VIDEO: Cello iViewer does iPlayer, YouTube
Cello showed off its iViewer TV today, which promises access to BBC's iPlayer service without the need for any additional boxes. You simply plug it into your network and away you go.
This brief promo video gives a quick run down of the services on offer, including the headline BBC iPlayer access, which is similar to the offering on the PS3, but a slightly less graphical interface. You also get access to YouTube and selected web TV channels.
In addition you'll be able to stream media from a PC or media server in your home network, so you'll be able to play back your content on your TV with minimal fuss. We saw the player in action playing back some music and it seemed simple enough. Cello promised it would playback HD content with no problems.
The media browser on the TV is designed by Oregan Networks in the UK and Cello boasted that it would support all file formats (although we are sure that's not strictly true), "if you can think of it, we support it". That's something we'll have to verify when we get a review unit of the TV in.
Cello also plans to expand the platform and provide support for other channels and services as they become available, so the future could see the addition of movie streaming on a pay-per-view basis or services like ITV Player. Brian Palmer, founder of Cello Electronics, said that there were licensing issues with some of these services, but they had the technology there to deliver them.
The TV also offers basic widgets, so it will deliver weather forecasts, sports and news feeds into the TV. John Rowe, an engineering consultant at Cello, said that the widget platform was available for expansion, and easily added to through automatic updates over the net.
The TV features a whole host of connectivity, including the regular Freeview and analogue tuners, HDMI, Scart, Component, Composite, S-Video, VGA, Ethernet and USB ports. The USB ports will let you browse content on a USB stick, but the primary intention is to allow your Wi-Fi dongle (an optional extra) to network wirelessly.
If that wasn't enough, there's also a slot-loading DVD player hidden around the back of the 32- and 26-inch sets that we saw on display today. Cello are best known for their affordable offerings, and the Full HD 32-inch version will set you back £499, whilst the HD Ready 26-inch version is £399, hitting M&S soon, but it will be available through other retail channels in the new year.