PVR software beta for Icecrypt T2200 Freeview HD box

When I first reviewed the Icecrypt T2200 Freeview HD box for RegHardware, one of the promised features was an update to enable recording to USB hard drives. And now, I’ve managed to get my hands on a beta version of the firmware that makes it possible.

You’ll need a USB stick or external hard drive, and though the T2200 can play back from FAT-formatted devices, it can only record to those formatted using NTFS. While it can format a drive via the Installation menu (System Recovery / Format Hard Disk) it won’t do that if it doesn’t recognise the partitoning – in fact, the drive won’t even show up as available.

So, to re-use a drive that had been formatted using the Digital Stream PVR, for example, I had to delete the partitions and recreate them in Windows, before the T2200 would recognise the drive – but considering many other PVRs want drives formatted in Linux, that’s not a major worry.


Setting a recording is a simple matter; just highlight a programme in the EPG and press Record, or press OK twice (the first press sets a ‘pre-select’, which changes to the channel, but doesn’t record).

You can also do an instant record – just press the record button while watching TV, and it will run for the time specified in the Recordings menu. Press the button again and a pop-up allows you to specify a duration, or ‘after this programme’ or ‘after next programme.’

T2200 instant recording popup
Press Record a second time and you can easily alter the duration of an instant recording

There’s no series linking or automatic tracking of start and stop times at the moment, but you can set repeat recordings with options for every day, every weekday, every weekend, or weekly, and you can adjust start time and duration to give you a bit of leeway in case the schedules slip.

T2200 record settings
There's no series link, but there is a comprehensive range of repeat settings

The Recording menu in the settings section also allows you to turn on buffering, so you can rewind live tv for 30 minutes, 1 hours, or even up to five hours.

T2200 record settings
Timeshift can be switched off, or enabled - for up to five hours

Two other points worth mentioning: first, while recording you can watch another channel on the same multiplex, and second the box will record from standby, and then go back to sleep afterwards.

T2200 channel list
Watch one channel while recording another - the channels in white are available, others are on a different mux so can't be watched during recording

Playback features

During playback, you’ll find some useful features in common with Topfield’s PVRs. For example, type a two digit number, like 75, on the keypad, and playback jumps to the 75% position.

Pressing the play button brings up the on-screen progress bar. While this is displayed, you can use the |< and >| keys to jump to the start or end.

T2200 playback progress bar
The progress bar shows bookmarks; it's easy to navigate around a recording

Whether the progress bar is displayed or not, press green to set a bookmark, and yellow to jump to the next bookmark. If no bookmarks are set, then the yellow button will jump forwards 30 seconds. Fast forward doubles each time you press the button, up to 64x.

There’s a reasonable file browser – you can create folders, and move files to them, though the on-screen keyboard isn’t the easiest to use.

T2200 file browser
Recordings can be saved to an NTFS disk, and organised into folders - but they are encrypted

It’s worth noting that although the files are saved as .rec (which is the format used on Topfield PVRs), you won’t be able to play them on your PC. You can see them, but they’re encrypted, to comply with the Freeview HD content controls. Even SD recordings are protected at the moment, though perhaps that may change in future.

Installing the update

If you want to have a play, you can download the zip file for the update below. Note that it’s a beta test, so use at your own risk. Unzip the file and copy the TFD file onto a USB stick. Plug it into the T2200, and you should see an on-screen message telling you that a device has been connected – if not, try another USB stick; it worked for me with one formatted as FAT-16, but not as FAT-32.

When the stick has been detected, go to the main menu, select Installation, then Firmware Upgrade, and USB Firmware upgrade. The screen will show a file browser, and you should see the firmware file; select it and press OK to begin the update.

Click here for the T2200 beta firmware (zip)

305 thoughts on “PVR software beta for Icecrypt T2200 Freeview HD box

    1. I’m afraid it’s unlikely; try tuning to channel 112. If you can watch what’s being broadcast there, then other services like Vision TV will work.

