Best Budget Freeview Recorder 2024

Best Reviewer may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

Model
Features
August Freeview Box Recorder




Read Our Review

  • Allows you to record via its USB port straight to external hard drives and USB sticks up to 1TB (1000GB).
  • Easily set up scheduled recording and auto-channel changing so you don't miss your favourite shows.
  • Pause and rewind live TV using its timeshift function and its inbuilt multimedia player allows you to watch your digital videos, photos and music on your living room TV.
iView HD Set Top Box

Read Our Review

  • 200 Digital TV Freeview Channels + FULL HD 1080p High Definition Channels & 60 Digital Radio Stations in UK
  • Features Pause & Rewind Live TV, 7-Day Full EPG , One Touch Recording, Time Shift, Record and Watch in HD.
  • Records in FULL HD 1080P Resolution quality by USB Stick.
TalkTalk YouView DN372T


Read Our Review

  • Includes catchup apps from all major providers, plus Netflix and NowTV.
  • Over 70 Digital TV and Radio Channels including many free HD channels.
  • Hard drive with 320GB capacity.
BT YouView+ Freeview


Read Our Review

  • Works with ALL Broadband providers
  • BT TV and BT Sport ready
  • Hard Drive Capacity: 500GB.


HUMAX FVP-4000T


Read Our Review
  • Have built in Wi-Fi and 3 HD tuners that allow you to view to 60+ channels of subscription Free TV and listen to 25+ Radio Stations.
  • The large 500GB hard drive will store up to 300 hours.
  • Pause live TV to answer the door or make a cup of coffee then return to where you left off.

With TV being the central part of the home entertainment system – and much more than just a television these days, too – it’s no surprise that the market for peripherals and accessories is a vibrant one. After all, you can now buy a top of the range TV for just a few hundred pounds, and less expensive ones abound. A few years ago, it was the norm for households to invest in cable or satellite packages – but these proved to be somewhat expensive, and still are.

Don’t miss: Best indoor TV aerials

That’s why many homes have ditched these expensive packages and are watching Freeview channels; you’ll know by now that there are hundreds available covering all manner of interest, and they are all completely free. All you pay is your usual licence fee. However, the age of digital TV – which we are now firmly saddled with in the UK as the analogue signals have all been switched off – also brought with it the demise of one of the most popular devices in the home: the video recorder.

We loved our video recorders! Those days when you could set it in advance to record your favourite show or a late night film, wind back the tape and watch it, then use it again; the VCR brought a new dimension to home entertainment. It’s gone now, relegated to the loft with old Commodore computers and other defunct yet once wonderful technology, but it’s been ably replaced by its 21st century successor – the Freeview recorder. What is this useful and surprisingly cheap device, and why do you need one? Before we go on to give you details of the top ten Freeview recorders, let’s answer those questions.

The Top 10

1: August Freeview Box Recorder


Our first model is a simple and yet very usable recorder, that is designed to handle any free to air TV channels in the UK. It offers 1080P HD quality recording and playback, is easy to use and set up, and comes with all the necessary cables required to plug in and go, plus full instructions. Even if you don’t have a Freeview TV you will when you get one of these, as it includes a receiver alongside the recording device. It’s fully equipped, and has some great features as you will come to expect from these devices.

You can plan your recording up to 7 days in advance, so if you are away it will record what you want when you want, and you can watch it when you get home. It has forward ad rewind functions, and is also able to pause and rewind live TV, so if you get interrupted while watching a show or film, hit the button and pick up where you left off. You can also use it to play files from your computer or a USB stick, or an MP3 player. It’s versatile, compact and affordable.

Key Features
  • HD quality
  • Pause and rewind live TV
  • USB compatible
  • 7 day timer

2: iView HD Set Top Box


We are, without any apology, going to find ourselves repeating information throughout these reviews. This is because, as with many such items, a Freeview recorder is designed for a very specific purpose and therefore one will do pretty much what another does, with a few differences here and there. For example, as with the above, this one is a 1080P HD model, comes with a remote, is easy to set up and is supplied with the cables required.

You need an HDMI and/or SCART connection on your TV, but the chances are you have one, and this one comes with a recommendation that you get a USB stick to unlock the potential of what it can do. It has a 7-day advance timer, can stop and rewind live TV, and is equipped with the latest processors for great performance. This one is also very cheap, but bear in mind it is also basic – that’s all you need if you want to watch Freeview!

