Echostar, owners of Slingmedia have confirmed plans to launch a Freesat+ PVR receiver which will include the Slingbox feature; allowing users to watch their TV from anywhere in the world via the Internet.
The Slingbox product is expected to go on sale by the end of 2010, though prices are yet to be confirmed. There are also thoughts that this device may also include DVB-T2 technology for Freeview.
If you are unfamiliar with how ‘Sling’ works, it essentially allows you to connect to your Internet in the UK, then watch anywhere in the world via a PC device, including smartphones such as Android and iPhone. This includes controlling scheduled recordings, playback of existing records etc.
This will certainly be a very interesting development for the Freesat platform, though we are some what surprised that Freesat have agreed to such technology given it allows access to UK broadcasters channels outside the UK.
Following a brief absence of the latest software from TechniSat including the PVR functionality, we are pleased to confirm that it will return Wednesday 9th December (downloadable from website) followed by an OTA version on Monday 14th December.
An official statement from TechniSat has been sent to us to confirm;
TechniSat would like to announce the latest revision of a software update that allows recording of TV programmes to an external hard disk drive from the TechniSat HDFS. Software version 1364c will be on air for automatic download and update from Monday 14th December – however, from Wednesday 9th December, it can be downloaded from www.technisat.co.uk and updated manually.
After the update, the HDFS is ready to record, pause live TV and timeshift with the addition of an external hard disk drive connected to one of the USB ports. A user guide detailing the new functionality is available from www.technisat.co.uk.
Following the announce that TechniSat HDFS customers would soon benefit from PVR record functionality, we thought we’d just let you know that the software is due for release on or around the 4th November 2009 and TechniSat have released the PDF instructions on their website.
TechniSat HDFS Satellite HD Digital Receiver USB Recorder Instructions
The software should automatically be downloaded to your receiver when released…without hopefully the muck up encountered by Harvard International receivers! 😉
The TechniSat HDFS is available from a number of retailers, visit our product comparison page for details.
TechniSat have confirmed that through a software update, you’ll be able to record directly to any USB storage device via the existing TechniSat HDFS Freesat receiver.
It will be possible to record both standard and high-definition programmes, though broadcaster restrictions mean that you’ll only be able to playback on that specific receiver. Some broadcasters like ITV HD flag their programmes so you’ll not be able to record them at all.
The new feature will enable you to record the channel you are on, or record one whilst playing back another; you’ll not be able to record two channels at a time as the TechniSat HDFS is only a single tuner unit. Time-shift and pausing live TV will be available.
All this will be possible via the existing remote controls coloured buttons, and you’ll be able to manually record and schedule recordings using the existing Freesat EPG / TV Guide.
The software update will be sent over-the-air to all TechniSat HDFS receivers at the end of October.
Not exactly breaking news but an image of the Grundig Freesat+ PVR 500GB Receiver has been released.
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We are still waiting on news regarding its release date and who will be selling (we know Maplins will).
Image courtesy of Ahmad (Aky705).
Edit (03-Aug-09): Price increased to £244 now they have stock!
Dixons have today reduced the price of the Humax FOXSAT-HDR PVR receiver to £234 including delivery, a new low for the product; so if you were still considering a purchase, this further price reduction might just be enough for you to consider buying this great product.
Visit Dixons £234 Humax Freesat+ PVR Offer
The cheapest 2 year warranty deal on the Humax FOXSAT-HDR remains at £254 including delivery, see the product page for more price comparisons.
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Sagem, a digital satellite box manufacturer, are said to be launching a range of Freesat digital boxes over the coming days and weeks. The range includes a DSI86HD Freesat HD digital box including HDMI output and a USB port believed to be available for accessing your home pictures etc, although not for recording content to. The box is expected to retail very soon through major and independent retailers for around £130.
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In addition, Sagem will launch their own range of Freesat+ PVR’s, the DTR94250S will have a 250GB hard drive and the DTR94500S will sport a 500GB hard drive, similar in spec to the Harvard range and made to a similar quality; although the prices are expected to range from £250 for the 250GB model, to £300 for the 500GB version.
Argos currently have all three units displayed on their website:
Sagem DSI86HD Freesat HD Digital Box
Sagem DTR94250S Freesat+ PVR (250GB)
Sagem DTR94500S Freesat+ PVR (500GB)
Freesat’s official statement says;
Freesat is pleased to confirm the imminent launch of several new Freesat products. Sagem and Harvard are both developing new Freesat HD digital boxes and Freesat+ HD digital recorders that when available in the coming months, will increase the range of great value and high quality Freesat receivers on offer.
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Harvard PLC have finally confirmed the launch of their new range of Freesat+ PVR’s, to compete against the Humax FOXSAT-HDR which has been available for almost one year uncontested.
The initial models to launch will be the Goodmans GFSDTR320HD offering a 320GB hard drive to match the Humax; and the Goodmans GFSDTR500HD with a much needed larger 500GB hard drive for those who constant run out of space recording standard and high-definition programmes.
Information on these models is presently limited, but prices are expected to range from £300 to £350 depending on hard drive size. These prices are an RRP so expect lower, as Harvard PLC (also known previously as Alba Group) actively reduce trade prices where ever possible; whilst Humax generally retain an unmoveable trade valuation.
There is also expected to be like-for-like versions with the Grundig and Bush name too, with matching specifications.
Argos currently have both units displayed on their website:
Goodmans GFSDTR320HD Freesat+ PVR (320GB)
Goodmans GFSDTR500HD Freesat+ PVR (500GB)
Home Cinema Choice have today announced the Humax FOXSAT-HDR Freesat+ PVR Digital Box as the “Best Digital Recorder” in their 2009 awards in association with DTS.
Humax can take pride in fending off stiff competition from the Panasonic DMR-EX98V, Sagem DTR 6416DT and Sony RDR-HXD995; although having the in-built Freesat EPG may have been significantly important in obtaining this excellent result.
You can read more about this award and many others announced on the Home Cinema Choice website.
Following on from our announcement back in March that Metronic were developing a PVR for launch around mid-2009, we have now been informed that delays will force the launch date to be pushed back to the end of the year at the earliest.
Metronic, who had already done the initial ground work for the development of the PVR are disappointed that approval from Freesat has not happened, due to reasons undisclosed, but hope to revisit approval in around 4 months time.
In the meantime Humax remain the only manufacturer with a PVR on the market, with Panasonic expected to launch their Blu-Ray/DVD versions in June. No further news has come from Alba Group on their rumoured Freesat recorder; nor TechniSat who are expecting to launch a single tuner HD receiver towards the end of this month after their final DTG testing is completed.