T4-R Freeview Box Gets A Big New Update – And A Warning

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Manhattan has released a comprehensive software update for its recently launched T4-R and T4 Freeview boxes, addressing numerous issues and introducing several improvements.

The new update, which started rolling out during the weekend, comes just a month after the devices hit the market and includes fixes for app performance, HDR display issues, Wi-Fi connectivity problems and more.

However, the update also comes with a warning for the T4-R Freeview Recorder users, who need to be aware of a major issue that could cause missed recordings.

Manhattan T4 T4-R software update 1.05

According to Manhattan, the T4-R may fail to wake up for scheduled recordings in some instances. To prevent this, users must keep their device’s ‘Standby Mode’ set to ‘Energy Saver’ until a fix is released (see more details below).

Whether you’re a new owner or considering buying the new T4 and T4-R, this update enhances the functionality of these next-generation Freeview devices – see below for the full list of changes.

Manhattan T4 and T4-R: Next-Generation Freeview Devices

The Manhattan T4 and T4-R, launched in early June 2024, are the successors of the popular Manhattan T3 and T3-R Freeview boxes, which were discontinued in recent years.

The Manhattan T4 is a Freeview Play box, providing access to over 100 live TV channels and on-demand content from the various UK catch-up services.

Manhattan T4 in the box
Manhattan T4

It’s designed for viewers who want to upgrade their existing TV with smart features and Freeview Play capabilities without the need for recording functionality.

In my in-depth Manhattan T4 Review, I commended the box’s swift navigation and improved EPG, with the sluggishness of some of the apps (ITVX in particular) being a pain point:

“It’s ideal for those wanting to upgrade their Freeview experience, but its appeal may be limited due to the lack of recording capabilities and major streaming services.”

The Manhattan T4-R, on the other hand, is a Freeview Play recorder. It offers all the features of the T4 with the added ability to record live TV. The T4-R comes in three variants: 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, and it provides up to 1,200 hours of recording capacity.

Manhattan T4-R with remote
Manhattan T4-R

In my Manhattan T4-R Review, where I awarded the box my ‘Editor’s Choice’ award, I was particularly impressed with the fast and easy-to-use interface, the smart recording options, and the unique EPG filtering. 

“If you’re still committed to the Freeview ecosystem and want the best possible recording experience, the T4-R is the clear choice.”

Before launch, Manhattan quickly released a Day 1 software update with several fixes. Last week, Manhattan rolled out another update with a long list of additional fixes and improvements – along with a warning for users.

Warning For T4-R Users: Do This Or Miss Recordings

Manhattan has identified a major issue affecting the T4-R that could cause users to miss scheduled recordings.

This problem is related to the device’s standby settings, and it’s important that all T4-R owners take action to ensure their recordings work as intended until the issue is fixed.

When your T4-R is in standby mode, it needs to “wake up” to start recording scheduled programmes.

However, in certain standby modes, the device may fail to wake up, resulting in missed recordings (something I haven’t noticed myself – but have been hearing about from our readers).

This problem specifically occurs when the T4-R is set to ‘Sleep‘ or ‘Smart‘ standby modes.

What you need to do:

To prevent missed recordings, you must keep your T4-R’s ‘Standby Mode’ set to ‘Energy Saver‘.

Manhattan T4-R energy saver

Here’s how to check and change this setting:

1. Press the HOME button on your T4-R remote control.
2. Navigate to Settings > System > Standby Options.
3. Ensure that ‘Standby Mode’ is set to ‘Energy Saver’.

Important note: Changing to ‘Energy Saver’ mode will automatically disable the ‘Loop Out in Standby’ feature. This feature is only available in ‘Sleep’ or ‘Smart’ modes, but using these modes risks missed recordings.

Also, Energy Saver mode means that it’ll take longer to turn on the device each time you want to use it.

Why this is happening:
Manhattan explains that when you schedule a recording, the T4-R communicates with its power management system to determine when to wake up.

However, this system sometimes fails to trigger the wake-up correctly in ‘Sleep’ and ‘Smart’ modes.

The company is working closely with MTK, the manufacturer of the T4-R’s chipset and power management system, to resolve this issue.

