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: All 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
|GOODMANS GDB18FVZS2: Basic box with 2 SCART sockets. Amazon / Currys £25||BT YouView: Freeview HD recorder plus on-demand content.
More info: get.youview.bt.com
|Humax PVR-9300: Includes a hard-disk recorder that holds 160 hours of TV. Currys £164|
Key: With modulator Hard disk recorder
|YouView 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.
|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.
|Bush TU160DTR – Top Up TV PVR
Price: £87.99 from Argos (Cat no: 527/0299)
Listed for £175.95 from Amazon
|Dion Eco 1 – BUDGET 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 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 – 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
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
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
Freeview receiver with a built-in hard drive. Features:
Available for £149.99 from Argos (Cat 532/1681)
Freeview receiver with a built-in hard drive. An upgrade from the popular PVR-9200. Became available in July 2008. Supports Freeview+ . Features include:
Available from £155 – Latest prices
Full details on our Humax PVR9300 Review.
|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.
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
Freeview box with 7 day programme guide. Two SCART sockets
Available for £34.99 from Currys
|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.
|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 DVD Recorder/Freeview
Top quality DVD recorder with built-in Freeview tuner and HDMI upscaler, for better picture.
Output: 2 x SCART , RF loopthrough
|Panasonic DMR-EX88 DVD Recorder/PVR/Freeview
Output: 2 x SCART , RF loopthrough
Last seen for around £350. No listed suppliers
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.
Features: Electronic Programme Guide, digital text.
Outputs: 2 x SCART, digital audio, RF loopthrough
Available for £33.23 from Tesco.com
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 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 – 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 PVR
|Thomson DTI 6300 – Top Up TV Anytime PVR
Reviewed: See our Top Up TV Anytime Review
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
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).
More on this on our TVonics Freeview page
|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.
For more on this, see our TV on your PC page
|More Freeview on a Computer solutions
There are several different solutions available, from different manufacturers:
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
If 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