Feeds

Buyer's Guide: Freeview HD Set-top Boxes

Think before you buy

Top three mobile application threats

Group Test You might think that getting Freeview HD is just a matter of buying an HD box that you like the look of and connecting it to your TV with an HDMI cable, but there are other considerations besides the cosmetic. Important though they are, the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), user interface and remote control aren’t necessarily at the top of everyone’s list.

DVB-T2 logo

First, remember that Freeview HD is transmitted using the DVB-T2 system, which is incompatible with standard-definition Freeview's DVB-T. It also uses the MPEG 4 video codec rather than the older MPEG 2. The upshot is that you existing Freeview TV or set-top box won't be able to pick up Freeview HD, and no amount of firmware updates will change that.

So, if you want to view Freeview HD, you need a new receiver.

So, what else do you need to bear in mind when choosing a Freeview HD box? Recording is an obvious issue, and though none of the units in this Group Test can record – we’ll be looking at Freeview HD DVRs shortly – some manufacturers have talked about firmware updates that will allow programmes to be recorded on a connected USB hard drive or Flash key. Sure it won’t as slick as a twin-tuner recorder, but it may be a useful extra, or suitable for those who don’t record much TV.

Playback is an area where the products differ too. Some can play a range of media files on USB storage - or even over your home network, using DLNA. And rather than wait for BBC iPlayer to appear as part of BBCi on Freeview, some boxes have access to it built in already – though none, so far, offers unfettered access to the internet.

iPlayer

Some set-tops sport BBC iPlayer

That said, format support is generally not going to be as good when it’s an added extra on a Freeview HD box as it is in a dedicated media player.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.