“On-demand” high definition television in a small box under the living room TV . That is what this iPlus tuner offers us, which was released in mid- 2007 and since last February 1 is the only way to enjoy the only Spanish channel in high definition: Canal + HD . A complete desktop computer whose virtues we have been able to see in first person.
It is the only product on the market that meets three of the great requests that we make to the television of the future : the tuning of images in high definition , the ease of creating our own television channel and the possibility of recording one channel while watching another .
High definition content and connections
Generalist and free Spanish channels should one day begin to broadcast something more than cartoons in high definition . Meanwhile, only pay TV users can follow this advance from Canal + HD . An exclusive tune with movies, series, documentaries and sports that we can see in resolutions of 720p and 1080i . And no scaling or the usual loss of margins that converting from the conventional ratio (4: 3) to panoramic (16: 9), since these contents are natively recorded in the new format .
Watching a football game or a movie broadcast on Canal + HD is an experience simply superior to what we were used to. And, of course, the equipment incorporates the connections required by the new image and sound standards: the HDMI connection to avoid quality loss in high-definition TVs and a digital output prepared for those home theater systems that they flood the living room with surround sound , compatible with the Dolby Digital compression system .
Choose and organize your own programming
The old promise of on-demand television takes on new meaning with iPlus . By accessing the programming guide, we can explore all the broadcasts by style , forgetting about the content policy of the different channels and their schedules. We simply choose those programs that interest us and the team will record them on an integrated 160 Gigabyte hard drive as soon as they are broadcast.
Then you just have to press the My Channel button on the remote control to choose from among all the recordings the one you want the most at that time.
In other words, we can create up to 80 hours of personalized programming from what all the networks broadcast (and there are many, almost 100 channels). Yes. The 80 hours are recorded in standard definition , since if we record in high definition the files weigh more and the recording time is reduced. It must also be recognized that the invention does not completely offer TV on demand, it would be more accurate to say that it is "TV almost on demand" to the extent that we choose programs that the networks decide to broadcast. However, as we said a little above, we choose from many, many channels and this expands the range almost to infinity. In addition, it offers us a new experience from the moment youwe completely free ourselves from the hourly criteria of those who program the grills. Or, for example , from the moment we can watch the same program as many times as we want and whenever we want and, to top it all off, everything is done by the team by itself .
Does it bother you that they always put your favorite series on at odd hours? Do you rush home from work because you've entertained yourself in a meeting and you're afraid you'll be in time just to see the closing credits of that movie you wanted to see? Don't you want to get up early to see that decisive Formula 1 race? There is no problem, the team takes the trouble for you and records it for you. Even if it is a broadcast in high definition .
Versatility and anticipation
This iPlus is much more than just a simple tuner. Not just because it has a hard drive . It is that inside it houses five sitonizers: two for satellite, two for DTT and one for high definition . And why so much tuner? Well, to see a channel on the screen while you are recording another on the hard drive . And you can make this combination as you like .
For example, while you fall asleep watching a documentary on La 2, you record Rafa Nadal's tennis match that is being broadcast by satellite . Or you are watching the BBC news and at the same time you record that action movie that they put on a DTT channel and you prefer to watch at night or on the weekend. The same for two programs that are broadcast on two different satellite or DTT channels . And also, of course, some broadcast in high definition from Canal + HD .
If you have not had time to review the programming or you turn on the TV and discover a new series that you like and it has been broadcast for several minutes, you still have a bit of room for maneuver. And it is that the equipment provisionally records the last hour of emission of the channel that we have tuned in at that moment , progressively re-recording in a buffer memory specially reserved for this mission on the hard disk. So you can rewind backwards while still recording the live.
On the other hand, the equipment also has an Ethernet connection , which in the future could allow us to connect it to our home Internet network , and use it as an intermediary to bring the videos and songs that we have on to the screen and the sound equipment in the living room. home computers. It also has a USB port designed for devices such as an external hard drive or an MP3 player .
Who is interested in this iPlus?
To all viewers who, when they get home, want to see the shows they like . And not what those who organize the grills of the channels decide. This team is the prelude to what everyone would want for their TV , and something that has been crying out for a long time in our country. And it is that outside our borders there have been products of this style for years like the famous North American TiVo .
It can improve
The main drawback of this iPlus is that it is paid. Otherwise all the fans would have pointed to its advantages. On the other hand, and getting very picky, it must be recognized that it does not allow high definition recordings to be taken out of it , since the HDMI connection has a protection that prevents it. Yes we can use the Eurconector output to pass them to other computers, but in this case the final files are converted to standard resolution .
Apart from this, we have noticed that the loading of the programming guide is not instantaneous , but it is downloaded as requested and this delays each order by two or three seconds. This is because a portion of hard disk memory has not been used as a buffer to periodically store guide updates. A shame with how good equipment this iPlus is as a whole . At least, sources close to Digital + have told us that this small defect is in the process of being resolved in the near future.
In short, a team that is several steps ahead of what we all have at home and that offers (finally) what we could define as "Television 2.0".
|Tuning||Two DTT tuners (More than 30 free channels)|
Two satellite tuners (About 100 pay channels)
|Storage and recording||160 GB hard drive|
80 hours of recording in standard definition
Simultaneous recording and viewing of different channels
1 hour of buffer recording
|Image||Resolutions: 720 × 576, 1080i, 720p|
Proportions: 4: 3, 16: 9 and intermediate
|Weight and measurements||391.1 x 290.4 x 65 mm|
|Connections||Credit card reader|
Parabolic antenna input
Terrestrial antenna input / output
Analog and digital audio outputs (5.1)
2 scart inputs (TV and VCR)
|Controls||On / off button|
My Channel button
|Price||Returning old tuner: 395 euros + subscription fee|
Without returning old tuner: 450 euros + subscription fee