* Prices may differ from that shown
I guess if you only have flat screen TVs, you won't even need to be looking for one of these, but if you're the increasingly rare type that still has a boxy old TV, then you still need a set-top-box. This machine has been moved around from one telly to another, we were always happy enough with the terrestrial analogue channels and only ever had the one Freeview box, and when they finally switched the analogue signal off, we just had the one CRT telly left, so the wharfedale-dv832b has proved itself useful to the end! We've only got the one boxy TV left in the house, now, so we'll see which outlives the other, TV or set-top-box.
When I bought the Wharfedale some years ago, it was fine, but about 3-4 years ago there was a software upgrade, and this machine never was fully compatible with that upgrade. What happens now is the overnight automatic upgrade and update doesn't go through, and it just hangs. When I turn on the TV in the morning I have to cancel the update, which is still trying to get through, and it means that the program guide is never updated. I'm not sure if this is true of all of this make, or if it's just mine.
However, if you can get one of these free or very cheap, it's OK, it's just not something you should pay a lot of money for - you can't get it new anyway, but there are a few used ones still around.
There's no other whistles and bells, so arguably it's not very complicated at all, and is very easy to set up. There's only three buttons on the front, standby, and program up and down. Oddly enough, the remote control is identical to one that came with an earlier set-top-box, the digihome cheapo from Argos in the mid- 2000's. That digihome box only lasted a year, but I kept the remote as a spare, for when the wharfedale's occasionally got lost.
Another thing I like about this; It never gets warm when on standby, which I believe also means it doesn't use much electricity (my previous set-top-box, the digihome, used to get red hot all of the time it was plugged in)
**What is it?**
The Wharfedale DV832B is an early model digital terrestrial receiver box (ie, a set top box). It has been discontinued now, however you can find it fairly easily on eBay for under £10, so it is a great budget buy even now. Wharfedale is an excellent brand, I had a Wharfedale hi-fi back in the 80s and it's still in use now at my Mum's house, 25 years on! So when I saw the name, I had to have the Wharfedale DV832B when I needed a set top box for the spare room.
**Price and Availability**
Originally, I paid £70 for the Wharfedale DV832B from Richer Sounds, it sounds ridiculous to pay so much for such a basic set top box these days but back in the very very early days of what is now known as Freeview, it was about standard. You can buy them now mainly on eBay, some new stock mixed with used items, for around £10, so it won't break the bank.
The Wharfedale DV832B has the following:
2 x Scart
1 x Aerial
Electronic Programme Guide (EPG)
Red LCD display
The Wharfedale DV832B does not have a cam card reader, so is unsuitable for top up TV services. It will however pick up all current Freeview Channels.
It is a large set top box, in silver, with a very handy and easy to view red LCD on the front, showing which channel you are viewing. It has the distinctive Wharfedale logo to the left, and channel and menu buttons for operation without the remote.
The remote is also silver, with chunky rubber keys. It takes 2 x AA batteries, which are not supplied, but it is fine with the cheap ones you get from the pound shop, that's all I use. The remote is very sensitive, so no having to stand brandishing it at the box like a sword!
The Wharfedale DV832B is really easy to use, simply plug in, tune in and go. The remote control is very easy to use, and the instructions very easy to follow.
It takes about 8 minutes to tune and needs regular retuning for new channels and channel changes etc. One thing to note is that some features are out of date now but this does not effect your viewing.
The picture quality is excellent via the Wharfedale DV832B as is the sound, which can be controlled by your TV remote or the set top box remote. The EPG speed (both bringing it up and then going between the guide screens) is of a reasonable speed, certainly not what I'd class as slow even taking it's age into consideration (it's as fast as my current Freesat EPG is now, for example).
The digital teletext features are fast and efficient and both the remote and the box are a pleasure to use, which explains why I've had the Wharfedale DV832B for a good 9 years now, though at least five house moves, and it's as good now as it was the day I bought it. Certainly built to last!
Obviously it's an older model now and you can't get it on the high street but what I will say is that the Wharfedale DV832B is much much better than a standard supermarket set top box so if you are wanting a Freeview box on a budget, maybe for the kids room or the caravan or so on then you could do a lot worse with a £10 budget, as the Wharfedale DV832B is well made, sturdy and will last. It is easy to control, and it's one of my favourite buys.
Five out of five from me - yes you can get more modern Freeview boxes but for it's time, and even for now, the Wharfedale DV832B is a stand out model which I'm very pleased with.