Best Satellite Receiver – (FULL UK REVIEW)

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Best Satellite Receiver

Back in the bad old days of analogue TV, there were quite a few arguments in favour of signing up to a satellite TV contract even if it was usually a long-term commitment and even if it did often mean paying for a whole load of content you didn’t want because it was the only way to access the content you actually did want. 

To begin with there weren’t all that many terrestrial channels to choose from (a grand total of five) and then there was the harsh reality that analogue TV signals had a lot of quality issues even at the best of times and in some locations reception was so poor it was barely worth trying, whereas satellite covered the whole of the UK and delivered excellent quality pictures.

Then digital came a long and a lot changed very quickly.  Digital TV brought both Freeview and Freesat, meaning there was finally some serious free-to-air competition for the satellite providers. 

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Added to this, there is the fact that there are now numerous streaming video services, with contract and pay-as-you-go options and entertainment suddenly got a whole lot cheaper for a whole lot of people. 

Freeview is good.  Freesat is better.  In fact, it’s about three times better.  Where Freeview has about 70 channels, Freesat has about 200.

The bad news is that you do need a satellite dish to get Freesat (which is the main difference from Freeview), the good news is that your old Sky dish will do just fine and if you don’t have one, it’s pretty affordable to get a satellite dish fitted. 

Similarly your old Sky box will pick up Freesat even when you no longer have a Sky subscription, but, of course, they don’t last forever and you can’t expect Sky to replace it for you when you’re no longer a customer of theirs. 

Alternatively, if you’ve never had a Sky box to begin with, you’ll need to get a satellite receiver.  In either case, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are plenty of satellite receivers on the market and that some of them are available at very affordable prices.

Free TV Full HD Free To Air Satellite Receiver(Full Version V2), by Edision

Best satellite receiver

Even though the name says full version, this is purely a satellite receiver, it doesn’t do media streaming or connect to the internet, but then it doesn’t charge you for those features either, which will presumably please the many people who just want a plain vanilla satellite receiver and see no reason to pay for bells and whistles they neither need nor want.

To give you an idea of what we mean by basic, the first point to note is that the electronic programme guide only shows what’s on and the next programme, it’s not a full 7-day listing. 

We’re fine with this since TV listings are readily available in all kinds of places, including on our phones.  You will need to add your own WiFi dongle to access some features such as (automatically) downloading channel list updates, but we don’t see this as a big issue since WiFi dongles are one of the cheapest purchases you can make. 

As a final point, and it’s a very minor one, while the menus are perfectly understandable, visually they are a bit clunky, if you’re old enough to remember Teletext, you’ll get the idea, but this doesn’t bother us either since we doubt many people are going to spend any significant length of time looking at them. 

You buy a satellite receiver to watch TV not gaze at menus.

This device does pause and record shows although it doesn’t have any internal storage so you will need to add your own USB drive, again, we don’t see this as a huge issue, especially not since so many people are probably going to have at least one spare USB drive already. 

Once you have recorded your programme, you can view it on another device, such as a laptop if you wish, you just need standard software to read the file and there are some perfectly good options available for free.

If you can live with all of this, then the great news is that you get outstanding picture quality at an exceptionally reasonable price.

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Edision Proton Full HD Satellite Receiver Fta HDTV DVB-S2 (HDMI, AV, USB 2.0)...

Last update was on: November 24, 2020 4:15 pm
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Free TV (Lite v2) Full HD Free To Air Satellite Receiver by Edision

Best satellite receiver

This option is basically exactly the same as the option above, except you don’t get access to automatic channel updates over WiFi, nor does it come with an an IR blaster /AV 3.5 output cable. 

Channel updates will be provided as required by technical support.  The good news is that it does still have the capability to pause and record content via a USB drive.  The even better news is that the picture quality is just as good as it is with the full version.

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Humax HDR-1100S 500 GB Freesat with Freetime HD TV Recorder

Best satellite receiver

Humax is one of the biggest names in satellite receivers and they’ve built that name on the back of seriously powerful devices, which come at higher end price tags but still offer great value for money. 

Name a feature you could feasibly want for an amazing viewing experience and it’s odds on this device has it.  For example, the viewing guide not only shows the programmes for the 8 previous days and the 7 days ahead (in addition to the actual day), it also makes catch-up programmes available at your fingertips. 

You also get “Showcase” recommendations, basically curated content which is specifically drawn to your attention as well as on-demand apps.

Speaking of apps, there’s a Freesat app, which allows you to control your Freesat from your smartphone or tablet, which is obviously to be used when you’re out and about and not, for example, when you can’t be bothered reaching for the remote. 

The remote has a range of smart controls so, for example, you can return to where you left off before you were interrupted.

This device comes with a pretty massive 500 GB hard disk drive so not only do you have plenty of space to record programmes but you can record two programmes at once – while watching a previous recording.

Overall, therefore, we think this is one of the most impressive satellite receivers around.

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Humax HDR-1100S 500 GB Freesat with Freetime HD TV Recorder - Black

Last update was on: November 24, 2020 4:15 pm
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Manhattan SX Freesat HD Zapper

Over recent years, Manhattan have been doing their level best to steal market share from Humax, which, of course, is great news for consumers. 

This option doesn’t come with all the features of the Humax HDR-1100S, but it doesn’t come with anything like the same price tag either and it does offer excellent value for what you get. 

In short, you get a very small box, which will fade discreetly into the background in pretty much any room and which is a breeze to set up and use.  As its name suggests, it was created with HDTV in mind and only has an HDMI socket, however, it’s easy enough to connect it to older TVs by means of adaptors. 

The downside to this device is that the USB socket is only to apply software updates, you can’t actually record to it, which is a bit of a shame, having said that, with catch up TV, recording is much less of an issue than it used to be and if it’s not important to you then this is an excellent device at an excellent price.

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Manhattan SX Freesat HD Box

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Last update was on: November 24, 2020 4:15 pm
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Technomate TM-5402 HD M3, 1080p Digital Satellite Receiver

Best satellite receiver

Technomate has strategically positioned itself slap bang in the middle of the satellite receiver market, so you get more features than with the Edision or Manhattan devices, but fewer than with the Humax and, of course, the price reflects this. 

We suspect that the Technomate may hit the sweet spot a fair percentage of buyers.  This device supports not only HD but also 3D and can connect to the internet.  It doesn’t have all the value-add features the Humax does, but then these features are only value add if they are useful to you. 

This is one reason for the lower price.  The other main reason for the lower price is the absence of a hard drive, you have to use your own, but as we’ve already mentioned, we don’t see that as a problem. 

The device does have the capability to records up to three channels while playing back a recorded programme and we’re very happy with that.  Picture quality is also excellent. 

We have to say the Hucom does score on looks, in our opinion, but the Technomate is far from ugly and it’s also nicely easy to use.

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Technomate TM-5402 HD M3, 1080p Digital Satellite Receiver, DVB-S2 / DVB-S, FTA,...

Last update was on: November 24, 2020 4:15 pm

Kelvin Cooper

Kevin is a fitness fanatic and award-winning product reviewer. Over 20 years experience, Kelvin’s freelance offerings have featured all across the web on such outlets as NY Times, Forbes Magazine and more and is a great asset to the team. Kelvin loves his job and passing on his knowledge. Appeared on TV numerous times. Always smiling and raising money for charity in between service the demand for his talents

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