      If you can’t, then the software that supports the interactive services isn’t up to date enough to support Vision TV and similar services, and it looks unlikely there’ll be an update.

  1. Hi Ash. Thanks for letting me know. I’ve connected up a 500Gb external hard drive with about 120Gb empty space and it seems to be working just fine.

    My wife thinks we’ve gone back to the dark ages of videos because we can only record one channel at a time 😉

  2. nigel, many thanks for all your efforts in making then maintaining this blog. I’ve just bought one of these, largely thanks to your efforts and am delighted with it. much appreciated !

  3. Hello Nigel,
    I tried the Ethernet connection and connected it directly to the router and it didn’t work as you suspected.

    This is just a thought I had:
    If the Icecrypt T2200 box does not support Fully the HD standard surely it would be forbidden from displaying the Freeview HD logo on the box (and on the website) and therefore they should fix the software or say they have nothing to do with the T2200 any more and discontinue the box, stopping other sellers from selling it.

    Note: I am very happy with the T2200 recorder as such a cheap price compared to other Freeview HD recorders.

    1. Sadly, as pointed out by another commenter, it’s not as straightforward as that.

      The box earned certification at a specific time, and that certification isn’t withdrawn, even though the requirements may have changed.

      So, for example, any box approved now will have to offer Dolby transcoding and support these new IP channels. But older kit is still entitled to the logo, even though it may not support all this.

      More annoyingly there seems to be no publicly available list of which kit was tested against which version of the spec.

      For a little more on this, see my post on ‘The magic number’ from last spring.

  4. @J

    After 7 months I still rate this box as a bargain of the year – the leap in picture and audio with HD was considerable and it’s recorded very reliably – even if finding and maintaining the schedule is laborious.

    When I bought it I had no illusion that IP based services (that did not even exist then) would be supported. If you feel you were mislead then I suggest you get a refund. Machines first marketed after April have to comply with the latest d-book – ours only had to have a socket fitted to get the logo back then I’m afraid.

    One of the posts makes it fairly clear we are unlikely to have any S/W support. This is more serious as I think support is to be expected when buying a Freeview machine and especially unfair on those who paid full price.

  5. Nigel, forgive me for this elementary question, but in your preliminary description of this box, you speak of selecting a program and pressing the Record button – or to record live, pressing the Record button during live play. My question is: where is this Record button? my remote, as supplied with the box, does not have such a button, nor does the documentation mention it. Neither does it mention any button with a dual purpose. I am perplexed.

    Please take me by the (metaphorical) hand and lead me to the promised area of the remote!

    Thanks in advance.

  6. Hiya had the box since christmass
    . Did the flash to record worked 3 times, but now stuck in run, boot loop. Any way around this folks?

  7. Thank you, Nigel for such a prompt response. I have now been able to record and playback a program, thanks to your advice.

    Although I have only just acquired the T2200 from Tesco, and it had the latest version of the software installed, it needed the firmware upload in order for it to recognise its responsibilities regarding any recording activities, although it had recognised the USB stick. Since I am noticing a few artifacts in the HD display occasionally (on 1080p), I’m wondering if I need the other update as well.

    Never mind, for £59 + £9 16Gb stick from Amazon, I have an HD PVR!

  8. It has been mentioned that

    “while recording you can watch another channel on the same multiplex”

    There are 6 freeview Muliplex’s so can I record and watch only the same one or can I record and watch any channel at the same time?


    1. You can only watch another channel that’s on the same multiplex – there’s just one tuner, so it can’t switch to another mux and still record. But the box can display any channel from the mux to which it is tuned.

  9. Thank you Nigel

    Bit of a big limitation that I hadn’t realised before I ordered the product yesterday morning.

    But after reading all the comments on here and other reviews it seems that at £60ish it certainly represents decent value for money.

    Just as an aside, if I am recording BBC1 for example, if I try to view ITV (which is on a different Mux) will it stop the recording and show ITV or just not show ITV and keep recording?