Key Features
  • HD qualitye
  • USB compatible
  • Pause and rewind
  • 7-day timer

3: TalkTalk YouView DN372T

Despite the branding, this model is made by electronics giant Huwei, and is a little different to those above in a couple of ways. It comes with a receiver for Freeview channels, but also includes access to the catch-up channels for the major terrestrial TV channels, so you can catch up on what you’ve missed over the last 7 days without having to record – great if you’re forgetful! It’s a neat little box and despite the TalkTalk branding, there is no subscription or account required.

This one comes with a 320GB hard drive – that’s enough for anyone and will record a great deal of TV – plus internal receiver, and also features a 15-day programme guide and timer. For those interested, it also accesses the popular Netflix streaming service, but bear in mind you will need a subscription to use this. Among other things it can record two channels at the same time, features parental control and is very easy to use. This one is, however, more than twice the price of the two above, but it’s a sophisticated device with many benefits.

Key Features
  • 320GB hard drive
  • Two channel recording
  • Parental controls
  • High quality

4: BT YouView+ Freeview


For the record, YouView is an interface that is used with many – if not all – of these boxes, and it will become very familiar to you once you set up. Also, we should say here that some of these – such as this one – require an internet connection to set them up, so bear that in mind. This is a nice box that offers all the usual features including HD quality, pause and rewind live TV, and a full guide, plus it is easy to set up and get going.

It has catch up so you can watch TV from the previous 7 days, comes with the connecting cables and full instructions, and is very easy to use. This one has a 500GB hard drive; that is among the largest you are going to find and is large enough to record an amazing 300 hours of TV, so there’s no need to delete anything straight away. There’s also a smartphone app that you can use for programming for added convenience. The downside is this: it may have a very large hard drive, but it also comes with a surprisingly large price, so check carefully.

Key Features
  • 500GB hard drive
  • Twin channel
  • Advance record
  • Pause live TV

5: HUMAX FVP-4000T


Now, before we get into the details of this one, a couple of things you should know: first, this is not a brand-new box, it’s refurbished. That means it has been used, has been fully checked and any parts that need replacing replaced, and is ‘good as new’. Second, despite that, it’s almost as costly as the one above – but bear with us, because it has its merits! It’s easy to use, features all the usual stuff such as pause and rewind live TV and HD quality, and it comes with everything to get going.

Why should you consider it? Well, it’s a very sophisticated piece of kit; it comes with a 500GB hard drive so can give you 300 hours of recording, and it has no fewer than 3 digital tuners within it. This means that you can record up to four different channels, at the same time as you are watching another one! Now, that is a great feature and is very impressive, but how often would you use it? Still, if that’s what you want, this is the one.

Key Features
  • records 4 at once
  • 500GB
  • HD quality
  • 300 hours

6: Panasonic DMR-HWT130EB9 Smart


If you like brand names that you can rely on, few are bigger in the electronics world than Panasonic, which has been at the forefront of audio-visual equipment for many decades. This is an impressive Freeview box that offers everything a normal family could possibly want, and it is suitably easy to use too. You can even operate this one from a free to purchase smartphone app, so can set it to record wherever you might be (though you need a Broadband connection to do so).

This one features a 500GB hard drive; we’ve said before that gives you 300hours capacity, but be aware that is 300hours of standard TV – HD quality will give you 130hours (which is still plenty). It has twin receivers so you can record two programmes while watching one, which is ideal for when two overlap. It can also be used for catch up services and is Skype compatible, too. Now for the bit we don’t like – it may be Panasonic, and it may be good, but it’s very expensive in this company.

Key Features
  • Panasonic brand
  • Two programmes at once
  • Catch up
  • 500GB

7: UK FULL HD Set Top Box


A Freeview recorder is designed for a very specific purpose and therefore one will do pretty much what another does, with a few differences here and there. For example, this one is a 1080P HD model, comes with a remote, is easy to set up and is supplied with the cables required. It’s from iView, who are not a brand name but it’s probably got the same internals as some of the others here, and it’s very simple to use.

You need an HDMI and/or SCART connection on your TV, but the chances are you have one, and this one comes with a recommendation that you get a USB stick to unlock the potential of what it can do. It has a 7-day advance timer, can stop and rewind live TV, and is equipped with the latest processors for great performance. This one is also very cheap, but bear in mind it is also basic – that’s all you need if you want to watch Freeview!

Key Features
  • HD quality
  • USB compatible
  • Pause and rewind
  • 7-day timer

8: Panasonic DMR-HWT150EB Smart


This is a second entry from Panasonic, which has been at the forefront of audio-visual equipment for many decades. This is an impressive Freeview box that offers everything a normal family could possibly want, and it is suitably easy to use too. You can even operate this one from a free to purchase smartphone app, so can set it to record wherever you might be (though you need a Broadband connection to do so). It also features a special ‘Long Record’ function.

