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Freeview is a free digital tv service that you recieve through your aerial which is decoded by a freeview box once you have purchased the box the service is free hence the name Freeview.
With freeview becoming more and more popular you should have no problem picking up a box for under thirty pounds.An important point to note is that you will need to check that you are in an area that can recieve digital tv broadcasts you can do this by visiting
www.freeview.co.uk (if you enter your postcode they will tell you if you can recieve digital tv broadcasts)
You will also need to check that your tv aerial is able to pickup digital tv transmissions(some older aerials are not suitable for recieving these transmissions).
sagem are a company who specialise in budget electronic systems and are becoming more popular all the time especially with both freeview boxes and mobile phones.
The product is one of the budget boxes and by shopping around you shouldn't find it to difficult to find one for under forty pounds.Remember once you have purchased the box you have no subscription fees,it is a free service.
Video connection RF x 1 , SCART x 2
Audio connectivity SPDIF x 1
Supported aspect ratio 4:3 , 16:9 , Letterbox , Full screen
Audio type Mono , Stereo
Electronic programme guide
Video format MPEG-2
Channel search/tuning Automatic search
Processor speed 252MHz
Maximum channels 999 channels
Parental control With child lock
Power consumption 11watts
Width 24.7cm Depth 23.6cm
Height 8cm Weight 0.4kg
The main selling feature i liked about this box was that it had two scart connectors one for connection to the TV and another one which you can use to connect to a VCR or dvd recorder(please note that you will have to watch the same channel that you are recording because the digi-box only has one inbuilt tuner.You also have an RF connector this is what you connect your aerial lead to and you can also use this to connect to your TV if you don't want to use a scart lead(i personally use the scart lead because this gives better picture and sound performance)
This is where the instructions are a little bit vague and the main thing that lets the package down.The box is auto tuning so all you have to do is select menu,then select box settings and
auto-tune and it only takes the box to automatically tune and save all available channels(another handy feature of this box is that if it detects any new channels it will ask if you want to update your programme list). 8/10(poor instructions lowers this score)
Ease of use-
The box is very easy to use with the remote control set out very similar to a tv remote.You can change channels,control the volume access digital text,select audio options,programme information and access the EPG(electronic programme guide).You also are able to save custom settings allowing you to save favourite channels in any order you want allowing you to quickly access them when you want.When you select a channel a small information menu pops up at the bottom of the screen telling you the current programme information and what programme is on next(you do have the option of turning this feature off should you wish) 9/10
Unfortunately i found that the remote was not as responsive as i would have liked and there was sometimes a small delay between pressing a button and the box actually responding to the instruction(i have since changed to using my universal remote and have had no problems using it with the box) 6/10
The build quality-
The build quality is very good for a budget model and the case design is quite stylish,the box looks quite good next to my expensive widescreen Tv,the connectors on the back of the unit are well made and the scart and aerial lead fit well with them. 9/10
A great budget box which is only slightly let down by poor instructions and a remote control with a few glitches.I have had three months of trouble free use and other than the two issues above would heartly recommend as a first digi-box purchase.
also on ciao under the user name phensh.