    1. Well, it’s only got a single tuner, so it can’t do anything else. In fact, many of the boxes on the market don’t even allow that, merely restricting you to watching the channel that’s being recorded.

      Quite a few twin tuner boxes behave the same, preferring to limit users choices, rather than having to deal with the explanation of why you can sometime watch other channels, and sometimes not.

      My recollection (I don’t have the T2200 connected up right now) is that if you try to change channel to something on a different mux, you’ll get a warning message telling you that you can’t, because of the recording.

      If you want to watch ITV1 while recording BBC1, just record the HD version, as all HD material is on the same mux.

    1. Much as the recording function – you need a suitably sized and formatted disk connected via USB.

      Then make sure the time shift function is turned on in the menus, and press the pause button

    1. What size stick is it? If it’s too small, you won’t be able to – the box will want to reserve a few gigabytes per hour of time shifting, and also allow space for other recordings too. I can’t remember exactly what the lower limit is, but it’s worth trying with a larger stick, or a proper hard disk.

  10. Ah thanks for the qiuck reply. Its only a 4gb stick was just going to test it. I need to get a hard drive so i cant do any further testing at the moment.

  11. My T2200 has arrived so I’m going to have a play around with it tonight.

    Biggest USB stick I have is an 8gb one though, so I’ll invest in a bigger one before I attempt the rec. feature.

  12. Yes a 4gb won’t be big enough for pausing as far as I can tell. Usually a 2hr slot gets reserved when pausing things on other machiens i’ve used, and as an hours HD recording is around 2.85gb there won’t be enough space on such a small card. An external HDD works a dream though

  13. First impressions of the t2200 aren’t all that good unfortunately.

    1) Scrolling through the resolutions etc (520p, 720p, 1080p etc) seems to cause a total loss of picture & no way to go back to the menu to rectify this, meaning I have to turn the box on & off again so I can put the res. back to Auto.

    2) Box locking on a channel, with the box & remote becoming unresponsive again causing me to turn the box on and off again. Although this does appear to have been cured by turning the interactive features off as noted above (a slight irritant I will admit)

    3) I receive less channels than I did with my 5 year old £14.99 own brand box it was replacing. However I am in need of a serious aerial upgrade as I only received approx 18 channels before & now I receive 12.

    4) It’s a good 15-20 seconds before the picture is displayed on the tv from when the On button is pressed. With my old cheapy box there was no delay at all.
    However, I did watch an .Avi file and the playback was very good, as was the .JPEG viewing.

    I’m assuming the Download from the Icecrypt website will sort point 1 but as pointed out by Nigel on 17/04/2011 it’s either that download to solve the freezing or the download on this site for the PVR facility, you can’t have both. In which case I shall have to go with the PVR download.

    I didn’t get a chance to do the update so I shall do that tonight.

    I’m hoping that the PVR facility is as good as everyone has said on here, otherwise this box might get a swift return to the shop for just being a bit awkward, especially when for an extra £15 you can get a fully fledged 320gb Dion PVR at my local Tesco

  14. Point 1 of those sounds more like an hdcp/hdmi issue with the TV. My TV has audio problems sometimes when switching between inputs and going back to a device that needs HDCP.
    So far I’ve only had a bit of a lock up once though so I’m doing quite well

  15. Night 2 with the T2200 and things have improved massively.

    Did the upgrade for the PVR facility and it was faultless.

    Recorded a half hour show onto my 8gb usb stick. Was really happy with the ease of recording and the playback quality.

    I also had no freezing/locking of the box.

    I didn’t touch the Quality settings & just left it on auto and the box was fine.

    Still stuck with approx 12 channels although now looking to get a Wide band aerial fitting.

  16. Freezing when changing channels or on playback is easily fixed by disabling Interactive Services from the menu.

    HD performance is so superior I just leave this box on that mux and can therefore flip between BBC, BBC HD, ITV, and C4 while recording – a good compromise I think.

