Friday, 8 November 2013

Freesat 500GB Humax Freesat+ box - Bringing satellite TV into another room

We are loyal Sky customers and have been for many years. Recently, we wanted to have satellite TV in the master bedroom so we could watch TV in bed or have something to keep the kids occupied when they are poorly. Our normal TV aerial is beyond rubbish so we couldn't get any sort of TV in there.

We had the obvious option of adding multi room to our subscription but we didn't really want to increase our monthly payment, so we looked into Freesat - Freesat allows you to watch and listen to 180 channels covering comedy, drama, sport, lifestyle, music and news. They offer free HD services from ITV, the BBC and Channel 4;and Freesat+ allows you to record, pause and rewind; have access to BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand5; all subscription free.

Whilst you can't get all the satellite channels we are used to on the Sky box downstairs, it stiil allows us to watch tv in bed if you choose to, plus record my soaps if I need to!

We've been reviewing a 500GB Humax Freesat+ box  (£226) for the past few weeks and we are really pleased with the whole experience. 

I've been able to catch up with my soaps when Baby Girl naps beside me; Little One has enjoyed watching the kids channels while she was very poorly with a chest virus and it's allowed us all to record programmes at the sane time ( using the sky box downstairs too) - recording is literally as simple as pressing a button and you can record up to 500GB worth of programmes which is the same as our Sky box; that's around 250 hours of SD or 125 hours of HD recording, according to the gumpf.

Freetime basically takes TV viewing to a whole new level. It includes a Roll Back TV Guide that allows you to watch programmes you've missed from the last 7 days across 21 channels (which is great for me because I have a tendency to miss a whole week of Emmerdale and then remember that I should have recorded it!) It also includes a new showcase section which shows you top TV picks chosen daily by Freesat's reviewers, on-demand services and enhanced recordings.

Little One was inconsolable at times when she was poorly. One evening, hubby was working late, the other kids were already in bed, but she just couldn't settle. She had a raging fever, and as she is asthmatic, she was needing her inhaler almost every hour at one point. This made it very difficult for her to sleep, relax or do nothing other than cry. I gave her a tepid bath, tucked her up in my bed with the humidifier next to the bed, popped the kids channels on the Freesat box and climbed in beside her for a much needed mummy cuddle. She watched her favourites on Cbeebies for a good half an hour, even managing a giggle at times. Soon after she fell asleep and although I had to keep giving her the inhaler at regular intervals, she actually slept peacefully and comfortably. 

It's great to be able to pause a programme too; the amount of times that the phone rings or one of the kids needs a drink, a wee or falls out of bed during evening telly viewing, is amazing! ;)

I'm personally finding the Freesat box quite a companion when hubby works away. I can never fall asleep very easily when he is away so it's nice to sit in bed and watch TV until I fall asleep.

We had an engineer come out to us to connect the Freesat box to the dish as it is on the opposite side of he house to the room we wanted to use the box in, which meant a very long cable. The engineer was really polite and professional and despite having horrendous weather outside, he quickly got on with the job at hand.

The Freesat box is connected  to our router via a multi room plug which we bought ourselves (this is a nifty little gadget that allows you to have internet access in multiple rooms) and it works brilliantly. The box updated immediately, quickly and we've had no problems with it at all. 

I had no idea that would can access YouTube via the box, which means you can search for and play your favourite YouTube videos on your telly!! This pleased middle Miss no end....and the hubby too. Although if I hear Miley Cyrus's 'Wrecking ball', once more I think I will scream! It's really handy for watching ' how-to' videos, especially when your iPad starts playing up like a tetchy toddler! It is a little slow to search/select when using the box remote but it does give you the option to use your smartphone or tablet to type with via a web address which comes up on the screen - that's easier for me as I'm useless with a remote.

I love the box itself. It looks great in the room; it doesn't get really hot like the Sky box seems to do, and best of all, it's silent!! There is no whirring whatsoever, so you could watch TV with headphones whilst your partner sleeps and it won't disturb them. 

The controller is easy to use and comfortable in your hand, and the buttons are in predictable places so you can easily use it with the lights dimmed. I did initially find the menus hard to get used to, especially after being used to Sky for so long, but after a few uses it's become almost second nature.

We are really impressed. It's a great alternative to a multi room subscription, you just pay for the box (plus any installation fee, and that's that.) No monthly payments, brilliant.

Humax are offering via White Lily Green, an exclusive discount code to purchase a 500GB Humax Freesat+ box  for £199, a saving of £30. Just enter the code: FT30 when ordering.

This is a review as part of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network. We were given a 500GB Humax Freesat+ box and had it installed free of charge. Our thoughts and opinions are 100% honest based on our personal experience.

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