Finally, months after Humax stopped producing their popular HB-1100S and HDR-1100S range of Freesat boxes and stocks of the Humax Freesat boxes virtually zero in the UK, the new and latest Freesat boxes have been launched.
Manufactured by Arris, these boxes will be sold to retailers by Freesat themselves, and not by Arris.
Currently only the non recording box is available, but a recording box, with 500GB, 1TB & 2TB hard dives, will be released in the coming weeks.
This means that only two manufacturers are currently making Freesat boxes. Manhattan with their budget SX Freesat set top box, and Arris with their recording and non recording boxes.
The user interface on the new Arris Freesat box does look a bit like one that earlier Freesat boxes from Humax used. A bit of a step back if you ask me.
These new Arris Freesat boxes support 4k / UHD. But since there is a severe lack of 4K content on UK TV, only the youtube and Netflix apps on the box will currently support 4k.
The boxes will also support “wideband” lnbs, like those LNBs used for SkyQ. This will explain why the non recording receiver has two inputs for two tuners. The recording versions, to be released later, will have the option, with a wideband LNB, to record up to 4 channels at once. But they can still be used with the standard “universal” LNB.
The boxes will support Dolby Atmos audio. Again, a bit like the 4k compatibility, this will only be limited to Netflix and Youtube, since no broadcasters on Freesat uses Dolby Atmos yet.
These boxes are as yet untested for reception in weak signal areas like Spain. But I have a few on order to test and review. However, I would state that if you are currently using a Humax Freesat set top box like the HB 1100S, then there is no real reason to upgrade to this box at the moment.
Technical Specifications for the non recording Arris Freesat box
|Tuner Type||Freesat HD and 4K|
|Number of Tuners||2|
|Programme Guide||7 days forward|
|Built In Hard Drive||No|
|Sound Type||Dolby Atmos|
|Subtitles / Audio Description||Yes|
|Internet Connection||Built-in WiFiEthernet|
|On Demand Services(Available outside the UK|
with a VPN / Smart DNS service)
|BBC iPlayerITV Hub|
|Video Connection||HDMI x1|
|Other Connections||USB 2.0 x1Optical Out x1|
|Box Contents||Freesat 4K TV BoxQuick Start Guide|
Power Supply Unit
Remote Control x1
HDMI cable x1
AAA batteries x2
1.06W Connected / 0.32W Unconnected
9.1W Connected / 9.1W Unconnected
|Dimensions||40 x 180 x 120 mm (H x W x D)|
|Warranty||Yes – 1 year|