HomeBuying GuidesElectronicsHow To Buy The Best Freeview Box In 2022

How To Buy The Best Freeview Box In 2022

Looking to buy the best Freeview box? Check out our guide below and you’ll be well-placed to select the correct one for your needs.

Take advantage of the best in broadcast television, as well as streaming options and catch-up TV.

Some argue that broadcast television is no longer relevant, and that catch-up TV services have rendered the PVR obsolete.

They also overlook the simplicity and control that a Freeview HD box provides, especially if you aren’t willing or able to pay for a Virgin or Sky subscription TV package.

You could be stuck with an old one that has a sluggish, flaky interface, can’t handle HD channels, or doesn’t have built-in catch-up TV.
A new box could change how – and how much – you watch your favourite shows in such instance.
While basic Freeview HD remains the most affordable choice, a supercharged Freeview Play unit, which integrates catch-up TV services into the usual electronic programme guide, isn’t much more expensive (EPG).

Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are also integrated into the same set-top boxes, allowing you to flip from BBC’s The Bridge to Netflix’s The Crown without changing the source or remote control.
They’re also simple to use, requiring only a spare HDMI port on your TV and a wire to link the two.

How do you select the best Freeview box for your needs?

Check to see if you actually require a Freeview box.
If you bought a TV in the last few years, it’s likely that it already includes a Freeview receiver and, if you plug an external hard drive into a free USB port, recording capabilities.

Freeview Play may be built-in to your TV if you bought it within the last year or so.
However, just because you have a Freeview tuner doesn’t mean you don’t want a Freeview HD set-top box; your EPG may be slow, ugly, or unstable, or your tuner may struggle to offer a decent HD picture or upscale SD content to HD.
Even TVs with recording capabilities can frequently only record one channel at a time.

There may be additional ways to receive Freeview HD TV via your aerial.
Customers who subscribe to BT TV receive a 4K-capable Freeview HD recorder, while TalkTalk TV subscribers can choose from a variety of boxes.

What should my budget be?

It all depends on what you’re looking for.
If all you want to do is watch Freeview HD channels, you can get a receiver for under £30, however these are usually older or obsolete models.
Fortunately, Freeview Play boxes have dropped in price significantly, and you can now get a considerably more competent box for £50-100.
Prices for a recorder range from roughly £100 to £250, depending on the hard drive capacity.

Is it necessary for me to record or watch catch-up television?

In the age of catch-up television, some argue that recording is no longer a must-have feature.
You won’t find programmes suddenly disappearing from your set-top box while you’re halfway through a series unless you’re short on hard drive capacity, and you can keep a favourite show or film on the box for years if you record them.
Recorders also come with two or more receivers, allowing you to simultaneously record two channels or watch one show while recording another.
It’s worth noting that some receivers now have recording capabilities, allowing you to save programmes from the EPG to an external hard disc.

Is there anything more I should look for?

Apps for streaming services like as YouTube, iPlayer, All 4 and Amazon Prime Video are also available on Freeview Play boxes, though Now TV and Netflix support appears to have vanished in the last year.

Furthermore, Freeview Play has added new tools that recommend shows from a variety of channels in a variety of genres or allow users to search for shows using a universal search.
You’ll need a wired or wireless network connection to enjoy these capabilities, as well as the catch-up services.
Fortunately, most now come with built-in Wi-Fi.

What about connectivity and resolution?

It’s currently very hard to find a Freeview box that doesn’t support 1080i Freeview HD broadcasts over HDMI, making them ideal for Full HD 1080p TVs.
There are other versions built to work at 4K resolutions, albeit there is one major drawback.
Mainstream TV broadcasters, such as the BBC, have so far only broadcast 4K content via online streaming services, and this trend appears to be likely to continue in the near future.
4K boxes are still helpful for watching 4K material on Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video, but you won’t be seeing any more 4K channels anytime soon.

If you have an old SD TV, there’s bad news: while you might be able to find an old Freeview box with an analogue SCART output, the great majority of Freeview boxes have now switched to HDMI.
Otherwise, if you wish to connect your box directly to a soundbar or amplifier, digital optical or analogue stereo outputs can be beneficial, though in most circumstances, sound should be routed through the TV through HDMI along with the picture.
Almost all of them support basic Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, but only a few additionally support the newer Dolby Atmos standard, which is only used by streaming services and not by traditional broadcasts.

What common features are found on Freeview boxes?

Programme Guides

At the very least, your Freeview box will have HD connectivity and a well-designed electronic programme guide, or EPG as it’s also known. This gives you immediate access to the future television schedule, as well as the ability to set reminders for shows you can’t afford to miss.

