If you are a resident of the United Kingdom, then one of the best things you can enjoy are free channels. There are provisions to enjoy your favourite channels without having to spend money on subscriptions. One such satellite-based TV solution for free is Freesat.
You will get good receptions and good quality view by using Freesat. If you are fed up with the bad reception channels and aerials, then it is time to change to Freesat. Freesat is basically a TV provider using a digital satellite that is a product of ITV and BBC. You can access numerous channels without getting into any contract.
To access these channels, you will have to invest in a Freesat box. You will find several options on the internet, but it can become really confusing as to which on to invest in. You do not want to buy the wrong product, which will not function the right way and would be a waste of your money.
In this guide are mentioned some of the best Freesat recorder box 2020 that would help in making your decision. You will also find the necessary features that need to be considered when you are purchasing a Freesat recorder box.
What Is A Freesat?
Before you find the right Freesat recorder box for yourself, you need to understand what Freesat is. It is a collaborative venture between ITV and BBC that has been established in the year 200. Freesat offers the user 200+ TV channels as well as radio stations that are completely free and are transmitted using a digital satellite.
Freesat provides similar services as Freeview but with more focus on the lack of aerial reception in many areas. In Freesat, you will not have to depend on any aerial transmitter to get the needed reception. Here you can place a satellite dish on your roof preferably which will be pointed towards the sky and connect it using a tuner which will be located inside your house.
Due to this, there is much better reception as well as wider bandwidth in Freesat. This also gives users more channels as compared to Freeview out of which 20 are displayed in HD. These channels are also coupled with an Electronic Programme Guide or EPG where you can see up to 8 days of TV schedule in advance.
You can find some additional applications depending on the Freesat box that you are choosing for your house.
One of the newest models of Freesat is the Freesat 4K Recorder box. As it can be already understood from the name that the picture quality provided by this device is 4K; however, this is only for YouTube and Netflix. With this recorder box, you can record four different channels at a single time.
Depending on the storage capacity that you are opting for, you can determine the number of hours that can be recorded. For a 500GB box, you can record maximum 250 hours, maximum 500 hours for 1TB and for 2TB the maximum recordable time is 1000 hours.
- Capable of recording a maximum of 4 channels at one time
- Picture quality is 4K
- The interface is easy to operate and quite fast
- Can select from different catch-up applications
- 4K video quality is only available for YouTube and Netflix
One of the oldest Freesat boxes in this list is the Humax HB-1100S Freesat receiver. This receiver provides a high-quality picture and is equipped with some amazing applications and features. One of the best things about this device is that the interface is extremely easy to operate and the reception is top class.
Equipped with a good EPG feature, you can watch 7-days early shows for some selected programmes. In addition to that, the installation of this box would not be hard work. You can even set it up all by yourself by following the instructions mentioned in the guide.
- HD quality of pictures
- Setup of the box is very easy
- USB recording
- A wide selection of additional applications
- Content can be streamed from home computer
- Interface is slow
- Lack of in-built hard drive
- Absence of NOW TV applications and Amazon Video
The Edition Proton Lite V3 Freesat is probably one of the cheapest options here. There are not many features that are present in the system. It is the most basic version of any Freesat version without even internet connectivity available. But if you are looking for a cheap option, then this is the one you go for.
Coupled with HDMI as well as SCART television connection, this is compatible with most TV sets, even old ones. If you wish to record any programme, then you will need a USB. You will be able to see free channels provided by Freesat.
- The recording is done through USB
- The picture is of HD quality
- Price of the device is budget-friendly
- Lack of 7-day service of Electronic Programme Guide
- No availability of internet or any application
- The interface is dated
- The Manual of the system is unclear
Another very highly recommended product of the Humax brand is its HDR-1100S 1TB Freesat box. This box has a storage capacity of 1TB, which lets you record many shows. Equipped with some amazing applications and features, this box has overshadowed most of the other Freesat boxes provided by Humax.
