Humax has announced the launch of what is thought to be the first DTT receiver capable of receiving the new Freeview HD platform.
The Humax HD-FOX T2 went on sale at the flagship John Lewis store in London’s Oxford Street on Saturday and will be available at other UK stores from today. The DVB-T2 receiver is priced at around £179.
“The launch of Freeview HD is a really exciting milestone. As the HD transmissions roll out across the UK millions of homes will be able to view the outstanding quality of HD through their aerial,” said Graham North, commercial director, Humax UK. “Humax has delivered a high quality, plug and play product for the terrestrial platform with the HD-FOX T2. The addition of USB media playback and home networking capabilities certainly reinforces our position as one of the most technologically advanced digital TV brands.”
Transmissions are currently taking place from Crystal Palace in South East London and Winter Hill in North West Britain. At present two channels, BBC HD and ITV1 HD, are available, but these will shortly be joined by Channel 4 HD and in Wales S4C. The combination of analogue switch-off and gap-fill transmitters will bring coverage to 50% of the UK by the World Cup in June.
Although the receiver features an Ethernet port capable of delivering broadband TV services – Humax’s equivalent satellite model is involved in Freesat’s beta of the BBC iPlayer – it seems unlikely that a similar service is on Freeview’s immediate roadmap. Last week Freeview MD Ilse Howling told the Broadcasting Press Guild that it was concentrating on high definition, leaving individual manufacturers to promote further servies.