Icecrypt T2400 (1TB) - Features and Operation

By Danny Phillips
Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Icecrypt T2400 (1TB)

Summary

Our Score

9/10

Review Price free/subscription

The T2400 is available with a 500GB, 1TB or 2TB hard-disk drive, offering 125, 250 and 500 hours of HD recording time respectively, or double for SD programmes. The twin DVB-T2 tuners not only make it possible to watch one channel and record another, but also to record two channels and watch a third, which is a rare talent and a real bonus with so many channels to choose from.

And there are plenty of recording features to play with too, designed to make your life easier. There’s series recording, which is offered as an option when you pick a programme to record from the EPG, as well as recommendation recording, where the box makes suggestions related to what you’re recording.

Trailer Booking, meanwhile, lets you set recordings during the adverts for forthcoming programmes. When you try and schedule recordings of more than two programmes being broadcast at the same time, the Alternative Instance feature automatically finds other showings. If there are none, you have to resolve it manually.

Another key feature that sets the T2400 apart from many of its rivals is MP3 and DivX playback. You can transfer these onto the HDD from PCs over your network or play them from connected USB drives.

Using the T2400 is a breeze. The onscreen menus are fantastic, using modern-looking, full-colour graphics that make everything very easy to digest. The setup menu takes an unusual approach, allowing you to scroll along a row of icons and browse the little submenus. It’s intuitive when using the remote, but cumbersome using the front panel controls.

The eight-day EPG is particularly attractive, playing live TV in a box at the top of the screen and showing the programme synopsis without having to hit the 'i' button. The downside of including these is that the programme grid is very small, showing only five channels at a time and squashing up the ‘blocks’ so you can’t read the full names – although you can switch between a one, two or three hour view. A helpful legend at the bottom provides a permanent reminder of the various options, which includes the ability to switch to a single channel guide or skip forward/back a day.

This is backed up by an great-looking info banner. Press the i button once and a yellow bar pops up with cute icons giving details about the current programme – resolution, audio description, MHEG and so forth – as well as the signal strength. Press 'i' again and the synopsis appears above it. The crisp fonts and 256-colour display may look good, but it’s a real shame that you can only browse now/next information, not the entire schedule.

The recording list is clearly laid out, presenting content in a straightforward list with no thumbnails, indicating whether or not programmes have been viewed and allowing you to resume an earlier viewing. And when playing back programmes you can repeat, remove or copy a portion of the recording using the A-B button. Other neat tricks include pause live TV and a Time Shift function.

Elsewhere a handy mini menu lets you set the output resolution (up to 1080p), aspect ratio and audio mode. The T2400 will not currently transcode HE AAC into Dolby Digital in order to improve surround sound compatibility with legacy receivers, but Icecrypt’s distributor Turbosat says this will be added later with a software update ‘once Freeview confirms this is the broadcast format they are sticking with’. The unit is compatible with Dolby Digital Plus.

See page 4 for more screen grabs...

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Teabag

January 17, 2011, 1:27 pm

RS232? What on earth can I connect to that without getting an ancient desktop out of my loft....?

jpkerr

January 17, 2011, 1:54 pm

With my Humax 9200 having provided excellent sevice, the fact that Humax has supported this model with regular updates and that it has remained reliable and stable I was going to simply update to the HDR version when the time come. Now I am not so sure.





I think what most people would like to know is the Humax HDR or Icecrypt better?

Simon Heather

January 17, 2011, 2:13 pm

@jpkerr - the Humax HDR has more features that the Icecrpyt including transcoding HE AAC into Dolby Digital, playing media directly from a network DLNA server and shortly iPlayer plus media server (stream recordings to other devices). The Humax remote also looks much nicer and the Humax EPG is the best I've used on any PVR - very clear with lots of information presented.

clemenzina

January 17, 2011, 4:13 pm

Quote: ...record two channels and watch a third, which is a rare talent...





PVRs have been doing that for years :-?

Kerwood

January 17, 2011, 5:04 pm

Thank you for helping us discover worthwile alternatives to Humax which, or so I felt lead to think, was the only supplier of a reliable and efficient HD PVR.


Could someone tell me if the remotes on these devices keep on using infrared, or if someone has adopted RF which would have the added benefit to allow the placement of the device in a cupboard, alongside other Audiovisual devices.


That would be neat!





On a lighter and completely distracting note, I wonder what the 4th picture on page 4 is all about!

Danny P

January 17, 2011, 6:28 pm

@clemenzina: You'd be surprised how few Freeview PVRs lets your record two channels and watch a third. Most let you record two simultaneously but then prevent you from changing channel.

