Freesat launches budget connected TV box

The latest Freesat HD box connects to your broadband for catch-up TV services such as BBC iPlayer and 4oD. But although it's pretty cheap at £99, you won't be able to record programmes...

Freesat has introduced an affordable version of its 'smart' satellite TV box, which connects to the internet allowing you to stream from catch-up services like BBC iPlayer.

The new Freesat HD box has built-in Freetime, which lets you scroll back through the on-screen TV guide and watch any shows that have recently been on the main terrestrial channels - in addition to iPlayer you can get 4oD, ITV Player and Demand 5 as well as YouTube through it.

Priced at around £99, it's much cheaper than Freesat's existing connected TV boxes, but unlike them it doesn't let you record and store programmes for later.

As with all Freesat products, you won't have to pay a subscription fee or monthly bill to watch TV on the new box. All you need is a satellite dish, the box itself and a broadband connection that's fast enough for streaming - anything over 3Mb should do it.

Matthew Huntington from Freesat said: "The new Freesat HD with Freetime box is a natural extension of our award-winning TV service.

"It's a product we're really proud of, offering the popular benefits of Freetime, such as catch-up and on-demand TV, including BBC iPlayer, 4oD and YouTube, via a slick TV guide that rolls back in time and also gives recommendations on what to watch."

The box is essentially a cheap, straightforward means of bringing catch-up TV to the living room screen. And because Freesat uses satellites, rather than coming through your TV aerial, there are lots of extra channels to choose from.

The terrestrial equivalent of the new Freesat box, YouView, allows you to record and store programmes but is much more expensive. However, you can get YouView for free with either TalkTalk or BT broadband.

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