View 21 IPTV Freeview+HD DVR review
iOS telly addicts, look no further
Programmes chosen from the app’s TV guide can be either viewed on the device, using the ‘Watch Here’ button, or selected on the TV via the ‘Watch on TV’ icon. Unfortunately, that’s about as far as control goes. You don’t get total control of the box, so you can’t ferret around in the settings menus. Neither can you use it to stream content to the device if the DVR itself is playing BBC iPlayer.
The DVR’s image quality is extremely good. Recordings appear transparent to source, so the real test is the quality of the upscaling in the box. There’s a choice or fixed 576p, 720p, 1080i or 1080p output settings. There’re no obvious deinterlacing artefacts in SD content should you opt for progressive. Recording can be padded by up to 5 minutes. The unit also proves to be exceptionally quiet in operation.
Bizarrely, I noted that the View21 box reacts to IR commands from an LG TV remote when it’s in Stand By. Pressing a button on the LG zapper causes the orange Stand-By lamp on the View21 to momentarily flicker blue and the hard drive gives a little spin. It’s a bit like poking a sleeping bear with a stick. No other branded controller appears to have the same effect.
View21 remote, although others might influence its behaviour
Overall, the View21 can be considered a well-equipped step-up TV recorder. Performance is solid and its (admittedly limited) IPTV services welcome, however it’s the app functionality which really adds lustre. iPad owners should go out of their way to give it a whirl. ®
Thanks to Vodafone for the loan of the iPad.
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