Terrystan

January 17, 2011, 7:50 pm

I thought the usual restriction was that the 'Third' channel must use a shared MUX, e.g. three channels using a maximum of two MUXs

Martin Daler

January 17, 2011, 8:10 pm

@Terrystan - there must be something in what you say. I'm not up on DVB tech, but with 2 tuners how else do you get to receive 3 signals, as per the review?

Simon Heather

January 17, 2011, 8:48 pm

The 3view and Toshiba HDR5010 (and presumably the TVonics which has the same software) don't allow you to watch a third channel while recording two channels even if it is on the same mux.

Lamboy

January 18, 2011, 1:47 am

Guys, the third channel has to be a pre recorded programme.

pxmm

January 18, 2011, 2:40 am

"When recorded, the competent video encoders ensure that HD programmes lose none of their crystal clear definition and SD programmes look solid too."





Is this a mistake or is the Icecrypt deviating from, what I believe to be, every other HDD recorder on the market by not simply saving the broadcast stream to the HD.

BobaFett

January 18, 2011, 6:26 am

@Martin Daler: The FreeView channels in the UK are transmitted using 6 multiplexes, totalling a maximum bandwidth of 126Mbps (15.75MB/s). A multiplex, by definition is a way of transmitting multiple signals, in this case Freeview channels, using only one signal. So you only need one tuner per multiplex that you want to 'tune into' and then it's up to the software to extract the channel or channels that it is interested in. MythTV for example, allows you to record a whole multiplex at once and if you have 6 tuners installed, you could record every channel at once (although you'd be using 56.7GB of disk space per hour).





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...

Tim Sutton

January 18, 2011, 6:35 am

@Lamboy





My Humax can record 2 and watch a third live. I think I can record two, watch a third and have PiP of a fourth in fact :-)

Lamboy

January 18, 2011, 3:00 pm

@Tim Sutton





3 tuners?

Jmac

January 18, 2011, 4:56 pm

@Lamboy - nope - 2 tuners, but (as discussed above) it can decode more than 2 streams out of 2 received Muxes.

KultiVator

January 18, 2011, 5:29 pm

@BobaFett - good answer, not a lot of people get the idea of multiple streams all multiplexed together into a single channel of continuous data. Suspect your comment will help a lot of folks grasp this important concept (which is also used extensively with DAB, DVD, BluRay, etc).

Danny P

January 18, 2011, 6:04 pm

@pxmm: As far as I'm aware hardly any HDD recorders record the data stream direct. Panasonic's Freeview Blu-ray recorders do using their 'Direct Record' mode but most others have to decode the stream first then re-encode. That's how you get a choice of recording modes.

Jmac

January 19, 2011, 12:42 am

@Danny P - not at all. As far as I'm aware almost *ALL* current Freeview / Freeview HD / Freesat PVRs do exactly this, as do Sky and Virgin (hence why they don't offer multiple recording quality levels), and it makes perfect sense - why would you decode and then recode the data (requiring a powerful video encoding chip, especially for HD) when you could just directly record the stream? With ever increasing HDD capacities, lack of storage is rarely a problem so recoding at lower quality is unnecessary.

Martin Daler

January 19, 2011, 3:40 pm

@BobaFett - thanks, that makes perfect sense.

Danny P

January 19, 2011, 6:46 pm

@John: I stand corrected, I was talking about DVD/HDD combis, which do re-encode the signal so it's in the correct format for DVD copying etc, but PVRs record direct. So just ignore the bit about 'competent video encoders'.

Terrystan

January 20, 2011, 10:51 pm

in analogue terms one radio frequency say 671Mhz = one channel say Ch 46 (BBC1 Sutton CF) and this is what the tuner selects. However with Digital TV one radio frequency say 631Mhz = one MUX, say MUX1 which has within it 6 or more channels (BBC1 and lots of others), In this case the tuners selects a MUX NOT a channel.

Kelv

January 21, 2011, 12:11 am

As a Topfield owner, I frequently edit recordings and burn them to DVD. A number of websites claim the Icecrypt can export recordings to a PC in TRP format, where they can presumably be watched or edited. Could you tell me if this is the case, and if so does it apply to HD files as well as SD? All the Freeview HD PVRs I've seen up until now prevent the export of HD files because they've been encrypted.

Mike0001

June 5, 2013, 2:52 pm

One of these?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/USB-RS...

Mike0001

June 5, 2013, 2:54 pm

I can do all that and drink a pint and do a somersault all at the same time. ;-)

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