Freeview Play box with Amazon and Netflix

sjws

Standard Member
Hi
I need to replace my freeview box so I was planning to get a Freeview play recorder with Netflix and Amazon prime video however I'm struggling to find one. Does anyone know of any, preferably a relatively recent model. Finding one with Netflix is no big deal but there don't seem to be many with Amazon prime too. I know I could get a fire stick or whatever but it's just so annoying having to have so many different devices / remotes etc.
Thanks
 

VisionMan

Well-known Member
I've been wondering why the OP gravitated towards Freeview Play as opposed to YouView, which does have both Amazon and Netflix.*

NOTE* - Roll-out to all box models is currently in progress, but with no timescale specified.
 

Ensor

Active Member
I've been wondering why the OP gravitated towards Freeview Play as opposed to YouView...
Maybe he's used a Youview box? :D

I'll be replacing mine with a Freeview Play box, or a Humax HDR FOX T2, as soon as funds allow...
 

Ensor

Active Member
To quote from a post I made in the Digitalstream thread a few weeks after buying a DTR-T2120:

"What drives me to distraction though, and the reason I don't think I can live with the machine for any length of time, is it's nigh on impossible to watch a third channel if you're recording two programmes from two different muxes.

In this situation the DS will grey out the channels you can't access in the EPG, and if you use the channel up/down buttons it will only step through the available channels. Not the YouView box though...it'll blithely allow you to select any damn channel you want from the EPG, then pop up a message asking you which recording you'd like to cancel so you can watch that channel. Same when using the channel up/down buttons. I've already managed to accidentally cancel a couple of recordings that were in progress.

Also, no favourites lists or ability to completely delete channels from the box. All you can do is hide channels in the EPG. However, if you use the channel up/down buttons it'll step through ALL of the channels including the hidden ones...sigh...

I don't like the "pretty" dumbed down interface either, all full of pretty pictures and silly animations. Yuck. I much prefer the simple and functional DS interface, it's far quicker to use.

The box's CEC functionality is flaky and won't work with my Samsung TV. The tuners seem a tad less sensitive than the DS's. And a recent software update has knocked out UHF passthrough during "deep sleep" mode!

As for the YouView catch up functionality. Well, first of all you have to sign up for every broadcasters' catch up service individually - I thought the whole point of YouView was that you DIDN'T have to do that? Even if you were to do that, pretty much all that's available on catch up is a diet of soaps and reality crap anyway...

On the plus side, I've got access to iPlayer on my big screen again and the box has been stable thus far and hasn't missed a recording (or cut off the start/end of one). The remote is very well laid out.

Would I recommend it to someone? NO!

EDIT: Forgot to mention, picture quality is excellent. In fact the PQ on SD channels is much better than from the DS...but that alone doesn't make up for the problems IMHO.

EDIT#2: No trailer booking. No ability to return the the last channel you were watching by pressing the "Back" button. The more I use this box the more I dislike it..."

You can also add, no manual or repeat timers and the fact that there's no manual tuning option to just scan a single multiples. Probably other things I don't like but I can't think of them right now...

EDIT: Just thought of one: The way it reports "home" everything I do with the box. Every press of a remote control button results in a little flurry of network traffic. :(

Either way, I'll be replacing it when funds allow.
 
Last edited:

Ensor

Active Member
Slight finger trouble, the unit is a DTR-T2120 not T2020 (I've edited the post to correct that).

I love the hardware itself, it's small, stable, runs cool and is quick to respond to the remote. But the interface and software limitations drive me to distraction.
 

TJT1

Member
Ah, I see that you really like it then Ensor.:rotfl:
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
I've been wondering why the OP gravitated towards Freeview Play as opposed to YouView, which does have both Amazon and Netflix.*

NOTE* - Roll-out to all box models is currently in progress, but with no timescale specified.

As I have explained many times.

Having Amazon Prime is no advantage to me as I have had a A Fire TV box for years and it's pretty easy to add using a firestick.

Netflix is widely available. I have multiple sources.

My Mobile Phone

My Samsung Galaxy Tablet

Humax HDR-1000S

Humax FVP-5000T

My Full-HD HP envy notebook

Why would I want to buy a inferior box ?

Too many design limitations

eg Total reliance on the broadcasters accurate recording and series recording codeing. Especially relevant at the moment as the BBC is having major issues - lots of threads on this

No medial streaming capability

Only able to record two at once. The humax FVP 4000/5000T can record up to 4 at once

Completely useless to anyone without a broadband internet connection.

Absolutely no way to take recordings with you to view on mobile kit.

etc. etc, etc.
 

Ensor

Active Member
Ah, I see that you really like it then Ensor.:rotfl:
You could say that! :D

I'd prefer to replace it with a Freeview Play box like the FVP-5000T, but I keep reading on here about how blisteringly slow they are to respond to the remote. Which leaves the HDR FOX T2 with custom firmware which is perfect apart from not being Freeview Play.

I'll doubtless end up with one of each, but it'll be a few months before I can afford to do it...in the meantime I'll just have to continue banging my head against a brick wall...
 

VisionMan

Well-known Member
On a technical note, can a Freeview Play offer manual tuning and manually set timer recordings across any of its boxes?
 

Ensor

Active Member
On a technical note, can a Freeview Play offer manual tuning and manually set timer recordings across any of its boxes?
Good point, I was assuming that since my Freeview+ box offers those facilities Freeview Paly would too. So I grabbed the user manual for the FVP-5000T.

