Ten... Freesat TV receivers
Orbital options for the digital switchover
Samsung’s SMT-S7800 is one of the newer Freesat+ DVRs available, and it shows. With a 500GB hard drive and a highly graphical user interface, it doesn’t feel anywhere near as dusty as some of its rivals. In addition to BBC iPlayer, a dedicated WebTV button in the menu offers up YouTube too.
The SMT-S7800 also features media playback from USB and can stream MP3, JPEG and AVI/DivX content over a LAN. Music and photos can even be imported from an external USB device onto the hard drive. While Samsung may have missed a trick by not fully integrating its Smart Hub portal, as a Freesat DVR, the SMT-S7800 is clearly a cut above, and a strong alternative to the Humax Foxsat HDR.
Reg Rating 85%
More info Samsung
This first generation Freesat receiver hails from German sat veterans Technisat. For a non-HDD box, it’s on the large size, but build quality is good and the central display legible from a distance. Accessed from the fascia flap is a USB port and (unusually) a memory card (SD, MS and CF) reader. In addition to a single LNB input, the HDFS offers HDMI, twin Scarts, phono AV, Ethernet, a second USB and both optical and coaxial digital audio outputs.
Satellite aficionados can run the box in either Freesat or Technisat mode – the latter is for multi-satellite users and breaks free of the standard Freesat EPG environment. The HDFS will also stream media across a network, as well as from local USB. MP3, JPEG and MPEG content all plays. While the UI is somewhat Teutonic, there’s a fair amount of customisation possible. Consider it a Freesat receiver for hardcore sat fans. ®
Reg Rating 75%
More info Technisat