Sfr Launches Its Box 8, a Wi-fi Box 6 and 4k Cheaper Than the Delta, but There is a but


Updated on 20/08/2019 –SFR launched its new Box 8 on Tuesday. Available with any of the operator’s offers, however, you will have to pay 5 euros per month on top of your package to enjoy the TV set-top box that includes a speaker (see the picture illustrating this article), in the same way as the Delta Freebox

This gives us an entry ticket at 20€/month for 12 months, then 38€/month afterwards, if you take the ADSL offer, and 30€/month then 48 from the second year on for the fiber offer (of course, to this is added the registration or equipment change fee for SFR customers). Note in passing that customers who do not want the TV part can still take advantage of the latest generation modem, at no extra cost, by choosing the 10€/month ADSL or 15€/month fibre package.

A little reminder about its technical specifications: the first wifi 6 compatible box, the latest from SFR includes a voice assistant as well as Dolby (Atmos, vision) and 4K HDR compatibility. Features that on paper make it a credible alternative to the Delta Freebox.

However, while SFR seems much more aggressive in terms of pricing, since it costs €59.99/month to buy the Delta with a fiber package, this observation is especially true for the first year in reality. The second, you will have to pay €48 at SFR and €49.99 at Free. In addition, although SFR remains cheaper by about €24 per year, there is a but, and it is important : When you have finished paying for your TV set-top box at Free, it belongs to you, whereas it is only a rental at SFR.

It remains to be seen now what the new SFR box will look like in practice, we will keep you informed.

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Initial Item 

A mysterious communiqué inviting people to come and discover the new SFR experience and a categorical refusal to say more. Few knew exactly what to expect when they set foot on the Altice Campus on Thursday. Some of them were talking about a stall and they were right. The brand new Box TV SFR 8 will be offered to broadband (ADSL) and ultra-broadband (fiber) subscribers from August 20 (the FTTB, connected home and Amazon Alexa offer only arrives in October). Connected like the Delta and other market flagships, it is aligned with most of the technical characteristics of its competitors, while differentiating itself with certain new features. 

First of string

SFR has decided to put the packet on the connection. The new box 8 integrates the wi-fi 6, the most recent standard. A first with the promise of an intelligent connection, capable of equipping several hundred devices in the home at a much higher-than-average speed. In terms of image and sound, there’s also something new with Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and 4K HDRcompatibility. Not all TVs and content are yet compatible with these new formats, but there is nothing better on the market today.

While Free’s Delta has 4K HDR on board, it does not have these new sound features. On the design side, there is a black square, very sober. Its weight has not been revealed but this new box 8 stands out by its lightness. It has dimensions of 15×15 cm with a much more compact case and master key than the Delta one, but also less connectors. Here, only one Ethernet socket, one DVB-T antenna socket and one USB Type C port are fitted.  

Amazon or Alexa?

Although it does not always innovate, box 8 always matches the level of its opponents’ other top-of-the-range offers. Like the Delta, it’s a speaker connected. In addition to its loudspeakers, it also introduces voice assistance. A simple Ok SFR will allow you to invoke the home assistant and control the experience as you wish. He seems receptive and responds faithfully to the request submitted to him, even with a lot of background noise. The search Ok SFR, find me movies with Angelina Jolie was successful. If the programme is available with the offer that the viewer has subscribed to, this will be indicated to the viewer. Otherwise, Box 8 will recommend the different sites and platforms where it is available. Thanks to a redesigned mobile application all content will also be viewable on the move on a computer, mobile or tablet. 

From October, Box 8 will also be offered with Amazon’s Alexa , which is also found in its direct competitor. The sound experience is not under the umbrella of Devialet as with its rival and SFR did not give any details about the manufacturer who took care of this part of the device. The only certainty is that its price will be more competitive than that of its rival and SFR has not failed to make this known. 

SFR has also decided to make the most of at IoT (the Internet of Things) with its new box. Lovers of connected homes will be able to subscribe to the new SFR Homeoffer. It includes a basic camera, plug and light bulb connected and controllable from the voice assistant or dedicated mobile application. Nothing innovative here, a similar offer is offered at Free for Delta holders. 

A sober and efficient interface

No big revolutions in the user interface of the Box 8. It’s sleek, classic and fairly intuitive. It’s almost like Netflix, or YouTube. Once again, the originality is more to be found in the functionalities that integrate :

  • Recommendation according to use 
  • Favourite content directly accessible via widgets.

Programmes are given more prominence than channels, the idea being to adapt to the new consumption practices of users. We also find the main TV applications (Netflix, YouTube, BeIN, Canal +…) and of course the channels of the Altice group (RMC Sport…). Note the presence of the Chromecast function, useful for streaming content on your television. 

At what price?

SFR did not want to quote a price for its new box, it should just be much more cheap than most of its competitors, with Delta in the lead. What we do know, however, is that it will be available à la carte. There will be four offers, one ADSL and three fibres. Subscribers will then choose the channels and services they wish to subscribe to, without obligation. Access to the best fibre connections will not be conditioned to the possession of a Box 8. It will only be offered as an option, next to the seventh generation box. 

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