Having done a bit of mystery shopping, I posted on Tuesday about the complete lack of freesat set-top boxes available in Belfast on the day of the national launch.
What a difference three days makes!
Today at lunchtime, Currys are stocking the Humax Foxsat HD receiver. Three units if you count the display model.
Unfortunately, it’s only one out of the five set-top boxes on the market. And at £149.99 it’s the most expensive, offering reception of the HD channel
s. No cheaper (£49.99) standard definition freesat receivers.
(Admittedly, the channels can probably be picked up, decoded and thrown down a SCART lead to a TV using any bog standard satellite receiver – the kind of kit that’s available from Maplin – but those boxes are likely to lack the EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) support and won’t be Ethernet-enabled to support iPlayer/Kangaroo catch-up services when they are switched on over coming months.)
It’s a start, but a slow and expensive one.
Update - Wed 14 May - Argos now have a selection of the boxes available in Northern Stores - just not in their largest Ross Court store. But Connswater, Great Victoria Street and Castlecourt have stock availability.