Set-top boxes have been around for a while now, offering a subscription-free alternative to the Sky Plus system. They’re great little gadgets and the ability to seamlessly record your favourite shows, fast forward through ad breaks, or pause live TV whenever you want to, means that the novelty still hasn’t worn off.
The problem is that the technology is moving so fast that it doesn’t seem quite enough any more. We’re becoming increasingly voracious as far as our media consumption is concerned and this means that we’re changing the way that we access video content. So alongside Freeview, we now demand HD programming, we want access to online catch-up services like BBC’s iPlayer and we crave the ability to stream our own media as and when we please.
It seems like an impossible task but British-based company 3view could have answered our multi-media prayers with what they claim is the world’s first true next generation set-top box.
So what’s so good about this magic little box? Well, it takes all of the technologies that we use to watch media and packs them together in one handy device, giving you unparalleled access to entertainment whether it’s through free to air channels (including HD), seamless connection to the Internet, or via access to files on other devices in your home network.
3view is one of the first set-top boxes to use the new DVB-T2 terrestrial receivers, which let people receive both High and Standard Definition free-to-air channels using a typical domestic digital aerial. In addition to free HD TV the 3view box also allows people to access the most popular video content on the Internet through their television. Full-screen Sky Player, iPlayer and Youtube are just a number of online TV and video services which can be searched and watched using the new 3view device.
The device comes complete with half a terabyte of storage, enough for even the most hardened of sofa surfers; and with built in widgets to access social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook you can even stay connected to your friends even when you’ve got your feet up. So it looks like the 3view seems to have all bases covered and speaking as someone who regularly uses a set-top box, laptop and an Xbox 360 to juggle various media; I can certainly see the appeal of a device that puts you in control of your video and TV content, no matter where it comes from.
Priced at £299 it’s not going to cost you the earth either, and whilst there are undoubtedly cheaper models on the market, few can offer the level of interconnectivity that sets the 3view head and shoulders apart from other set top boxes.
3view is available for pre-order from April 7th at www.3view.com.