  17. So, got my new fancy aerial installed yesterday and I’ve got all the Freeview channels I could hope for.

    Still quite impressed with the box.

    Picture quality on the HD channels is better than that of the SD ones & I’ve not had any further problems with the box.

    However, something did dawn on me last night…

    Price of the box £59.99 – Tesco
    Price of a new external hard drive- £40ish

    Price of a refurbed Humax proper PVR £89.95…

    Seems if you need to buy an external drive like me, this probably isn’t the bargain it once seemed.

  18. Having checked this deal, Matt, I can’t see any trace of the magic letters HD in the product description. Maybe not so cheap after all?

  19. I’m much more interested in the PVR function than the HD really.

    The HD is a bonus but would happily take the PVR over the HD

  20. It’s not, and isn’t sold as, a PVR. Also, the difference in IQ and SQ with SD is so considerable that you simply can’t compare it with last generation SD boxes – in fact, I don’t think they should still be selling SD boxes at all.

    The only product this should be compared to is the Humax HD box (at around the same price) which also needs a USB drive. Last year, HD PVR’s were typically around £300.

  21. Hi,
    Am after some help! I have a Icecrypt T2200 . Got a USB in it , downloaded the Beta download, all is fine, except! when I record I can only watch certain other channels, not all. As soon as I stop recording I can access all channels again?
    The channel list menu shows all channels but as soon as I record I loose lots, they are still in the menu but they seem locked? (they arent) , stop recording they are all accessed again.

    Any ideas greatly appreciated,


    1. That’s because the box only has a single tuner. The tuner select a radio frequency, and the box can display the channels available on that frequency; with analogue TV that’s just one channel (so when you set an old VCR to record, you watch another channel using the TV’s tuner). With digital TV, a radio frequency carried a “multiplex” of channels, which is a group; there are six such groups, the main ones being the main BBC channels, the ITV/Channel 4 group, Channel 5 and TopUpTV, HD channels, and two others.

      So, if you’re recording a BBC channel, your available choices will be only those other BBC channels on that multiplex; similarly, if you’re recording an HD channel, you will only be able to watch one of the other HD channels.

      To change to a different one would mean that recording couldn’t take place, as the tuner would have to change radio frequency.

      All PVRs have restrictions like this; in fact, many are more restrictive, and simply say you can only watch the channel that’s being recorded, even though others could be displayed, because that’s the simplest thing to explain to users, without all the technical details of multiplexes.

      For the greatest flexibility, you need a twin tuner recorder – the T2200 is a capable box, but it’s still fundamentally a single tuner receiver, with recording functions as a useful extra.

  22. Thanks for the info Nigel,
    Gonna keep running with the T2200, might look at a twin tuner in future,
    Am happy enough with the T2200 for a while yet though!


  23. Slight issue with my box.
    As of the weekend, when I turn on the external HDD, the T2200 looses the aerial signal (message pops up ‘Signal Lost’). I have no idea why this happens. I can access all the old stuff recorded on the drive fine.

    Can someone shed some light on this?

  24. Thanks for really clear instructions. I downloaded the update, put it on the memory stick and uploaded to the Icecrypt T2200, but it could only see it as “read only” device. Then I re-read your formatting instructions, formatted to NTFS and it works! Excellent – thanks very much.

  25. Slightly left of field question, but is it possible to get this box working with an NTSC TV? Not to receive channels, but to use the playback facility. If there is a way, feel free to jump in and let me know

    1. If the TV has an HDMI port, then whether or not its built in tuners are NTSC or anything else is immaterial. But check what the TV supports as HDMI resolutions – you’ll probably need the /50 versions to be on the list, eg 1080i/50 for 50 frames per second, where a US set would normally expect 1080i/60 because they have 60Hz mains instead. I can’t off the top of my head remember if the T2200 has 60Hz output options, and mine’s not plugged in at present to check.

