Xavier Niel presented the Freebox Mini 4K as the first box on the market to integrate Android TV, the Google OS specially designed for large screens. And in addition to the native support for playing formats in ultra HD 4K, the Freebox mini was presented as a small showcase of current and future technologies, making Free a pioneer in the field, a tradition that has made the popularity of FAI in the past.
One point, which was quickly raised by Xavier Niel during the presentation of the box, is however of great interest: the absence of a storage solution disc in the box.
To save the programs, you will have to go through a USB key or a hard disk in USB or eSATA connected to the server.
In the Freebox Crystal, there was a 40 GB hard drive for recording, with the Freebox Mini 4K, it is up to the user to bring their own storage solution, and this is not a coincidence …
With the Freebox Crystal, Free was subject to the private copying levy, which, according to the scales, was 12 euros HT per unit. From now on, the hard drive will be offered as an option by Free, which offers a double advantage.
Not only will the boxes be cheaper since they do not carry a hard drive, and will no longer be subject to tax. But also and above all, by offering a real external hard drive, the fee is more advantageous since the latter is displayed at only 11 euros HT for a capacity between 320 and 500 GB.
The difference is explained by the use dedicated to storage, which focuses on audiovisual flows when it is integrated into the box while it can be wider and relate to various files as an external solution.
Free should thus make large savings with this new box. The strategy joins other maneuvers of operators aiming, failing to dodge it completely, to reduce as much as possible this tax on their devices, whether it is the total eviction of storage solutions, the orientation towards Cloud, or optional external solutions.