Catch up with Freeview Play

Boxes that include Freeview Play add even more value and entertainment possibilities to the equation. This service combines traditional Freeview features with catch-up technology, allowing you to navigate back through the previous week’s programming and watch whatever you choose at the touch of a button. Just keep in mind that you’ll need an internet connection to use Freeview Play.

Recording, rewinding and pausing

Onboard memory, often known as hard drives (HDD), in some boxes allows you to pause, rewind, and record live television. These Freeview recorders come in a variety of storage capacity, but even the smallest can hold hundreds of hours of television. You may be able to record up to four channels at once, depending on the Freeview recorder you use, even while watching a fifth.

Streaming and on-demand

The introduction of smart apps is a relatively recent feature of many Freeview set-top boxes. Freeview boxes with smart apps, like a smart TV or media streaming device like a Fire TV Stick or Roku Express, will provide you access to a variety of on-demand streams and catch-up services. Netflix, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube are just a few examples. While these functions do necessitate an internet connection, the amount of additional entertainment alternatives available is astounding. And that’s before you start combining them with features like recording and Freeview Play.

The best Freeview boxes to buy

Bestseller No. 1
Clarity CSTBHD1 - Freeview Set Top Box 1080P Freeview HD with HDMI and Scart, Digibox Digital TV Receiver with Multimedia Player PVR, 150+ Channels
  • USB STICK NOT INCLUDED, if you wish to use to record function, you must use a USB stick which needs to be purchased seperately.
  • PLEASE NOTE, IF YOU DO NOT HAVE GOOD SIGNAL, THIS BOX WILL NOT FIX THE ISSUE. If your current reception is freezing or has signal issues, this box will not fix this problem.
  • Pause, Rewind, Fast Forward, Time shift and Record live TV – Scheduled a recording with a 7 Day TV program Guide: The Clarity CSTBHD1 TV recorder set top box allows you to pause, rewind, fast forward and record live TV by using the 7 day TV guide. You can also schedule recordings so you don't miss out on the action or an important episode.
  • Multiple connections – HDMI Output: For the Highest sound quality and picture purity. Coaxial audio output – For the Highest sound quality output. SCART - For connection to more traditional TVs. USB – Allows you to plug in your storage device to record programmes.
  • Other Features: Fully featured infra-red remote control, 27 timer event settings, Tuner loop-through, Favourite channels and stations list, Subtitles and Parental guidance locking.
Bestseller No. 2
Manhattan T3-R Freeview Play 4K Smart Recorder 500GB
  • The ultimate subscription-free TV experience: the T3-R perfectly combines over 85 Freeview channels with on demand TV from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play and more.
  • Pause and rewind live TV, record two programmes at once and record entire series at the touch of a button. The 500GB hard drive holds up to 300 hours of recordings, smartly organised into categories and series.
  • Catch up with the last 7 days straight from the TV guide (with supported channels & programmes).
  • Find, watch and save programmes effortlessly with featured picks, smart search, your own personal watchlist and more.
  • Bring YouTube and YouTube Kids to the biggest screen in the home.
Bestseller No. 3
Teknikal HD Freeview Set Top Box Receiver Plus Recorder for Digital TV Channels Tuner HDMI / Scart Outputs USB Memory Slot DVB-T Digi Box 4 Switchover
  • Receive over 70 Digital Channels Including HD Channels and Radio
  • Record Your Favorite Programmes & Instant Playback by USB Slot
  • Easy to set up and use, Remote Controlled, Compatible with all TVs with HDMI or Scart
  • Media playing Functions to play Music, Photos, Videos by USB slot
  • 1 Year Manufacturer's Warrany and Returns accepted in 14 days without question
Bestseller No. 4
HD Freeview Set Top Box – August DVB400 - Watch, Record, Play and Pause Live TV in 1080p High Definition - SCART and HDMI AV Out for Old and New Televisions
  • WATCH FREEVIEW IN FULL HD - The DVB400 allows you to experience Freeview in Full HD quality
  • RECORD TO STORAGE DEVICE - With a USB PVR, you can record all your favourite shows to EXTERNAL hard drive or USB stick to save forever
  • AUDIO OUT - Coaxial audio out allows you to connect easily to sound bars and stereo systems for truly awesome sound
  • PAUSE LIVE TV - Record Time Shift and EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) allow you to plan your viewing and pause the action
  • Max Resolution: 1080p - Video Output: HDMI / SCART - Audio Output: HDMI / SCART / Coaxial
Bestseller No. 5
Oakcastle SB110 Freeview Box | 150+ Freeview Channels | USB Recorder | YouTube & Weather App | Internet, Scart & HDMI Connectivity
  • HD VIDEO: Delivering full HD 1080p quality, connect to your existing roof or indoor aerial/antenna (antenna not included).
  • EASY SETUP: The SB110 Freeview box allows you to watch 150+ Freeview TV channels completely subscription-free, with no monthly fees to pay.
