The maker of the Sky+ box, Pace, has launched a pair of Freeview HD set-toppers in conjunction with Philips which will be out well in time for this summer's World Cup.
The UK company has come up with the Philips DTR5520 Freeview HD receiver and the Philips HDT8520 500GB, twin tuner, Freeview HD+ PVR, which will cost £159 and £299 respectively. Both boxes will automatically output the best resolution appropriate for your TV up to 1080p and have SCART, HDMI, Ethernet and USB although no digital video codecs are supported from flash drives and the internet connections are for future proof purposes only at the moment.
Naturally, the Pace spokesmen wouldn't comment as to why Philips hadn't simply integrated Freeview HD units into their TV sets announced a few weeks ago, but chief technical engineer, Nicolas Laroche, did make the set top box company's strategy clear with a quick swipe at the main competition. He said:
"To be begin with, all we want to do is to be simple and allow consumers to watch HD and record HD. We think what Humax is doing with their Freeview HD boxes is confusing. Further down the line, we will of course be looking to add the likes of iPlayer and Sky Player and other on-demand and internet provided services".
The HDT8520 can store 125 hours of HD footage, control live TV with a 3-hour time shift buffer, scan between x1/4 slow motion and up to x128 backwards and forwards and has an 8-day EPG. It runs at less than 15W when active and 0.6W in standby mode and will be hitting the shelves in mid May.
Like its bigger brother, the DTR5520 receiver runs at very low power, just 6W, and its strength this time is its size at just 1.6kg and measuring 290 x 37 x 160mm. It's available at the end of April.