Freeview TV

The TV I bought recently didn’t include built-in Freeview, so I decided to document my epic journey in search of a set-top freeview box with a post on this fine example of blog.

Not all new televisions come with built-in freeview, and even if they do – they may not include access to the latest addition to the UK digital airwaves – Freeview HD.

Freeview HD

Freeview HD was launched in a somewhat low key fashion last year from the Winter Hill and Crystal Palace transmitters. Freeview launched a promotional push leading up to last summer’s World Cup, bringing the service into the limelight and making the Freeview HD box an item of desire amoungst TV addicts like myself. The Freeview service has only recently adopted the HD standard, having to update technology to the more efficient DVB-T2 codec.

So, if you want to see Eastenders in super high definition, the first thing to look for in a Freeview set-top box is whether or not it is HD enabled. Though not everyone wants or needs HD. If you are buying a Freeview box for your grandad who struggles to read writing the height of a double-decker bus, you may want to look more closely into accessibility features.


Some of the better freeview boxes have features that may be worth getting even if you aren’t aiming for a HD setup.

Here is a list of some of the main features you should look out for.

Digital TV Recording

Record your favourite programs to watch later. A vital feature if you often aren’t able to watch your favourite shows.

Some boxes allow to schedule not just individual episodes, but an entire series you want to see.

Digital HD Recording

Can record HD quality video for playback at a later date.

Hard-drive size

Hard-drives can go up to around 500mb, the size is dependant on choice and how much you want to store. If you delete old programs regularly size doesn’t necessarily have to be an issue.

HDMI Switch

A HDMI switch will allow you to hook up additional HD devices and connect them into your TV via just one cable. For example you could add in a games console, PC/laptop or blu-ray player.

Ethernet connection

Connect to your computer to play video files and pictures. Can be a very useful feature, but this I think features like this will become a lot more important in years to come as TVs and PCs/internet become more intertwined with each other.

USB port

USB ports can frequently allow you to playback videos and pictures.


Some Freeview boxes come with accessibility options for hard of sight or blind users.

If you are buying a Freeview box make sure you check to find which kind of features you would need. Spending a little bit extra and getting a box with great features like being able to record a full series or a HDMI switch can be very rewarding.

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