iPlayer+ offers PVR – but no hard drive

Digital set-top boxes

Long before it became the law to use the ‘i’ prefix for every piece of consumer electronics, in fact way back in 2002, French firm Netgem introduced the iPlayer. It’s essentially a digital terrestrial (Freeview) box but it can also be used for sending e-mail, surfing the net, even listening to MP3s. It’s also TopUp TV ready.

Actually I thought the product had disappeared altogether (you can’t seem to get it anywhere on the net these days), until I received a press release this morning plugging a supposedly sooper-dooper new model, the iPlayer+.

As well as a 7 day EPG (now standard on most Freeview boxes) the iPlayer+ features Bluedelta Design’s Phantom+ PVR for programming. However annoyingly you’ll still need a separate recording device for capturing them which seems a bit of an omission to me. Why they haven’t bunged a hard drive into what is otherwise a cracking product is beyond me.

The iPlayer+ retails for £89.99 (without keyboard).


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  • I have to agree with Yann. The provided EPG doesn’t work properly. They basically released an unfinished product. They refuse to refund despite the fact that they’ve provided a product which does not work as specified, There are various bugs. Their so-called support line is useless. They hardly ever return phonecalls.

  • As these seem to be the only guys providing a Freeview box that supports Audio description they should be applauded. My 84 year old dad who is blind values the audio descriptions provided on some programmes, and is helped by the box telling him what channel he has selected. Excellent stuff that should be supported as a ‘must’ for all digi boxes.

  • A fantastic box. BT sell it on their web-site (marketed as the BT interactive digital adaptor but identical to the Netgem model) for a much cheaper price.

  • I’ve owned a BT iPlayer for over a year, the current firmware turned it into an iPlayer+. Over time new firmware has stopped it crashing as often – its now just 50% of the time I use any advanced feature (web browser,AV streaming).

    This is a great product if you enjoy watching it crash but after 2 years development its still nowhere near finished. I’ve given up hoping it will ever be fixed.

  • This box is sold on the premise that you pay more for a superior product which is upgradable. The amount of bugs in the software and time taken to release upgrades leaves me in serious doubt as to whether it warrants this title.

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