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I have my Ferguson Ariva 120 HD Combo a while now and after initial struggles with firmware updates that came thick and fast, things seem to have settled down now and the combo receiver is running really well and performing as I would have hoped.

The first thing to understand is what is a combo receiver? Well, it a receiver for TV channels that can both receive satellite broadcasts along with digital terrestrial channels. They are popular throughout Europe but the particular situation Ireland finds itself in, TV channels wise makes them particularly useful in an Irish context. Ireland with the launch of their new digital terrestrial channels called Saorview only has 8 domestic channels and two of them only broadcast for a few hours a day, so you could really knock that number back down to six channels.

The beauty of our proximity to our oft maligned neighbours, The UK is that the beam from their Freesat Satellite system covers all of Ireland too expanding the range of channels that we can receive here in Ireland into the hundreds. That may be on paper but as you will probably know, a lot of them channels are fairly poor but there is still maybe 50 out of them that are well watchable including all the BBCs, ITVs, C4, E4, More 4 etc and a lot of them channels are now broadcasting in HD too. The further bonus is that they are all free and 100% legal as they are called free to air channels and you don’t have to subscribe to anyone to get them.

With the way the economy is going here in Ireland, there has been a huge shift to free to air systems and the Ferguson Ariva 120 seems to be leading the way. By dropping their price to rock bottom, they have seen off many competitors in the Irish marketplace.

So, what’s all the fuss about? Well, as stated, your TV is free. By simply combining a satellite dish and an aerial, you can get all the Irish and UK channels in one box and no have to pay a penny after that once you have paid for the initial outlay.

Me personally, I have found the box to be easy to use with a good user manual and the box itself has a nice sleek glossy finish to it. I bought the box pr-loaded with all the satellite channels so I didn’t have to perform a scan. I tested this one day, just to see how it worked and it actually brought in over 200 TV and radio channels, but as I said before, al lot were muck and I just loaded back my old channel list from my memory stick after that. I should mention though, that the satellite scan was very, very slow, taking over fifteen minutes to complete.

The software interface is quite good, has a quick response and is very intuitive so well done to Ferguson here. The one thing that I would say on the downside is that perhaps they could have used a better power supply. The Ferguson Ariva 120 did have problems with my USB powered external hard drive. This is one of the first things that you see in the use manual and Ferguson themselves indicate that you should really use a mains powered drive for recording purposes. That aside, after all my initial issues, I find the Ferguson Ariva 120 to be cost effective, reliable, attractive, easy to use and while I miss certain aspects of my subscription TV channels, I certainly don’t miss the bills at the end of the month.

Source by Barry F

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