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Mar 07 2012

Sneak peak at Manhattan HDR-SBehold the new design for the Manhattan Plaza HDR-S, simple, modern, uncluttered; we like it a lot!

This will be the design for the 320GB Manhattan Plaza HDR-S Freesat+HD Receiver due for launch in late April/early May. We very much like the simplistic look of it, black panel with 5 buttons on the top lip (rewind, stop, play/pause, fastforward, record).

Manhattan Plaza HDR-S Freesat+HD Receiver (front)Manhattan Plaza HDR-S Freesat+HD Receiver (side)Manhattan Plaza HDR-S Freesat+HD Receiver (back)
click to enlarge

Some of the key features include:

- Whisper Quiet – Unlike most TV recorders the Plaza HDR-S is whisper quiet in operation due to its fanless design and use of the latest hard disk technology from Western Digital. The AV-class hard disk uses a Fluid Dynamic Bearing motor to reduce noise and increase reliability whilst IntelliSeek™ optimises seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise and vibration.
- The Plaza HDR-S keeps things organised for you by automatically grouping your recordings by series.
- Freesat On Demand TV with BBC iPlayer & ITV Player
- Favourites function simplified and improved from HD-S. There’s only a single list (which makes setting up favourites easier) and you can now filter the EPG to just show your favourites by pressing the STAR button in the EPG.
- Whilst watching TV you can press the STAR button to change to your next favourites channel, however if you bring the banner up first it will just cycle the banner thru your favourite channels, allowing you to easily see what is on your favourite channels without leaving live TV.
- Auto scan of non-freesat channels as on Plaza HD-S. These can be added to your favourites list and accessed via the STAR button on the remote (though not in the EPG, which is freesat-only).
- You can set programmes to record, to be reminded about, or both.
- When not in use the Plaza HDR-S’ advanced power management automatically puts it into an ultra low-power standby mode that consumes less than 1W of power.
- Ultra compact – it’s actually shorter and less deep than the Plaza HD-S and only 2cm wider.

Below are some screen-shots of the record functionality which appears to be a very clear layout/display compared to some of the other Freesat+ models.

Manhattan Plaza HDR-S Freesat+HD Receiver (EPG set to record)Manhattan Plaza HDR-S Freesat+HD Receiver (Library recordings)Manhattan Plaza HDR-S Freesat+HD Receiver (setup record menu)
click to enlarge

If the product is as good in quality and usability as it looks, we think Manhattan will be on to a winner, especially with an expected retail price of under £190.

What do you think? Do you like the look of it? Rate and leave a comment below.

Freesat PollDo you like the look of the Manhattan Plaza HDR-S?

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(if you receive a “Please choose a valid poll answer” message, just vote using the left hand column – we are working on it!)

67 Responses to “Sneak peak at Manhattan HDR-S”

  1. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    Hi all,

    I very much like look of this, I think it will be joining the Echostar & Humax as a recommended Freesat PVR to my customers if its as good as their zapper hd box ! Looking forward to a quality product that is only available through satellite professionals.

    Mark Aberfan Aerials

      Quote

  2. Mark C Says:

    Looks luverly but I can’t vote because apparently I’m not choosing a valid answer!

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  3. Mark C Says:

    Mark C said:
    Looks luverly but I can’t vote because apparently I’m not choosing a valid answer!

    Edit that. I’ve now been allowed to vote.

      Quote

  4. David Hewett Says:

    Im guessing SINGLE Tuner ?

      Quote

  5. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    David Hewett said: Im guessing SINGLE Tuner ?

    Hi David,

    I’m pretty sure it has to be a twin tuner to be Freesat+

    Mark Aberfan Aerials

      Quote

  6. admin Says:

    David Hewett said:
    Im guessing SINGLE Tuner ?

    Twin tuner, it is a Freesat+ PVR. You can see the two satellite inputs on the rear image.

      Quote

  7. Paul Says:

    A Question of Sport looks to have changed since Noel Edmonds started presenting it!

