New set-top boxes with HD capability have been released as part of the Freesat launch, designed to help the UK deal with the digital switchover, as well as promoting the benefits of HDTV.
With around 4 per cent of TVs equipped to receive high-definition broadcasts, set to rise to 7 per cent in 2012, options for viewing HD-programming have been understandably limited.
Grundig, Bush, Goodmans and Humax have all released set-top boxes as part of the launch, with both standard definition and HD flavours to choose from in the case of the former three.
The Humax box might not be available for non-HD TVs, but does come with batteries – handy if you’re one of those who might have picked up the remote and screamed while the device inexplicably did not work when being pointed and stabbed at.
Each box offers a now-standard seven day electronic programme guide for ease of scheduling (ie making sure Corrieis still on at 7.30), though HDD functionality with the Freesat service is not tipped to be available until early summer.
All four also have an Ethernet port stuck on the back. Although currently not functional, it "will ensure Freesat viewers can take advantage of future interactive services and, in the longer term, enable users to receive additional content via IP".
Interactivity will be the buzz word of future HD programming and playback, so it seems these boxes might have a slightly longer stay on top of the now-redundant VCR before being replaced.
The GUFSAT01SD (non-HD) model £50, GUFSAT01HD around £150
The BFSAT01SD (non-HD) model £49.99, the BFSAT01HD £119.99.
GDSAT100SD (non-HD) model around £70, GDSAT200HD around £150.
FOXSAT-HD model £149.99
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Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.