The UK's first Freeview+ HD PVR hits the shelves

Thursday, May 20th, 2010
Pace plc logo

Sleek Philips HDT8520, designed by Pace, set to be one of the summer’s hottest tech buys

Philips HDT8520, designed by Pace plc (LSE:PIC), is the first Freeview+ HD PVR (Personal Video Recorder) to be available in the UK. The Philips HDT8520 PVR will enable viewers to watch TV, including every game from this summer’s World Cup, in stunning high definition. It is currently the only Freeview HD device that will allow you to record the World Cup action. The box provides great value access to the superior sound and picture quality of Freeview HD services for a one-off price, without the need for a monthly subscription.

With a striking design integrating a lighting feature, the low-energy device enables viewers to record and play back their favourite shows, as well as pause or rewind live TV. It comes equipped with a 500GB hard drive, giving up to 250 hours of recording time in standard definition (SD), or up to 125 hours of native HD content. The PVR boasts all the useful recording features such as one-touch recording, series recording, a 3-hour buffer for time shifting and two tuners, meaning viewers can watch one programme while recording another. It has also been developed to operate almost silently, avoiding the whirring noise so often associated with recording devices.

The HDT8520 looks set to be one of the hottest tech buys of the summer – particularly for football fans, who can now watch and record the World Cup action in stunning high definition without a payTV subscription.

The box is packed with features so consumers can easily enjoy all the benefits of Freeview HD, with automatic installation and channel update, 1080p HD up-scaling, and Ethernet ports for enhanced connectivity. All Philips “Designed by Pace” set-top boxes are manufactured to a rigorous set of guidelines, which go beyond the EU regulations to minimise environmental impact. For instance, the Freeview+ HD PVR has an energy consumption of just 15W in active mode, well below the industry norm.

The Philips HDT8520 goes on sale today at a recommended retailing price of £299 from high-street retailers John Lewis, DSGi (Currys), Comet, Tesco and Richer Sounds, online at Amazon, and at hundreds of independent retailers throughout the UK.

Technical Specifications

Philips HDT8520 Freeview HD PVR

  • Reception and recording of Freeview and Freeview HD channels and programs
  • Broadcast Resolution: 720p, 1080i
  • Up to 1080p upscaling
  • Automatic adaptation to TV set preferred resolution
  • Automatic installation
  • Up to 1000 channels
  • Parental control (Child lock)
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 audio output
  • Capacity: 500GB
  • Recording time:
    • In MPEG2: up to 250 hours
    • In MPEG4: up to 125 hours
  • Pause Live TV with 3 hour time shift buffer
  • Up to x1/4 slow motion and x 128 fast forward / rewind
  • Easy record programming via 8 day Program Guide
  • Extra low noise levels in active and recording modes
  • Power consumption: 15 W typical
  • Standby: <1 W
  • Dimensions: (mm) 240 x 65 x 210

Freeview HD

The Freeview HD signal began transmitting in December 2009 from Crystal Palace in London and Winter Hill in the Manchester area, and will have reached 50% coverage of the UK population by June, for the start of the World Cup. BBC HD, ITV HD and Channel 4 (plus S4/C in Wales) are all already broadcasting superb quality TV in many areas across the UK. The boxes will also give access to all the existing Freeview services, including up to 50 TV channels and 24 radio channels.