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…”