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Orbital options for the digital switchover

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Manhattan Plaza DS-100

RH Numbers



If you absolutely, positively can’t stretch your budget, you’ll probably be considering a standard definition Freesat receiver like this model from Manhattan. It sells for around £50. It’s aimed primarily at switch-over victims who, for whatever reason, can’t use Freeview. The box itself is anonymous; it has a non-descript fascia and a threadbare rear panel that offers a single LNB and two Scarts. The onscreen GUI is generic Freesat. Image quality from Scart is unremarkable, although for the kind of non mission critical viewing this box will provide, it seems churlish to carp.

Manhattan Plaza DS-100
 Freesat receiver

Reg Rating 50%
Price £50
More info Manhattan

Panasonic DMR-BS780

RH Numbers

The DMR-BS780 is a hybrid Blu-ray recorder with two Freesat tuners. Panasonic produce similar combo DVRs for Freeview, but are alone in offering BD recordability for satellite. Those looking for a do-it-all device will find it fills an intriguing niche. While the unit is technically impressive, the HDD is small at 250GB. Still, the ability to edit and archive recordings makes this model a little special. It even offers limited network media streaming (MPEGs and AVCHD). On the downside, this is a horrendously complicated beast to master – and don’t expect your home brew Blu-rays media to play on any old BD deck.

Panasonic DMR-BS780
 Freesat receiver

Reg Rating 75%
Price £612
More info Panasonic

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