You might not be all that familiar with TechniSat, but there's one good reason to get aquainted with it now: the arrival in the UK of the HDFS freesat HD receiver. This £150 machine promises a number of intriguing features that caused our technology glands to emit their special gadgety fluid and trigger our purchasing response.
What's got us so excited? Firstly, the TechniSat offers BBC iPlayer via a Wi-Fi connection. This is incredibly handy if you don't live in a data centre with CAT6 cable all over your home. While we'd prefer all houses had high-speed cabling when they're built, it's surprising how few people get around to running cable. Wi-Fi isn't integrated though, so you will need to buy the dongle separately for £30 -- a slightly annoying decision, we think.
Also pretty awesome is that, although it has no built-in hard drive, the TechniSat can record TV shows to USB storage. The only caveats are that, as a single-tuner machine, you can only watch and record one channel at a time, and recordings can only be played on the machine that made them. So don't get any ideas about taking TV shows with you on your morning commute.
As TechniSat is a brand that often proves popular with more advanced satellite users, there are some worthwhile extra features included here too. The receiver can control a motorised satellite dish, for example, as long as it's a DiSEqC-capable system. That means a world of broadcasts are potentially available for keen TV hunters.
In addition to some smart hardware, your £150 also buys you a three-year warranty, should anything go wrong with the hardware. This is longer than we normally see on consumer electronics, but with satellite receivers being such tried and tested technology, it's a promise that shouldn't worry TechniSat's accountants too much.
The TechniSat HDFS is available now. Click 'Continue' for more photos.
A LAN socket is provided for those who don't want to spend extra on an external USB dongle. There are also both flavours of digital audio output and HDMI for HD video. The extra USB socket here can be used for the optional Wi-Fi dongle or for an external storage device to record to.