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Thread: Best satellite set top box?

  1. #1

    Best satellite set top box?

    Hey folks,

    I would appreciate some advice on the above. I have terminated sky as the content is shockingly poor. I want to still get the free to air stuff and want to be able to record whatever I want. Any recommendations would be appreciated. I have seen some options in Harvey Norman and pc world.


    P.s. only really interested in easy solutions that don't require a degree in astrophysics!!

  2. #2
    If you've completed a minimum contract period with sky, I believe you can just keep your existing sky box and access the free to air channels via that. May have changed since, but that used to be the case, and is a no brainer.

    If you have to buy a box, I'd reccomend going with a Freesat compatible and not simply Free to Air box. These are your options for Freesat:

    The upside of Freesat is because it's officially backed by BBC and ITV, you get a properly maintained EPG rather than a "scraped" one and things like series link recording, just like Sky. You need to put in a UK postcode but this is only for regionalization (e.g. which regional variations of BBC/ITV you want to get). is on it too. Both Freesat and Sky use the same Astra satellites, so it's just a case of swapping the box, you don't need to repoint your dish.

    The downside of it is you won't get RTE on it, so need to have a Saorview reciever as well and switch between them (unlike free to air combo boxes). The reason for this apparently is something to do with Champions League games, so RTE can't broadcast unencypted, which I reckon is a hilariously stupid situation for a public service broadcaster always whinging about being short of cash, putting a heavily commercialized and no doubt expensive soccer league above say, serving Irish in Europe without have to resort to the woeful RTE player. I don't know why they can't at least put RTE news on there, but that's seems to a sports and entertainment update channel puctuated by brief bursts of actual news anyway...
    Last edited by crank_case; 03-09-2018 at 08:15 PM.

  3. #3
    Late generation Sky HD receivers and Sky Q are nothing more than paper weights without a sub.

    Go with something like Humax freesat+ receiver to watch and record UK channels and if you want to watch or/and record Saorview you will need some form of aerial and a Saorview receiver or compatible TV for Irish Channels.
    When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command.

    Very often that individual is crazy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Second the humax, they've the best user interface, most of the others feel a bit crap to use the menus on

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    ZGemma is the one to get , similar to sky it is based on Linux frontend
    **you need a satellite

    Freesat/Free to air -- you need a satellite dish , no Irish channels are on here just UK (ITV & BBC joint venture)

    Freeview -- Aerial , does not generally work in Ireland unless on NI border

    Saorview -- Will need an Aerial , Ireland they run a different protocol Freeview/Freesat , Ireland had the opportunity to tie in with the EU or UK , due to our small market, it is not worth the time and money for manufacturers to invest in Soarview but they are talking about releasing Saorview connect later in the year , one box you can receive freesat and Soarviw but you will still need a Satellite (Freesat) , an Aerial for Saorview
    Doing it with Twins is better than being Single

  6. #6
    I've the Edision OS Mega combo box, twin sat tuners and antennae imput for Saorview. I added a 1TB hdd internally to allow for recordings. It'll run IPTV, Kodi and stream from networked shares etc. It'll also stream over the 'net to my phone (using DreamDroid app) or to pc browsers using the inbuilt Open Webif addon.

  7. #7
    Don't think this is a definitive answer but picked up one of these for my 80 year old neighbour recently and it does him fine.

    Note that it's a "Combo" box that can receive both Saorview and FreeSat in the one box, you need an aerial and then to plug the sky satellite cable in. You have it up and running in two minutes and compared to what else I could find it's unbelievably easy to use.

    Only problem I find with it is that it doesn't seem to have forward recording although I'm not that good with them.

    Defo worth checking out though, I did loadsa digging and best combo box I could find:
    "750 hp, on a car that i presume still has leaf springs and no seatbelts?
    I suppose if you want to go out like a man there is no better option" -hi-rev

  8. #8
    A few years ago I read all the internet wisdom on satellite set top boxes and bought a Humax Freesat box. It was nice to get all the terrestrial channels but the box itself is/was a joke in comparison to a Sky box and I’m sure with Sky Q it’s even worse. Possibly those Humax boxes are better than the other Freesat boxes but not comparable with Sky in the slightest.

    I don’t particularly enjoy paying Sky substantial sums of money every month but it must be said that they do have very good content and I think we mostly watch Sky channels these days. The terrestrial stations dom’t seem that great these days. With stuff like Sky Q where you can connect every mobile device to the Sky Q box, you completely detach viewing from TV’s as well which is handy for teenagers etc.

    I think these days I would think it’s about Netflix more so and whether you need Sky or the terrestrial content at all.

    Just a different perspective and some previous experience.
    I'm with the resistance

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    Second the humax, they've the best user interface, most of the others feel a bit crap to use the menus on

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk
    +1 on the humax box, I have one for a few years and its great for recording and series link and the app is great also when someone says are you watching something... into the app and you can click record on it and it records on the box... interface is the best iv seen out of all the freeview set ups.

    I ordered it on john lewis and got a 2 year warranty delivered to my parcel motel.

    If your in Kilkenny anytime give me a shout and I can show you.

  10. #10
    Another +1 on the humax...

    The app is very good and you can set it to record remotely.

    My wife is a complete technophile and she can use it fine I also got a Manhattan box for regular viewing...

    Basically get something that is freesat (not fta) as when channels move it updates automatically and supports 7 day recording and series linking... Freesat is a standard so any box that is freesat certified will have standard features such as auto return, 7 day epg and series linking.

    The big gotcha with non freesat boxes is that you don't see anything in the epg until you select the transponder that the channel is on.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

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