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  • FIRST POST
    MSE Martin
    0 WOW
    Digital Freeview boxes for under £22
    • #1
    • 9th Jan 07, 6:35 PM
    0 WOW
    Digital Freeview boxes for under £22 9th Jan 07 at 6:35 PM
    Freeview prices are dropping

    As a result of the new wave of combined freeview and hard disk recorders, the price of stand-alone freeview boxes is falling fast, and many are now available for less than £25.

    If you compare this with the £20 or £30 or £40 a month (ie £240, £360 or £480 a year) many people pay for cable or satellite TV (see digital TV cost cutting); as Freeview gives you more than 30 extra channels and all you need to is pay the one-off cost of the box, its extremely good value.

    Where are the cheapest boxes.

    There are variances between different Freeview boxes, both in functionality and ease of use, but all of them should deliver all the channels and the ability to use them (to see reviews of different boxes go to Digital TV consumer test reports.)

    Online
    • Amazon £22 delivered. Amazon is currently selling the Digihome DVB915* for £21.98, with free delivery.
    • £25 with Top-Up TV at Ebuyer. Top-Up TV is a card you can put in a freeview box to get extra channels. To use the service, you have to have a box that accepts a card. Yet since Top-Up TV is now pushing a more expensive "anytime" service, which includes digital hard-disk recording, you may find that that the old service has been restricted. These days the number of channels is very limited and not really worth it for many, but it does mean that if someone else launches something similar you have access. The cheapest is the Goodmans GDB7-CA at £24.99 (B-stock) plus £4.99 delivery. Regardless of Top-Up TV capability, this is a decent box at a good price.
    Nip in and check the stores
    • January sale a few at £15 from M&S. If you get your skates on, you may still be able to get hold of an ITD64 digital set-top box for £15 instore as part of the M&S sale. This box retails at £39.50 online. The big problem is stocks are very limited, and only available in some stores, but if you're walking past its worth popping in for a quick check.
    • Refurbs £20 from Richer Sounds. Cut price hi-fi retailer has some good refurb (called 'Graded' on the site) boxes at £20, though availability is limited, especially on the web. However if there's one near you, it's worth checking out. Richer Sounds Freeview.
    • £22 in-store at Dixons. It's selling the Fusion FRT 102 instore for £22 (see more),you can order it online, but then you pay a shocking £9.99 standard delivery, so its better to grab it in-store. Having said that the reviews aren't great.
    • £23.97 in-store at ASDA. ASDA is selling a freeview box made by Pacific for £23.97 in larger stores. This one also represents good value, boasting a decent specification for the price.
    IF YOU FIND A CHEAPER BOX PLEASE REPORT IT IN THE THREAD BELOW


    What channels are available?

    A digital freeview box allows you to receive free-to-air digital channels through your terrestrial tv and aerial. See a full list of included channels.

    Anything else I should check?

    It's important to ensure you have a good Freeview signal in your area (check your area). If the signal is weak, and your aerial is too you may struggle to receive some or all channels. Even better than this is ask a neighbour, or even better ask someone to borrow their Freeview box and try.

    Martin



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    Last edited by MSE Lawrence; 10-01-2007 at 1:06 PM.
Page 1
  • ksh123
    • #2
    • 9th Jan 07, 9:19 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Jan 07, 9:19 PM
    Not much difference I know, lol, but easier if anything goes wrong I guess.

    I posted the Amazon one mentioned above myself a few days ago when I was looking to see if folk had any advice about it (they didn't) It was in the In my Home thread.
    Stop looking for answers....
    The most you can hope for are clues.....
  • Thunderbird
    • #3
    • 9th Jan 07, 9:38 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Jan 07, 9:38 PM
    Hi

    I know what I am going to mention is not a standard, but, the other day in Hull, I found a car booter selling freeview boxes for £15!! They were brand new, but you know, there is no warranty or right to return the item after buying them as it is not a retailer.
    So, it might worth checking your local car boot maret if there is any.
    I didn't get one myself as I live in the midlands and there is no digital signal in my area.

