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After the tuner broke on my digital TV, I was reluctant to go out and buy a new one. After all, all the other features still worked - the built in DVD player, the XBOX etc. So I quickly looked online for cheap set-top boxes, and found this little gem from Tesco. It is incredibly cheap at a fraction under £20, with barely any drawbacks.
Firstly, the good parts.
It is a very small and sleek box, at 16.5cm x 10cm x 2.5cm, and in a very neutral black colour. The front of the box has a small amount of writing and a red or green LED indicating whether the box is on or not.
It is very easy to set up, you just plug it into the mains, connect it to the TV via SCART (lead not included) and connect up to an external aerial. Switch on the TV and the very simple menu allows you to tune it quickly and easily, meaning you will be watching TV in under five minutes.
It has many of the features that more expensive boxes has, such as a full 7 day TV guide, and it is also an "ECO" box meaning that it uses virtually no electricity when in standby mode.
Now onto the disadvantages:
It doesn't support HD. Given that in this day and age HD is definitely the way forward it was a bit of a shame, but then again, I wasn't prepared to pay more than double the price just to get HD.
The remote can be a bit hard to use. It uses a three-digit input, so unless you type "001" to go to channel 1, it waits for a few seconds (longer than most boxes do) before changing channel. It is also very sensitive. If, for example, you want to go to channel 14, you will easily find yourself typing "011", "144", "141" etc before finally getting "014". It often "double counts" your presses. While neither of these are very major issues, it can be slightly annoying when your favorite program started 30 seconds ago and you're stuck watching something else!