The SMT-S7800 features two Freesat tuners, and unlike the BD-DT7800 you can record two channels simultaneously, which is a hugely important talent. It will even let you watch a third channel while two recordings are in progress, but only a handful of channels.
There’s a 500GB hard-disk on board which can store 120 hours of high-definition recordings or 250 hours of standard definition programmes. That capacious hard-disk, which is larger than the Humax FOXSAT-HDR’s 320GB HDD, will also hold music, video and photo files that can be copied over from USB devices.
Although the SMT-S7800 lacks the brilliant Smart Hub internet content portal found on the BD-DT7800, it does grant you limited online functionality through the scaled-down Samsung WebTV portal. At present this only includes access to YouTube.
However the SMT-S7800 also supports BBC iPlayer and ITV Player but they’re listed as channels in the EPG (channels 901 and 903 respectively) and not in a dedicated interface, which makes them a bit of a pain to access. Only iPlayer is available at present, with ITV Player listed as ‘coming soon’.
Elsewhere the SMT-S7800 boasts all the basic PVR functionality you could hope for – pause/rewind live TV, series link and timer scheduling directly from the EPG – as well as versatile scanning and slow-motion features when playing back your recordings. There are no editing options, but its hardly essential on a deck designed for you simply watch and delete recordings.
As well as all the prescribed Freesat functionality, you can also switch to a non-Freesat mode and automatically scan for channels on any of the available satellites, or there’s a manual scan mode which lets you change the parameters (frequency, polarity etc). The channels appear in a separate EPG when found, and we even managed to record programmes from other satellites.