TechniSat HDFS Freesat Group Winner

TechniSat HDFS

The TechniSat HDFS has been awarded ‘group test winner’ in a recent feature review in What Satellite Magazine.

The magazine tested the existing range of Freesat HD single tuner receivers against each other, including the TechniSat HDFS, Humax FOXSAT-HD, Sagem DSI86HD and Metronic SATHD100, with the TechniSat winning by some margin, though not really a surprise to most (we are unsure of the absence of any of the Harvard range – Grundig, Goodmans and Bush).

The final review scores were:

TechniSat 86%
Humax 80%
Metronic 75%
Sagem 69%

43 thoughts on “TechniSat HDFS Freesat Group Winner”

  1. Very Interesting.

    But no real surprise. But I guess, had Humax stepped up to the plate and provided a similar external HDD record feature to that of the Technisat, the result may well have been different.

    Sitting on ones Laurels comes to mind.

    I have said it before and will say it agian – “Come on Humax, deliver a similar feature and take the crown”

    Guess that will not happen then……………………

  2. Indeed, the feature TechniSat launched was a master stroke and nothing less than what you’d expect from a single tuner device in this day and age, but bare in mind the TechniSat was also find to have the best PQ as well, so it wasn’t just that added feature.

  3. Sounds like a great box apart from the single tuner. My understanding from the Technisat website is you can only record the channel you’re actually watching. I’d find that too limiting.

  4. @Al (Original)

    Its a freesat box, not a freesat+ box. The fact that it can record at all means its much more advanced than the others. Also, remember that freesat+ boxes cost a lot more than the technisat.

  5. I’m surprised that a feature to record the channel yopu’re watching (which is less than what VHS/Betamax recorders offered) wins out over the Humax box, now that they can access BBC iPlayer.

  6. @6 Yorky
    The magazine was testing HD single tuner receivers.
    The Humax single tuner receiver dosen’t record but the Technisat single tuner receiver does so no contest.
    All HD boxes will be able to access BBC iPlayer so that is not a lasting advantage of the Humax. Also the technisat was found to offer better picture quality than the Humax.
    The Technisat is ideal if you only have a single LNB and cable installed.

  7. Hi all,

    We should not forget the humax was available a long time before the technisat & is around £40 cheaper !

    This is taken from this site.

    “Humax last night announced details of their next generation Freesat receivers due to launch in Autumn 2010.

    The Humax FOXSAT-HD2 single tuner Freesat HD digital box will replace the existing FOXSAT-HD and include additional features such as PVR functionality via USB storage device (similar to how the TechniSat HDFS currently does). The receiver will also have an automatic re-tune function and be able to read file formats from USB including MP3, JPEG and XviD, as well as access media streaming over your home network.”

    It will be interesting to see how they compare when humax has a product available with similar features.

    Mark Aberfan Aerials

  8. Autumn 2010 is 9 months away. A lot can happen in that timescale. Technisat would have probably produced a twin tuner model by then.

  9. I would imagine the technisat with a single tuner is a good choice for owners of tvs with built in freesat – you would presumably get the functionality we were all used to with tape ie watch on the tv tuner record from the box tuner (if you have two lnbs) + cheaper albeit at the cost of missing out on some improved functionality.

  10. Just been watching the results of dancing on ice and now watching the news on iTV HD (upscaled by the looks, but its better than normal SD broadcast)

    This is on a sky hd box, just wondering if any one else has been watching the itv hd channel with SD channels been upscaled. Without it been mentioned on the website??

    Maybe this is a start of itv hd becoming like channel 4 hd and sky 1 HD

  11. @6 (Yorky)
    I don’t quite understand your comment about VHS/Betmax recorders! They are exactly the same thing – single-tuner recorders. Even with VCRs you can only record the channel you are watching. HOWEVER, if you have a tuner in your TV then you can indeed watch another channel while the recorder is recording something else. You are getting confused because all TVs have an analogue tuner which is the same type of tuner as in the VCR therefore you are thinking that the VCR has two tuners! If you have a Freesat-integrated TV then you can indeed watch another channel while recording another on the Technisat box.

