I’ve been playing with a pre-production prototype of the Icecrypt T2200 FreeviewHD box. You’ve probably not heard of Icecrypt; they’re the brand name used by Turbosat who are the long-time UK distributors of Topfield PVRs.
And, in fact, the T2200 is being made by Topfield, which is why it’s also been referred to in some quarters as a Topfield Freeview HD box. It’s a very compact unit – I’ll spare you the measurements for now, as the case is different on the shipping ones. The photo on this page is the final case design, and I think this is the first place it’s appeared.
To any user of a Topfield PVR or satellite receiver, certain elements of the on-screen displays will seem familiar, though they have had a graphical makeover; most screens are a fairly transparent grey, with none of the garish blue and yellow of the TF5800, for example. The interface seems fairly polished, but I think the EPG will be tweaked as it doesn’t show the Freeview logo, which I understand is a requirement for FreeviewHD certification.
There’s the expected MHEG engine built in, which seems to respond fairly quickly; I think it’s from Ocean Blue, but have yet to confirm that; the remote may change before shipping; if it’s not going to, I’ll add a photo to this page later.
It seems the underlying OS is possibly Linux based; plug in a USB disk, and it’s reported as device ‘sda1’. You can use USB memory for upgrading the firmware (including replacing the loader, as I’ve found out during testing), and media playback is also supported. In tests, I’ve played back DivX HD, MKV, and AVI/Xvid files at both standard-def and lower resolutions. WMV files don’t appear to be supported.
Intriguingly, the T2200 responds to the same remote as the Topfield TF5810 – and pressing the Pause on that remote results in a freeze frame. I understand later firmwares may make the T2200 ‘PVR ready’ so you’ll be able to record to an external disk.
There are also twin CI bays, so you should be able to watch ESPN, with a suitable CAM, and if Sky Sports ever comes to Freeview, then a suitable CAM will give you that too. Perhaps that will be the deciding factor for some in choosing this over alternative FreeviewHD boxes.
Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but I’ll let you know when I have more news.