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Choosing a Satellite TV Receiver

Satellite TV receivers enable you to watch terrestrial channels and have many different features which must be considered before purchasing. These include Personal Video Recorder (PVR) features, hard drive storage, internet access and simplicity of user interface.

PVR Features

PVR features enable live programmes to be paused, rewound and recorded. To record multiple programmes, the satellite TV receiver needs to incorporate more than one tuner. For example, dual tuner receivers can record one programme whilst another is watched or record two programmes at the same time if there is a scheduling clash. Some receivers can record up to six different programmes at once.

Hard Drive Storage

The size of a hard drive dictates how much programming can be recorded. Hard drives can be built in or removable in the form of micro SD cards or USB devices. The average for a built-in hard drive is 500GB with micro SD and USB hard drives normally being considerably less. To work out how many hours recording a specific hard drive can hold, for standard definition programmes divide the storage by two and for high definition programmes divide the storage by four. For example, a 500GB hard drive will hold 250 hours of standard and 125 hours of HD programming.

Internet Access

Satellite TV receivers with internet access offer even greater flexibility and freedom to view different channels and do different tasks. Depending on the receiver, apps can include Skype, YouTube and streaming services such as Now TV and Netflix along with catch up from BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and UKTV.

User Interface

One other key feature of satellite TV receivers that can easily be overlooked is the user interface, called electronic programme guides or EPG. Some can skip back several days and even allow older programmes to be viewed without the need for them to be recorded. Other elements of visual presentation vary by manufacturer and model and it is recommended that EPGs are familiarised with prior to purchase.

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