Technisat HDFS Freesat HD Receiver - Technisat HDFS Freesat HD Receiver

By Danny Phillips

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Technisat HDFS Freesat HD Receiver

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Setting up the wireless receiver is fairly easy – the special functions menu lets you search for access points and shows you the signal strength of each one. Your encryption key is entered using a responsive virtual keyboard. It took no time at all to connect to our router and the connection remained stable throughout the test.

After switching the receiver on for the first time, you get a polite welcome screen, which then checks that you have a satellite cable connected, checks for software updates and runs through all the vital settings like AV output type and aspect ratio. After you’ve entered your postcode it searches for all the channels on the Eurobird-Astra satellites – it found 116 TV and 37 radio channels in seconds.

Although the HDFS is primarily designed to pick up Freesat channels, the Technisat mode allows you to add hundreds of channels not found in the Freesat EPG, while DiSEqC 1.2 functionality with motor control allows for multi-satellite reception, which will appeal to more advanced users. The extra channels can be sorted out using various channel lists and an EPG.

The Technisat EPG is unusually flexible – programmes can be viewed in a grid, by genre or as a ‘now and next’ overview, all the options are listed in the Guide menu. It’s a little confusing at first, but after a while you start to appreciate the cleverness of its design.

The Freesat EPG looks slightly different due to its black background, and unlike the Technisat EPG live TV doesn’t play underneath. But it offers a similarly generous range of views and search options, and it’s a joy to operate – you can choose browse programmes later in the week using the numbered or coloured keys on the remote, and everything on the screen is clearly labelled.

If you don’t fancy delving into the full EPG, hit ‘i’ while watching a programme and an onscreen banner not only gives thorough details of the current programme (including eye-catching icons), but also lets you look ahead in the schedules and access programme info on any channel.

The rest of the onscreen design is superb. It takes a modern approach with jazzy fonts and subtle colours, but its inherent simplicity is why it works so well. The channel lists and setup menus are clear and helpful – the Nav menu, for instance, provides direct access to any function, including multimedia content, while a separate menu offers speedy access to regional channel variations, subtitles and audio description. There’s even a Help menu that offers handy pointers.

And kudos to the remote too, which boasts big spongy buttons, good labelling and a generally intuitive layout. The only criticism is that the ‘back’ button isn’t directly next to the menu controls. All in all, this really is one of the most user-friendly digital TV receivers we’ve ever encountered, despite also being one of the most advanced.

Hoggypotter

April 23, 2010, 3:58 pm

I was just going to buy the Humax HDR box and now this review! Do you know if Technisat will be releasing a PVR version of this box? I'm leaving Sky at the end of May and need to make a decision.

HDRE

April 23, 2010, 4:17 pm

Add PVR functionality and it's "hasta luego" SKY.

fuey

April 23, 2010, 5:14 pm

@TrustedReviews - I've just performed a few google searches which have revealed...PVR functionality...





{10-OCT-2009}


http://www.joinfreesat.co.uk/i...





{31-OCT-2009}


http://www.joinfreesat.co.uk/i...





Can you confirm? Did you review box perform a software update, which revealed this functionality?

arjeeone

April 23, 2010, 5:25 pm

Well I for one am confused by the review as I have this Technisat HDFS Freesat receiver and I'm happily recording stuff from it onto an external hard drive that's plugged into the rear USB socket... Admittedly the interface needs a bit of work but it's a feature that Technisat introduce via firmare update some months ago now.


Supports all the standard features like pausing live tv etc.


Great unit and even better once divx streaming is supported.

DavidDB

April 23, 2010, 7:24 pm

I have had the Technisat HDFS since November and I can confirm its as good as any box I have ever considered - The Recording Function added after buying it works really well (mostly) and I was blown away by the quality of iPlayer its much better than I dare expected.





With it showing up online for as little as £139 and that includes a THREE YEAR warranty I cannot recommend this receiver more highly.





And if your interested the Tech Support department available in the UK by phone and email could teach a few other manufacturers how it should be done.

Chocoa

April 23, 2010, 7:56 pm

Question is do you go Freesat or Freeview for HD in the future? Somewhat confusing marketing by UK channels methinks. Puts me off deciding....

Stelph

April 23, 2010, 8:17 pm

Odd, how could TrustedReviews have missed the PVR function of this box? It may be a bit of a bodge involving an external Hard Drive (and the files that are recorded are encoded so youcant play them back on a PC unfortunatly, only the box you recorded them on) but it is there:





http://www.joinfreesat.co.uk/i...





Hadnt spotted that it had dropped to £139 tho, I was thinking of saving up for the Humax but thats still +£200 and as I live in a flat with a single LNR this may be the better option TBH

Hoggypotter

April 23, 2010, 8:32 pm

Thanks for confirming the PVR functionality. Looks like I'll be getting the Techinsat instead of the Humax. Bye bye Sky.

DavidDB

April 23, 2010, 8:33 pm

Long term Freesat will have way more bandwidth than Freeview HD - but the channel line up may not reflect this at launch. There will be more capacity when Astra launches an additional satellite next year. Plus ITVplayer is on its way soon to Freesat Boxes soon.





FREESAT is available in your area now (at a safe bet) but you will of course need to check when your area switches over to Freesat HD - the World Cup will help a lot of people decide which way to jump. And just think of all those dead Sky dishes around the UK just waiting to get some low cost HD goodnes.

ffrankmccaffery

April 23, 2010, 9:10 pm

Would it be possible to include screenshots of the menus and on screen display in future reviews? Ultimately they're what you'll be staring at a most of the time.

Martin Daler

April 23, 2010, 10:04 pm

@Stelph - can you use USB powered hard drives?

Chris Beach

April 23, 2010, 10:15 pm

Isn't FreeSat currently limited mainly because its sharing the satellite with Sky, which wont give it the bandwidth it needs...something to do with needing a narrow frequency so that the channels can't be picked up say in France or Germany, if they can then the providers won't sell them the channels/content.

Enigma

April 24, 2010, 4:47 am

Judging by the comments of 'Free at last. Free at last from Sky.' Is it any wonder the Murdochs were complaining of the BBC's “chilling ambitions”.





Well if you want to keep Freesat, BBC's website, iPlayer, Canvas, etc and ensure that the BBC continues to innovate and not be brow beaten by self interests of the profiteering private sector of the likes of the Sky (aka News Corporation of the Murdoch empire) then you may want to have a look at the publication of the proposed strategy for the BBC. The proposals will now be subject to a 12 week consultation  (From 02 Mar - 25 May 2010).  





The Executive's proposals can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/...





There are a number of ways in which you can have your say:





Online Survey: https://consultations.external...





Email: srconsultation@bbc.co.uk

Enigma

April 25, 2010, 3:33 am

I thought all those seeking 'freedom' from Sky tv may like to see these stories:


James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks invade Independent newspaper office: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/g...





So 'expect' a visit from James & Rebekah :-(( very sooon!





Viewers complain to Ofcom over Nick Clegg's treatment in Sky debate: http://www.guardian.co.uk/medi...

Enigma

April 26, 2010, 1:47 am

I inadvertently (as I don't normally watch PoVs) caught an interview with one of BBC's Executives on Points of View on the issue of limited HD programming by the BBC. You may be able to catch it on BBC iPlayer.

Enigma

April 26, 2010, 2:53 am

It MUST be serious! “Stars line up to condemn the Tories over funding plans for the BBC”:





http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new...

Danny P

April 26, 2010, 2:31 pm

Apologies for not mentioning the PVR add-on - guess I was too busy checking out the iPlayer - but yes, it's fantastic and yet another reason why this is the Freesat box to beat.

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