Humax has given details of the Freeview HD product it intends to launch in the first quarter of 2010. Demonstrating the product in Central London, Graham North, commercial director, Humax Electronics UK, said he anticipated the standalone box would be available from the middle of the quarter, with the PVR version following before the World Cup in June.
At £170 retail it is unlikely that the standard product will be the cheapest in the market, but with features including upscaling to 1080/p50 (Full HD), plus the later ability to record onto an external USB drive and use the box as part of a home networking solution, earlier adopters will not want for functionality.
Both receivers also feature an Ethernet port and are described as “Portal Ready”. This means that should Freeview decide to follow the lead of Freesat in the addition of catch-up TV services it is ready to do so. “We won’t make a receiver that isn’t capable of [connecting to the internet] and most other manufacturers are the same.” North also said that in future software updates might be delivered over the internet, rather that wait for space on the UK DTT Update Channel to become available.
Other Freeview HD product is expected from Pace, Vestel, Sony and Panasonic.
According to GfK, Humax has built up a share of 40% in the UK market for its free-to-air PVR products, for reception of both Freeview and Freesat.