The ‘Long Record’ feature means that from a standard 500GB hard drive you can record up to 340 hours of TV in real HD mode, which is much more than you would normally achieve. It has twin receivers so you can record two programmes while watching one, which is ideal for when two overlap. It can also be used for catch up services and is Skype compatible, too. So, you’re asking yourself how much it is? It is expensive when compared to some of these, without a doubt, but none of the others offers you that much capacity – but do you need it?

Key Features
  • Long Record 340hrs HD
  • Catch up
  • Rewind and pause
  • Compact

9: Humax FVP 5000-T


Our final model is another from the Humax brand, and this time it’s a new model. This particular one is among the most capable of all the Freeview recorders we have reviewed, as it has a 500GB hard drive that can give you up to 500hours of recording capacity for standard TV, and 250 for HD, and is also equipped with twin receivers, so you can watch one channel while recording three others. As such, it is a very impressive piece of kit that will appeal to those who want the latest technology.

You can record, pause and rewind live TV, it has access to all the Freeview channels and other functions and features, and it is very simple to use and programme. This is undoubtedly a high quality item and stands above most on here in terms of what it can do, but we advise you carefully as it is also the most costly. Indeed, you will pay a lot more for this than you will for any other on this list, but if it’s what you want, that’s up to you.

Key Features
  • 500hrs record time
  • 3 channel record
  • pause and rewind live

That’s our list of the top 10 Freeview recorders, but which is for you? Before we try and give you a verdict, let’s check out some of the important features you need to look for when buying one of these.

How It Works

The old VCR worked by recording images and sound onto magnetic tape; the Freeview recorder does pretty much what your computer is doing, and records it onto a chip, or perhaps an internal hard drive. The result is that you get a device that is simple to programme, easy to use, and has potentially very great capacity.

These machines are cheap to make, and therefore cheap to buy, and reproduce in far greater quality than a VCR ever did. This is because the magnetic tape would wear with use, whereas the chip or hard drive does not. They are reliable, and are usually remotely controlled, can be set in advance, and can record any channel that is free to air in the UK.

Now, bear in mind that smart TV’s may already come with a recorder built in, as will some other models. Thus, if you have one of these, you don’t need a Freeview recorder – unless, of course, it’s for a spare room, bedroom, or the children’s own TV’s. So, without any further ado, let’s have a look at the top 10 Freeview recorders on the market right now, so you can find the one that is best for your requirements.

Important Features to Consider

Here’s our selection of things to look for when you are considering your options:

Hard Drive – you want a good sized hard drive so you have plenty capacity; those we have listed range between 160GB and 500GB, so choose carefully.

Receivers/Tuners – every one of the above has at least one receiver, but those with more than one allow you to record more than one channel at once, a benefit if you have programmes that overlap.

Live TV – look for a model that records, pauses and rewinds live TV, as it’s a great feature for if you get interrupted.

HD – each of our choices offers High Definition resolution.

PIP – do you want or need Picture in Picture (PIP) which allows you to watch two channels on one screen? If you do, only one of these offers this function.

New or Refurbished – bear in mind a couple of the above are not brand new but refurbished; these are supplied as ‘good as new’ and also come with at least a year warranty, and can represent cost savings over the new models.

Price – not normally one of our considerations but given the price range of these starts at about £25 and nears £200, it’s an important one here.

So, which of these Freeview recorders is the right one for you? Let’s have a closer look.

Don't miss: Pocket projectors

Let’s Wrap It Up!

So you want a Freeview recorder, and you’re a touch bewildered by the options in the above ten choices? That’s understandable, but you have to think about what you are going to use it for. For example, do you really need to be able to record multiple channels while watching another one? It’s a great gimmick, but how often are you going to use it? Also, do you need to store 300 hours of TV? Furthermore, what is your budget for one of these?

Being realistic, if all you need is a simple machine that you can record programmes on, perhaps when you’re out, the models at number 1 and 2 on the list will do the job for you. They are cheap, and they are perfectly decent.

If you do need a model that will record more than one channel at once, then we suggest you look at the TalkTalk branded model at number 3, which is sensibly priced in this competition. If, however, you want the all-singing, all-dancing Freeview recorder that will impress your friends, and you can afford to spend the money, look at either the Panasonic model at number 9, which does pretty much everything you could possibly want, or the very clever Humax at number 10, which is as sophisticated as it gets.

The choice is yours, so here’s hoping we’ve helped you understand what you need to look for in one of these, and have fun recording your favourite shows!

Rate this post

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *