Vestel Freesat receiver on display at IBC

Following the announcement back in April that Vestel would be producing a range of products for Freesat, Michael Thistle, a contributor to this website went to IBC 2014 to provide us with his view on the latest offering.

On the Vestel stand they were showing a Freesat+ STB with . The box itself was quite unpretentious – just an angular black box without a Freesat logo on the front and no visible channel indicator either numeric or alpha/numeric. It was considerably smaller than the Humax model (HDR-1000S) but larger than the Humax HB-1000S and yet it boasts a 500GB/1TB HDD – so presumably a 2½” drive.

I asked to speak to someone and eventually one of the sales people came over. The model on display was a working prototype and the planned release date is ‘before the end of the year’ – other than that no one seemed to know anything.

There was no remote control available and the picture being displayed on a fairly large TV was, to be honest, not particularly spectacular. You have to realise that most of the exhibitors were displaying 4K images (this being the flavour of the month this year at IBC) and NHK even had an 85″ 8K demonstration on their stand! So anything less than 4K was bound to look unimpressive.

The box had no air vents so I must assume that it had an external low-voltage power supply to minimise heat build-up and save space. It was impossible to actually ascertain if the box on display was in fact a prototype or not and that it was driving the image shown on the TV above it – who knows, maybe there was a Humax HB-1000S lurking inside this casing or behind the exhibit!

You can see the specifications from the label under the box.

Judging by the general design of other products on display on the Vestel stand I doubt if the actual finalised version is going to look anything other than utilitarian. They certainly don’t seem to want to go down in history as a design icon like Bang & Olufsen, Braun or Apple!

Vestel Freesat receiver on display at IBC Vestel Freesat receiver on display at IBC

Thank you Mike for the guest post with your thoughts on the Vestel receiver at IBC 2014, appreciated.

14 thoughts on “Vestel Freesat receiver on display at IBC”

  1. Presumably will eventually appear badged Polaroid or Goodmans in Asda or Tevion in Aldi or some similar low rent supermarket. Not that there is anything wrong with low rent supermarkets. I’m a big fan,

  2. The colour of the on/off switch suggests the box is in standby, so Mike’s thoughts that the screen might have been driven by a different STB may be correct. This would also explain the lack of channel ID on the front.

  3. I think any new maker entering the Freesat arena should be welcomed, and almost any black box looks prettier that the Humax HDR. Personally though I am not keen on outboard power supplies or 2.5in disc drives.
    The European “Free TV Alliance” sounds particularly interesting, in that if a common Freesat-style broadcasting / EPG standard can be agreed across Europe, it could bring on board many more manufacturers. I can understand stb makers not getting involved with Freesat at the moment because this market is UK specific and very small.

  4. not sure whether this is the new Freetime box that was anounced earlier I sure hope so looking at the biggest Televisual time of the year Christmas I’m wondering when this box will be available I hope they have put a really large Hard drive in it.

  5. Looks interesting, I suspect it’s not going to be built to the standards of the likes of Humax but for competitoon with the cheaper end of the DTT market this is good and if it provides entrance for those on a budget wanting to join the platform then that too is a good thing. Will be interesting once admin gets his hands on one for a comprehensive review – we might be surprised compared to some of their DTT counterpart STB’s.

  6. Neil said:
    Looks interesting, I suspect it’s not going to be built to the standards of the likes of Humax but for competitoon with the cheaper end of the DTT market this is good and if it provides entrance for those on a budget wanting to join the platform then that too is a good thing. Will be interesting once admin gets his hands on one for a comprehensive review – we might be surprised compared to some of their DTT counterpart STB’s.

    Sure you didn’t mean DST?

  7. Neil said: DTT – Digital Terrestrial Television
    STB – Set Top Box

    Yes I am quite aware of that, are we not talking DST-Digital Satellite Television? after all we are on Freesat forum.

  8. For Admin, there’s a new software update for HDR1000/1010s

    Posted by Barry at My Humax:

    New software verison 2.02.01 on air

    Bit out of the blue this one, was not expecting this yet.

    Whilst I do not have a change log, the following are known to me

    1. New Showcase
    2. Option to toggle HD prompt on/off in General Settings, On screen display

  9. soldierboy001 said: Sure you didn’t mean DST?

    That’s usually referred to as DSAT (Digital Satellite Television). Yep, we are all DSAT here so shouldn’t be talking about DTT/Freeview!

  10. Slightly off-topic, and one for admin, but C5+24 has been moved to LCN133 with 5*+1 added to 132 (where it used to be). 5*+1 is currently exclusive to Freesat and not on any other platform, presumably until they acquire an LCN for other platforms?

  11. The good thing with the freetime platform is that, so long as the hardware is up to snuff (ie. fir to actually work) we will nolonger have manufacturers rolling their own quirky, ‘interesting’ or downright incompetent software to run on these boxes.

    There are still parts of the software where a manufacturer can add value (or stuff it up) but for the most part, any freetime equipped box will do the same things, look the same and act the same as every other one.

    And that’s got to mean good things for people buying freesat boxes.

    Well, once freesat irons out all the niggling annoyances that exist in the freetime firmware, anyway.

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