Which Freesat recordable box to replace a Sky box?

ShaunIOW

Active Member
I currently have a Sky+HD box on an Octo LNB (not Sky Q type) and am looking for recommendations for a replacement recordable box for Freesat, as looking at my recordings on the Sky box, 90% are from free channels and with the next impending price rise now seems a good time to ditch Sky and save some money. I was considering the latest Freesat box but there seems to be a few issues reported, and I have considered Freeview but I can't receive all the channels I want in my area namely no Forces TV which I like (plenty of crap ones I can delete though:mad:). The box needs to be able to record at least 2 channels at once, have the main catchup services (Iplayer, ITV, UKPlay), and ideally Britbox and Amazon Prime (Plex and being able to install other apps would be a bonus), a real bonus would be if there is a box that will receive both Freesat and Freeview.

Cheers
 

MJH1962

Active Member
The latest Freesat boxes made by Arris are your only choice for a recordable box unfortunately. You could go down a Linux-based solution, which can achive both Freesat and Freeview on the same box but it does involve a fair bit of setting up and will not give you catch-up services or Prime, etc. There are several threads on here that can help you.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Second hand boxes or the latest 4k freesat (Arris) boxes are your only official freesat possibilities.

A HTPC / Linux Enigma-type box would be a steep learning curve, perhaps, but possibly more versatile and supported via the 'community'. These have the possibility of using a mix or tuners and maybe addons?

Catchup/streaming is probably better served via cheaper devices - long term support of such things is historically poor on TVs and PVRs and cost of an upgrade small if they stop working.
 

ShaunIOW

Active Member
Cheers for the replies, I like the sound of the HTPC/Linux Enigma type box, but having read up a lot about teh Freesat boxes since last night, I'm coing to the conclusion I might just have to forget Forces TV for now (or try the satelite receiver in the TV just for that) and get a Humax Aura box as that seems to tick all thee boxes for what I want to do with a few bonuses like Plex and Google Play as I have a few films in that).
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
You can always watch Forces TV live via the out of subscription $ky box. ;)

I'm assuming you are outwith the (temporary) Freeview COM7 multiplex coverage area (as Forces TV is carried on that).
 

ShaunIOW

Active Member

Yes. it's annoying as when I had the hi-gain aerial installed I could get it, then they changed the channels and I lost it along with some BBC HD channels I had following a retune.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Location? (Transmitter)
Freeview predictions for your address?
Exact details of the aerial installed (and any ampifiers/splitters or combiners)?

Aerial into a sat LNB /tv diplexer and out via a splitter will lose a significant amount of signal. e.g. https://www.triax.uk/products/outlets/triax-uk-wall-outlets/tv-radio-sat

Your username suggests I-o-W and Rowridge maybe? If so, and the high gain was a group A aerial, then the 700 MHz clearance changes in early 2018 moved com 7 (& 8) outwith the aerial reception bandwidth. Not much to do about that and not worth spending money on the temporary frequency I'd say.
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member
Cheers for the replies, I like the sound of the HTPC/Linux Enigma type box, but having read up a lot about teh Freesat boxes since last night, I'm coing to the conclusion I might just have to forget Forces TV for now (or try the satelite receiver in the TV just for that) and get a Humax Aura box as that seems to tick all thee boxes for what I want to do with a few bonuses like Plex and Google Play as I have a few films in that).
I’ve been using a Zgemma H7S, and bought one for my Mum, having cancelled Sky both households. Oddly one needed fitting the hard drive internally, the other had a slot in the back where a 2.5” laptop Sata drive could just be inserted. As a tinkerer of gadgets, used to playing around with computers and gadgets, it appealed to me, you could also install Kodi and the like, and use custom Homebrew OS and skins and the like.

However other posters are correct, it’s so much simpler to just go with a Firestick or alternative for apps and streaming.

For the box, I’ve found you don’t need anything more than to put the latest OpenVix build on which just requires downloading the image to a usb stick, and starting the box whilst holding a button down to flash the drive. The startup wizard sets everything up easily, and the EPG and recording and all you need is taken care of. It’s useful on this model having free terrestrial as well as twin satellite combined. There’s a lot more you can do with ‘bouquets’ for grouping channels, and there is a small learning curve for the UI (Sky can’t be beat in this area), but you can find most answers online (for example I had to research how to add channels as favourites, it isn’t intuitive).

But I think OpenVIX has the best looking UI/EPG, a couple of skins to choose between, and has been going long enough to be very stable and well supported online. And you have the option to delve into the Kodi/IPTV type stuff if you like.
 

MJH1962

Active Member
All very well but they are not a mainstream solution for the 99.9% of the public who just want to unbox and plug it in. I speak from experience having tried and ditched an Enigma box.
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member
I don’t disagree, but nor do I think my post implied anything otherwise. Also for a lot more than 0.1% of the public the concept of downloading and flashing firmware is not necessarily anything new, particularly for posters who bother coming on and posting in avforums.
 

ShaunIOW

Active Member
I’ve been using a Zgemma H7S, and bought one for my Mum, having cancelled Sky both households. Oddly one needed fitting the hard drive internally, the other had a slot in the back where a 2.5” laptop Sata drive could just be inserted. As a tinkerer of gadgets, used to playing around with computers and gadgets, it appealed to me, you could also install Kodi and the like, and use custom Homebrew OS and skins and the like.

However other posters are correct, it’s so much simpler to just go with a Firestick or alternative for apps and streaming.

For the box, I’ve found you don’t need anything more than to put the latest OpenVix build on which just requires downloading the image to a usb stick, and starting the box whilst holding a button down to flash the drive. The startup wizard sets everything up easily, and the EPG and recording and all you need is taken care of. It’s useful on this model having free terrestrial as well as twin satellite combined. There’s a lot more you can do with ‘bouquets’ for grouping channels, and there is a small learning curve for the UI (Sky can’t be beat in this area), but you can find most answers online (for example I had to research how to add channels as favourites, it isn’t intuitive).

But I think OpenVIX has the best looking UI/EPG, a couple of skins to choose between, and has been going long enough to be very stable and well supported online. And you have the option to delve into the Kodi/IPTV type stuff if you like.
Tht looks interesting. Do you have to switch between Freeview and Freesat or can you get all channels in the EPG, so say it's possible to record off a freesat channel while watching Freeview?
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member
You can see them all in the epg, you can also use the RGBY buttons on the remote, to apply various filters, or use groupings called bouquets, e.g. favourites, HD only, etc.
 

MJH1962

Active Member
I don’t disagree, but nor do I think my post implied anything otherwise. Also for a lot more than 0.1% of the public the concept of downloading and flashing firmware is not necessarily anything new, particularly for posters who bother coming on and posting in avforums.
I would bet my house on the % of Enigma boxes compared to the overall number of recordable set top boxes in use in the UK being a lot less than 0.1% though. There’s niche and then there are Enigma 2 boxes.
 

rs101

Member
But I would think it would be a lot higher than 0.1% of free to air satellite users
Last BARB figures shows there were similar numbers of people using Freesat as there are other non-subscription satellite boxes (these are a mix of Sky boxes without active subs and Engima or other boxes), so I'd think it's probably more than .1% of the public
 

JonMace

Well-known Member
I honestly dont see why people think E2 boxes are that difficult, in the old days of card sharing etc then it was a lot different, but now that its just legit free to air, you use auto bouquet maker tell it your area select FreeSat and sky free to air, and you are done
 

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