The Good Inexpensive. USB-based storage. Supports ad-skipping. Media files are portable. Tetris!.
The Bad UI is primitive. Poor remote layout. Casing looks terrible. Freeview compatible.
The Bottom Line Kogan's cheap Freeview-compatible set-top box bucks the trend of crippled Freeview PVRs, but it's not an easy product to get along with.
|Kogan HD Digital Set-Top Box with PVR||Foxtel iQ3||Topfield TRF-7170||Humax HDR-7500T||Foxtel iQ2|
|Price||$99 Typical Price||$99 Typical Price||$99 Typical Price||$99 Typical Price||$99 Typical Price|
Kogan Freeview HD Digital Set-Top Box
There's no easy way to get around this. Kogan's Freeview HD Digital Set-Top Box is an ugly little beast. It's not expensive to buy, and it really shows, with a simple black casing, a four-character LED front display and a single USB port at the front. You won't be fooling anyone that this is anything but cheap technology if you have it displayed in your AV cabinet. It is small, which has some appeal, but it's a solid return to Kogan products that skimp on design values in the name of delivering cheap products. Even the official product code (KGNFSTBVAA) is pretty ugly.
The remote control continues with the less than aesthetically appealing motif. It's small, the buttons are poorly labelled and oddly laid out and we often found it unresponsive in testing.
Despite the name, the Freeview HD Digital Set-Top Box isn't just a digital TV receiver. With the addition of a USB storage drive, it's also a functionally capable PVR. We say functional in that it works, but again you're not getting an absolute bargain here, and shouldn't expect Tivo levels of PVR customisation. All of the channel information relies on whatever the FTA digital channels put out on their EPGs. To say that the FTA EPG is often inaccurate might be something of an understatement.