A newcomer to the set-top-box market place looks set to bring to the UK one of the first Freeview HD receivers. And looking at the intended specification, this Freeview HD box would appear to have lots of ticks in lots of boxes.
The device is being launched by 3view, a London based company with no apparent previous experience in this field.
Not only does it look visually appealing, but the 3view box has a whole lot more to offer over and above the DVB-T2 tuner required to receive free-to-air Freeview HD television in the UK, claiming to be an all-singing, all-dancing home media hub.
The details available so far describe the device as a ‘next generation high deifnition and internet ready set top box’ with support for 720p and 1080p broadcasts.
The Freeview HD potential is maximised with dual tuners and an integrated 320Gb hard drive, offering full Freeview HD + capabilities. With this comes all of the features you would expect to find in a Freeview PVR – electronic programme guide (EPG), pause and rewind live TV, series link, chase play etc.
Next on the feature list is internet connectivity, adding YouTube and Channel 4 On Demand (4oD) players with BBC iPlayer support coming soon. This is in addition to the ability to stream music and show photos from a Windows PC connected to the network, or from a portable storage device connected to one of the two USB 2 interfaces.3view Freeview HD box and home media hub
If that’s not enough, there’s always the promise of web browsing via the Opera browser (the same one utilised by many mobile phones and the Nintendo Wii), as well as ‘TV widgets’ – applications that give access to the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Simply connect the optional wireless keyboard and mouse to browse the web from the comfort of your sofa.
UPnP, DLNA and Z Wave are all supported, making this Freeview HD box a truly ‘connected’ box. It is not certain whether this will be a wi-fi enabled device or whether you will need to use the integrated LAN ports. Due to the high bandwidth required to stream HD content, it is likely that a wired connectionn will be required. However, this could be made easier with a powerline network kit.
A full review will be posted on this site, with a liist of stockists and price comparison just as soon as the boxes are launched – hopefully sometime in March 2010. In the meantime, sign up to our free email updates to keep up to date with launches of other Freeview HD recorders.