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
Ten... Freesat TV receivers
FoxSat can have ADDED functionality!
Re the FOXSAT DVR.
One advantage you neglected to mention is the firmware is Linux and has been used to implement a vast range of extremely useful addons:-
""A fully functioning web interface for the Foxsat HDR.
A package management system with web based repository for the downloading and updating of applications.
This can be accessed both from the web interface and from the command line.
A service management system to display status of custom applications, start or stop them, and disable/enable boot-time autostart.
Again, this is accessible from the web interface and the command line. ""
Applications allow use of various streaming media servers to allow playing recordings on other media devices, uploading recordings from the Foxsat to your PC, downloading media files to play on your Foxsat, editing and setting recording times from anywhere in the world on a PC and more!!
These added abilities makes the Foxsat stand out head and shoulders above all other FreeSat devices!
not just for cash strapped.
Some of us don't want to subscribe to the Murdock Monopoly. We have freeSat in thePanasonic TV and a Humax HD recorder. Very pleased with both and also not giving £££'s to the evil empire.
Humax Foxsat HDR remote response / Deleting lots
As well as making sure you have removed both films from the front panel (there is a second one behind the flap) look to see if you have one of the models which has the coating all the way across with no clear hole left where the sensor is. If so you can scrape the coating off in front of the sensor to significantly improve the remote response.
To delete lots and lots and leave it to chug away move all recordings to be deleted to one folder (or to the top level) then Select All in that folder then Delete. Time for lunch.
I have a Foxsat HDR
It's a good device and stable but it does have some annoyances. The remote control is fine but the IR beam or the receive on the box is incredibly weedy. Unless you are standing directly in front of the device it will often ignore you completely.
The device also allows series link but it is a very bare bones feature. You can record shows but you cannot say (for example) that members of that series should be deleted after being watched or some period of time. It means if you record something long running like Coronation Street that show after show after show will build up and the box has no auto setting to clean them out. Which brings me to...
Deleting stuff on the box is a huge pain in the arse. Everything is nested hiearchically so if you have 4 or 5 series links then you have to manually navigate into each folder and tediously check off each item and then wait 5 minutes for the box to delete them all before moving onto the next folder. The box blocks while it is deleting so you can't queue up a bunch of stuff to delete until the last delete action is complete. This stuff should be a queue.
So the box would be improved immeasurably with some fairly modest but useful changes to the delete behaviour.
That aside it's a pretty good box. HD output great, the software is reliable and it has a usable UI though no Freesat box is a patch on Sky for usability.
Couple of bedroom TV boxes along with a few proper boxes.
TBH with Freesat I cannot see a reason in buying a non HD box, nor one missing the vital HDD.
Happy Humax HDR owner