FreeView Plus fights for relevance with first set top box

The nondescript Arial Box is so innovative it has no hard drive

Arial Box

Local HbbTV platform Freeview Plus has been delivering catch up TV to smart TVs since late last year.

Now, people without a compatible Smart TV can get in on the action too, thanks to a new FreeView Plus set-top box.

Dish TV's ArialBox T2100 will allow its users to access the catch up TV services from all the free to air networks, including ABC iview and SBS On Demand.

Changing the free-to-air game

The budget set-top box is clearly aimed at bringing the benefits of digital and internet television to a market not necessarily interested in discovering the wonders of Netflix or Stan.

While the device doesn't include a hard drive in its compact body, it does offer PVR functionality via an external hard drive plugged into the included USB slot. It also features integrated Wi-Fi and a single digital TV tuner.

The ArialBox T2100 is currently only available from the Dick Smith website for $128.00, but is generally expected to retail at $149 and can be picked up in-store from Dick Smith and David Jones outlets.

Given you can get the similar (but arguably better-performing) Apple TV or Chromecast for a fraction of the ArialBox's asking price, it's tough to see this taking off.

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