“ Brand: Bush. Dimensions: 1.0x1.0x1.0(H/W/D)cm. Digital text compatible: No. Scart sockets: No. „
I needed a freeview box.
Unfortunately the one I want hasn't been invented yet.
The one I want needs to have a hard drive (160GB+). It needs to have twin tuners. It needs an optical output for Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. It needs to support High Definition and it also needs to have a built in High Definition DVD player. There are products that come close but I'm very particular about this and I know that the perfect product is a little over 12 months away because High Definition TVs have only recently come into the shops. So until a company releases exactly what I want I refuse to spend a few hundred quid on something thats comes close but which I will have to upgrade within 18 months.
Having said that I still needed a freeview box and I couldn't wait until the middle of next year to get free digital TV, so I popped into my local comet store to see what cheap freeview boxes were available to use as an interim measure.
I gave myself a budget of £50. There were quite a few costing less than that and for that price range you don't get much. Basically a freeview tuner with a built-in Electronic Program Guide.
The one that caught my eye and that I subsquently bought was the Bush DFTA1000. There was also a Technosonic one which is exactly the same as the Bush had the same manual and was the same price. The only difference was the brand name. I bought the Bush product simply because I hadn't heard of Technosonic
This must be the smallest freeview box available on the market.
Its about the same size as a pack of cards and plugs directly into the scart socket of your TV or DVD player.
It has an RF input into which you stick the lead from your rooftop ariel, an RF output from which you run a standard ariel lead to go to your TV, a small power socket into which you plug the mains adaptor in and finally a small socket into which plugs an Infrared receiver. This receiver has a wire long enough to allow you to place it either at the top of your TV or on top of your DVD player. You need this receiver so that you can control the device using the supplied remote control since the main box will be tucked away at the back.
And thats all there is physically to the device. It sits hidden away plugged directly into your scart socket, no one knows its there and it instantly converts your TV into digital TV.
When you switch it on for the first time you get a message on the screen asking you if you want it to tune itself. Pressing OK on the remote causes the device to search out all the freeview channels in your area and about 3 minutes later the device is set up and you're watching digital TV.
The remote control allows you to configure the box and for 50 quid theres not much to configure. You basically tell the device whether your TV is a widescreen one or not, whether you want the output in RGB or S-Video and whether you want subtitles.
The device has a built in Electronic Program Guide which tells you whats on now and coming next. It doesn't let you view program schedules hours ahead. You can't do that fancy stuff like pause live TV or watch one channel whilst recording another but then what do you expect for something thats 50 quid and smaller than the palm of your hand. Besides my perfect machine being designed right now by Panasonic or Toshiba will do all that.
I don't usually go for cheap and cheerful stuff when it comes to home entertainment but in this case I made an exception because I know I won't have it for long.
I would recommend this to anyone who needs freeview in say a second TV or where space is at a premium. Remember that because it sits behind your TV or DVD player you end up with a spare shelf in your TV cabinet and its effectively invisible.
I like neat solutions to problems and this is definitely neat.
Big thumbs up from me
Short name: Bush DFTA1000