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Looking for a Freeview + HD Box with ITV Player and BBC IPlayer comatibility?

Discussion in 'Freeview Forum' started by Mysticpuma, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. Mysticpuma

    Mysticpuma Member

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    Just wondering if such a 'beast' exists?

    I toyed with Freesat, as I still have my Sky dish, but when it pours with rain, the signal goes 'bad ways!', so thought I'd go Freeview HD, as the signal is due to be boosted when the ano. signal is switched off.

    I'd go Freeview + as I want to be able to record like I did with Sky.

    Now, it would also be great to have a Iplayer and ITV Player option through the Ethernet so I wonder if there are any Freeview HD + Boxes out there that anyone can recommend?

    Cheers, MP
  2. fernandez

    fernandez Active Member

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  3. lbear

    lbear Active Member

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    Most of the next generation Freeview + boxes (and probably those existing boxes whose manufacturers have reasonable software support) should be able to get or be upgraded to get Project Canvas, now renamed YouView http://www.youview.com/ . That will give you an even wider range of IPTV services.

    BBC iPlayer and Skyplayer are also due to be added to the Humax Freeview HD boxes in the next month or so. My experience of having both the Humax and Technika boxes without built in hard drives (the Humax has been upgraded to enable it to be used as a single tuner PVR with an external drive) is that the Humax has a lot better build and customer support than the Technika. Tesco's support team were completely unaware that a new model had been introduced until I gave them details of how to get round a major bug in their software.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  4. nwhitfield

    nwhitfield Active Member

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    It's very unlikely that any existing boxes will be able to be upgraded to Project Canvas, actually, and I can't think of any manufacturer who has even hinted at plans to do so - more the reverse actually.

    The best advice is always to buy a box for what it can do now, not what the marketing people say will be coming later; different companies have very differing track records on their ability to deliver.
  5. lbear

    lbear Active Member

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    I should of course have included "HD" but thought that a little redundant in light of the title of this thread. The Freeview HD specification mandated that boxes should be able to access IPTV services.

    My comment about the next generation of FV HD boxes was based on this, note the highlighted phrase.
    Spring debut for MHEG-IC catch-up | Broadband TV News
    That is a little early as Humax are due to implement the portal on their Freeview HD boxes in the next firmware upgrade. That also raises the question of the Foxsat HD2 which was announced at the same time as the HD Fox T2, with the same front fascia design and a promised single tuner PVR function. With the last now implemented on the T2, there would seem to be no reason for the new Foxsat to come to market unless they are working on IPTV or even full Project Canvass functions for it.

    I would also remind you that very recently ITV signed the handling agreement for ITVPlayer with Red Bee Media http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/oct/07/itv-red-bee-media They already handle the BBC iPlayer, 4OD and Demand 5 so, apart from the last, implementing catch-up services using MHEG on Freeview HD should be a question of timing and willingness rather than for technical reasons for those boxes that already have the appropriate software.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
  6. nwhitfield

    nwhitfield Active Member

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    MHEG-IC and Canvas/YouView are complementary; MHEG-IC will be a part of the 'Connected TV' spec, and YouView will be a superset of that, but it's not the only way to do catch-up services, as things like the Humax portal and iPlayer on the iCan box show.

    All I've heard about the Foxsat 2 is that there are some spec changes on Freesat, and they're working to incorporate those. But since the design is pretty much there, then I'd say it's extremely unlikely that it's going to be a Canvas box (based on conversations with Humax, and on the stated desire of YouView to aim initially at the DTT market).

    Canvas is going to require certain things, including DRM to support paid services, that really will require new boxes, designed specifically for it; simply having MHEG-IC is not going to be enough.
  7. lbear

    lbear Active Member

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    Surely all Freeview HD+ boxes already have DRM to prevent HD copies?? I also presume this must be quite developed on the Humax FVHD boxes in view of their plans to launch SkyPlayer - or will this be via their portal?
  8. nwhitfield

    nwhitfield Active Member

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    They have content control, which is a slightly different thing - it simply says what you can do with material once it's been saved on the hard disk. And as long as it's protected from copying, then that's all that Freeview really cares about. So a PVR could, for instance, just encrypt everything with one of the standard well known encryption systems, using a key that's generated from some element of the hardware (like the drive serial number, say). And that will satisfy the content control requirements.

    But full-on DRM, which is specified in Canvas, is capable of a lot more than that, managing things such as entitlement to view, which the FreeviewHD stuff doesn't cover. The latter is pretty much just a flag in the programme data that says "copy once/copy unrestricted."

    With YouView/Canvas there's a common specification for the platform, so that all the suppliers of content can be confident that their service will be available on all the boxes. I'm not party to the specs, but it may require dedicated hardware to handle - not necessarily because that's the only way to do DRM/encryption, but because you may get better performance that way (imagine trying to soft-decrypt an HD stream in real time on a relatively slow processor; could get messy).

    There are lots of different ways you could do pay TV stuff over Canvas, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if at least one of the supported methods for live stuff is, essentially, an IP version of the same way that broadcast pay TV happens now - a single encrypted stream that goes to all customers, with the receivers decrypting, based on entitlement information.

    There are other ways, of course, but it would seem logical to support the way that channels are currently set up to do things, too, if only to ensure it's simple for them to bring their content to the platform.
  9. RockyEd

    RockyEd Member

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    I have been 'dipping my toes' into this particular shark infested nightmare for over a month now. After purchaseing and then returning a Fetch Smartbox I have come to this decision. Purchase an AC Ryan Mini now for playback of virtually ALL media types. Wait till next year and purchase a Youview box. As the old saying goes, trust half of what you see and nothing of what you hear. Sorry to be so cynical, but there is a lot of sales/hype/mis information out there and this whole market is to say the least 'volatile'. - (IM <humble> O) - Just look at the threads, speaks volumes! Anyways, good luck.

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