  • USB RECORDER FUNCTION: Using the built-in PVR function, record your favourite TV shows via USB stick. Please Note: Compatible with up to 1TB USB storage devices.
  • MULTI-CONNECTION: Connect an Ethernet cable or attach a WiFi dongle (Sold separately) to connect the freeview box to the internet and enjoy YouTube, Weather app, and RSS feed features, watch IPTV web contents, add your own web tv link or listen to internet radio stations.
  • WARRANTY: Oakcastle offer full technical support for every item, as well as including a comprehensive 36-month warranty (registration required).
SaleBestseller No. 6
EMtronics EMFBHD1 - Freeview Set Top Box 1080P Freeview HD with HDMI and Scart, Digibox Digital TV Receiver with Multimedia Player PVR, 150+ Channels
  • USB STICK NOT INCLUDED, if you wish to use to record function, you must use a USB stick which needs to be purchased seperately.
  • PLEASE NOTE, IF YOU DO NOT HAVE GOOD SIGNAL, THIS BOX WILL NOT FIX THE ISSUE. If your current reception is freezing or has signal issues, this box will not fix this problem.
  • Pause, Rewind, Fast Forward, Time shift and Record live TV – Scheduled a recording with a 7 Day TV program Guide: The EMtronics EMSTB1BL TV recorder set top box allows you to pause, rewind, fast forward and record live TV by using the 7 day TV guide. You can also schedule recordings so you don't miss out on the action or an important episode.
  • Multiple connections – HDMI Output: For the Highest sound quality and picture purity. Coaxial audio output – For the Highest sound quality output. SCART - For connection to more traditional TVs. USB – Allows you to plug in your storage device to record programmes.
  • Other Features: Fully featured infra-red remote control, 27 timer event settings, Tuner loop-through, Favourite channels and stations list, Subtitles and Parental guidance locking.
Bestseller No. 7
NEW FULL HD 1080P Freeview HD DIGITAL TV Set Top Box Tuner Terrestrial Receiver Analogue to Digital Television Converter & HD USB Recorder HDMI&SCART Out DVB-T2 7-Buttons 4in1
  • ✅ ENJOY 200 Digital TV Freeview Channels + FULL HD 1080p High Definition Channels & 50 Digital Radio Stations in UK & NORTHERN IRELAND & R.O.Ireland. (INC UK FULL HD Channels:; BBC 1/2/4/C/NEWS HD,CH4/5HD,ITV HD,+1HD,4/7HD, QVC HD , QVC Beauty HD,RT HD , CBeebies HD , Aljazeera HD,Talking Pictures,Film4+1,5STAR+1,5USA+1,VIVA+1,CBS Drama , Rishtey EU, DMAX, SONY MOVIE CHANNEL,Vintage TV & more)
  • ✅ NO MONTHLY FEES TO PAY , NO SUBSCRIPTIONS Just Simply Connect your existing Roof Or Indoor Aerial/Antenna
  • ✅ Record and Watch in FULL HD (if recorded program in HD Resolution!!!) Instant Replay, Pause Live TV, One Touch Recording, Program advance book recording, Time Shift, Playlist Playback, (USB Memory Stick is or external hard drive Required for the functions explained )
  • ✅ “USB WiFi Port Ready” : Simply Optional Purchase of a USB WiFi Stick /Dongle And insert into USB Port to access online Apps such as YouTube, RSS, Weather in the software by connecting Home Wi-Fi Router or Mobile Phone Tethering.
  • ✅ The Product works also as a Media Player. You can watch movies or play music in MP4/MP3/ MKV/AVI/ITUNES (QUICKTIME ) + .MOV +H.264 and More, View JPG , PNG photos via inserting your external USB Memory stick
Bestseller No. 8
Freeview Set Top Box Recorder - August DVB415 - 1080P Freeview HD Recorder HDMI and Scart Set-Top Box Receiver Digital TV Receiver with Multimedia Player PVR for Recording
  • RECORD TO USB STICK – *A USB is required to record TV* Simply attach your USB and utilise the DVR capabilities of the DVB415. Watch your files back through the Box or your PC
  • SCHEDULE YOUR RECORDINGS - Never miss your favourite shows with the simple and easy to use recording function - Playback with ease from your USB or HDD
  • WATCH YOUR MOVIE FILES ON TV - Bought a great movie in digital format and want to watch it on your TV not your laptop? The DVB415 acts as a Multimedia Centre giving you the ability to play back a wide range of file types on your TV
  • PAUSE AND REWIND LIVE TV - The DVB415 is equipped with Timeshift, EPG and Red Button content so keeping up to date with all your shows is simple
  • ENJOY FREEVIEW TV IN HD - The 1080p Freeview HD Tuner inside the DVB415 allows you to watch and record free to air television in full HD quality through HDMI or Scart Cable.
SaleBestseller No. 9
BT Youview+ Set Top Box with Twin HD Freeview and 7 Day Catch Up TV, No Subscription
  • Scroll back the last 7 days of TV and watch straight from your TV guide
  • Pause and rewind live TV, HD TV for sharper brighter viewing
  • Suitable On Demand library of TV and films.Extra quiet operation
  • Record up to 300 hours of TV (500 GB)
  • NOTE: Requires internet access to setup. WiFi NOT supported, Network Cable is included for connection to a router.
Bestseller No. 10
BT Youview+ Set Top Box (500Gb) Recorder with Twin HD Freeview and 7 Day Catch Up TV - no subscription (Renewed)
  • Scroll back the last 7 days of TV and watch straight from your TV guide
  • Pause and rewind live TV, HD TV for sharper brighter viewing
  • Record up to 300 hours of TV (500 GB)
  • IMPORTANT This box needs a broadband connection to activate (this can be the supplied ethernet or a WIFI adapter , sold separately
  • Media Player Apps- BBC IPLAYER, ITV HUB, AMAZON PRIME, NOW TV

