Digital terrestrial television set-top-boxes have quality and their prices are falling

As the body responsible for coordinating the transition process from analogue to digital terrestrial television transmissions, ANACOM - Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações has signed a protocol with DECO - Associação Portuguesa para a Defesa do Consumidor(Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection) under which the association makes a commitment to carry out ongoing comparative tests on the DTT set-top-boxes which have been coming onto the market. The boxes are needed by anyone who wants to receive terrestrial digital television but doesn’t have an integrated digital television set.

The results of the tests conducted by DECO in October, available on the association’s website (www.deco.proteste.pt and on ANACOM’s website (www.anacom.pt, reveal that set-top-boxes vary greatly in terms of performance and price, but in no case does the image disappoint, even when displayed on conventional television sets (CRT).  With a high-definition signal, which is not currently being transmitted through terrestrial digital television, only two models fail to achieve very good results.

The experts at DECO decided not to recommend 4 devices, above all due to high electrical consumption when on stand-by, between 10.8 W (Teka TK2000 THD) and 17.4 W (Univers by FTE U6000): 5 times the limit specified by the European Commission.

According to DECO the prices of set-top-boxes also vary considerably from shop to shop, whereby consumers do well to shop around – this information can be found on DECO’s website.  According to the results of the DECO study it’s possible to save up to €77.80 on a Televes device, considered the best in the tests, by going to the right shop, highlighted as Alfa Elecktor, in Braga.

Prices break the 40 euros barrier

At the shops of Leroy Merlin, you can buy the Best Buy Easy Home TDT HD Nano set-top-box on promotion for 29.95 euros. Without the promotion the price is 36.95 euros, which is still the lowest price found on the market so far.  This device was not included in the DECO study.

The studies conducted by DECO under its partnership with ANACOM will run until April 2012, the date established for the switch off of analogue television in Portugal, providing information on equipment on the market and guiding and raising awareness among consumers.

Currently the terrestrial digital television network in Portugal covers around 86% of the population and provides improved television quality and audio.  It also enables transmission in high definition and new features such as the electronic programming guide.

DTT (DVB-T MPEG4) Set-top-boxes: Characteristics and test results
Make and model  Overall quality (%) 1  Prices (€)
October 2010
Shop with lowest price
Best of test.Televes TDT 7151  69 120 - 199 Braga Alfa Elecktor
Right choice.Denver DMB-105HD  67 49,90 - 65,37 National - Worten
BestBuy Easy Home TDT HD  66 65,37 - 92,99 Massamá  Computer System
Sigmatek DVBR-520 HD  63 63,11 - 100 Massamá Computer System
Optex/STARcom ORT8891/ 8891-HD  62 142,45 Massamá Computer System 
TechniSat DiGYBOXX T4  53 79,50 - 130,99 Fajã Baixo FMC Electrónica
Metronic Zapbox HD-Z2  45 85 - 117,55 Covilhã Civiléctrica
Iberosat TDT-3000  43 61,71 – 98 Coimbra Centro Eléctrico Coimbra
Teka TK2000 THD  38 72 - 164,77 Braga Alfa Elecktor
Strong SRT 8150  34 79,90 – 140 Viseu- Jorsat
Metronic Zapbox HD-Z1  29 89 - 99,99 Fnac Alcabideche e Alfragide e Box Castelo Branco
Univers by FTE U6000  28 96 - 150 Leiria – Sonigate Leiritrónica
Maximum T-102 FTA  not tested 55 - 118,41 Charneca Caparica- JMC Telecomunicações
Peribsen TDT4HD  not tested 59 - 100 Fajã Baixo-FMC Electrónica
Peribsen TDT4HD USB  not tested 69,90 - 119,90 Queluz Servelec
Strong SRT 8110  not tested 59,90 - 104,78 Viseu Jorsat

Best of test.Best of test
Right choice.Right choice
Economic choice.Economic choice
Very good.Very good
n.a.  Not applicable

The prices indicated for e-commerce shops include acquisition costs and delivery to Greater Lisbon.  These values may not be valid for other mainland districts or for the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores.


1 More than 65: good quality; 40 or less: don’t buy.