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  8. al catraz Says:

    Paul said:
    A Question of Sport looks to have changed since Noel Edmonds started presenting it!

    … and £ky News comes to Freesat! ;)

      Quote

  9. Jason Says:

    Looks like the One Show is rated ‘R’ (restricted) to me. Why not have just the red circle?

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  10. Neil Says:

    Just had a look at the photos, what a nice unit this looks to be. Small, compact and with a great looking EPG. I’d say this is closer looking to on-screen functionality of a Sky+(HD) STB so will also go down well with Sky defectors (who often say they like the Humax but with the odd niggle).

    I presume this is G2 ready admin? Have Manhatten given an RRP yet?

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  11. admin Says:

    Neil said:
    I presume this is G2 ready admin? Have Manhatten given an RRP yet?

    No, this isn’t a G2 spec device, that will follow a few months later I believe in 500GB capacity. This unit was developed before agreements for G2 took place, but should be a low price option for those that don’t want the trappings of the G2 spec. The rrp is expected to be £189 but suspect it will be lower.

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  12. james Says:

    What price will this box be anybody know

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  13. Neil Says:

    admin said: No, this isn’t a G2 spec device, that will follow a few months later I believe in 500GB capacity. This unit was developed before agreements for G2 took place, but should be a low price option for those that don’t want the trappings of the G2 spec. The rrp is expected to be £189 but suspect it will be lower.

    I did remember you mentioning something about that now you come to say it.

    I think it will be a good deal at that price and a decent PVR below the sub £200 price-range if it’s as good as the HD-S in terms of functionality. The Samsung would have had the sub-£200 coveted crown but sadly the minor niggles they’ve still not resolved loose it a few points for me even though it does look good.

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  14. Matthew Says:

    Fanless? I don’t like the sound of that. Unless it has an effecient heat dispersion system it’l just shorten the life of the unit in general.

    A low speed fan would be better than fanless. They exist too.

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  15. admin Says:

    james said:
    What price will this box be anybody know

    As per the original post!?!?

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  16. Lawrence Pearce Says:

    Looks very good. Does anyone know if archiving via USB is possible and or whether there is any media player functionality via the USB port. if this isn’t possible, I think I’ll stick with my Humax.

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  17. Lawrence Pearce Says:

    Just noticed that Satbuyer has this already listed at £179, with a launch date quoted of April / May.

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  18. Roger Says:

    Will it be possible to edit programmes you want to keep for a while? I mean:

    Top and tail the continuity announcements
    Split programmes to cut out mid-programme material
    Rejoin split segments

    I know this is possible, I’ve an old LiteOn HDD/DVD recorder that does this beautifully but I’d like to replace it sometime with something that has similar functionality.

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  19. Robert Hudson Says:

    and it will not let me vote

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  20. Pingu Says:

    Satbuyer page used to say launch expected Dec 2011, then early 2012, then Mar/April 2012, then April 2012 and now April/May 2012…..

    Also interesting to note that they have now also stopped listing the 500Gb version too.
    I guess this must be to do with the recent hard drive price hikes making it difficult to keep the unit prices low.
    The 320Gb disc will soon fill up especially with HD programmes and films.

    It is obviously a very difficult market to get in to. The Samsung and the Echostar have both dropped in price significantly recently.

    Pingu

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  21. Pete Says:

    The user interface, apart from the favourites option using the star, is very close to the Harvard Grundig / Goodmans HD recorders which are set out very nicely. Shame whats inside those boxes didn’t live up to anything special. Manhattan has quality and reliability which will make this a good seller.

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  22. Alex Says:

    Hi Matthew,

    It uses an ultra low power consumption (and heat generating) hard disk that is separated from the mainboard with a partition. The CPU has a heat sink on it. Putting a fan in was totally unnecessary and would have caused problems longer term – all fans pick up dust over time and then performance starts to suffer and noise and vibrations start to increase.

    All the best,

    Alex

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  23. shane Says:

    Admin, Do you know if it will support DiSEqC switch?

