Product Type: Bush set top boxes
Newest Review: ... is only available in some areas, my home in kent was not able to pick up the signal but since moving up to the north east have had no probl... more
Well, that's capitalism for you.
Bush DVB680 Freeview HD Set Top Box
Member Name: illogicology
Bush DVB680 Freeview HD Set Top Box
Advantages: It is indeed a Freeview HD compatible box with a lovely picture on HD channels.
Disadvantages: Everything else about it.
This year finally saw the rolling out of free to view, High Definition television in the UK. The introduction of such a service makes HD a reality for a wider range of consumers, many of which have owned a HD ready television for some time now and have been waiting on an affordable source. I too have been anticipating the arrival of Freeview HD and grabbed this box only a few days after the service began in time for the new series of Doctor Who.
Unfortunately, buyers should be aware that manufacturers are always ready to take advantage of the impatience of the public. The Bush DVB680 costs around £150 at retail simply for being capable of receiving a high definition signal. It will indeed receive and display a full 1080p broadcast and is capable of optical surround sound output also. Were this not the case, I would probably hesitate to spend more than £25 on this box. Build quality is reasonable on the box itself but the remote feels and looks hideously cheap. As usual, Bush's built in software is awkward and poorly designed and it has none of the DVR or extra features you would find on a standard Freeview box at this price.
Setting up the box for the first time is, as with most things these days, a doddle. Connect via HDMI or Scart and when powering up for the first time the box will display some simple on-screen instructions. These will guide you through an auto-tune process that will programme in all channels available in your area with a minimum of fuss. After this though the interface just falls apart, whatever coding is used to run functions such as the menu or guide is terrible. Must buttons have a frustrating delay and holding down the arrows buttons while perusing menus will usually send the menu scanning for minutes. It's the sort of half-hearted coding you'd expect to find on budget freeview boxes from supermarket clearance shelves.
It must also be said that for a device that advertises itself as a full HD, HDMI capable box that upscales standard definition signals, its performance is surprisingly poor. I compared the box with both my TV's built in Freeview tuner and the PlayTV for PS3 and found that they were both far superior to the Bush. I would not watch standard definition TV on this box unless I had no choice, for a box exceeding the £100 price mark, that's a great disappointment.
The Bush DVB680 functions as advertised. It will receive Freeview and Freeview HD channels and output 5.1 Surround Sound. While watching an HD channel, the picture quality is excellent and all is well. When accessing any other functions of the box it is hard to shake the feeling of being fleeced. Bush have chosen to go down the most cynical path with their first Freeview HD box and charge a premium price for the bare minimum knowing this would be one of the only options for consumers. Now other options are becoming available, I'd avoid this box like the plague.
Summary: A real cheap, budget box you wouldn't buy if their were a wider choice.
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