Recommendations for a Freesat box...?

Discussion of television and radio technology - professional and domestic.
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lovecraft
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Recommendations for a Freesat box...?

Post by lovecraft »

Looks like my Humax is about to give up the ghost and wondered if anyone had any experience of the new Freesat branded receivers? An internet search seems to totally favour them to the point that I am a little suspicious. I now have an OLED TV and want to take advantage of any 4K transmissions if I can.

Not sure if I will bother having a HDD for recording. Seems to me the lifespan of such machines is quite limited.

lovecraft
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Re: Recommendations for a Freesat box...?

Post by lovecraft »

Wow, that's a bit of a deluge.

Think I'll need to take a lie down.....

RayB
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Re: Recommendations for a Freesat box...?

Post by RayB »

As far as I'm aware, there is very little 4K/UHD content available FTA, at least from 28E.

There's quite a bit to be had on a FireTV stick both from the supplier and various other services. Other OTT platforms also offer some content if you don't want the Fire.

If your TV is 4K/UHD compliant, it should already have access to most providers that offer such content, there are even a few bits on the iPlayer. If your TV does not meet the spec, a 4K Freesat box won't send out any content higher than 1080 HD. If this is the case, you're probably better off getting a new TV with built in Freesat. At least you'll be ready if any FTA content finds it's way there.

lovecraft
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Re: Recommendations for a Freesat box...?

Post by lovecraft »

Thanks for the reply!

It is an LG OLED TV and has most streaming services built in and is compatible with Freesat. Weirdly, it does not seem to have the ITV Hub, so for that I keep my Humax box available. Sadly, the HDD has failed on it, after a meager 4 years, but it still acts happily as a receiver.

I have still not decided if I can live without the option to record stuff, though in all honesty, a lot of what I recorded sat unwatched for months.

The high cost and lack of choice of Freesat receivers is also putting me off replacing the Humax. Other forums seem to suggest that the new boxes are of pretty poor quality.

RayB
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Re: Recommendations for a Freesat box...?

Post by RayB »

This might sound odd, but have you tried attaching a SSD/USB Stick to the TV to act as a storage device for recordings? I don't know if your TV supports it, but it might be worth trying.

lovecraft
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Re: Recommendations for a Freesat box...?

Post by lovecraft »

Yes, after some research, you are absolutely right, it does support such recordings. Doing a test just now.

As an aside, the Humax box I still have had the ability to watch and record simultaneously, with two connectors from the satellite cable. Is it possible for one of these cables to be hived off to go directly into the TV with one remaining in the Humax? If I were to dispense with the Humax altogether how would the two connectors from the satellite cable be combined to connect to the single socket in the back of the TV?

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Darren Fricker
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Re: Recommendations for a Freesat box...?

Post by Darren Fricker »

Have you thought about replacing the hard drive on the Freesat box ?

I did it a few years ago on a Freeview box (Humax).

You'd need to read around / look at YouTube vids though.

I can't remember all the details but it's not quite as straightforward as throwing any old hard drive in there, needs to be a specific type if I remember rightly.

Brian F
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Re: Recommendations for a Freesat box...?

Post by Brian F »

When I tried connecting an external hard drive it reported that the formatting of the disk was wrong. Perhaps the drive needs a certain type of formatting before it can be used. I can't remember now what it said was needed.

lovecraft
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Re: Recommendations for a Freesat box...?

Post by lovecraft »

Found this video and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAqdFDnVzbs

it certainly makes it look pretty easy.

I was about to ask if I could use a hard drive from an out of use pc but the previous response suggests the kit needs to be pretty specific. Plus, like the fella in the video, I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be a software issue and not hardware related at all. Sadly there does not seem to be a way of testing this without other than swapping out the HDD. I have already tried a factory reset.

RayB
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Re: Recommendations for a Freesat box...?

Post by RayB »

lovecraft wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:44 pm
Yes, after some research, you are absolutely right, it does support such recordings. Doing a test just now.

As an aside, the Humax box I still have had the ability to watch and record simultaneously, with two connectors from the satellite cable. Is it possible for one of these cables to be hived off to go directly into the TV with one remaining in the Humax? If I were to dispense with the Humax altogether how would the two connectors from the satellite cable be combined to connect to the single socket in the back of the TV?
If you were to take one feed from the Humax and connect it to the TV you would lose the ability to watch live TV whilst making a recording on the box (unless you wanted to watch what you were recording, that is).

Connecting a feed and HDD to the TV would give you that ability back, or to record two things at once or even record one thing whilst playing back something else; you effectively end up with 2 devices doing a similar job.

lovecraft
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Re: Recommendations for a Freesat box...?

Post by lovecraft »

I only really ask as, with the current setup, I can only record from the very basic selection of Freeview channels we get here on the Isle of Bute. To be honest a lot of this is way beyond my very basic technical capabilities!

If I could establish if there was some chance of success in swapping out the HDD I would have a crack at it. Some forums seem to suggest it is a problem on the board, in which case a swap would be pointless, in other places it is suggested that such a board problem only applies to earlier models than the 1100s, in which it might be worth a shot.

Is there any way of getting the 1100s to record to an external USB drive?

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