Manual Tuning: Yes
Manual Timers: Yes
Record Padding: Yes
 

Ensor

Active Member
Completely useless to anyone without a broadband internet connection.
I wouldn't quite go that far. My box certainly bitched and moaned when my broadband went down for a couple of hours on Sunday, but in practice all I lost access to was "Players & Apps" and thumbnail pictures for recorded programmes.

Not sure it's possible to set a Youview box up without an internet connection though.
 

VisionMan

Well-known Member
On a technical note, can a Freeview Play offer manual tuning and manually set timer recordings across any of its boxes?
Good point, I was assuming that since my Freeview+ box offers those facilities Freeview Paly would too. So I grabbed the user manual for the FVP-5000T.

Manual Tuning: Yes
Manual Timers: Yes
Record Padding: Yes
Sounds like a paradise.... :)

But never is.... :(

I have always gone out of my way to list a YouView boxs' technical limitations and have made no bones about it. Its a good box but is basic about it, and certainly no Techno's wet dream.

A Freeview Play on the other hand has technicals coming out of its backside for those that want them. Good luck.
 

Ensor

Active Member
Sounds like a paradise.... :)
But never is.... :(
Tell me about it, nothing's ever completely perfect.

I could actually live with the other limitations of the Youview box if it wasn't for the way it'll let you select channels you can't watch when both tuners are in use, then ask which recording you want to cancel (and the way it steps through all channels, hidden or not, when using the channel up/down buttons for the same reason).

That's hideously user un-friendly for a box that's supposed to be as easy to use as possible, IMO. As I said before, that one "feature" drives me mad. I've even gotten used to the "pretty pictures" all over the place now too. :D

A Freeview Play on the other hand has technicals coming out of its backside for those that want them.
The FVP boxes are far more "my kind of thing", but the reports I've read here about the FVP-4000/5000 being extremely sluggish to respond the the remote is very off putting.

I'd go the whole hog and build a MythTV setup, but I want a STB that "just works" and doesn't need constant maintenance.
 

VisionMan

Well-known Member
Why don't you just try an FVP-5000T and if it doesn't suit just send it back? Others have done it. No harm in that.
 

TJT1

Member
if it wasn't for the way it'll let you select channels you can't watch when both tuners are in use, then ask which recording you want to cancel
Surely that's a good thing and is employed by other recorders and you don't seem to have 'thought it through'.

Scenario: You are 'flipping through' the EPG, see something you want to record, machine asks you which current one you want to cancel. You now instantly have the choice.

Now imagine if it didn't have that feature.
Find something you really want to watch or record on the EPG but can't select it because you are already recording two progs. Now find out what is recording. Decide which one to stop. Manually stop it. Back to the EPG. Re find the prog that you want to record/watch again. Press Record.
Now THAT is really seriously stupid.
 

VisionMan

Well-known Member
A YouView may be basic but as the film of the advert said when describing Volvos' -

"Their boxy, but their good!"
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
Sounds like a paradise.... :)

But never is.... :(

I have always gone out of my way to list a YouView boxs' technical limitations and have made no bones about it. Its a good box but is basic about it, and certainly no Techno's wet dream.

A Freeview Play on the other hand has technicals coming out of its backside for those that want them. Good luck.
Not a fan of padding either. It can and does cause more issues than it can solve. Notably for fairly obvious reasons it disables accurate recording. Being able to set a manual recording reservation with a repeat pattern can however be very useful. EG In the early days of Channel 5 HD they hadn't a clue how to use the Freeview Content Reference Identifier codes. As a result the daily soaps with more than one showing every day the recorded time switched every other day to a time slot where it could and did create recording clashes. A daily manual timer with a every weekday was the solution for weeks until Channel 5 finally figured out how to use the CRID system

It's also about the only way at the moment to record a lot of BBC programmes, as already said they currently have major issues.
 

Ensor

Active Member
Surely that's a good thing and is employed by other recorders and you don't seem to have 'thought it through'.
No, it's incredibly annoying. My current Freeview+ PVR works that way and that system is logical and works extremely well...so no thinking through needed. :)

The stupid way in which the Youview box works means that unless I keep a list handy of which channels are on which multiplex AND know which channels the box is currently recording I can't choose something else to watch live without an incredible amount of faffing about.

Scenario: You are 'flipping through' the EPG, see something you want to record, machine asks you which current one you want to cancel. You now instantly have the choice.
Or you could just select the programme on the EPG and press the "record" button, which could then pop up the box asking you which currently recording programme you want to cancel?
 

TJT1

Member
If it wasn't for the way it'll let you select channels you can't watch when both tuners are in use, then ask which recording you want to cancel
Or you could just select the programme on the EPG and press the "record" button, which could then pop up the box asking you which currently recording programme you want to cancel?
Isn't it the second quote pretty much the same as what you were complaining about in the first quote?
I've never flipped through an EPG. Maybe thats just me.
So what do you do? Read the Radio Times/TV Times/TV pages in the daily newspaper? Soo 20th century.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Radio Times magazine, me. I have a subscription. So much easier than trying to wade through EPG lists to find something, or learn something new. Old skool here chez Clem.

Clem
 

VisionMan

Well-known Member
Old skool as well, TJT1. Online TV guides, push content recommendations (via email) from the BBC iPlayer Content team and BT Sport and browsing the net for recommendations of whats on now/later that are good and bad. Funnily enough though, I never use YouViews 'Discover' feature as I find most of the recommendations to be just commercial crap. And I Beta tested it! LOL
 

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