Technisat HDFS Freesat HD receiver
First wireless iPlayer box, apparently
Review Among the various HD Freesat receivers emerging this year is Technisat’s HDFS, that its German manufacturer has the claim to fame of being the first such device to be able to access the BBC's iPlayer service wirelessly. However, the devil is in the detail.
Technisat's HDFS touts wireless iPlayer features, but you'll need to buy the Wi-Fi adaptor
The Technisat HDFS is a decent looking black box with chrome-look trimmings and ice blue backlighting. There's a USB port on the front for accepting video and audio files, plus another on the back for the wireless dongle. That's right, it hasn't got built-in wireless capability, but instead requires TechniSat's plug-in adaptor, which currently retails for around £30.
There's a monochrome LED display to tell you what channel you're watching, a blue-lit power button and a large circular navpad control that allows you to negotiate left and right, up and down, with an OK button in the middle.
The bottom half of the front flaps down to reveal a USB port and SD/MS/MMC and Compact Flash memory card slots from which you can play audio and video files. Yet you can't use the USB to add memory for recording – like most Freesat boxes so far, it's a view-only affair.
USB media playback is available but recording isn't supported
Around the back is a single LNB satellite connection, composite analogue out, a pair of Scart sockets, HDMI, coaxial and optical digital outputs – so you can take advantage of 5.1 Dolby Digital through a suitable sound system, if any programmes happen to be using it – plus Ethernet and USB connections. The slim remote is neatly and clearly laid out, though its grey plastic shell looks a little on the cheap side.
Why no comments on the stability of this device?
Mine crashes if its left on for any more than a couple of hours if the Ethernet cable is plugged in.
Absolute rubbish stability.
On behalf of all Germans I would like to sincerely apologize for this product. We try to keep such things from happening, but from time to time, Management just takes over. Again I'm sorry that this device won't record onto network shares, or USB mass storage devices, or does anything one is used from a satellite reciever.
'ow much Gggrrranville?
My local radio shop, no longer even a tiger member, has a 26" panasonic 720p TV, , with 360g hard disk, dual freeview HD tuner, and DAB radio for only 5 quid more than that. It's got an ethernet port, but that seems not to do nothing not yet.
Sky HD has an option to set the output
A cursory glance at forums, or even at the menu of your 'hateful' Sky HD box would reveal that you can tell it to output the native signal. Mine is configured to do just that so that SD stuff is received by the TV as 576i and HD is in 1080i.
Sent mine back
This box is marketed as being so much more than a tuner (recorder, media player etc.). the only problem is that the implementation of all of the additional features has a real beta quality feel to it.
As the article states, format support is pretty limited for media playback.
It supports MPEG2 video only and as the average film is > 4GB in MPEG2 (i.e. ripped from your DVDs) and
1) they won't fit on FAT32 formatted media i.e. your USB drive (due to FAT32's 4GB file size limit)
2) for some reason Technisat enabled CIFS with the SAMBA legacy 4GB limit to file size
So it's pretty useless at playing *your movies* as stated in their glossy What Hi-Fi advert 8 months ago.
The recordings it makes are all encrypted, and even though the device offers to let you save recordings on a USB stick/drive onto your local network, the files take an age to transfer, and are not playable by anything else. This restriction includes the HDFS itself, which forces you to transfer them back locally (another glacial transfer) before you can play them.
Maplin had no quibbles in giving me a refund after 4 months of promised fixes and improvements from Technisat.