Digital radio specialist Pure has announced its first foray into video with the Avalon 300R Connect.
It’s a twin-tuner Freeview HD recorder available with 500GB or 1TB disk sizes, priced at around £299 or £349 respectively.
For that, you also get built-in Wi-Fi (using 2x2 MIMO technology to help wireless reception) along with an Ethernet port for a direct connection to your router or a Powerline adapter.
The online connection gives you access to YouTube and the BBC iPlayer (including its HD option). Both use HTML5 and more services are expected to be added at a later date. At the press launch, Pure wouldn’t say what those are, but the box will obviously be competing with the likes of YouView and Freesat with its new Freetime catch-up system.
The box also has access to Pure Connect. This is similar to the feature on its net-enabled radios, which provides internet audio stations, on-demand programmes, podcasts, content from AudioBoo and, soon, optional access to Pure Music, the brand’s streaming music subscription service that costs £4.99 per month.
You will also be able to stream music via the box from the free Pure Connect iOS and Android mobile app, although this may not be available right from launch.
The box has two digital audio outputs and can also act as an HDMI hub, as it has four HDMI ports at the back, which can be given customised names and switched using the Pure remote control. It has front and rear USB ports for multimedia content, and video and audio streaming over a home network using uPnP (these sorts of features are still quite rare in Freeview PVRs).
A later software update also promises to add the ability to save standard-definition recordings onto a USB stick and watch them on another device such as a laptop.
Pure’s Colin Crawford, said the company has entered into the competitive world of digital recording because, “We think there’s a job to be done in this market.”
In particular, Pure is making a big thing of its bold graphical user interface, which has an animated 3D perspective effect and a picture-in-picture preview of other channels as you scroll through the now and next guide info.
The Avalon 300R
More info: Pure