Icecrypt t2200

The T2200's build quality is better than the average Freeview box, and that extends to the way it works, too.

However, sound is an area where Freeview HD boxes in general can disappoint so it's by no means just an Icecrypt issue.

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You'll also see a Dolby Digital Plus logo on the front of the T2200, which means the box can decode 7.1-channel soundtracks that could eventually be broadcast on Freeview HD channels. Sadly, this is merely a future-proofing footnote for now, because although it's technically possible to broadcast Dolby Digital Plus across the new Freeview HD framework, it's not actually being used by any TV channels yet.

Dolby Digital Plus is basically a compressed version of Dolby Digital, which is supported on other hi-def platforms such as Sky, Virgin and Freesat.

Sound specifics

Freeview HD currently uses a brand new audio format called HE-AAC, which can only provide stereo. Turbosat tells us that although the T2200 can't transcode HE-AAC to Dolby Digital, this is being looked at as a feature for a future software update.

The T2200 doesn't even sport a simple phono option for analogue fans, and in place of analogue outputs you'll find an S/PDIF output to attach the box to a home cinema amplifier. That S/PDIF output is complemented in the settings menu by an option to set an audio delay of up to 250ms; useful if you want to route the T2200's audio to a home cinema amplifier, though simple stereo will be the result.

If you're insistent on 5.1, our advice is to pipe pictures and audio to an amplifier with HDMI inputs, then use Dolby Pro Logic II to 'create' surround sound.

Ease of use

No such imaginative thinking is needed for the rest of the T2200's operation. Fast to switch on and quick to operate, it's in part down to a remote control that's very responsive. Exhaustive in terms of controls, the remote does feel lightweight and it's saddled with small buttons that can be uncomfortable to use.

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During operation of the Freeview HD tuner, a simple list of channels can be inspected, and a list of favourites compiled (and easily edited). Decorated with a Freeview HD logo, the seven-day EPG, which in two modes covers either three hours on seven channels, or five hours on five channels, is graphically impressive and very responsive.

But it's digital video files that are handled best of all; it's possible to fast forward and rewind through such files at speeds ranging from 2x to 64x, and skip back to file lists while a video continues to play underneath the text.

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There's also a two-way relationship between a memory stick and the T2200; files can be rearranged and added to new folders. MP3 files are not as slickly handled, with music playback graphics fuzzy and, in our test, the T2200 didn't pick-up song/artist/album details.

Though Freeview HD channels are likely to be the main reason to buy the T2200, there's a lot more here to seal the deal. It's never frustrating to use, and this attractively designed, versatile, sensitive and powerful DVB-T2 receiver has enough up its sleeve to make it well positioned to deal with the digital revolution in the years to come – with recording to portable USB devices particularly mouth watering.