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  24. admin Says:

    shane said:
    Admin, Do you know if it will support DiSEqC switch?

    Not sure, but Alex will no doubt confirm for you shortly.

      Quote

  25. eddie Says:

    Would also buy it if it had diseq switching like the humax as it looks excellent. One for Alex to clarify.

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  26. Richard Crichton Says:

    al catraz said: … and £ky News comes to Freesat!

    Indeed just add Sky News to the favourites list. Simples.

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  27. Richard Crichton Says:

    Alex said:
    Hi Matthew,
    It uses an ultra low power consumption (and heat generating) hard disk that is separated from the mainboard with a partition. The CPU has a heat sink on it. Putting a fan in was totally unnecessary and would have caused problems longer term – all fans pick up dust over time and then performance starts to suffer and noise and vibrations start to increase.
    All the best,
    Alex

    Judging by the very compact size I’m assuming that the hard disc is 2.5″ as normally found in laptops and notebooks and not the larger 3.5″ unit normally found in PVR’s. Are you confident that a small unit like that can stand up to years of hard use in a PVR?

      Quote

  28. tezza greenhill Says:

    Nice looking piece of kit, but why only a 320Gb HDD for an HD PVR, “Panasonic” Blu-ray Recorders in Japan are now fitted with upto 3TB?
    Also, when will STB manufacturers get over the VCR SCART, most DVD Recorders these days will input RGB, so why no STB’s with RGB DVD SCART out?

      Quote

  29. Martin Says:

    Only thing putting me off is that it’s a twin tuner don’t want the extra cost of installation I have only one cable

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  30. admin Says:

    Martin said:
    Only thing putting me off is that it’s a twin tuner don’t want the extra cost of installation I have only one cable

    Nothing to stop you using just a single tuner and restricting yourself to recording the channel you are watching.

      Quote

  31. Alex Says:

    Hi Richard,

    You can read about the drive here:

    http://wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=160

    It is specifically designed for 24×7 operation in AV environments.

    Tezza: We are putting 500GB and 1TB drives in our G2 model. We were going to have a 500GB model but after the hard disk crisis it is not cost effective to do so in a 2.5″ model.

    Regarding VCR Scart, this is really an HD box designed for HD TVs with HDMI… if you connect that way there’s nothing stopping you using the main RGB SCART for a DVD recorder.

    Shane/Eddie: it does not support DiSEqC.

    All the best,

    Alex

      Quote

  32. Lee S Says:

    Alex – I have owned some HD boxes in the past which have not allowed me to view 4:3 transmissions in 16:9 by stretching the program to fit the HD TV screen (i’m not to bothered about the native output of channels but my wife is!!). Will there be anything in place that allows the 16:9 conversion take place automatically? (note: my Technisat HDFS allowed this in Freesat mode). I have tested some receivers before and even if you set them to output 16:9 widescreen, HDMI does not allow changes on the TV from the digital signal being received unless you zoom – this causes picture distortion.

      Quote

  33. Richard Crichton Says:

    tezza greenhill said:
    Nice looking piece of kit, but why only a 320Gb HDD for an HD PVR, “Panasonic” Blu-ray Recorders in Japan are now fitted with upto 3TB?
    Also, when will STB manufacturers get over the VCR SCART, most DVD Recorders these days will input RGB, so why no STB’s with RGB DVD SCART out?

    We have low bitrate HD channels in the UK and so need smaller HDD capacity. I suspect Japan uses higher bitrates, than we do, but that is just an assumption on my part.
    I used a 320Gb HD with my Technisat HDFS and it really was plenty big enough. The Manhattan is a tiny box using a 2.5″HDD but it’s also very reasonably priced unlike the Panasonic devices sold until recently in the UK.

    Thanks for the link Alex.

