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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 (opens in new tab) 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, 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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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.