Ten... Freesat TV receivers
Orbital options for the digital switchover
It may look like the bastard offspring of a bedside alarm and a teasmade, but you’ve got to admire the DSI86HD’s staying power. This distinctive set top box has been delivering Freesat telly to dishes since 2009. It’s also now one of the cheapest hi-def set top boxes around (along with the Logik LHDFSAT11), typically selling for around £70. Unsurprisingly, build quality is lightweight and plasticky. This slimness can be attributed to the separated 12V power supply. Backside connectivity is routine: there’s a single LNB input, HDMI, twin Scarts, digital coaxial audio and Ethernet. While this odd-looker sports a USB to the left of its amusingly retro LED channel number display, it doesn’t appear to do much. You certainly can’t use it to stream media. In operation, the DSI86HD behaves much like any other budget Freesat box. On the plus side, HD image quality is high.
Reg Rating 70%
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Sagemcom DTR94500S HD
While Freesat DVRs share basic functionality, they tend to disagree when it comes to aesthetics. This Sagemcom, which incorporates a healthy 500GB HDD, continues to celebrate the brand’s distinctive flat design, first seen on the earlier DS186HD. While easy to squirrel away in an equipment rack, the constraints of the cabinet keep the unit’s cooling fan busy. Despite its slim profile, the DTR94500S HD still has room for a full forest of connectivity. However, while there’s a front-facing USB, the receiver can’t play MP3s or render JPEGs. And unlike the brand’s Freeview DVR it can’t export recordings onto an external storage device either.
Reg Rating 75%
More info Sagemcomm
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