DAB dad Pure deploys DVR
Freeview HD set-top launched
The doyen of DAB radios, Pure, is to return to its roots - it was once called VideoLogic - and release TV-centric product: a Freeview HD DVR.
The unit, called the Avalon 300R Connect, will come in 500GB and 1TB versions and deliver the customary dual-tuner recording functionality: play, pause and rewind live TV; switch channels and set recordings through an eight-day EPG; record single shows or series, in standard definition or HD.
Pure has also thrown in the also de rigueur BBC iPlayer support - the box does YouTube too, as so many others do - and network connectivity, through 2x2 802.11n Wi-Fi or Ethernet. It will access and stream content from UPnP devices, and from storage connected to either of its two USB ports.
The 300R has a couple of HMDI ports for outputs and four more for input. But its key USP is Pure Connect, the company's internet radio system. This will be complemented "soon" with access to Pure Music, the firm's fiver-a-month subscription music service, to be delivered through a firmware update.
The main menu
Separately, an iOS and Android app, Pure Stream, will beam content from smartphones and tablets to the box.
The 300R's radio and music services are unique, but in other respects it's a bog-standard - stylish, though - Freeview DVR. At £299 for the 500GB model - the 1TB unit costs £349 - the price isn't out of the ordinary. The ersatz 3D UI is clean and aesthetically pleasing but not fluid - the frame rate goes low enough to make motion seem staccato.
The GPU may slip on the peel
So much for the Atom-based Intel CE 4150 system-on-a-chip it's running on. Intel launched the part three years ago, in September 2009. It's clocked at 1.2GHz; the graphics core, from Pure parent Imagination, at 400MHz.
Pure will be releasing the 300R initially through John Lewis, a move which shows the kind of audience the company is aiming at. Heck, the box is named after a Roxy Music record. Advance orders will be accepted from tomorrow; the box itself ships sometime in October. ®
The UI is full of angled panels
Pure Connect internet radio
So it looks nice but can't cope?
A stuttering GUI is pretty much the worst thing you can do, and there's simply no exuse for that in a product in that kind of price range.
Either put faster hardware in there or cut some of the bling.
Re: So it looks nice but can't cope?
I don't think it's about faster hardware, it's about writing smart code that prioritises animation frames instead of letting a trivial background process spike CPU use and jitter the animation. Apple & Microsoft know how to do this with low power single core devices. Android Jelly Bean (on my phone) has made huge strides forward in fluidity but it's still not quite there if the phone is thinking about something else.
In short - It's not all about the hardware.
How do you get programmes off ..
short of playing them into an analogue VCR?
And why do we have to put up with this dreadful horizontal style EPG? I just want a list of programmes for one channel at a time, going down the screen, left or right to see the previous or next channel, and numbers to go directly to a channel.
The epg really shouldn't be showing program summaries, it should be showing as much as possible of what's on now and next. Angled panels and animations in the UI? Amusing for about the first 5 seconds. Unless they can be switched off it would be a deal breaker for me.
Why would you record Hollyoaks
and not The Simpsons?