Toshiba's announcement of its HDR5010 Freeview+ HD box couldn't have been timelier. Promoting the box in the run-up to the World Cup brings the realisation home to many consumers that 2010 will be the first time you will be able to see all UK broadcasted World Cup matches in HD.
The footie tournament taking place in South Africa is being treated by companies as a catalyst for Freeview HD and quite right too. Figures show that there always is a TV buying frenzy before a big sports tournament and the likes of Freeview are hoping to piggy-back on to this.
And it's devices like the HDR5010 that are certainly going to help bringing the service to the mass-market.
- Coming to TechRadar soon: Toshiba HDR5010 review
Packing 500GB of storage, you can copy 120 hours of HD footage on to the machine, meaning space will not be a problem.
Freeview HD gives you access to all terrestrial HD channels (essentially BBC and ITV, with Channel 4 coming to the service by the time the PVR is out on the market) and every SD Freeview channel as well.
The HD5010 has two tuners, so you can watch one HD channel and record another. There's three HDMI ports on board and the HDR5010 will also be able to play back MP3s and JPEGs.
There's no MKV support – something which will be a bugbear for some. But to suppress the annoyance, Toshiba is offering DivX support.
While all this sounds great, it does come at a price - £350. Yes, you may get free HD after you take the money hit, but Sky is offering its new 1TB machines for £100 less.
The HDR5010 Freeview+ HD box has a UK release date of May. Go to www.toshiba.co.uk for more details.
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