Icecrypt t2200

The T2200 isn't a Freeview HD recorder, but it will be soon. Look carefully at the matt black remote control and you'll find a small record button.

For the moment it's redundant – and potentially confusing – but the T2200's maker Turbosat tells us that a software upgrade later this year (first on its website, then over-the-air) will breathe new life into the box's front-mounted USB slot and make it possible to record Freeview programmes – SD and HD – straight to a USB pen drive, or external hard drive.

We've not got confirmation of exactly when and how this will work, but we expect it to act in a similar way to the MPEG recorder on Cello's C3298FR LCD TV.

Turbosat tells us that although the T2200 will read both an NTFS drive and a FAT32 formatted drive, it recommends using the former – there's a maximum size file for video on FAT32 formatted drives, and HD recordings are around four times the size of SD content.

Icecrypt t2200

For now, there's plenty of life in that USB port. Hidden behind a door next to the T2200's digital display, channel up/down buttons and a standby control, its duties for now are solely with memory sticks.

The usual JPEG slideshows and MP3 files can be played – and are dealt with in a rather rudimentary manner – though it's a different story with digital video files. Not only able to play DivX and XviD files, the T2200 extends its reputation as a HD machine by playing both MKV (DivX HD) and M2TS (AVC HD camcorder) files.

One concern we do have about the prospect of USB recording is the slot's placement. At the moment its position on the front of the machine beside the digital display is convenient, but the idea of trailing a cable to an external hard drive doesn't appeal.

Future proofing

Perhaps the T2200 should have a second USB slot on the rear panel, because it would be a shame to interrupt this unit's otherwise impressive design.

Another future-proof feature is the T2200's Ethernet port. Housed in its rear panel, its sits alongside a couple of Scarts (which support both RGB and composite video qualities – though with HD on the menu these are best ignored completely), a HDMI output and an optical audio output.

That Ethernet port could spring into life when Freeview HD starts to host services such as the BBC iPlayer, expected to happen in 2011 (probably via an OTA upgrade). Software could also let the T2200 dabble in DLNA home networking, arguably something this machine should already be capable of, given its DivX capabilities.

Another boon is dual common interface slots on the machine's front panel – especially useful since Top Up TV is set to offer Sky's sports channels. To find one CI slot is pleasing; to find two is almost unheard of.