    Thunderbird
  • dairoid
    • #4
    • 9th Jan 07, 9:57 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Jan 07, 9:57 PM
    If you buy the cheapest or the "cheap" FREEVIEW digiboxes you probably will only be able to record what you are watching i.e Durabrand etc. which I now have.I previously had a Panasonic which cost me £90 when they first came out ,but I was able to record one programme while watching another ( but not 2 digi channels together ) So before you buy - ask ! Though the sales assistants in Asda etc. probably will not be fully clued up about the differences and they certainly will not be on the box.I'm sure that someone like Richer Sounds could advise you and provide you with a value for money FREEVIEW digibox.
  • ksh123
    • #5
    • 9th Jan 07, 10:07 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Jan 07, 10:07 PM
    Good point Dairoid, although when I buy one for my daughter she won't need it for recording anyway. Good for others to know tho
    Stop looking for answers....
    The most you can hope for are clues.....
  • Dr Jeep
    • #6
    • 9th Jan 07, 10:23 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Jan 07, 10:23 PM
    Does anyone know of a good cheap Freeview box with a built in HDD?

    There's someone at work who's boasting about picking one up with a Hard Disk for about £60 at Tesco's a few months back - although only tells us now.
  • martinbenson
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 07, 8:34 AM
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 07, 8:34 AM
    I'd like to chip in with my 2 pence worth, between x-mas and new year Richer Sounds (www.richersounds.co.uk) were offering freeview boxes at a staggering £9.99 if you mentioned that you had seen them via the website. In addition they were selling multi-region dvd players for the same price. They have shops dotted around the country so this is not a web-only offer. The prices in the shops may differ from those on the website, but a polite mention to say that you have seen the same item for X amount on the website and they will happily discount it for you so it is worth checking before hand.

    I must add that these offers were limited to 1 per customer for both the dvd player and freeview boxes.

    Martin.
  • Soph
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 07, 9:21 AM
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 07, 9:21 AM
    Dear all

    We've been thinking about getting a freeview box and cancelling our Sky subscription. Recently we had a call from a Sky representative trying to sell us insurance for our Sky box. When I told him that we were going to be leaving Sky soon, he told me that Sky actually do a 'freeview' package.

    If you are already a Sky customer and have the box and the dish etc, then for a one off payment of £20 Sky will send you a new card for your Sky box, enabling you to view over 120 channels, which beats the 30 or so channels on Freeview.

    If you're not currently a Sky customer, however, you'd need to pay £150 to get the box etc, so this is only a great deal if you're looking to 'downgrade' from your Sky subscription.

    There is a specific website for this - freesatfromsky.co.uk if you'd like any more information.

    Hope this is helpful!

    Soph
  • dalriada
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 07, 9:24 AM
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 07, 9:24 AM
    Please be aware that Martin's advice regarding the following box is out of date -

    £25 with Top-Up TV at Ebuyer. Top-Up TV is a card you can put in a freeview box to get up to 19 extra channels, which you pay a monthly fee of minimum £7.99 for. You have to have a box that accepts a card. These days the number of channels is limited (see a list) and not really worth it for many, but it does mean that if someone else launches something similar you have access. The cheapest is the Goodmans GDB7-CA at £24.99 (B-stock) plus £4.99 delivery.
    This box will not provide you with 19 top-up tv channels. Top-up tv has recently changed and is now a service which provides selected programmes from a range of 19 channels (this means you do not get all the channel as you woudl on sky or NTL, but rather a range of between 4-14 programmes per week for each channel). This cost £9.99 a month and you will have to purchase a Top-up TV Digital TV Recorder (DTR) - this is basically a PVR that records progrmming overnight for you to watch at your leisure during the following week. This box will also allow you to watch, record, pause and rewind the freeview channels.

