Samsung’s BD-DT7800 Freeview PVR: Preparing viewers for the digital switchover

I have never quite understood why companies offer cashback on their products rather than just simply dropping the price. Perhaps it has something to do with improving the cash flow of the business, as the customer pays more money in the first place and companies have a few weeks to give the consumer the cashback via a check. Who knows? This is however a tactic adopted by Samsung, who is offering £50 and £30 cashback incentives to customers purchasing various Blu-Ray, Freeview and Freesat personal video recorders. Part of the cashback package includes the new BD-DT7800 Freeview PVR.

Samsung-BD-DT7800-Freeview-PVR

As of the 4 April 2012, the London TV region will start the switch over of its analogue TV to digital. Samsung claim the BD-DT7800 is the perfect solution for the digital switchover, as it plugs straight into the aerial to receive Freeview in high definition picture quality.

Possessing twin HD tuners, viewers can watch a programme in high definition, whilst recording another. Viewers can then even edit their recorded programmes via a 500GB built-in hard disc drive. A ‘scene searcher’ feature allows users to fast forward or rewind scenes in films or in programmes by simply clicking on the thumbnail shots.

Having the ability to interact online and engage in social networking sites is an almost inherent component of new technology, regardless of its form. With Samsung Smart Hub built-in, the BD-DT7800 enables users to chat with contacts on Skype, Facebook and Twitter, as well as giving them access to thousands of films online, and, with a built-in Wireless LAN, users can connect to the Web, wire free.

The BD-DT7800 can also act as a storage device as it can back-up files from other sources. Not only this but Samsung’s new Freeview PVR can create an immersive 3D experience, by, via a pair of infra-red powered 3D glasses, converting 2D content into 3D.Quite a package really, makes me wonder why Samsung feel the need to resort to cashback incentives.

Something worth watching: the EZBox LT-105 digital freeview set-top box

With the analogue to digital switchover happening now, the nice people at NextD have created the EZBox LT-105, a gadget that allows analogue viewers to keep watching their favourite programmes without having to splash out on a new digital TV set. Complete with an auto-retune feature, the box will automatically upgrade when the switchover happens in your area without you having to lift a finger.

Ez-Box

The EZBox supports the Freeview TV standard and provides 50 Freeview Channels and 24 digital radio stations. These include the usual suspects (the BBC channels, ITV and Channel 4), as well as digital-only services, such as Film4, E4, BBC3 and ITV2. And if all this choice leaves you indecisive, viewers can now avoid family squabbles and choose their schedule in advance using the eight day listings guide.

Easy to set-up and install, the box comes with step-by-step instructions. Thanks to its auto-retune feature, users only have to go through the set-up process once. Even if channels are added to or removed from the digital service in the future, the box will automatically retune itself. Other standard features include parental controls, two scart connections to allow VCR recording and an RF loopthrough. Using less than 1W when on standby, the box is energy efficient and bill-friendly.

In addition to the usual set-top box features, NextD have installed a USB 2.0 connection for firmware downloads, as well as a JPEG and photo album viewer that allows you to share pictures with family and friends through your television set. For all the music lovers out there, the EZBox comes with WMA and MP3 playback features so you can listen to your favourite tunes before flicking over to the news.
On sale for just £35, the box can be purchased directly from Amazon and provides a cheap solution for analogue television owners.