  12. I would like to say that I really like my HDFS box but the disapointing thing for me is that I can’t export my saved programs from my USB drive. I can’t watch any of my recordings on anything else.

    If Humax bring out a replacement receiver with the ability to record via USB, will you be able to export their files? If so either Humax or Technisat are not playing to the same FreeSat rules.

  13. I love my TechniSat box but it still has the 10min shutdown bug that was introduced a few firmwares ago. The remote is also a bit cheap looking. Also waiting for the Iplayer release with anticipation.

    Its a great looking box which is why I bought it in the first place. Just a shame the remote does not live up to the same styling.

  14. @14(zag)
    I would agree that although the receiver itself may look like something of StartTrek with Capatin Janeway …. the remote is definitely a bit Captain Kirk! 🙂

  15. @ Zag have you tried doing a factory reset, you should NOT have the 10 min shutdown anymore?

    Also make sure that you do have the latest software version on your box

  16. The remote is a bit cheap looking but the button layout and ease of use is superior to the Humax so it’s not a problem.

  17. Thanks for the link, guys.

    Just to fill in a couple of gaps: we only test four products in our group tests, so we picked the four we considered the best available.

    We conducted the tests before Christmas, when the iPlayer Beta wasn’t available on the Humax boxes. Within a few months it will be available on all these products, so there will be a level playing field anyway (although as a newer product, I expect the Technisat might run it a little faster).

  18. we’ve got this box and the picture it delivers is outstanding. also the other features such being able to view pictures from a memory card are really useful. it rocks!

  19. Can someone please tell me what file formats the HDFS plays. I can’t find this information anywhere on the net.It would be great if it played divx,mkv,h264 etc.

  20. @admin
    Thanks admin.
    Not even WMA! I am suprised there is no support for any HD file formats or DIVX/XVID. Perhaps a future firmware upgrade will provide it. Here’s hoping.

  21. Doers anybody know when the HDFS will support AVI files? I have the box connected across wired lan to my PC, I can see the public folders, but none of the AVI files are displayed.

  22. Admin
    My HDFS has lost all the radio channels from the EPG. I did a channel search and it found 115 TV and 0 Radio. Any idea what’s gone wrong?

  23. Did a factory reset. Radio channels are back. Must have powered box off before the data was saved.

  24. Sevral updates and some requests for help;

    One of the big plusses for the HDFS is that you can timer record any channels incl BBCHD and SID 10510 VPID 3401 (ITVHD-but not renameable) in technisat mode, and having diseqc 1.0/2 you can make wide use of the mode with a multi-lnb or motorised dish.
    But my box has come up with one “bug” which technisat support have confirmed they are investigating; namely that in technisat mode I have to leave the box turned on after setting a timer. I wrote about this earlier in this thread as if I put the box into standby (technisat mode only) the timer recording gets deleted at the programmed start time and therefore fails to record.

    Please help no.1…
    It would help me and technisat support to know if anyone else has experienced this technisat mode recording failure from standby. Please post if this has happened to you.
    If you make technisat mode timer recordings perhaps someone could trial setting one up and report if the box drops it dead when in standby.

    HDFS calls it “technisat mode” and like the humax you have to negotiate several layers of main menu to get to the switching option which is right next to things such as factory reset which you wouldnt want to hit accidentally having invested time and effort in programing your technisat mode channel list.
    I brought the navigation and recording “encryption” issues to technisat’s attention that only the HD stuff should really need to do so, and do so via HDCP. So either it encrypts everything irrespective of the HDCP setting (on or auto) or it’s more to do with the way it formats the usb storage device and saves some additional small files for each recording which is presumably what it uses to navigate / initiate their playback.
    Technisat UK don’t seem to be addressing the “encryption” question with any urgency which suggests it had something to do with what they had to go through to get the box freesat approved which they are not in a hurry to undo / redo. They also replied suggesting freesat had required the mode switching to be via main menus but I doubt freesat would have specified how many steps or what it’s next to so again they probably prefer not to rock the boat.

    help no.2 & 3…
    It would help us owners if the mode switching required fewer and less dangerous steps so perhaps some of you could also plead the case to keep mode switching compliant via the main menu, but allow it higher up the hierarchy, ideally at the first level. Plus ofcourse please help with further requests to unblock the “encryption” limiting recordings to the paired usb device and individual box

    Extra pieces of (good) news from technisat’s prompt and helpful response to me which I hope they are happy to have repeated here;

    They are looking at future inclusion of EPG link codes but cannot do series link as freesat has forbidden this on single tuner USB PVR’s.