      Quote

  34. Richard Crichton Says:

    Lee S said:
    Alex – I have owned some HD boxes in the past which have not allowed me to view 4:3 transmissions in 16:9 by stretching the program to fit the HD TV screen (i’m not to bothered about the native output of channels but my wife is!!). Will there be anything in place that allows the 16:9 conversion take place automatically? (note: my Technisat HDFS allowed this in Freesat mode). I have tested some receivers before and even if you set them to output 16:9 widescreen, HDMI does not allow changes on the TV from the digital signal being received unless you zoom – this causes picture distortion.

    The Manhattan Plaza HD-S has the option on the remote control for 4:3, 16:9, or
    Auto so you have the choice. I assume their PVR will be the same.

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  35. Jon Says:

    Admin – I’ve just seen your post over on Digital Spy regarding the new 4-7 channel.

    “Freesat won’t need it for G2 spec machines. Something else is planned! ”

    Now stop being a tease and spill the beans ;-)

      Quote

  36. admin Says:

    edit

    Looks like I was off the mark, 4seven is launching on Freesat, http://www.joinfreesat.co.uk/channel-4s-4seven-coming-to-freesat

    Back ‘on topic’…

      Quote

  37. roger mellie Says:

    Admin-As kim wilde sang- “you just keep me (us freesaters) hanging on”

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  38. Alex Says:

    Hi Lee,

    Richard is correct – it behaves exactly as the HD-S does. If you are watching a 4:3 broadcast you can switch between Auto, Widescreen and Pillarbox Display Modes by pressing the “Mode” button on the remote. Widescreen forces the broadcast to fill the TV screen as you wish :-)

    All the best,

    Alex

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  39. Night Watchman Says:

    I notice from the photo that the power supply is external which would keep it running cool and avoid the necessity for a fan. From the WD specs the HDD carries a 3 year warranty so should be up to the job.

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  40. Al (Original) Says:

    From straight on it looks classy.

    From the front quarter view, the top looks like a cheap pressed moulding and very thin. Would have been nice to see a slightly more substantial looking case forming the cover piece.

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  41. Penny Crayon Says:

    The UI for this new box is exactly the same as the “NEW Logik HD Freesat Box” being sold in Currys. Seems Manhatton have their hands in alot of pie’s, lol. Good job as the Logid box is a well built and proving to be a reliable cheap HD offering. There is no doubt the new Manahtton HDR will sell well & for a really affordable price bring a reliable PVR unit to the Indipendants as another option. Read any previous review of both Manahatton Plaza HS/SD offerings and you will see these boxes are well built and do the job not just well but really well.

    Anything else let me know.

    Penny.

      Quote

  42. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    Night Watchman said:
    I notice from the photo that the power supply is external which would keep it running cool and avoid the necessity for a fan. From the WD specs the HDD carries a 3 year warranty so should be up to the job.

    I dare say you could put in a larger capacity HHD should you want to. If you are prepared to wait a year or so prices should have come back down again.

      Quote

  43. Tony Gweltek Says:

    Is this the same tech spec as the non PVR set at about £100 less ?

      Quote

  44. Richard Crichton Says:

    Penny Crayon said:
    The UI for this new box is exactly the same as the “NEW Logik HD Freesat Box” being sold in Currys.Seems Manhatton have their hands in alot of pie’s, lol.Good job as the Logid box is a well built and proving to be a reliable cheap HD offering.There is no doubt the new Manahtton HDR will sell well & for a really affordable price bring a reliable PVR unit to the Indipendants as another option.Read any previous review of both Manahatton Plaza HS/SD offerings and you will see these boxes are well built and do the job not just well but really well.
    Anything else let me know.
    Penny.

    I don’t think the Logik has autoscan for non Freesat channels so not exactly the same as you suggest.

      Quote

  45. Richard Crichton Says:

    Tony Gweltek said:
    Is this the same tech spec as the non PVR set at about £100 less ?

    Obviously not. This has two tuners, non PVR has one tuner. Non PVR has eight favoutites lists PVR has one. etc etc.

