Freeview Set-Top Boxes
Freeview is a television service that enables a TV to receive over 70 standard channels and 15 HD channels without a paid for subscription via an aerial. All that's required is a Freeview compatible TV and an aerial in good condition. However, if more functionality is required (or an existing TV doesn't have Freeview built in) then a Freeview set-top box will be needed. Choose a Freeview box from brands including Bush, Goodman and YouView.
Depending on model and manufacturer, Freeview set-top boxes provide a series of additional features above and beyond simply playing live TV by enabling TV programmes to be paused, rewound or recorded. The number of tuners a box has will dictate how many channels it can record at the same time. A box with two tuners, for example, can record two programmes at the same time whilst a third is being watched.
To record programmes, set-top boxes require hard drives. The standard is 500 GB but the range of capacities can range from 300 GB to 1TB. To work out how many hours of programmes can be recorded on any given disc size, for standard definition programmes halve the storage and for high definition programmes divide it by four. So, for example, a 500 GB hard drive will be able to store 250 hours of standard definition programming and around 125 hours of high definition programming.
Most set-top box EPGs enable some form of catch-up TV. For far more flexibility, choose a set-top box that can be connected to the internet. Depending on the box, apps can include BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Demand 5 and UKTV Play whilst others can also include additional apps such as Skype, YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.