Product Type: Sagem set top boxes
Newest Review: ... really if I wanted a quality unit, I really should have spent a little bit more. I'm going to give the Sagem ITD58 Digital Freeview TV Rec... more
Sage Advice - Avoid this Sagem!
Sagem ITD58 Digital Freeview TV Receiver
Member Name: northernlovely
Sagem ITD58 Digital Freeview TV Receiver
Advantages: Cheap at the time, comes with scart and batteries
Disadvantages: Dated, slow, breaks randomly, cheap remote
I wanted a basic set top box for my spare room a few years ago and I found the Sagem ITD58 Digital Freeview TV Receiver priced at a very reasonable (at the time, this was about 5 years ago to my memory) £24 from Argos. I must stress, I wanted a basic, no bells and whistles Freeview receiver so I could watch digital channels on the spare TV. So I didn't think spending so little would really matter, especially as I'd heard of Sagem previously, and I knew that Argos have pretty decent customer care so if there were any problems I could at the very least exchange the set top box.
So; what do you get in the box? Quite simply you get -
The Sagem ITD58 Digital Freeview TV Receiver unit (which includes a hard wired black power cable and plug)
A black scart cable (some people report not getting one of these in the box but I was pretty pleased to find one in there!)
The remote control and two very cheap AAA batteries
The unit looked pretty good at the time, I remember, sort of shell shaped, in matte grey plastic with a semi opaque black plastic shield over the red LED receiver for the remote input. There's no screen or other lights on this unit, as I say, it's very basic, but I prefer that on a small spare model as there's generally less to break. Also I have terrible sight so a little screen on the front means nothing to me!
The remote control is less impressive, even at the time the remote felt quite cheaply made of flimsy plastic and rubber. As it's for use in the spare room it has lasted, but I am quite sure it wouldn't have lasted if we were using it in our main lounge, what with the amount of times our main house remote has had drinks spilled on it and a toddler dancing on it!
It's very easy to set up using the brief set of instructions provided in the six page black and white instructional pamphlet. You need a decent aerial signal (it doesn't work very well with an indoor aerial) which is fed in by an RF cable, which you plug into the back of the set top box. You connect up the power and the scart lead, which goes into the back of your TV (make sure to check if you have a particularly old TV or even a very very new one as some older models only have RF in and some newer models only have HDMI!)
The unit has auto scan so it can pick up all the Freeview channels and radio channels automatically. The remote controls the volume but only via the Freeview box itself so I prefer to use the TV remote to control the volume as it's much more sensitive.
The Sagem Freeview box worked pretty well for a while but then it stopped updating (probably due to the age of the model) so some channels which have since changed names are still showing up on the TV guide built into the unit as their previous names (though their +1 channels appear with their new name which can be a bit confusing!)
Also, I know it was never the fastest box in the world but the lag on it from pressing a button to it actually doing something is absolutely diabolical - it can easily be up to 5 seconds so you never know if it actually got the command or not unless you wait - meaning if you want to get to channel 1 and you press it more than once you get channel 11, 111 etc, frequently. Very irritating!
Finally - there are quite a few occasions where the Sagem has given up the ghost completely and just stopped switching on at all. Now, we've had it about six years but even so it's only been sat in the spare room and used once or twice a week, it hasn't been dropped, left in the heat or the cold, switched off at the plug without being switched off at the unit first, and so on. We've treated it pretty well really, yet it has totally given up. Sometimes it will work again but it's very sporadic and really is only fit for the bin. Overall I'm not too upset since it wasn't expensive to begin with but I've had my faithful Apple Mac laptop for 9 years now and my spare mobile for 6 and they've had far more rough a time of it and are still working as good as the day I bought them. So I'm tempted to say that really if I wanted a quality unit, I really should have spent a little bit more.
I'm going to give the Sagem ITD58 Digital Freeview TV Receiver 2 stars out of five.. even when it was brand new it was a bit cheap feeling, a bit slow, and now it's a little bit older it's only served to prove how poor the quality was of it because it just hasn't lasted.
I don't think you can buy these new any more and a cheap Freeview box which is better than this one can now be bought for £10 - £15 from most supermarkets (I have one in my other spare room, it's not perfect, but it's far better than this one) but if you could I wouldn't recommend it. In fact, even if someone offered to give you one for free, I'd suggest you think twice!
Summary: I would avoid