Freesat Boxes Just Got Better Thanks To A New Update

This post may contain affiliate links*

Freesat’s 4K set-top boxes are getting another major software update this week, with a long list of bug fixes, stability improvements and some new features, including better control over picture and sound, easier access to streaming players, hard drive repair options and more.

These updates and fixes (see full list below) are only relevant to the newer, 4K Freesat boxes that were released in 2020 (also known as the Arris boxes, named after their manufacturer), and do not apply to any older Humax Freesat boxes.

At launch, many Freesat users were suffering from bugs and stability issues with the new 4K boxes. Since then, over several updates, things have improved – and this week’s update fixes several additional bugs and issues.

Watching Freesat living room 1200
Photo: Freesat

With Freesat, you can watch more than 80 channels (20+ in HD), without paying a monthly subscription to anyone (though you would still need a TV Licence in most cases).

Freesat, which was originally a joint venture between the BBC and ITV, was acquired by Digital UK last year – the company that leads the development of Freeview – therefore Freesat and Freeview are now one company.

Instead of having to rely on aerial transmitters (as you do with Freeview), you just point your small satellite dish at the sky, connect it to a tuner inside the house, and you’re good to go (Some can also use their old Sky dishes for Freesat, though those sometimes require retuning).

TV Satellite dish engineer

In 2020, Freesat launched a new range of set-top boxes, replacing the older Humax Freesat devices. The new boxes combine the Freesat service – which requires a satellite dish – with streaming via broadband.

The line includes a 4K Freesat Player with some streaming apps, and a 4K Freesat recorder (also with streaming apps) that can record up to 4 programmes at the same time – you can read more about the boxes in our Freesat recommendations roundup.

With the merging of Freesat and Freeview’s development, it was hoped that software updates would become even more frequent – but the last software update for Freesat’s 4K boxes before this week, was a minor update back in May 2022.

Freesat Recording box 4K
Freesat Recording box 4K

How Can I Get The New Freesat Software Update?

The software update, which carries the friendly name “5.2.2.p1_ui_1.5.0″ is already available (from October 25) and is intended for Freesat’s 4K TV Boxes.

The update should be installed automatically on your device, as long as you leave it on Standby mode overnight. To check whether you have the latest version:

  • Press the Home button on your remote control.
  • Choose Settings.
  • Then choose System Information.

Freesat 4K remote

What’s Included In The October Freesat Boxes Update?

The new features and bug fixes, as detailed by Freesat, include:

New Features:

1. The Picture & Sound Settings have been revamped, and you can now select HDMI and Optical audio output modes independently. You can also now toggle HDMI-CEC functionality on or off.

2. Netflix settings can now be reset, in the event the Netflix app on your Freesat box gets into a bad state.

3. Failed recordings now have additional contextual information so you can better understand why a recording failed.

4. On-demand player apps can now be shown and launched from Showcase.

5. Hard drive repair options have been added, for when a hard drive fault is detected during operation.

Fixes:

– Fixed an issue where boxes would get stuck on a black screen/Freesat logo when switching on

– ‘No Data Available’ no longer flashes up on programme information when zapping through channels

– We have resolved several issues with the info panel when in time shift mode and while using the 1 & 3-line guides

– Improved audio mapping to resolve some sound problems

– The box now remembers the last tuned channel after a reboot

– Several issues with search have been fixed

– Fixed issues with recordings management when hard drives are full

Furthermore, Freesat says that lots of other reliability and stability improvements have been done.

For more updates on Freesat and TV in the UK, Subscribe to our free newsletter.

25 thoughts on “Freesat Boxes Just Got Better Thanks To A New Update”

  1. I feel that the new Freesat recorder box by Freeview is not as good as the Humax recorder box due to a ridiculously small remote with buttons too close to each other, and missing functions and ponderous software.

    OK Humax are out of the game now, however the Humax box was made under licence from them so, to design a poor version of software and remote is very disappointing. Yes the Freeview Freesat recording box is better than the other one’s, but no excuse for it not being as good as the Humax one that has now been discontinued.

    Reply
  2. Trying the partial fix of switching from surround sound to stereo in Settings. We will see. Tech support promise notification when they have a fix.

    Reply
  3. Well that’s me totally peed off. Just done a factory reset on my box and losing all my recordings to see if it would sort out the sound drop outs and then discovered the aboveconversation. Ah well at least I won’t have to waste time calling customer services. Just wait and hope for a firmware fix

    Reply
    • You can stop the drop outs by setting the sound output to stereo in the boxes settings but then of course you lose the Dolby surround sound. Freesat have now confirmed there is a bug in the current firmware and they are working on a fix but there is of course no eta for that fix!

      Reply
    • This was the answer I got when I asked channel 4 – not a very helpful reply:
      Thank you for your email regarding All 4.
      As our last email stated, the All 4 app on Fressat is not available and we’re afraid that we do not disclose our plans for launching All 4 on new platforms to the public in advance.

      We are constantly reviewing our options regarding which devices to be on and aim to provide the best possible experience for viewers using our apps. However, All 4 is currently available on various other platforms and devices such as: Sky, Virgin Media, via our website, iOS app, Android mobile app, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, YouView, Freeview Play, Roku/Now TV boxes, Chromecast, Playstation 3/4, Xbox One and Xbox 360
      If you require further information, feel free to email me back or visit http://www.channel4.com/4viewers/faqs

      Reply
  4. The new update has created a problem for some of us with external amplifiers. All my recordings before and after the update now have sound drop outs. I’ve contacted Freesat and they have confirmed there is a problem which they are looking at. There is no eta for a fix though. I’d sooner have the previous version of the firmware tbh.

    Reply
    • Are you only getting this on recordings. I ask because we have started getting intermittent brief sound dropouts (cutting out fora second or less, but usually several times I quick succession) on live and recorded freesat via our Sonos Beam with two rears speakers. The Sonos setup does not show this when playing music direct, nor do on-demand steam services on our LG smart TV, so I suspect the Freesat box.

      Reply
      • Yes I’m only getting this on recordings and it started immediately after the recent Freesat Firmware update. I’ve flagged this with Freesat and they are supposed to be investigating but it has gone quiet of late. I’m not very happy. I would raise it directly with Freesat support. The more people that do this the greater the chance of getting it fixed. I have been dealing with [email protected]
        They do seem reasonably responsive though they have failed to fix it this far.

        Reply
      • FWIW, I have the same set up with Sonos and I’m experiencing exactly the same intermittent sound glitches watching live TV. Have tried the reset to no avail. Looks like we are stuck with this until the next firmware update.

        Reply
  5. I have always had humax and was a distributor for a while. Although arris had its faults it had great ideas, let’s hide they get there act in gear and things get better.
    I like my new arris box through all its faults.

    Reply
  6. With sky moving to streaming and their current contract for Astra satellites up at the beginning of 2028, is the expectation that this will go like analogue sat did? A slow winding down until there’s nothing less, with sky q boxes satellite ports becoming redundant?
    Where will this leave these boxes?

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

man watchin streaming tv on tablet

Get Cord Buster's Free UK TV Streaming Cheatsheet

FREE

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get TV And Tech News

Get Bonus Streaming TV Guide