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Manhattan Plaza HD•S2 review



Our Score



  • Nifty non-Freesat and Favourites features
  • Solid picture quality
  • Price


  • Awkward remote
  • Browsing bar now and next only
  • Dull design

Review Price £49.00

Key Features: Receives Freesat and non-Freesat channels; BBC iPlayer and ITV Player; Up to eight favourites lists; Eight-day EPG; HDMI and optical digital audio outputs

Manufacturer: Manhattan

What is the Manhattan Plaza HD•S2?

It’s an affordably-priced Freesat receiver that brings free digital TV into your home through a satellite dish. It’s not a PVR, just a basic set-top box for those who simply want to watch their favourite SD and HD channels – although you can also stream on-demand content from BBC iPlayer and ITV Player. What’s more, it’s the most compact Freesat receiver to date, making it ideal for use in a second room.

Manhattan Plaza HD S2

Manhattan Plaza HD•S2 – Design

The Plaza is encased in a dull-looking black box with a few buttons on the front. But the lack of modern-day panache is hardly surprising given the price and to its credit, build quality is good thanks to the firmly-bolted aluminium top panel. It measures just 210mm wide, which is about half the size of most Blu-ray decks.

Front buttons include standby and up/down keys for changing channels, all of which have a clunky, plasticky feel, but again it’s commensurate with the price. There’s no display panel showing channel names and the like – all you get is a small light that glows red in standby and blue when switched on.

Manhattan Plaza HD•S2 – Connections

On the back is a decent selection of sockets for the money, including an HDMI v1.3 output, Scart output (which can be connected to an older TV or external recorder), optical digital audio output, Ethernet and an LNB input. There’s a USB port too, but don’t get too excited as it’s only used for upgrading the unit’s software – it doesn’t support media playback, Wi-Fi dongles or HDD recording.

Manhattan Plaza HD S2

Manhattan Plaza HD•S2 – Features

As well as bringing you Freesat’s range of over 150 TV and radio channels (six of which are in hi-def), you can also scan for non-Freesat channels automatically, expanding your selection even further. Connect the box to the internet via Ethernet you can also access BBC iPlayer and ITV Player and catch-up on the last seven days’ worth of programmes.

The box also supports interactive TV, digital text, Audio Description and subtitles. The HDMI output will send pictures to your TV in 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p, while on the audio side it supports Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital and HE-AAC.

There’s also an eight-day EPG and a Favourites feature that allows each member of the family to have their own channel list and filter out ones they don’t watch. Even better news is that you can add non-Freesat channels to Favourites lists, a unique feature that means you don’t have to search for them every time.

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Andrew Hodges

June 5, 2014, 12:25 pm

Looking at others who have had problems, this Freesat box seems to have
DURING INSTALLATION with recognising the signal from the satellite dish.

you get it working it's a bit of a miracle, but it can be done, but it
defaults to LONDON CHANNELS so if you live in London you may not notice
the problem. But elsewhere you will.

Let me say from the outset that my dish positioning is fine because I have previously used a Goodmans box.
My signal strength is over 90% and signal quality is 97%.

first response from technical support was 'there's a problem with the
dish. You need an attenuator. You can buy one from Maplins'. I clearly
don't but it's a very easy way of getting you off the line and wasting a
couple of days getting one installed only to find out that it's not the
right answer.

When I pointed out the weaknesses in his solution
he managed to get me off the line by asking for my postcode so that he
could 'check it'. He could have checked it then and there as it's a
no-brainer to sort and doesn't get the problem solved but nevertheless
it got me off the line.

Anyway I eventually called the technician
back to find that 'oh, you need to send the box back. It has a fault.'
He could have told me this by asking the right questions, accepting my
answers and telling me then-and-there. But he didn't.

If you know
that your dish has been properly installed with good signal strength
and quality and your Manhattan Plaza HD-S2 has problems at install and
then when you finally persuade it to work defaults to London channels
don't be fobbed off by their 'technical support'. You have a faulty box.

I want another one? No. I don't need these problems. Something like
this should work straight out of the box. This box is going back once
I've sent this message.

Do you want to buy one? Well, ask yourself "Do I want to take a gamble?"

Mr H

July 17, 2014, 7:37 am

What is not made clear is that you must have a perfect dish alignment or it is impossible to use the receiver. There is a five stage set up and when you get to 2 if the alignment is slightly adrift you just get a fail notice. You cannot manually set up as the menu button does not work unless you have the correct signal. So if you want to use it with a tripod mounted dish (when cravanning for example) it is a no go.
I too contacted the Technician who suggested an antennuator and then asked whether I had an old sky box I could use for setting up purposes. Now waiting for a sat finder to see if I can set up the dish with that or it is going back. Must say when I connected to my house sky dish it did work properly.

ernie turner

October 4, 2014, 11:27 am

I have trouble it doesn't connect with sound

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