There are 13 high-definition channels, recording capability, free digital channels and functions for home-networking in this device. The large capacity lets you store about 600 hours of your favourite shows which also included 250 high-definition shows. This device is cheaper than any other high storage Humax Freesat box model.
- Comes with a storage capacity of 1TB
- Live TV can be paused as well as rewind shows by users
- The satellite inputs are dual
- Streaming applications and smart control accessible
- Abundant stocks are not available
- The user interface can be tough for some
A higher storage capacity of the HDR-1100S series, the 2TB version is best for people with many people in their household. This means that everyone can record their favourite shows without worrying about the space of the device. The Freesat box is equipped with Freetime, features of smart TV and recorder.
The Wi-Fi feature lets you down the additional application as and when needed. Inside the main package, you will also find a TV guide that gives you detailed knowledge which enhances the streaming experience. Along with this, the box is very lightweight and has an amazing design.
- 2TB storage capacity to record all your favourite shows
- Equipped with TV guide with detailed show information
- Configuration of the device is easy
- Dual tuners that enable simultaneous watching
- A limited number of channels provided in ultra-HD
- The response is slow while changing channels
Another very good Freesat box is the Technomate TM-5402 HD M3 that streams videos in 1080p quality. This brand is on par with the Edison and Humax Freesat box brands. The storage of this box is not in-built, and you need to add external storage to record your programmes. This is good if you want to record innumerable shows without any hindrance.
The best feature in this is that it can record a maximum of three channels at a single time and also play any recorded show. This is great if you want to watch any show that you have recorded while recording a new one.
- Can record three programmes at one time
- External storage can be attached which can be changed
- The functionality of the system is good
- Lacks in-built storage space
- Design is not modern and chic like other brands
Things Needed to Set Up Freesat
Buying a Freesat box will not be enough, you also need to install it correctly and tune it so that the channels are available to you. It would be best if you would hire a professional to tune the Freesat box. They can check if you are receiving all the channels and in the quality that is needed.
If you do not want to spend money on a professional, then you can also set up the Freesat box yourself. There are two important components that you would require if you are planning to install the Freesat box yourself along with the standard installation tools and equipment.
The first thing that you will need to install and set up the Freesat box is a satellite dish. This dish will be fixed in your roof and will be faced towards the sky. Using the satellite dish you can receive transmissions via space satellite. It is not always necessary that you use a new satellite dish.
If you have a Sky dish from your previous connection, you can use it provided you are still not subscribed to the Sky connection. In case you do not have an old dish, you can buy a new one and use it to set up your Freesat connection.
One thing to remember is that you need to seek proper permission before the installation process if you are living on a rented property. In such cases, you need to ask the landlord whether you can continue with your installation. If the landlord does not agree, then it is better no to go ahead with the process.
Even if you have an old Sky dish, it may not sync with the Freesat box that you have bought. If this happens, then you will need to ask a professional to come and retune it so that it can work with the Freesat box properly.
Now that you have installed or fixed the satellite dish to your terrace, the next thing you require is a Freesat tuner. The tuner will connect the Freesat box to the satellite dish and translate signals received from the space satellite and channelize them to your television. This is passed using an HDMI cable or an HDMI switch, whichever is applicable for your device.
Most of the Freesat boxes are equipped with a tuner, or there is television which comes with in-built Freesat tuner. This may be quite rare, but you will find options from some well-known television brands. Based on which you are opting for you can go on with your installation process.
For tuning, you can take help from a professional who knows which way to follow. As already stated above, you will also need help if you are using an old dish. Remember that only with proper tuning, you will be able to view high-quality channels. If you are unable to tune it yourself, do not shy away from taking the help.
Avoid taking matters in your own hands if you have no idea what you are doing. This will only delay the work and stop you from watching your favourite channels for a long time.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Freesat Box
Buying a Freesat box is a long-time investment, and you would want it to be a good one. This is not something that you can buy every few months or year. That is why you need to ensure that the product you are buying is the best in the market.
