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The title of this product pretty much sums it up for me - it is a value set top box. There are absolutely no frills to it and it doesn't cost a lot. It would make for a great entry level set top box, but is no good for people who want a lot of fancy gadgets and buttons.
Aesthetically it is probably one of the simpler ones out there, but that is not necessarily a bad thing - you can't go wrong with it because it isn't offensive in any way. It is a rectangular thin box and is entirely black so will go anywhere.
The signal that you get from it depends on your TV really and the area you live in. It has always been ok for us although the signal is easily interrupted in bad weather.
The remote control on it is pretty lousy - very cheap and nasty looking and quite temperamental it is absolutely no good for people who can't handle fiddly things, because the buttons are very small and not that sensitive, which means they need a fairly hefty push.
The menu screens follow the same theme as everything else on this set top box in that they are very simple. There is an annoyance here with the box as the machine is a little slow to react to button presses, which is annoying because if you do a few presses in succession, the couple of seconds delay can sometimes mean that it doesn't register every press.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this product really unless you want something really entry level and cheap and cheerful. It is basic but it only just about does the job - you are probably better stretching the budget a bit further for something better - wes certainly did not long after buying this one.
I have three TVs at home, one with Sky, and because Sky Multiroom was too expensive, one of the others has this Set Top Box, and the third TV has a different set top box, which I will review. This was the cheaper of the two boxes as it is operating with the least used television in the kitchen.
When you purchase the product you get the box itself, the remote control (with batteries!!) and the necessary leads. The set top box is matt black in colour and weighs 800g. To be honest, it was heavier than I expected, considering it is made of cheap feeling plastic, don't judge a book by its cover I suppose. In terms of measurements, you're looking at 3.5x25x18.5, where all measurements are in centimetres.
In my opinion, this is certainly not the most technologically advanced piece of equipment, as is to be expected considering it comes in at under twenty pounds. However, it works and does what it says on the tin.
When powered up, I can get around 30 television channels and 25 radio stations. Now I believe that my area has quite poor reception from the masts, and Argos state you can get up to 55 I believe. So you should first check the Freeview website to see what you can receive in your area.
The installation is very straight forward and there is a little instruction booklet, well it really only consists of a page or two - not convoluted at all. When you get the box set up, you turn your Television on, and in most cases, go to the AV or Scart 1 mode on the set. You are immediately prompted to scan for channels, and in around 5 minutes, you will be displayed with a list of channels it has found.
Once this is all complete, you can select a channel to view and there you have it! You also get what is technically called the Electronic Program Guide which is really the Radio Times on your set! The graphics on this are not good, and it reminds you of a calculator display or the old Ceefax font, but you are able to flick through and see what is on, on the different channels.
The display and sound quality depends a lot on the model of TV you have, but in my case it is perfectly fine.
The only problem with the device is that when you action something, for example if you change channel or open up the guide, there is a slight delay of a second or two. This can get quite frustrating if you need to do a series of things at once. There is a very flimsy remote control, with simple buttons included to change channels and carry out simple tasks.
I recommend this set top box because it is straight forward and opens up the world of digital television. Granted there are no extra features, but for most people it should be sufficient!
With the digital switch over coming into effect and wanting to convert an older television, we decided to go out and purchase one of these.
The set top box is fitted to an existing, non digital television and allows you to watch the channels that have now converted over to digital, now that the analogue signal has been stopped.
It cost about £15 if I recall correctly, which it is very reasonable compared to the expensive costs of a lot of 'fancier' set top boxes and it seems just as good and it seems to do all of the same things.
It was easy to fit - a scart cable (which was included), an aerial cable, connect to the television and away you go. It has a feature for you to tune it where it automatically finds your channels for you and it easily picked up 100+ channels with all the ones you expected there.
The now and next programme guide is easy and simple to use - clearly showing you the television listings coming up. You can also use the electronic programme guide to see programmes on within the next 7 days, as well as being able to set reminders for the upcoming programmes.
The remote is nicely set out and easy to understand - unlike a lot of remotes, everything is well labeled and it's easy to figure your way around.
The set top box is nice and small, easy to sit nicely underneath the television without being in too much of a view.