Feeds
70%
Evesham iPlayer

Evesham iPlayer HD 80GB DVR

Extra definition for couch potatoes

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

It was when I started playing back media that I noticed more quirks. Firstly, the interface has some inconsistencies - and can be slow at times, too. For instance, press Menu, and you can access your recordings, timer list, Media Centre and the TV Max online service; from most of those - but not recordings and media centre - pressing the red button takes you back to the main menu. From the lists of recordings or media files, it exits completely.

While Media Centre Connect shows only files it understands, the iPlayer will play back more via SMB, though format support seems patchy. It played files from a Topfield PVR directly, for example, but wouldn't play MPEGs I'd created with MPEG StreamClip for burning to DVD. And while it will play some DivX files - the box isn't officially certified - it won't play back HD ones, which is a shame. Nor will it play AAC audio, and it didn't like one of my test AIFF files, either. DRM files cause problems too. And again there are interface inconsistencies: select an MP3 file, and you're taken to a playlist screen while it plays. But for an AIFF file, you remain in the file browser.

Evesham iPlayer

TV Max is a portal service available via the main menu. At present, it's really not much more than some links to online radio and podcasts. It works pretty well though, and IPTV - including 'catch up' services for popular broadcasts - are promised for later. You can also browse the web - with varying results - and access your email; the USB socket on the side of box can be used for a keyboard, which will make it less painful than using the remote.

Verdict

The iPlayer HD DVR is a very capable Freeview box, and with the HDMI output it can produce a very good upscaled picture. But with only one tuner and a smallish hard drive, the DVR is outclassed by the competition. As a media player, things are better. HD playback looks excellent, and promised features like catch-up viewing and IPTV will make it stand out. But until these servcies come on stream, and with the playback and interface quirks that I found, £300 seems like a bit too much to pay right now. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

70%
Evesham iPlayer

Evesham iPlayer HD 80GB DVR

A well-featured Freeview DVR, primed for HD, but with a few foibles and a weighty price-tag...
Price: £300 inc. VAT RRP

More from The Register

next story
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.