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Philips Debuts £285 Freeview HD PVR

Dutch Electronics giant Philips has launched its first Freeview+ HD personal video recorder, one which is produced by Pace, and which will go on sale for as little as £284.99.

Online retailer Puresatellite will be offering the Philips HDT8520 for that price including free delivery from tomorrow (opens in new tab). Comet (opens in new tab) also has it on sale online although you will pay £15 extra and will need to wait more than a fortnight before getting it delivered.

The Philips HDT8520 comes with a 500GB hard disk drive which will allow users to record up to 250 hours of SD footage and 125 hours (that's more than five days) of HD material.

The Freeview HD receiver can record from one tuner while allowing viewers to watch content on the second one. Since this is Freeview HD compatible, you won't need to pay any monthly subscription to have access to the service plus the EPG will allow you to pre-program the STB up to eight days in advance.

Add a superb design to it and the ability to serve content through SCART and HDMI ports and you have a fairly great all rounder. Unfortunately, Freeview HD coverage is only limited to around half of the country and there are only a few high definition channels on the market.

There's also the fact that other models are currently on the market. The Sagem RTI90-320 (opens in new tab) for example costs only £250 and although it has a smaller 320GB hard disk drive, you will be able to get it delivered within 5 days from Comet.

If you can wait till the 27th May, you can get the 3View STB which comes with some additional functionality like the ability to stream content from the internet and external storage devices.

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 ITProPortal.com 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.