    They will be investigating the subtitle text mistiming on BBCHD live or in playback. When I still had my humax hdr I recall this happening too and haven’t read that the humax firmware updates had addressed this either.

    The next firmware will include aspect ratio incompatibility fixes with panasonic tvs.

    The BBCi introduction is planned for the firmware update in February (but they did not give a specific date).

    We should be able to get a proper pvr remote in the future which would operate both the HDFS and a future technisat freeview HD product. (their existing pvr remote for generic sat boxes is however incompatible) That’s something to look forward to!

  25. i cant view my favorate channel list as main channel list and can i record on to a usb stick i find this box very complicated to use

  26. @Confuzz
    I do not understand what you have written.

    In terms of can i record onto a USB stick,( just part of your sentence) is this a statement or a question?

    If it is a question then, yes you can record onto a USB stick, you can record on to any USB memory device.

    Remember it was never designed to be a PVR, so the best was made of what was available as a zapper and i think they have made a good job of it.

  27. From my research Technisat make several variants of the same box for different market sectors, a generic version, a HD+ german version etc plus versions that are a little larger that contain twin tuners as generic receivers. They definitiely have the technology to make everything work perfectly. The other single tuner boxes also have pvr functions and the most recent of those have the functionality from build and include a pvr style remote. The UK freesat version appears to have had several items (hard & soft) omitted presumably to get it down to a UK mass market acceptable price. The story going around is that plan A was to develop a twin tuner freesat model but that too many obstacles from freesat approval delayed or cancelled that plan and so plan B was to “re-enable” the HDFS with pvr functions. They almost all work very well for me except as per my list in post 30.

  28. Overall quite pleased with this box but it is still a bit flaky. I’ve been thru most of the problems above . . the 10 min shutdown . . . the loss of radio channels . . loss of most of the epg . . .a factory reset cured all of these. I now have a problem where I can not get any text service & the box brings up an error – is this a real satellite service problem or this box? Factory reset didn’t cure it so I’m hoping it’s the former! I’m guessing that with another software update due in the not too distant future, with the iPlayer included, most of these niggles will be ironed out. (or cynically, knowing software developers/testers . . more bugs brought in!)

  29. Read on another forum that a firmware update is expected around the 13th of March.

  30. Hi

    Still getting no teletext . . could this be a pre-iPlayer issue?

    On pressing the red button, I now get “connecting…” in place of the old “wait”

    and then this message:

    Due to technical problem, we are unable to carry out your request at this time.

    We apologise for any convenience.

    Curious. And NO text services on any other channels . . I’ve rest the box back to factory reset but no difference . . .I’ll have to email tech support.

  31. I have had a number of issues like programmes not recording

    Currently If I hit red button I get “Due to technical problem, we are unable to carry out your request at this time.” too

    Also only way I could ever see ITV red button HD was do a factory reset on the day of a HD prog being broadcast – I cured this by Staying in Technisat mode and adding ITV HD stream (which makes it recordable) – Sweet

    Add it 11.427 H 27.5 Fec 2/3 chan 10510 (sadly it cannot be renamed but hey it works)

    Picture Quality is still the Best out there – Roll on the Updates

  32. @ProfZarkov, David – I get this message too, tried factory reset but no difference, which tech support did you email ? I’m wondering if its my firewall or a networking problem. We did get iplayer before Christmas in the beta testing…

  33. New firmware 28th Feb 2011 Digital UK Ltd Technisat HDFS Version Number 1666 Patch 7 N 28-02-2011

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