    The box Martin has mentioned above may be useful if you want to receive Sentanta Sports in the near future - this is likely to cost a minimum of £15 per month for 1 channel. And in the meantime, if you are lucky you might be able to subscribe to Top-up for £4.99 for a very reduced service of around five time shifted channels - however I suspect that Top-Up will not be offering this to brand new customers and will instead push their new Anytime Service which will cost a brand new Customer £229 to set up (box and connection) followed by £9.99 a month. Former subscribers can get this servcie for a reduced rate - see http://www.topuptv.com for details

    At the end of the day the box martin has mentioned will still work as a basic freeview box - and at £25 you can't go wrong with that.
    Last edited by dalriada; 10-01-2007 at 9:34 AM.
  • dalriada
    Dear all

    We've been thinking about getting a freeview box and cancelling our Sky subscription. Recently we had a call from a Sky representative trying to sell us insurance for our Sky box. When I told him that we were going to be leaving Sky soon, he told me that Sky actually do a 'freeview' package.

    If you are already a Sky customer and have the box and the dish etc, then for a one off payment of £20 Sky will send you a new card for your Sky box, enabling you to view over 120 channels, which beats the 30 or so channels on Freeview.

    If you're not currently a Sky customer, however, you'd need to pay £150 to get the box etc, so this is only a great deal if you're looking to 'downgrade' from your Sky subscription.

    There is a specific website for this - freesatfromsky.co.uk if you'd like any more information.

    Hope this is helpful!

    Soph
    by Soph
    Soph - well done on bringing up the freesat option. However, I have some bad and good news for you. the sky representative who told you you could downgrade to the freesat service by paying Sky £20 for a new card was telling porkies - as you are already a sky customer all you have to do to become a freesat viewer is cancel you sky account - you do not need a new card from sky (at the cost of £20) you keep your old card in the box instead.

    This £20 cost is only payable by those people who are not sky customers and do not have a sky card for their sky digi box.

    You should also note that you can get most free satelite channels without a sky card - this means you do not even need a sky box - you can go to lidl or maplin for example and by a unbranded freesat dish and box. The downside is you will not get channel 4, five, five US, five Life, film 4 or sky 3 - as you need the sky card and a sky digi box for these channels.

    The good news for you and other sky customers who want to downgrade is that you just have to cancel your sky subscription and not pay the £20 for a new card. So save yourself £20 do not line the pockets of Mr Murdoch.
  • Saversally
    I bought a Freeview box in M&S at the weekend. It was £15 and is very good.
    It also has a digital card reader for viewing your photos from your digital camera. I have not tried this bit yet though.
    It is a reduced price from the original price of £79 so quite a bargin if they have any left.
  • JamesDB
    Just to chip in on this...

    The cheaper Freeview boxes tend not to have an RF output, but just a SCART one. So if the telly in the kids room or kitchen only has a socket for the aerial you need to make sure the box has a "RF Modulator".

    Also, the Freesat from Sky can be a good option. As mentioned by dalriada, when you cancel Sky the card becomes the equivalent of a Freesat card anyway. Also - Sky reps call them Freeview, which it isn't really.

    Freeview includes channels like E4, uktv History, TMF, The Hits, Five US and so on - Freesat from Sky doesn't. Just something to look out for if you know a channel is on Freeview and go with the Freesat from Sky option.
  • Fran
    I recently bought a 5 way Scart splitter, meaning you don't have to unplug when using different devices from Amazon. You can then have Freeview box, DVD, video, games or anything else with Scart lead connected at the same time.

    Some of the cheaper Freeview boxes only have one Scart option, others have two which is worth checking if you might need two.
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  • shupa
    Dear all

    We've been thinking about getting a freeview box and cancelling our Sky subscription. Recently we had a call from a Sky representative trying to sell us insurance for our Sky box. When I told him that we were going to be leaving Sky soon, he told me that Sky actually do a 'freeview' package.

    If you are already a Sky customer and have the box and the dish etc, then for a one off payment of £20 Sky will send you a new card for your Sky box, enabling you to view over 120 channels, which beats the 30 or so channels on Freeview.

    If you're not currently a Sky customer, however, you'd need to pay £150 to get the box etc, so this is only a great deal if you're looking to 'downgrade' from your Sky subscription.

    There is a specific website for this - freesatfromsky.co.uk if you'd like any more information.

