BT has launched a new BT YouView+ set-top box that has been substantially downsized as redesigned over the previous iteration.
When we first saw BT's YouView box in October 2012 we were told there would be other boxes coming in the future, but that BT had run out of time to do everything it wanted to.
The new BT YouView+ box is the Humax DTR-2100 and has been designed to match the recent BT HomeHub 4 and HomeHub 5. That means you have the same glossy front and silver trim, with the same sort of LED lighting arrangement.
The new box measures 237 x 152 x 43mm, a far cry from the 380mm wide DTR-T1000 original box, so if you're looking to save space, it certainly achieves that. There are some button controls on the top.
There's no fan in the new box, so those who have it in a bedroom won't be so bothered by the whirring in the middle of the night, which was a problem with the old box.
The new set-top box will give you Freeview HD channels, along with YouView's record, pause and rewind options, and the clever searching across the EPG, catch-up and on-demand services.
Catch-up TV is really what YouView is about, with BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD, Demand 5, Milkshake, Dave, Now TV and S4C all offering on-demand services. Obviously, for Now TV, you'll need a separate subscription to Sky's service.
On top of those functions you'll get other extras from BT, such as BT Sport, and there's a BT Player button on the remote to take you direct to BT's TV services, if you pay for them.
There's a 500GB hard drive and dual tuners so you can record two channels at the same time.
Around the back you have HDMI (output up to 1080p), Scart and analogue video and audio connections, optical audio, Ethernet and USB connections, as well as the aerial loop through. There's an additional USB socket on the right-hand side of the device, although we're not sure if that is operational.
The new BT FreeView+ box promises to be faster to start and smoother to navigate than the previous box.
If you're an existing BT YouView customer there will be the option to upgrade from £35 (we're not sure on the T&Cs), but new customers will now receive this box, rather than the old T1000.
We're going to hook it up and will bring you a full review as soon as we can.
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