in the ‘Library’ of RECORDED programmes, only the Channel, I have done myself – makes it very difficult to FIND the one you want to watch!!
    Can you please tell me which Set Top Box will give me all of this when I record a programme? It seems I will have to buy a new one, which is the best, reasonably priced?
    Thank you.

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