Looking for Inexpensive Freeview box without aerial with wifi but not recording

JohnWB

Active Member
I am looking for an inexpensive Freeview box with wifi connection to the internet, but i do not require recording as it is only for use in my garage.
Does anyone have any recommendations please
 

mikej

Well-known Member
Manhattan PVRs seem to have a decent rep on here - they make the T1 which is a simple, cheap Freeview HD box. It has an ethernet port and Wi-fi can be added 'via adaptor (sold separately)' but, as the box is not 'smart' and therefore has no Freeview Play / streaming capabilities, this will be solely for accessing Freeview's internet-only streaming channels and not the apps you presumably want.

Places like Currys and Argos used to sell loads of cheap Freeview set-top boxes but not these days it seems so if the T1 isn't suitable then, to get what you want, I think you might have to have to step up to a PVR. A cheaper option, though, would be the buy the T1 for live Freeview and a cheap HDMI streaming device (eg. Fire TV Stick, Roku etc) for any streaming needs.

What is the nature of the TV you're connecting this to ? Your money might be better put towards a new, smart TV that has Freeview Play, access to all the top streaming apps and wi-fi built-in. Less cables and remotes, too !
 

JohnWB

Active Member
Thanks for the reply.
All I am after are the freeview channels which i used to get with my aerial. I dont need any streaming or smart capabilities
 

mikej

Well-known Member
Thanks for the reply.
All I am after are the freeview channels which i used to get with my aerial. I dont need any streaming or smart capabilities
Ah, OK - you said you needed it to have wi-fi so I presumed that was the reason. If you just want a simple Freeview HD set-top box, then it looks like the Manhattan T1 will be a good bet but make sure you check out any reviews first - I don't have any Manhattan products so can't vouch for them myself.

Unless you have any particular favourites amongst the Freeview internet-only channels, then I wouldn't bother with the wi-fi adaptor.
 

JohnWB

Active Member
I have just checked and the T1 needs an aerial which, as i said in the title of this thread, I dont have unfortunatly.
Any suggestions for one that does not need an aerial
 

mikej

Well-known Member
Sorry - I missed that detail in your thread title. Are you wanting to have the full range of Freeview channels available to watch, live ? If so, then you'll need an aerial. Without an aerial, the best you could hope for is if any of the Freeview channel catch-up apps allow live streaming and, even if that is possible, you'll be limited to the BBC, ITV, Ch4 & Ch5 channels plus a couple of others.

The information at the bottom section here suggests that you should be able to watch certain channels on a Freeview Play-equipped TV (or box ?) without an aerial but, in practise, I'm not sure how widespread this is. My Panasonic OLED, for example, has Freeview Play but it is not possible to watch live TV via the Freeview catch-up apps. That functionality may well be limited to devices that can only stream. Some of the catch-up services do appear to allow live streaming via a browser on a PC or laptop, for example.

For Freeview Play, you'd be looking at needing a PVR or new TV I think. If I was you, I'd forget live TV and stick to streaming which can obviously be done on any relatively inexpensive HDMI streaming device, such as the ones mentioned above. If live TV is then possible, then that would be a bonus.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Freeview TV needs an aerial full stop.

Location? (Postcode of a very near shop, pub, church or similar). A cheap aerial attached to the garage might work very well if in fairly close proximity to a transmitter.

Catchup from streaming services requires a good internet connection - wifi might or might not work. Ethernet cabling from a router would usually be better. Or stuff like Powerlines or Mesh wifi systems.

I think You View and Freeview Play boxes/TVs need setting up on an aerial and even then may not work too well with no aerial signal, as they expect the main 7-day EPG to be delivered that way?
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, just to be clear:
To watch live TV and whatever is offered via the various catchup offerings (streamed via IPlayer, ITVHub, etc - typically some - but not all -material from the last 7 days plus certain "box sets") then any tablet or PC with WiFi will do that. But not for making your own recording. You can't (easily) record anything that's streamed. Since you don't want to record - that may be sufficient.

(To watch and record all the freeview content then you will need a PVR and an aerial. A PVR will only record broadcasts received via an aerial.)

One diagonal alternative might be to have a DNLA enabled recorder (eg PVR) inside the house, connected to an aerial for receiving and recording - and (importantly) connected to your network preferably via ethernet. And then a portable WiFi equipped device with a DNLA client that can see the contents of the hard drive in the PVR over the network and play it back. Typically this can ony be done with Standard Definition broadcasts. A Windows PC with a suitable media player (eg VLC) will suffice. That would NOT let you watch live, but it would allow you to record anything SD Freeview and watch it afterwards.
 

CatsWithThumbs

Active Member
I understand you may be able to stream some freeview channels on an Amazon Fire stick. Recently set one up (Lite, I think) for my mother and I'm fairly sure it had the option to stream some of the freeview channels at least - that could be worth looking into
 

A1944

Well-known Member
Thanks for the reply.
All I am after are the freeview channels which i used to get with my aerial. I dont need any streaming or smart capabilities
If you want to get the Freeview channels without an aerial then you do need streaming and smart capabilities as that is the only way you will be able to get the channels.

However, if you happen to be in a very strong signal area and can make use of some kind of set-top aerial, though they are not generally recommended, you may just get enough signal.
 

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