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.
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).
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.
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.
What’s Included In The October Freesat Boxes Update?
The new features and bug fixes, as detailed by Freesat, include:
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.
– 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.
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