Bush BFSAT01HD review

Cheap and certainly cheerful Freesat receiver

TechRadar Verdict

Remarkably good value Freesat receiver, which does its job very well despite not making the best first impression


  • +

    HD and SD for a bargain price

  • +

    Simple to set up and use


  • -

    Slow setup

  • -

    Cheap-looking design

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The Bush BFSAT01HD is the cheapest HD box available for Freesat (and, indeed, the cheapest HD satellite receiver full stop) but it still fulfils the basic Freesat promise; it offers neither more nor less than the other Freesat HD boxes from the Alba group.

It is the same small size as the SD equivalent, which means it struggles to look £120 worth.

What's more, it's clearly been a job to cram a complete HD receiver into this tiny case as the power supply is not included; it's built into the mains plug with a 12V lead to the receiver. This isn't ideal but does open up the potential for use in caravans.

Ethernet and HDMI connectivity

Otherwise, the BFSAT01HD is pretty much identical to its SD cousin. It has identical styling (a little bit cheap) and even the same remote handset (exactly the same and interchangeable).

The back panel of the BFSAT01HD has a single LNB input, with the largely superfluous LNB loopthrough connection, and two Scart sockets for connecting a TV and VCR or DVD recorder. There's also the obligatory HDMI socket for connection to an HD-ready TV but Bush doesn't provide an HDMI cable - not a huge expense but it's a shame to remove complete plug-and-play readiness.

As well as the digital sound through the HDMI connection, the BFSAT01HD provides an optical S/PDIF Dolby-compatible output. There are no analogue audio outputs (apart from within the Scarts) but there's not really room for them.

The BFSAT01HD also has the RS232 and Ethernet data connections for software updates and future expansion.

Sluggish tuning

The BFSAT01HD not only looks like its SD cousin, but it behaves in exactly the same way too. You have to enter your postcode to tune in the Freesat channels and this determines the ITV and BBC regional channels that you receive.

Tuning in the channels takes no longer for this receiver despite the HD tuning, but that's not to say it's any faster; setup for this receiver still takes an agonising 8 or 9 minutes.

It's worth the wait as the Bush BFSAT01HD gives excellent pictures. Using the HDMI output, images are good from SD channels and simply stunning from HD sources - alive and sparkling.

Great value receiver

It's hard to believe that this receiver is so cheap. For the money, the Bush BFSAT01HD is extremely competent at the basic job of tuning and displaying satellite TV channels, both standard and high definition.

It doesn't have much impact beneath the TV set but onscreen it makes a good impression and that's where it counts

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