Average price of Freeview STBs goes up



The latest price survey carried out shows that the average price for a set-top box able to receive the Freeview DTT service has, as predicted, risen sharply in the last two months – from £105 to £120. This followed a trend of declining prices in the post-Christmas period.

However, the results continue to show that the ‘modal’ (i.e. the most common) price-range for Freeview receivers lies between £80 and £100

Idtv.co.uk compared prices of Freeview receivers on 14/5/2003 with those it had researched 2 months previously. Although many of the low-end receivers have in fact increased in price over this period, the major contribution to the price-surge comes from the inclusion in the survey of the new Pace ‘Twins’ PVR, which currently retails for around 349.99 – the highest-priced Freeview receiver currently available.*

“The average price increase was as expected,” comments the web-site’s founder and editor, Barry Flynn. “But I’m slightly surprised at the upward trend at the lower end of the market, since boxes are getting cheaper to make all the time. It seems to be a bit like the PC market, where you add extra features instead of cutting prices. No-one is bringing anything new to market much below £80.”

Flynn is predicting that average prices should remain roughly stable until late summer, at which point they will be pushed up by a slew of new ‘combi’ boxes due to appear on the shelves from the likes of Goodmans, Bush, Thomson, Humax and Fusion. These combine Freeview functionality with other features such as DVD playback or digital radio capability.