Icecrypt T2200 review

There's more to this Freeview HD box than hi-def TV

Icecrypt T2200
The Icecrypt T2200 will eventually function as a PVR

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Icecrypt t2200

Maybe it's sheer processing power, or perhaps it's because the digital signal in our test area has strengthened since the analogue switch-off, but the T2200 finds – and holds – a lot more Freeview channels than we'd experienced before.

Its Freeview HD/DVB-T2 tuner is highly sensitive, and its search for both standard definition and HD channels takes just a couple of minutes. In our test, all Freeview HD channels available were tuned-in, and presented in the correct order.

The efficiency of its DVB-T2 tuner proves typical of the way the T2200 behaves; kudos goes to Icecrypt not just for its impressive haul of features and future-proof possibilities, but also for the way they're delivered. It's largely down to an excellent user interface, a 32-bit high resolution on-screen display befitting a receiver with hi-def status.

HD performance

Turn to channel 50 – BBC HD – and it's obvious why the devices like the T2200 are in high demand.

We watched the BBC's Life output in 1080p resolution to a Full HD plasma telly; even though the programme itself is broadcast in 1080i (you won't find 1080p transmissions on any HD broadcast platform for a very long time), the picture does look better if you let the T2200 output in its maximum resolution.

As a polar bear and its cubs trudge across the ice, the T2200 brings out some good levels of close-up detail and, most impressively, contrast between peak bright whites of the snow and the darker shades of the sky and mountains. A cinematic picture is the result, while a blast of Champions League footie from ITV 1 HD impresses, particularly with its detail and brightness.

SD upscaling

The T2200 also does a decent job of upscaling the rest of the standard definition channels, and though a bright and clean picture is always present, they necessarily don't sparkle anywhere near as much as pictures from BBC HD and ITV 1 HD.

ITV is dotted with MPEG blocking, but how much you notice that depends on how big your TV is; if anything, it lends weight to the argument that Freeview HD is essential if you've a big-screen TV (Freeview currently recommends a 28-inch screen or higher for HD, though we're not sure why; we've not seen a 28-inch TV since the days of cathode ray tube TVs).

Meanwhile, a selection of movie trailers downloaded in DivX HD format (MKV files) are played from a USB stick in spectacular fashion. Detail levels are high and images are clean, and while there's very little motion blur, slow camera pans do involve a modicum of stepping.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),