Frequently asked questions: Freeview boxes

Is it possible to connect an HD box to an analogue television?

Yes, you may connect an analogue TV set to an HD Freeview box. You will, however, need to acquire an adaptor to do so.

A converter, such as the Benfei HDMI to Scart Adapter, is required to connect any HDMI device to a Scart connection.

A converter, such as the Gana HDMI to RCA Composite Cable Adapter, is required to connect any HDMI device to an RCA connection.

Although the box and channels may be HD, the image will no longer be high-definition after passing via a convertor/adapter and an analogue TV. If you’re looking for a low-cost HD TV, check out our guide to the top 32-inch TVs.

Is an aerial required to watch Freeview?

To receive Freeview’s digital terrestrial channels, you’ll need an aerial.

Can I use an indoor aerial with my Freeview box?

Yes, although many manufacturers advise against it since indoor or portable aerials are significantly less reliable than normal outdoor home aerials and are prone to interference. On its website, Freeview suggests the following:

“We recommend that you utilise a wideband aerial to achieve the greatest results.” Type T (for ‘total’) or Type W (for ‘wideband’) covers the whole range of signals used to transmit digital television and continues to work even if your TV signals change.”

Is an aerial required to watch Freeview Play, or can I use an internet connection instead?

To watch Freeview Play, you’ll need an aerial. As with conventional Freeview, live TV is obtained via an aerial. The on-demand and catch-up services are the only ones that require an internet connection. A minimum broadband speed of 2Mbps is required, according to Freeview.

Is an internet connection required for a Freeview box?

No, you don’t need an internet connection to watch Freeview. If you have Freeview Play, though, you’ll need an internet connection to use the on-demand services.

Any smart services included with your Freeview box, such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix, will require an internet connection.
What about ethernet connections and internet channels?

The vast majority of channels received by Freeview devices are digital terrestrial, which means they are delivered to you through aerial link. Even on boxes without smart/catch-up functionality, a hardwired ethernet connection provides access to a limited number of internet channels (which is a way of connecting to the internet). Ketchup TV, Box Nation, and Planet Knowledge are just a few of the internet networks available.

Don’t worry if you don’t have an internet or ethernet connection. These extra channels are optional; your Freeview box will continue to receive conventional main TV channels such as the BBC, ITV, and UKTV.

Why is my Freeview box not working?

If you’re having trouble with your Freeview Play equipment (for example, if your picture has frozen or the function lights aren’t working), resetting it typically solves the problem. To do so, turn off your gadget at the wall and leave it for around five minutes.

Honest Bob is committed to providing genuine guides from a panel of experts. As an Amazon affiliate Honest Bob earns commission from any qualifying purchases.Thank you for your support!

Must Read