Sagemcom Freeview+ HD: Simple, yet effective

The number of companies vying for a space next to your TV seems to grow every day. Once the sole domain of the VCR, now countless set top boxes all jostle for your attention. From 3D Blu Ray players to the new Mac Mini, there are more ways than ever to beam images onto a TV screen.

Joining the throng of devices competing for your hard earned cash is Sagemcom’s SAGEMCOM RTI90-320 T2 HD and the SAGEMCOM RTI90-500 T2 HD. Rather than attempting to be a Jack of all Trades, Sagemcom have instead decided to become a master craftsman and have focussed on the Freeview+ HD markets.

Sagemcom-Freeview+HD

Sagemcom invited us to a product launch and we got to spend some time looking at the unit with some of the Sagemcom team. Remarkably simple to operate, the SAGEMCOM RTI90-320 T2 HD is compact and looks like a chubby VHS. Packaged with everything you need to be up and running in minutes – the unit, remote, batteries and wonderfully, an HDMI lead. Tantalizingly there is a USB port at the front and an Ethernet port at the back of the unit. Pouring over the refreshingly thin manual I could find no real clue as to what they were for. When I asked the Sagemcom team they confirmed -the ports don’t have an official function yet. However there is a possibility they may be upgraded at some point in the future. For now however, the focus is on getting the Freeview+ HD functionality right.

After tuning, the unit is virtually idiot proof. The inbuilt hard drive (320 Gb on the unit i used but there is a 500 Gb unit floating around) allows simple one button recording, either from the EPG or from the live TV which you can also pause, record or rewind. You can also record a whole series, via the Series Link feature, hard drive space permitting. Twin DVB-T2 tuners are fitted so you can record two programs at once and of course you can access Freeview HD channels, including BBC and ITV HD, so it’s an ideal device to watch the World Cup on. If you watch a lot of Freeview and crave digital simplicity, this unit could well be for you.

Prices for the Freeview+ HD £249.99 for the 320gb and £299.99 for the 500gb which is due out at the end of the month.