- Exemplary onscreen design
- Flexible Freesat PVR functionality
- Attractive looks
- No Smart Hub
- Limited DLNA
- Mushy iPlayer pictures
- Review Price: £169.95
- Dual Freesat HD tuners
- 500GB HDD
- DLNA media streaming
- YouTube & BBC iPlayer access
- Two USB ports
Not content with shaking up the Freeview HD PVR market with its Smart Hub-equipped BD-DT7800, Samsung is also looking to make its mark in the Freesat PVR world. The SMT-S7800 boasts an attractive spec-sheet that’ll give established Freesat recorders a run for their money.
What’s more, it’s a great-looking recorder. In true Samsung style the SMT-S7800 boasts a deep gloss black finish with an eye-catching transparent plastic trim running along the bottom of the front panel. It also sports a row of touch-sensitive buttons to control menus and other key features, plus a 12-character scrolling display panel that shows the full channel name. It’s a beautifully built unit that’ll stand the test of time in your AV rack.
There’s a USB port on the front, which reveals that this unit, like most of Samsung’s products, supports media playback from storage devices (but external HDDs are not supported).
There’s a generous array of connections on the back too, including an HDMI output that pings those hi-def pictures to your TV, as well as composite, optical digital and stereo audio outputs, an Ethernet port and a second USB port for media playback or for connecting an optional Wi-Fi adapter. On the side is a common interface slot that will allow you to add pay TV channels if services ever come to Freesat.
The line-up is completed by two LNB inputs (one for each tuner) and two Scart outputs, which allows you to output AV signals to a TV and recorder simultaneously – handy if you want to archive HDD recordings on disc.