Freeview HD Attracts More Entry Level Players

Two more players have joined the growing ranks of Freeview HD devices currently available on the market as the content platform gradually builds up momentum towards its first major event, the FIFA World Cup 2010.

Freeview HD was only formally launched yesterday but already Techradar reports that 17 set top boxes are or will be shortly available on the market with nearly half of them being Freeview HD recorders, a far cry from the handful that were available when Freeview launched years ago.

The fact that the likes of Goodmans, Bush and Vestel have already announced Freeview HD products means that more budget-sensitive players are making their way towards this niche market and will force prices down.

The number of HD channels is still quite low at the moment but is set to rise rapidly over the next months especially if the momentum after the World Cup is kept and the installed user base grows continuously.

Two of the newest players to join, Grundig and Goodmans, have announced their Freeview HD STBs for £150 through a number of outlets including Play.com, Argos, Tesco, Comet, Costco and the usual suspects.

Both look like twin brothers sporting the same form factor and the same specification courtesy of OEM Harvard International (which also sells the Disney, iLuv and Bush brands): 8-day EPG, HDMI port, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p resolutions and two SCART sockets with an Ethernet port.

Our Comments

There will be more players on the market soon. We expect to see the likes of Sony and LG release their own upmarket model complete with PVR capabilities by the end of the year. One thing that we'd like to see is PCI-e or USB peripherals that offer DVB-T2 features.

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