freesat update: Meet some of the launch hardware

As the freesat launch gets closer we're starting to get a sniff of some of the hardware we'll be able to buy -- all we need now is for the BBC and ITV to name a date

With the freesat launch getting closer all the time -- we're sure it will launch at some point, although we still don't know when -- we're thrilled to see Argos has announced the availability of some of the hardware.

The catalogue and high-street retail behemoth has listed a total of four receivers made by Bush and Goodmans. Bush and Goodmans are both owned by cheapo supremo Alba, so the choice isn't overwhelming. The four models are comprised of two standard-definition and two high-definition models.

From Bush, the SD model is called, with a nicely literal touch, the BFSAT01SD. It'll have digital interactive features and auto setup, as well as a seven-day EPG, and it'll cost £50. The hi-def BFSAT01HD is £120 and features HDMI out, 1080i upscaling and two Scart sockets.

The Goodmans models are slightly more expensive, with the entry-level SD model, the GFSAT100SD, listed at £70, although it seems to have all the same features as the Bush model. The HD GFSAT200HD receiver costs £150 and is similarly similar to the Bush HD model, but again, more expensive.

It also appears that these boxes have Ethernet ports, which could potentially grant access to services delivered over your Internet connection. Good news. We assume the BBC and Channel 4 have considered allowing these boxes to access iPlayer and 4oD , which would be a serious coup for freesat if it were possible.

Argos is also listing standard installation at £80, but that won't be necessary if you already have a Sky satellite dish. For that you'll get the dish with LNB and a cable to your living room, although official details are a little hard to come by, so that might prove wrong later on.

We also mentioned in our last look at freesat that PC cards from Hauppauge would be able to receive the service. In fact, while the Hauppauge products will get the signal, they aren't freesat-logo approved, so you might not get access to the EPG and other features you'd see on the set-top boxes. -Ian Morris

Update: We've had the first freesat receiver in, so check out our full Humax Foxsat-HD (freesat) review .

 

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