What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Tue, 18 Oct 2011, 5:54pm

Samsung BD-DT7800

Tested at £250
100100
5

Product of the Year, Awards 2011. A superbly simple Freeview HD and Smart TV upgrade for older or more basic TVs

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For

  • Excellent picture and sound
  • supremely flexible specification
  • great to use
  • good value

Against

  • Can’t record two channels at once, or record while using Smart Hub
  • naff 3D feature

Samsung’s BD-DT7800 is a Freeview HD recorder with a difference. Not only does it deliver reception and recording of Freeview free-to-air HD and SD channels, this box brings you Samsung’s online entertainment portal, as found on the latest Smart TVs.

Add in some extra streaming features and this promises to be an instant TV upgrade.

The Samsung sports 500GB of hard-disk space, enough to record around 250 hours of SD or 100+ hours of HD TV.

Its two tuners  – you can watch one while recording from the other – are excellent, ensuring crisp, involving images and fine, hiss-free sound from both live broadcasts and recordings, especially (of course) with HD channels.

If that’s impressive, the BD-DT7800’s inclusion of Samsung’s Smart Hub
online portal (as found on the company’s best televisions) is nothing short of revolutionary.

It transforms your viewing choice, allowing the Samsung to stream from a great range of catch-up and on-demand services, including BBC iPlayer, Acetrax, LoveFilm and YouTube.

A social animal, to boot
You’ll also find plenty of apps to explore, including games, BBC News, Google Maps, Picasa, Facebook, Twitter and more. Thanks to a neat, smartphone-style interface and built-in wi-fi, it’s all very accessible, too.

On top of all that, the BD-DT7800 is also a very serviceable network streamer. It supports DLNA (which Samsung dubs AllShare), will stream high-quality file types such as MKV, and its USB socket can be used to replay from external hard-disks.

Quibbles? We wish Samsung had added the ability to record two channels at once, rather than a rather naff 2D-to-3D converter.

Otherwise, this smart Samsung is an awesome box of tricks for the money.

See all our Freeview set-top box reviews

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