Certain factors need to be considered when you are buying the best Freesat recorder box 2020. You do not want to just pick up the first thing you see and then regret your decision. There has to be a proper decision-making process, and these considerations will help you out in choosing the right product.
PVR / Recording
Since you are looking for a recorder box, the must-have feature is recording. You need to be very careful when you are buying a Freesat box since most brands provide a recordable and non-recordable version of the Freesat box. There are hard drives which are in-built in these boxes that save the recorded programs.
Devices that come with the Electronic Programme Guide will also help you record future shows so that you do not miss out on any of the favourite shows. Make sure that the storage card has ample space before you go on to record the programs. Based on the storage space, you can determine the hours that you will be able to record.
The Freesat Freetime service is only available for a few channels, and you also need to see if the Freesat box supports this service. With the Freetime service, you can use the Electronic Programme Guide to watch those shows that have been shown in the past week. This is more of a catch-up service.
You can check if your Freesat box supports this particular service as it can be helpful in many situations. If you are going on a vacation somewhere and do not want to miss out on any shows that you regularly watch, then the Freetime service can be quite essential.
You will find that many Freesat boxes provide the provision of downloading additional applications. Many boxes come with built-in applications such as Netflix which means that you will not have to buy any other streaming box to watch Netflix.
There are also Freesat boxes that act as an internet streamer which is essential if you want to use these additional applications. You need to remember that this service will not be present in every Freesat box. You have to check the box that you have chosen for this particular service. Make sure that you minutely read the specifications and additional features of your chosen Freesat box.
Any Freesat box that you buy will be equipped with an HDMI connection which is used to connect your television to the box. However, the HDMI connection is found in recent television sets. Many households have older TV sets even in these times. If you are one such household, then an HDMI connection would not fulfil the purpose.
You will have to find a Freesat box that provides a SCART connection. This is what will help you connect your old television set to the box. You will not find this connection in the majority of the boxes. Even if you do, they may not have the other features that you were hoping for. In such a scenario, you need to decide what you are willing to let go of – the old TV set for a new one or the additional features that you wanted in your Freesat box.
Broadband or internet connection is required if you want to stream any additional applications. Many Freesat boxes have an Ethernet port that is used to connect to the router directly. On the other hand, you will also find some Freesat box equipped with a Wi-Fi connection. You can choose whichever connectivity you are comfortable with.
Make sure that the internet connection you are opting for is fast and provides good speed so that the streaming is fast and good. Opting for Ethernet would be a more viable option, but if your TV is placed near to the router, then Wi-Fi can also be a very good option.
The next very important consideration is the storage capacity of the Freesat box. You need to choose that model whose storage capacity matches your requirements. If you watch various shows and want to record them all, then a 500GB storage capacity may fall short for you.
In the same way, if you do not want to record too many shows, then buying a 2TB capacity box would be a waste of money. However, make sure that the Freesat box you choose has ample space so that you do have to limit the number of recordings you will be doing in the future.
Price is the most important consideration that you need to keep in mind when you are buying an item. Without knowing the price, you cannot make the final decision. If you have a budget, then you have to find Freesat boxes that fall under that set budget. If the budget is too low, then you may miss out on some additional features.
In case there is no budget constraint, then you can freely choose from many different options and focus on the features rather than the price. However, for a cost-effective solution, try to search for Freesat boxes that are moderately priced and are also highly functional.
Choosing the best Freesat recorder box 2020 is not that hard a decision if you know what you are looking for. Even if this is your first time searching for a Freesat box, the guide will help you make the right choice. You can compare the features of the listed products with the main features that should be present in a good Freesat box.
Evaluating the different pros and cons of each of the products will help you understand which device would be the most suitable for you. You can also look into any other Freesat boxes that you may have found out about. However, ensure that the main considerations listed here are always in your mind when you are making the final decision.
Find out the best Freesat box for you and get it installed with the help of a professional or by yourself. Enjoy your favourite shows and also record them if needed. Now you do not have to miss out any show even if you are busy with work or not present at home at the moment.