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May 25 2012

Manhattan make improvements to Freesat SD ReceiverManhattan have revised the existing Plaza DS-100 Freesat SD receiver offering an improved UI and other key features.

The improved model, named Plaza DS-100A offers a much more user friendly interface taken from the Plaza HD-S (but in SD) and soon to launch Plaza HDR-S. The ideal behind the update (which couldn’t be retro fit to the DS-100) is to give a much more user friendly interface in both the EPG (tv guide) and system settings.

Key features include:

– Much easier to use software
– Vastly improved graphics
– EPG can be filtered by favourites (like Plaza HDR-S)
– DS-100 could only see now & next in the channel banner, DS-100A will go 12 hours ahead
– Now & Next is displayed on Non-Freesat channels
– Non-Freesat channels can be added to favourites
– Guidance information is displayed for programmes where it is available

Whilst for some the changes appear minor, it shows Manhattan’s commitment to continually improving its products, even the DS-100 which is largely seen as an entry level Freesat standard-definition receiver.

Some comparisons between the DS-100 and DS-100A can be seen below (apologies the images are small, they take up too much bandwidth otherwise!):

Manhattan Plaza DS-100A Channel Banner Information

Manhattan Plaza DS-100A Channel List

Manhattan Plaza DS-100A EPG

Manhattan Plaza DS-100A Main Menu

Manhattan Plaza DS-100A Reminder Clash

Manhattan Plaza DS-100A Setup

At this time, satbuyer appear to be the only retailer selling this receiver, and are selling at the same price as the original version, £45 + delivery, which is a bargain.

For those of you with the existing DS-100, don’t worry, it remains one of the best Freesat SD receiver on the market today.

27 Responses to “Manhattan release new enhanced Freesat SD receiver”

  1. Muzer Says:

    Probably good news that people on the entry level who don’t care about HD can get a box that’s not rubbish. Of course, it’s questionable whether or not SD satellite boxes should be supported in general, but aside from that, I think it’s good that Manhattan are showing their commitment. Aren’t they the ones who are going to be the major Freesat G2 partner or am I thinking of someone else?

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  2. admin Says:

    Muzer said:
    [..] Aren’t they the ones who are going to be the major Freesat G2 partner or am I thinking of someone else?

    Yes, their G2 receivers are in production, currently battling against the endless red tape!!!

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  3. dave Says:

    hi just a quick one did racing post channel ever join freesat cos i cannot find it
    and i am looking forward to the G2 spec if it ever happens delay after delay
    whats wrong

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  4. admin Says:

    dave said:
    hi just a quick one did racing post channel ever join freesat cos i cannot find it
    and i am looking forward to the G2 spec if it ever happens delay after delay
    whats wrong

    Please keep the topic relevant

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  5. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    Hi Muzer,

    I’m glad that a decent brand is sticking with Freesat, its a shame we have lost other decent brands & they have been replaced with mediocre budget brands.
    It reminds me of the trade reaction when sky announced the first sky hd boxes would be made by thomson complete with their famous power supply faults, the trade groaned & satcure sold more psu repair kits !

    Mark Aberfan Aerials

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  6. Richard Crichton Says:

    Good to see Manhattan are developing their range but for an extra £14.99 you can buy the Logik HD which has similar (but not identical) software to the Manhattan Plaza HD-S so imo it would be a false economy to buy the DS100A.
    One day all Freesat boxes may have user friendly non Freesat mode etc so keep up the good work Manhattan.

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  7. admin Says:

    Richard Crichton said:
    Good to see Manhattan are developing their range but for an extra £14.99 you can buy the Logik HD which has similar (but not identical) software to the Manhattan Plaza HD-S so imo it would be a false economy to buy the DS100A.
    One day all Freesat boxes may have user friendly non Freesat mode etc so keep up the good work Manhattan.

    Bare in mind however that the Logik isn’t supported by Manhattan, so it is very likely that no software updates will ever take place, even if critical.

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  8. Daran Brown Says:

    as a seller of these boxes, I can only say that the original DS100 was/is an excellent box. We have probably sold around 300 of them and I haven’t had a single return! The new software will only enhance an already outstanding product. As for the person who thinks SD boxes should be withdrawn, wise up, there are still millions of older TV’s in bedrooms, kitchens etc, not everybody has the money to replace all of this equipment, and as the HD content is still so limited we still fit a lot of these boxes to HD TV’s which are only in secondary positions. Why buy an HD box for the bedroom when often they are rarely used? My only criticism of the Manhattan is that the remote is very small and some of my older customers cant see the buttons! a larger control would make this product even better

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  9. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    Daran Brown said: as a seller of these boxes, I can only say that the original DS100 was/is an excellent box. We have probably sold around 300 of them and I haven’t had a single return! The new software will only enhance an already outstanding product. As for the person who thinks SD boxes should be withdrawn, wise up, there are still millions of older TV’s in bedrooms, kitchens etc, not everybody has the money to replace all of this equipment, and as the HD content is still so limited we still fit a lot of these boxes to HD TV’s which are only in secondary positions. Why buy an HD box for the bedroom when often they are rarely used? My only criticism of the Manhattan is that the remote is very small and some of my older customers cant see the buttons! a larger control would make this product even better

    Hi Daran,

    Absolutly spot on, no returns here either !

