The HD-FOX T2 – the first Freeview HD set-top box available to buy from UK retailers – is proving popular according to its manufacturer, Humax.
With a recommended retail price of £179, the HD-FOX T2 Freeview HD set-top box is available to buy from all major multiples – including John Lewis and Comet – as well as key independent electrical retailers.
Which? already has the HD-FOX T2 undergoing tests in its lab, so watch this space for the results of our rigorous testing.
If you can’t wait that long to experience the crystal clarity of HD, check out how Which? rates HD set-top boxes from Freesat, Sky and Virgin in the Which? reviews of Freeview and Freesat set-top boxes and PVRs.
What is Freeview HD?
High definition (HD) is one of the most significant developments in TV in recent years. It lets you watch a wide range of TV programmes – from nature documentaries to sport – in crystal clarity.
But until now, if you wanted to watch HD TV you’ve either had to pay a subscription to Sky or Virgin Media, or have a dish fitted to the side of your house to watch it via a Freesat signal.
Digital Switchover has meant that it’s now possible to broadcast an HD signal via your TV aerial so you can watch HD TV on Freeview, making HD broadcasts accessible in a whole new way.
How to watch high definition TV on Freeview
To watch Freeview HD, you’ll need three things:
- To live in an area where the Freeview HD signal is broadcasting. At the moment that’s only London and Manchester, but other major cities will receive a signal in time to watch the 2010 football World Cup. It will be rolling out to the rest of the UK over the next couple of years – usually in line with Digital Switchover dates. Find out when your region switches to digital TV in the Which? guide to digital switchover explained. If your region’s already switched to digital, you’re likely to get a Freeview HD signal at some time in 2010.
- An HD-ready TV set, such as those featured in the Which? review of flat-screen TVs.
- A Freeview HD-tuner – this could be in the form of a Freeview HD set-top box such as the HD-FOX T2, which will work with an existing HD-ready TV. If you’re in the market for a new TV though, you might want to hold out for an HD TV with a Freeview HD tuner built in – likely to be hitting the shops soon.
Find out more about Freeview HD and how to get it in the Which? guide – Freeview HD explained.
Demand for HD-FOX T2 is strong
Graham North, Commercial Director at Humax, told Which?: ‘The Humax HD-FOX T2 has only been on sale nationwide for ten days and consumer demand is strong. We are shipping more boxes into the UK throughout March to meet this increasing demand as Freeview HD rolls out across the country.’
The HD-FOX T2 is just one of a range of Freeview HD boxes from Humax likely to be hitting the shops over the next few months. Rival set-top box market leader Toshiba also plans to launch a range of set-top boxes but has told Which? they won’t be available to buy until June.
Which? digital TV expert Dave Holes says: ‘It’s great to see the Freeview HD hardware finally hitting the shops. Transmissions have been broadcasting in London for a couple of months but until now no-one has been able to receive it!
We’ll reserve judgment on this box until our lab have put it through its paces – we’ll let you know our verdict as soon as we can.’
If you want to take advantage of Freeview HD when it becomes available where you live, get prepared with a Best Buy HD TV set from our LCD and plasma TV review.
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