Select the Web TV option and the BlobBox brings up all kinds of exotic-sounding programmes (Ninja Babes From Space or French Maid TV, anyone?) but overall the quality of entertainment on offer is poor.

tvblobl web tv

WEBTV: This option offers all kinds of televisual treats - including our favourite: Ninja Babes From Space

You won't fare much better either using VCast, which you can confusingly find in the Internet section - there is a wide selection of channels to choose from, but most seemed to be aimed at Italian or mainland European audiences.

The chief English-language channels seem to be BBC World and Bloomberg.

freeview

FREEVIEW: The BlobBox also offers more conventional thrills, thanks to its built-in digital TV tuner.

Sound and video quality is as good as you'd expect from a standard definition digital TV broadcast, although the video quality of Web TV stuff is variable - even two of the HD channels available appear to show SD-quality content, while the quality of the signal you receive, of course, will vary depending on how fast or reliable your broadband is. Today it was raining, and it's the summer hols, so our experience wasn't so hot.

Internet on your TV

But the BlobBox's ace in the hole is the Internet option, which enables you to do stuff like watch YouTube videos, catch up with your pals using social networks, laugh at the latest Wikipedia entries and surf on over to websites like TechRadar.com.

Some elements of this are obviously a lot more polished than others - the YouTube UI is slick and easy to use, but try as we might we couldn't get regular web pages to display properly (even after tweaking the display options in the Setup menu).

update

UPDATE: TVBlob plans to offer updates and improvements to the BlobBox's user interface and content. It certainly needs to

The lack of a keyboard and mouse also brings up one of the BlobBox's major shortcomings - typing URLs, user names and passwords using a TV remote control.

If you're a texting whizz you'll no doubt be used to this, but frankly it drove us nuts. Likewise scrolling around webpages isn't much fun either - 4-way cursor keys and an OK button do not a pleasant navigation experience make: at least you can plug a proper USB mouse and keyboard in.