      Quote

  46. Maurice Says:

    Night Watchman said:
    I notice from the photo that the power supply is external which would keep it running cool and avoid the necessity for a fan. From the WD specs the HDD carries a 3 year warranty so should be up to the job.

    Any pictures of the external power supply ? Is it built into a mains plug or is it a separate box ? Also would the unit run off a 12v dc supply, I notice the power input point is tagged 13v ?

      Quote

  47. Martin Says:

    No the hole point of a pvr is to record the channels you r not watching. Sorry admin

      Quote

  48. Matthew Says:

    @Alex

    Thanks for the answer, I will take a look at the unit as I’m thinking about upgrading my Freesat box anyway.

    May sound odd but I like to upgrade once a year for a more reliable service if anything.

      Quote

  49. Shane Says:

    @Alex. Thanks for the answer. Hopefully Manhattan will consider a software upgrade to enable DiSEqC switch in future.
    Now that the Irish RTE channels are broadcasting via satellite free to air from 9 deg east, It would be nice for those of us in Ireland North and South, Wales and South East England to be able to receive these with the Manhattan as its the best receiver for using with Non Freesat channels thanks to being able to add Non Freesat channels to favorites.
    PS It would be nice to be able to receive Eurosports which is also available FTA from 19degs east.

      Quote

  50. Neil Says:

    Shane said:
    @Alex. Thanks for the answer. Hopefully Manhattan will consider a software upgrade to enable DiSEqC switch in future.
    Now that the Irish RTE channels are broadcasting via satellite free to air from 9 deg east, It would be nicefor those of us in Ireland North and South, Wales and South East England to be able to receive these with the Manhattan as its the best receiver for using with Non Freesat channels thanks to being able to add Non Freesat channels to favorites.

    PS It would be nice to be able to receive Eurosports which is also available FTA from 19degs east.

    You won’t stand a chance at getting the Saorsat service, Irish equivalent of Freesat, from 9E as it is Ka band (18GHz+) rather than Ku band (10.7-12.7GHz) which all Freesat receivers conform to. Your LNB wouldn’t also cover those frequencies, Ka-band DTH Satellite is a completely different ball-game!

      Quote

  51. Shane Says:

    Neil said: You won’t stand a chance at getting the Saorsat service, Irish equivalent of Freesat, from 9E as it is Ka band (18GHz+) rather than Ku band (10.7-12.7GHz) which all Freesat receivers conform to. Your LNB wouldn’t also cover those frequencies, Ka-band DTH Satellite is a completely different ball-game!

    I am already receiving Saorsat service. I have a ka lnb and any decent DVB s2 hd satellite receiver works with Ka band.
    Not quite a different ballgame!

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  52. Rozzo Says:

    Shane said:
    @Alex. Thanks for the answer. Hopefully Manhattan will consider a software upgrade to enable DiSEqC switch in future.

    Alex
    I also hope that DiSEqC switching gets included.
    Perhaps we’ll see it in the G2 box??? Any hints?

      Quote

  53. Neil Says:

    Shane said: I am already receiving Saorsat service. I have a ka lnb and any decent DVB s2 hd satellite receiver works with Ka band.
    Not quite a different ballgame!

    Is that a generic S2 Rx? I wasn’t aware that Freesat branded products would support Ka band reception, happy to be corrected though!

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  54. Shane Says:

    Any S2 hd receiver that can scan TP 10765MHz, SR 25000, Vertical, FEC 1/2, DVB-S2 QPSK at 9 DEG East is capable of receiving Saorsat with a KA band lnb.
    I am currently using VU+, Dreambox 800 and Ferguson 120. (All hd s2 receivers. All receive Saorsat.) The Humax freesat receiver is also reported to be receiving saorsat. But the Non freesat mode in Humax is so user NON friendly…

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  55. Alex Says:

    We’ll keep DiSEqC support under consideration :-)

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  56. adentice Says:

    I am disappointed by the comment made by Mark of Aberfan aerials, he has stated that he’s looking forward to a quality product only available through satellite professionals. Is this true? that it will only be marketed through satellite contractors and not be available on E bay or Amazon or any other retail outlet including this website, because if that is the case I for one will be waiting until it’s out on general sale to the public.

