Pure's Getting Into Fancy Freeview Boxes

By Sam Gibbs on at

Pure's made the leap from making digital radios to the exciting world of Freeview+ HD boxes. I know what you're thinking, just another rubbish Freview box that you're probably not going to buy. But Pure might actually make a difference here with the Avalon 300R Connect. It's finally done what we've been craving for ages, spent time on the interface and made it slick and fast.

The Pure Avalon 300R Connect is a pretty standard Freeview+ HD box, meaning it has dual tuners; a 500GB or 1TB drive, and streaming from the likes of iPlayer and YouTube. Unfortunately there's no ITV Player, 4oD, LoveFilm or Netflix to be seen, so this isn't your do-everything box. Where Pure has put effort into is the UI, making it pretty slick with a bit of fancy 3D processing for very Apple TV-like transitions; 3D picture-in-picture, and rapid overlaid navigation with transparency effects, making the whole thing look a little like what you'd get from XBMC or Plex.

Of course, Pure's also thrown in all its radio and music streaming knowhow too, including Pure Connect for streaming from your Android or iPhone. Thankfully it's seen fit to pack this thing out with MIMO Wi-Fi, like everyone should but doesn't, so it'll just hook up to your network without needing one of those blasted powerline ethernet adapters. Two USB ports -- one on the front, one on the back -- allow you to play your own media through the box too, while four HDMI inputs allows you to run everything via the Avalon, should you want to.

The biggest catch is probably the price, because at £300 for the 500GB or £350 for the 1TB variant, it's a big ask -- even bigger than YouView, and that's saying something. Still, if you're after a faster box that'll do all your Freeview PVR duties, and you hate the idea of YouView, you can pre-order it from John Lewis tomorrow, shipping sometime in October.