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Thread: Evesham iplayer - the Freeview PVR you've dreamt about!

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    Evesham iplayer - the Freeview PVR you've dreamt about!

    UPDATE - February 22, 2007 - our review of iplayer is live at last live! Check it out.


    On paper, Evesham Technology's iplayer looks to be one of the most exciting personal video recorders (PVRs) yet launched.

    Of course, it has a Freeview digital terrestrial receiver built in and offers all the clever time-shift recording features you'd expect from a top PVR. But the iplayer boasts a whole bunch of extras that appear to put it in a class of its own.

    The headline feature is its ability to upscale standard-def TV to HD (at 1080i or 720p) - and output it via HDMI.

    But the iplayer is also said to be a network media centre that gives access to all the video, stills and audio on your PC, as well as being an internet browser that lets you compose, send and receive emails - and play Podcasts.

    Find our more in this HEXUS.lifestyle.headline and let us know here if you have any queries or if there is anything you'd like us to test when we get the iplayer in for review.
    Last edited by Bob Crabtree; 22-02-2007 at 05:55 AM. Reason: Typo

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    Senior Member charleski's Avatar
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    Things to test: formats - can it play Xvid, Divx, wmv, mpeg 1 & 2, mp4s from iTunes, mov, realplayer video. Can it handle HD videos like the HD trailers? What audio formats: only mp3, or does it handle things like flac (Ok, maybe that's asking too much of it, I know).
    If you're prepared to void the warranty, how easy is it to upgrade the hard disc yourself?
    Compare the upscaler to the one built-in to whatever TV you use to test it. Could do this by ripping a DVD to computer and then comparing the picture from a good-quality non-upscaling DVD player to that produced when you play back the same mpeg2 upscaled from the computer.

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    looks nice, would be great if you could find out if files recorded with this device will be accessible on the pc (for editing etc), and if you can add extra HD space (i.e through a usb HD)

    At the moment i'm thinking of buying an Xbox360 to act as the media terminal in my living room, but this looks like it could be another option - especially as it has an internet browser

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    Cant see it playing Mp4 from iTunes due to the licencing thing...

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    On the downside, the unit isn't cheap - £300 - and has an 80GB built-in hard-disk. That's said to be good for 70 hours of recordings but is rather smaller than we'd like.
    Defeinately.

    I would accept an 80Gb drive on a budget PVR box that might only get used for live pause and the odd time shifted soap. On an high end box the minimum should be 160Gb. Seeing as how cheap hard drives are these dayse, and this is supposed to support HD content, It ought to have 300Gb or more like Sky's curent HD box.

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    Senior Member charleski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    Cant see it playing Mp4 from iTunes due to the licencing thing...
    Bleh, you're right of course, wasn't thinking. But it would be interesting to know if it could handle self-made mp4s formatted for the iPod (h.264 simple profile).

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    I've got the original DVB i-Player from Netgem which does web browsing and covers off some of the other media playing capabilities. Software upgrades/support became much more scarce & I guess it's because they were concentrating on this box.

    The original interface is probably one of the better ones I've seen out there for DVB boxes, and hopefully they've learnt a few lessons from the i-Player. Media playback was patchy & temperamental, but it wasn't billed as that kind of thing; more as a device to watch TV, do some casual surfing using their built-in browser, and send/receive emails.

    Unlike the Topfield box, there was no way to add user-created programs which was a real pain when you wanted a particular feature (e.g. a new email popup). For me, I'd keep an eye on both the Topfield box (there's a wireless version due out sometime) and the new i-Player; hopefully they've listened to the current users and have implemented the ability to run homebrew apps.

    I'd recommend reading the old i-Player forums to get an idea of how frustrated people got with the company for ignoring their requests for software updates; those forums are now locked.

    http://forum.netgem.com/index.php

    There are some independent forums which actively discuss the i-Player here and they're approaching the new box with caution! Definitely worth holding off to see what the reviews are like, especially at that price!

    http://www.radioandtelly.co.uk/cgi-b...?board=iplayer

    Matt

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    All this, and it only has one tuner, rather than the two that come with my Inverto for instance, and that allows me to record one side whilst watching another. Doubt the iplayer has this capability?

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    It's going to need twin tuners, a bigger HDD and (most importantly) hackability (TAPs/Plugins) it's it going to knock the Topfield 5800's crown off.

    The killer feature of the Toppy for me (provided by 3rd party apps) is Series Linking (using control timers). If it supports the new Freeview 'Playback' (series link) feature that's coming soon, that would be a huge boost, but only 1 tuner is a real let down. Some nice other features mind.
    Last edited by autopilot; 23-11-2006 at 04:30 PM.

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    I agree - the topfield whilst not being HD seems far superior to me..
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    The Toppy is a good bit cheaper too.

    Oh and that form factor does not seem very nice. Would look awful with my DVD, AMP etc.

    Is there a law that states all Freeview boxes have to look horrible and be an awkward shape?

    Also, do you know who the OEM is Bob? Looks a bit Sagem-ish to me.

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    I really don't get why people are so excited about upscaling DVD players/ set top boxes. If you have a HD TV then it will have upscaling equipment built into it and will highly likely do a superior job than that built into other equipment usually just to tick a box.
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    is there softwear or a tv card that for pc that can upscale to hd at the moment

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    Senior Member charleski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonn220 View Post
    is there softwear or a tv card that for pc that can upscale to hd at the moment
    Any modern video card can do this already. Just set your display to 1920x1080 and play the video full screen.

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    Yes - Evesham's iplayer PVR does seem the stuff of wet dreams!

    Just a holding comment - I'll shortly be putting up a news story about this afternoon's press briefings and demos.

    Update - the report from the briefing is live now:

    Yes - Evesham's iplayer PVR does seem the stuff of wet dreams!


    I've taken more than a few liberties with the quotes there but what I say is, in essence, true.

    We all tried to knock 'em down but the maker, Netgem, and Evesham had the answers.

    In the briefing I attended, a lot of us left seriously impressed - and I know that was true of the briefing before ours (and would be surprised if the same wasn't true of the last briefing).

    Whether we'll all feel the same once we've tried it out for ourselves remains to be seen.

    And, having noted some of the comments above, what we don't know is whether the updates that were promised at the briefings will arrive in a timely fashion or at all.

    However, the first one, which lets you connect up a USB HDD for external storage, is due in a couple of weeks, so we should know pretty soon how well that promise is kept.
    Last edited by Bob Crabtree; 23-11-2006 at 08:38 PM. Reason: update

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    can you find a fatter hazza? fathazza's Avatar
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    the networking ability and usb options look pretty good....

    few questions tho,

    does it have dual tuners?
    can it do season pass type settings like tivo/topfields by searching metadata for show info rather than just recording at the same time every week?

    also a more general question, with recording freeview hd when it arrives (sadly i dont live the in the trial area) how many gb per hour does it use?

    id be interesting in its media centre abilities too. perhaps a comparison with the god of media centres that is xbmc

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