Pure’s first set-top box is on sale now. The company has announced its rival to YouView is up for grabs from Internet retailers, though there are only seven left in John Lewis, and five at Amazon, so you’d better get your skates on. It’ll be available in-store at John Lewis and selected independent retailers later this week.
We went hands-on with the Avalon 300R Connect back in September, when it was announced. It’s available in 500GB or 1TB versions, costing £300 and £350 respectively.
The Freeview+ HD digital recorder comes with a bespoke interface, as well as BBC iPlayer and YouTube as standard. But it’s got its work cut out to compete with other televisual offerings. Virgin Media just added YouTube to its TiVo box. And Siralan’s YouView costs the same as the Avalon 300R Connect, but has more features.
As well as iPlayer, YouView has iTV Player, 4oD and Demand 5. The Avalon 300R’s interface is also less intuitive: the on-demand channels are shunted to a separate section to the Freeview ones, so you have to head back to the homescreen if you want to flick between them. Annoying.
But Pure has put its audio heritage to good use, packing in Internet radio, on-demand audio channels and podcasts through the Pure Connect service.
Two tuners means you can record one channel while watching another. A picture-in-picture preview of another channel will pop up in the corner of the screen too, so you can gauge whether it’s worth switching over.
Pure’s radios are among the best out there, and it’s good to see it diversifying into other areas. The only issue is the cost — for the same price as YouView but with fewer features, I think Pure might struggle to convince telly addicts that its box of tricks deserves a space under the gogglebox.
What do you think of the Avalon 300R? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.