    Hope this is helpful!

    Soph
    by Soph
    Does anyone know Telewest will do the same thing if I tell them I want to cancel my tv with them? :confused: I have phone and broadband with them too, and it gets expensive when you add bits on to the package so any saving is a welcome one. TIA!
  • mike_paterson
    The M&S deal sounds good!

    I have seen Freeview boxes in the local market and in the catalogue returns store for around £12. Might be worth checking your local ones.

    Complete bargain at that price, even if , like me, you live in a weak signal area and can obly pick up a few additional channels.
    To infinity and beyond!
  • pjbuk007
    Please note that Freeview coverage checking sites can be wrong!!

    The one linked to in the post says we CAN get freeview, but many of the others say we cannot, including the one they use in John Lewis.

    In fact we discovered last year that our neighbours had been using a freeview box for years. We bought a cheap ALBA one which lost the signal, then got Sony boxand have had freeview no probs for 8 months!

    We had the telly bloke around for another reason and to check aerial, and we have superb reception on all channels! Therefor did not need aerial adjusting.

    I strongly suggest that if the postcode checker says "No", you borrow a box and try. I also think this should be more widely publicised as we there may be many others who think they cannot get freeview.
  • r.mac
    Soph - well done on bringing up the freesat option. However, I have some bad and good news for you. the sky representative who told you you could downgrade to the freesat service by paying Sky £20 for a new card was telling porkies - as you are already a sky customer all you have to do to become a freesat viewer is cancel you sky account - you do not need a new card from sky (at the cost of £20) you keep your old card in the box instead.

    This £20 cost is only payable by those people who are not sky customers and do not have a sky card for their sky digi box.

    You should also note that you can get most free satelite channels without a sky card - this means you do not even need a sky box - you can go to lidl or maplin for example and by a unbranded freesat dish and box. The downside is you will not get channel 4, five, five US, five Life, film 4 or sky 3 - as you need the sky card and a sky digi box for these channels.

    The good news for you and other sky customers who want to downgrade is that you just have to cancel your sky subscription and not pay the £20 for a new card. So save yourself £20 do not line the pockets of Mr Murdoch.
    by dalriada
    Ok following this line of thought.... We have just cancelled our sky subscription. We are paid up until the end of next month. We were going to buy a freeview box instead but it would appear from the above that we can just continue to use our sky box and card after cancellation to recieve the freeview channels???? Or have I read it wrong???

    Does this mean I have saved myself the cost of a freeview box? :confused: Any help or clarification gratefully recieved!
    r.mac, you are so wise and wonderful, that post was lovely and so insightful!
    Originally posted by aless02
    I can't promise that all my replies will illicit this response
  • mrsyorkie
    I know i'm being thick, but can i plug a freeview box into a portable telly, or does it have to be through the main aerial? We have sky free to view downstairs and we want a freeview box for upstairs in the bedroom but there is no outside aerial point. Do we need one?
  • Alysie
    Hi there
    I bought a HDR with freeview for Christmas and am really disappointed that I now cant get ITV and all associated ITC channels, Channel 4, E4, More 4 etc, although I can get E4+1. Apparently its to do with the aerial reception - I live between Brighton and Eastbourne. Does anyone else have any problems getting various channels?
  • Lakeuk
    You should also note that you can get most free satelite channels without a sky card - this means you do not even need a sky box - you can go to lidl or maplin for example and by a unbranded freesat dish and box. The downside is you will not get channel 4, five, five US, five Life, film 4 or sky 3 - as you need the sky card and a sky digi box for these channels.
    by dalriada
    One minor correction to your post, a sky card or sky digi box is not manditory inorder to receive Film1 & Film4+1, as Channel4 broadcast these channels over satellite 'Free To Air'

    'Free To Air' channels don't require a sky box, card or subscription inorder to watch.

    Channel4 on satellite required a freesat card as they are under contract with sky to broadcast that channel encrypted, their contract finishes at some point next year when it's speculated that it'll change to a FTA channel on satellite (same as analogue/freeview)
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