I hate my freeview box. Its some piece of junk made by Tatung (who used to make quite good monitors)
Its not that difficult to use, its just it often takes a few seconds to action any command from the remote control, it sometimes freezes or crashes and requires me to cold restart it (ie: yank the power adapter out and put it back in) I dont think its any physically wrong with the hardware, I think its just the software the makes it all work together was made on a friday afternoon. Theres a serial port on the back of the unit which is not documented in the manual, a call to Tatungs technical support would not tell me what its used for, and told theres no firmware updates for it.
Now if I struggle to operate it, how is a retired person supposed to use it? I do not honestly think we will be ready for big switch off of old style aerial television, despite big campaigns elderly people are going to be baffled by a screen of fuzz when the big day comes. Reminds me, seems you wont be able to use a small portable camping telly either, as my local market still sell 5″ black and white units for £20 or so.
I dont have any interest in cable or satellite TV, as I dont think I watch enough telly to just to justify the cost. With regular telly, BBC has the business model of a yearly subscription, ITV and Channel 4 use adverts. So it seems that with Sky and co, having subscription and adverts seems like a con that you are paying twice? Hmmm.
It seems a lot of electrical items focus on having a lot on putting as many features as they can and little effort is made to the whole user interface experience. Mobile phones are good example of this.
I would quite like to get one of those boxes that record TV to hard disk. A few things worry me about this. Do the manufacturers take into account things like ability to restore the software on the hard disk itself? or, how to defrag or scan disk the disk when a large amount of programs are in a big jumbled up order? Such an item could be a huge disappointment if you are not able to manage the structure and files on the drive, or put on a firmware update to take advantage of newer channels etc.