      If the TV is happy with a 50Hz HDMI signal in any case, you’ll be fine. I don’t know how widespread that is on US kit – in the days of the VHS, while it was common for most decks over here to be able to play back US tapes, american friends tell me that it was not so common to find the reverse on their equipment.

  26. Bought one of these a couple of weeks ago, and a seagate 500gb HDD. Had great difficulty getting the box to recognise the firmware on my 16gb stick. Eventually managed with a 2gb stick formatted in FAT16, if anyone is having similar bother. Such a format can be forced in WIN7 using the command prompt.

    Problem 2 however, is deleting stuff. My recording list shows sometimes, and doesnt show sometimes. Switching it off and on seems to fix this, but its weak. When i try to wipe a recording using the blue button i get “cannot delete this file in playing”. Any ideas guys?

    Thirdly, i can programme a record using the EPG and the record button, but if i want to instant record, the record button doesnt appear to do anything, and the epg will not let me record something already playing. This is MUCH more annoying.

    Any help on either of the above problems would be greatly appreciated.

  27. I have tried a 32GB USB in my product but it says the USB device is in read mose only and wont let me record?

  28. Graham:
    Looks like your USB memory is formatted FAT32 which cacses that result.
    Suggest formatting NTFS. If you cannot do in Windows on your pc Google & down load the HP Usb formatter– HPUSBFW, which will do both FAT & NTFS.
    Ken H

  29. Thanks Ken, i seem to be having a problem with my USB stick, it wil not format to NTFS with windows or the HP USB Formatter which you have suggested.

  30. Hi,

    Firstly: thanks to Nigel for posting up this page and answering numerous questions!! :-)

    I recently bought a IceCrypt T2200 from IceCrypt for my bedroom. I love the box, but for some reason I can’t get any HD channels when I perform a search. I’ve tried restoring to factory settings – and I’ve installed the test firmware – still no luck!

    Oddly, I have a Sony TV in the lounge with built-in Freeview HD and that works fine – I can pick up channels 50, 51, 52, and 53 with no problem. It’s a different aerial though, but I wouldn’t have thought that would make much difference.

    I’m getting around 97% signal strength on the standard channels on the T2200, so I’m not sure what the problem is. Can I manually add the channels??



  31. I’ve managed to fix the problem myself! I just needed to move the aerial 20cm to the right… weird that such a small change would make such a big difference!

  32. Sadly my T2200 with firmware update has stopped working. I was playing back an HD recording and using the navigation quite a lot when it rebooted.

    Now when I take it out of standby. it displays “L101” then “boot” for 10 seconds as normal then it sticks on “run” for 30 seconds then reboots and repeats.

  33. Hi Stuart, I’ve had the same problem (L101-boot-run) under silmilar circumstances with 2 different T2200 boxes and had to replace the box both times. Icecrypt were very supportive but I am curious as to why this happens- anyone have any ideas?

  34. This year the 2300HD has been released and from the Icecrypt firmware page and a user review on Amazon looks like it also offers basic PVR functions onto USB.

  35. I have had the T2200 for some time now and has been working perfectly. However, just recently I have noticed I am unable to rewind live tv even though I have the buffer at 30 mins.

    Any ideas on how I cn get this back.


  36. I have tried 2 different 3TB external H/drives {1,western dig+1,seagate} BOX does not pick em up!!! 2TB works fine,,icecrypt got back to me and said it should support 3TB,,shame it doesnt on those 2 makes!!

  37. My T2200 is exhibiting the same rewind issue as Stuart’s since the start of this year. Has the software developed a fault?

  38. I found the problem with 3tb hdd not working its because they are not in MBR boot format .

    Follow this tutorial if you what to make a 3tb drive work however 1tb of the drive will be wasted :(
    This is becuase MBR only supports HDDs up to 2TB.

    search google for the tutorial
    on “sevenforums”
    but instead convert the drive to MBR simples

    It worked for my seagate expansion hdd however you do waste 1tb :(

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