      Quote

  57. admin Says:

    adentice said:
    I am disappointed by the comment made by Mark of Aberfan aerials, he has stated that he’s looking forward to a quality product only available through satellite professionals. Is this true? that it will only be marketed through satellite contractors and not be available on E bay or Amazon or any other retail outlet including this website, because if that is the case I for one will be waiting until it’s out on general sale to the public.

    No, he doesn’t mean that, he just means that Manhattan are usually supplied through independent retailers rather than the majors, so you’ll see links to some retailers on here as normal and no doubt Amazon retailers (within the marketplace) will have them too. Satbuyer is probably the best place to keep an eye on, or contact them to be added on their list.

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  58. adentice Says:

    Well that is a relief, however Panasonic are selling the Manhattan Plaza Freeview plus HD box for £29.99 in their high street stores

      Quote

  59. admin Says:

    adentice said:
    Well that is a relief, however Panasonic are selling the Manhattan Plaza Freeview plus HD box for £29.99 in their high street stores

    Panasonic might be shifting old freeview stock at that price, but some major retailers will stock the Manhattan, but their deals will likely be the same as the independents as Manhattan favour the independent market, which is a wise decision given it is the larger percentage of sales.

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  60. Ian Vallender Says:

    Looks like a good box but there is one thing holding me back from replacing my Sagem Dtr94250 hard drive. Over Chriistmas I filled my hard disc drive up and had to delete things to record new things so an extra 80gb isn’t realy much of an upgrade. It would be nice to be able to plug an external Hard disk drive in so you can keep recordings leaving free the internal hard disk to be able to record new things It doesn’t matter to me whether the the files can only be played on the equipment it was recorded on.

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  61. Ian Vallender Says:

    adentice said: Well that is a relief, however Panasonic are selling the Manhattan Plaza Freeview plus HD box for £29.99 in their high street stores

    Surely freeview+hd was a missprint and should of said freeview hd.

      Quote

  62. Pingu Says:

    Pingu said:
    Satbuyer page used to say launch expected Dec 2011, then early 2012, then Mar/April 2012, then April 2012 and now April/May 2012…..
    Also interesting to note that they have now also stopped listing the 500Gb version too.
    I guess this must be to do with the recent hard drive price hikes making it difficult to keep the unit prices low.
    The 320Gb disc will soon fill up especially with HD programmes and films.
    It is obviously a very difficult market to get in to. The Samsung and the Echostar have both dropped in price significantly recently.
    Pingu

    and now, the Satbuyer page says Lauch Date – May 2012….Why the delay, Alex from Manhattan?

    Pingu

      Quote

  63. Joe Says:

    Will it have an upscaled SD channels function much like the similarly priced Humax FOXSAT-HDR Freesat+ PVR?

      Quote

  64. admin Says:

    Joe said:
    Will it have an upscaled SD channels function much like the similarly priced Humax FOXSAT-HDR Freesat+ PVR?

    Yes, all Freesat HD receivers connected to your television via HDMI can upscale SD content.

      Quote

  65. Pingu Says:

    Pingu said: and now, the Satbuyer page says Launch Date – May 2012….Why the delay, Alex from Manhattan?
    Pingu

    now it says only “[Coming soon, contact us for details]” any news about the launch from Alex from Manhattan? or any info from admin??
    Pingu

      Quote

  66. davef Says:

    Looks like end of June 2012 according to manhattan.
    The 500gb and 1TB going to be new G2 spec being released by Freesat.
    HDR-G2

      Quote

  67. kanel tv Glasgow Says:

    We love these guys at manhatten,
    been using them for well over 12 years since there analogue digital combination motorised days, there freesat & european boxs again are a very very small return rate on faults .
    pound per pound im sure this will give end users a quality product with user friendly
    epg.

      Quote

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