It’s not been long since the official launch of Freesat and take up in this short period has been good, statistically outstripping any ongoing Freeview purchases though it could be argued that most of the major take-up for Freeview has already happened with only the minority still using existing analogue broadcast signals prior to the total analogue switch off in 2012.
One of the missing items in this first generation of Freesat boxes is that of a suitable PVR. The first available models are unlikely to reach the market until just before Xmas so I was intrigued to see this fairly affordable Freesat box from Maplins. The Fortec Star FS-440 (snappy name!) has PVR capabilities built in once an external USB hard drive is plugged into it. If you have a redundant sky satellite dish sitting on your wall then the addition of a Freesat box will yield the many free-to-air TV and radio channels the service provides.
For this price it’ll only yield a standard definition pictures but makes for an affordable stop-gap until the high definition capable Freesat boxes come down in price. A word of warning in that this is not a natural Freesat box and may require a firmware update to be applied in order to receive a Freesat EPG .