What Freesat box ?

Associate
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I am getting rid of Sky Q and looking for a replacement subscription free box. When I google best freesat recordable boxes it comes up with the FREESAT UHD-4X Smart 4K Ultra HD Digital TV Recorder as the best. However when i read amazon reviews there are a lot of negatives about faulty boxes, outdated clunky menu's and recordings missing the start and ends etc. I have looked at the Manhattan SX box but that does not record. I carn't really afford 500 pounds for a humax recordable box so not sure where to go from here ? Any advice would be appreciated thank you.
 
Commissario
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I purchased one of these, as you can plug it into the sky dish.


Fairly good choice of channels, and it's better than paying sky £100 + a month. :)
 
Soldato
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The Humax boxes are very good, but they’re not in production anymore, so the prices of the remaining news ones have gone a little bit crazy.

The non-recording Manhattan SX boxes are fine for viewing if you don’t mind them being a bit slow to boot.

Not used one of the new Arris (Pace?) boxes myself, but have heard complaints that the user interface was a bit clunky compared to the old Humax boxes.
 
Associate
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The freesat menu is fairly quick, but not a nippy as Sky Q, no issues so far with recording.
I read that you cannot fast forward past the adverts on the recordings as there is no fast forward or rewind like with sky q can you do it on your recorder ?
 
Don
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I read that you cannot fast forward past the adverts on the recordings as there is no fast forward or rewind like with sky q can you do it on your recorder ?
where did you read that? :D
(And indeed don't believe everything you read about the latest Arris box, as there are a vocal minority who experienced a couple of issues at launch and likely haven't used it since)

It has fast forward and rewind like every other PVR.

I've owned one more or less since they were launched, and whilst the initial firmware versions had a few issues, the experience now is fairly good. If anything I've had less issues with the 4K Freesat box than I did with a Sky Q box.
 
Soldato
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I went and got a second hand Humax Foxsat box for £90. They are quite an old box that only do 1080p, but it was attractive to me as you can do some firmware jiggery pokery on that specific box to enable access to it over your network in order to archive free to air shows, so the box hard disk size will never be an issue.
 
Soldato
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I've just moved from Q to Freesat, you need to make sure your new box works with wideband LNB's (what Sky Q uses) otherwise you'll need to change it.
The only boxes I could find were the Freesat 4k ones. If you plug the older Humax or Manhattan boxes into a Sky Q enabled dish it simply wont work.

lucid explains it below.
Short answer - Yes, either type of LNB will work with the new Freesat 4K boxes.

A bit more info if you're interested. You'll get slightly different results with how many channels can be recorded between your Q LNB and the standard Quad LNB at the 'rents.

Freesat/Sky satellite signals are grouped in to 4 bands. Two of the bands have the bulk of the channels split between them. The other two have fewer. A single output LNB switches between the four bands subject to a bit of voltage and polarity on the feeder cable between the box and the LNB. When you change channel, the box tuner will either look for that new channel from the band it is already receiving, or it will change the LNB to a different band.

So far, so simple. If you want to watch or record another channel then you need an extra LNB and tuner to drive it. This avoids the problem that sometimes the channels will be in different bands. Rather than just doing a twin output LNB Sky went for four LNBs in the same housing; hence the Quad LNB. That gave them enough outputs to run the dual-tuner boxes and provide two spare.

When you plug in the 'rents LNB feeds to the new Freesat box you'll get the familiar 'watch one / record another' facility as Sky+HD.

SkyQ uses a different type of LNB. It's called a wideband. It works very much the same way as a TV aerial in that you get all the channels down a single wire. The new Freesat 4K boxes recognise the wideband signal and change how they they work. When you connect two feeder cables the box flips over from two-tuner-mode to 4-tuner-mode. This means that if you're happy to leave the box in standby, or watch one of the recording channels live, or play a previous recording, then it's possible for the box to make four recordings simultaneously. That's handy if you're going on holiday and want to avoid timer clashes.

In most cases the 4K box with wideband LNB will be used as the main TV tuner, so in reality you'll watch one channel live and be able to record three channels even if all the timers overlap.
 
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