    I’m still at a loss to understand why no one has produced a affordable bedroom / kitchen portable size tv with inbuilt Freesat, when 16″ tv’s with Freeview are retailing for as little as £50 in asda, why cant anyone build one with inbuilt Freesat for a bit more, again it don’t have to be HD, just simple to use with one decent size remote for older customers to use in comfort & ease.

    What is it about getting Freesat approval that is so difficult to get ? I would be happy with a non approved product as long as it could be patched to use the EPG , fortec star / technomate style !
    Its been 4 years now, I get asked for this regular, I’m sure I cant be the only one !

    Mark Aberfan Aerials

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  10. Derek (original) Says:

    “Non-Freesat channels can be added to favourites”

    If Manhattan can provide that functionality for budget boxes, why not Humax (if they are listening). Loyal Foxsat HDR owners would love an update that gives them the same ability.

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  11. Stevie b Says:

    I too would like to see smaller TV’s with freesat in. There is a market for smaller tv’s in general.Caravans,Kitchins, Bedrooms. All you need is to look at Linsar, UK Company just making quality tv’s with 5 years warrenty at reasonable prices. it would be an ideal oppertunity for freesat and Linsar to connect on this option in todays market.

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  12. Neil Says:

    Great to see Manhattan moving forward on the Freesat hardware front, looking forward to seeing their HDR once it’s released. Admin, any idea when this is as I think it was mooted at being June time but suspect delayed?

    I also agree with comments by others about smaller TV’s with in-built Freesat tuners. There’s a fair few hotels, flats, second/third and fourth sets in bedrooms and kitchens where I also agree there would definitely be a market for them. I can only assume it’s down to Freesat not licensing the brand with cheaper TV manufacturers??

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  13. admin Says:

    Neil said:
    Great to see Manhattan moving forward on the Freesat hardware front, looking forward to seeing their HDR once it’s released. Admin, any idea when this is as I think it was mooted at being June time but suspect delayed?

    Has been delayed countless times, largely through no direct fault of Manhattan. I don’t know the latest but suspect Alex will check this and give a better indication.

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  14. Neil Says:

    admin said: Has been delayed countless times, largely through no direct fault of Manhattan. I don’t know the latest but suspect Alex will check this and give a better indication.

    Probably lots of ‘red tape’ involved I guess in terms of the G2 stuff? Looking forward to seeing it when it finally does arrive, if the HD-S is anything to go by then the Manhattan PVR will be pretty good, potentially giving Humax a run for their money too.

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  15. admin Says:

    Neil said: Probably lots of ‘red tape’ involved I guess in terms of the G2 stuff?[..]

    Not really because the HDR-S won’t be a G2 spec PVR; that is to come a month or two later.

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  16. Neil Says:

    admin said: Not really because the HDR-S won’t be a G2 spec PVR; that is to come a month or two later.

    Sorry, was under the assumption that it was. I presume they plan on releasing this and then another (or separate G2 version)??

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  17. admin Says:

    Neil said: Sorry, was under the assumption that it was. I presume they plan on releasing this and then another (or separate G2 version)??

    No, the HDR-S is a G1 spec PVR and Manhattan are bringing out both a 500GB and 1TB G2-S PVR.

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  18. Alex Says:

    Hi,

    I should have an exact retail date by the end of the week but we currently expect the Plaza HDR-S to be available by the end of June.

    The Plaza G2-S will follow later but I can’t reveal any more than that at the moment… except I’m really excited about it and can’t wait to be able to tell you all more!

    All the best,

    Alex

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  19. John Hereford Says:

    18. Alex – Thank you for the information. Without giving too much away, are you able to confirm as to whether the Plaza G2-S will be a PVR or only a receiver?

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  20. John Hereford Says:

    Oops – sorry I did not read Admin’s entry at 17!!

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  21. admin Says:

    John Hereford said:
    18. Alex – Thank you for the information. Without giving too much away, are you able to confirm as to whether the Plaza G2-S will be a PVR or only a receiver?

    PVR’s ;)

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  22. Alex Says:

    Yep, the G2-S is a PVR :-)

    500GB and 1TB models will be available.

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  23. Richard Crichton Says:

    admin sorry off topic but ok if I ask Alex when ITV player is coming to the Plaza HD-S.(as promised ages ago.) Not that I’m all that bothered if it dosen’t come :-)

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  24. Neil Says:

    Cheers Alex (and Admin), the G2-S certainly sounds interesting and if Manhattan bring this to the market they will be one of the first manufacturers to have a G2 spec PVR on sale I guess.

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  25. Alex Says:

    Hi Richard,

    I really have to apologise for the delay. ITV Player has been finished for absolutely ages… unfortunately the approval process is extremely slow and we bumped the HDR-S ahead of it so that production could begin with both iPlayer and ITV Player finished and approved.

    I think approval should be imminent… as soon as I can, I’ll send the announcement to joinfreesat to post here.

    All the best,

    Alex

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  26. ian Says:

    Will be a new channel on Freesat’s EPG, a shopping channel from Ideal..

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  27. Al (Original) Says:

    Daran Brown said:
    As for the person who thinks SD boxes should be withdrawn, wise up, there are still millions of older TV’s in bedrooms, kitchens etc, not everybody has the money to replace all of this equipment,

    Not me who originally said that, however…

    HD boxes downscale and thus work with SD tv’s which really means there’s no reason why they (SD boxes) should be made any more.

    If SD is ever to be turned off then the number of SD only users need to be reduced not increased as the argument will always be there are too many SD users who would be affected.

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