This year Freeview goes HD.. but as yet there isn’t any hardware available to consumers. I’ve been keeping my eye on 2 boxes, the Humax DVB-T2 HD and one by a new British company called 3view.
3view has peeked my interest because of some of the more innovative features they’re including, like the support for VOD, apps (e.g. Facebook), and web-browser that allows you to view sites like Channel 4’s 4oD.
There’s a feature list on their site, but I also emailed them to clarify a few things. What I asked may be of interest to others, so here’s what they said;
Q: Now that the BBC intends to restrict the EPG data, is that something that won’t be available on the 3view box?
A: We are currently in discussions with BBC about this. There shouldn’t be any problems and the EPG data will be available on the 3view box.
Q: Is the box able to play back DivX/Xvid?
A: DivX5 or higher – no problem but the older version codec hasn’t been tested. We have tested Xvid and that’s fine too.
Q: With the H264 support, I’m assuming these can be in an MKV container? Will it play back 1080p video without a problem? And how about support for pass-through on DTS soundtracks? Oh, and embedded subtitles?
A: There won’t be any problems with playing back 1080p videos. Embedded subtitles tracks will not work in the current version, once recorded. We may add that in the future.
Q: Is there any way for users to customise the software on the box? I love the Topfield TF5800 because you can add user-written apps to plug gaps in functionality and generally make the box so much better.
A: Not yet- once we have a solid code base we may allow some customer tinkering – but not from launch, as bug tracking will become too complex for a V1.0.
Q: Is the remote control IR, or Wireless?
A: It is IR – BUT we have zwave installed and may offer zwave remotes in the future for extra web interoperability
Q: Are you able to record 2 programs, and watch 1 other (as long as it’s on the same multiplex as one of the recorded programs)?
A: Not at the moment – it’s record one and watch one. We will be adding that in a future upgrade.
Q: Do you think the box will be firmware upgradable to include support for the BBC’s Canvas project when that starts to get finalised & implemented?
A: We anticipate a YES but we cannot be sure as it is not a reality yet.