But because the problem occurs infrequently, it’s taking longer to resolve than other issues. The company expects to release another update within 2-3 weeks to address this problem.

In the meantime, keeping your T4-R in ‘Energy Saver’ mode is the best way to ensure you don’t miss any important recordings. 

T4-R Update: Fixes and Improvements

These are all the fixes, changes and improvements to the Manhattan T4-R, included in the July 5, 1.05 software update.

T4-R Resolved Issues:

Hard drive mounting issue resolved. The update fixes a critical problem where the hard drive could fail to mount, preventing recording features from working until a restart. 

Standby-related crashes addressed. Two significant issues have been fixed: the T4-R could hang when entering standby, making it unresponsive when trying to wake it up, and it could crash when entering standby, causing an unwanted reboot and wake-up of connected devices.

Reboot during dual recording fixed. Previously, the T4-R could abruptly reboot when turning on to a channel while two recordings were in progress on other channels. This issue has been resolved.

HDR triggering corrected. An issue where HDR could trigger incorrectly, causing the picture to be overly saturated until a restart, has been fixed.

Wi-Fi network detection improved. The T4-R could previously fail to find any Wi-Fi networks after waking up when ‘Standby Mode’ was set to ‘Smart’ or ‘Sleep’. While this has been addressed, users should note that sometimes the T4-R may not reconnect to the last Wi-Fi network automatically. If this occurs, manually reconnecting via Settings → Internet is advised.

App performance enhanced. Apps could previously take too long to open or play content. For example, iPlayer might occasionally take 30 seconds to open instead of the usual 7 seconds (something I mentioned in my review). This issue has been improved.

Manhattan T4-R lifestyle official

Dolby Audio and lip-sync issues addressed. Dolby Audio was previously late, and the lip-sync adjustment would not correct it. Now, positive lip-sync adjustment values work as expected. However, negative lip-sync values are still not working properly and will be addressed in a future update.

Recording LED behavior corrected. The white record LED would incorrectly turn off if two recordings were in progress and one ended or was manually stopped. This has been fixed.

Channel Editor and favourites display. Two issues have been resolved: the Channel Editor failing to display the favourite icon next to channels marked as favourites in the TV Guide if they had been swapped by the Freeview Play Channel List Management service, and favouriting a swapped channel resulting in it being favourited with both channel numbers.

Watchlist playback fixed. An issue where watchlisted programmes could fail to play or play an incorrect programme has been resolved, improving the reliability of this feature.

Zoom feature display issues corrected. Two zoom-related problems have been fixed: header elements (e.g., menu title, Freeview Play logo, and clock) could disappear after turning the Zoom feature on and off, and the date and time could overlap in the TV Guide after applying Zoom.

T4-R Improvements:

Dolby Audio settings clarified. The Dolby Audio settings have been changed from ‘Off’ and ‘On’ to ‘Off’ and ‘Auto’, better reflecting that ‘Auto’ only outputs Dolby Audio via HDMI on HD channels when the connected device supports it.

Lip-sync adjustments expanded. The ‘Lip-Sync Delay’ setting has been renamed ‘Lip-Sync Delay (PCM)’, and a separate adjustment for Dolby ‘Lip-Sync Delay (Dolby)’ is now available when Dolby Audio is set to ‘Auto’, providing more precise audio synchronization options.

Playback resume function enhanced. Users can now press OK to resume playback when seeking, in addition to the Play/Pause button.

Manhattan T4 live pause

Programme tile display improved. Programme tiles in carousels without a broadcaster-provided image now show the channel logo rather than the channel name in text.

Menu transitions refined. Elements of the menu header present in both menus are no longer animated when transitioning between menus, resulting in a smoother, less distracting user experience.

T4 Update: Fixes and Improvements

These are all the fixes, changes and improvements to the Manhattan T4, included in the July 5, 1.05 software update.

T4 Resolved Issues:

Standby-related issues resolved. Two major problems have been addressed: the T4 could hang when entering standby, making it unresponsive when trying to wake it up, and it could crash when entering standby, causing an unwanted reboot and wake-up of connected devices. 

HDR triggering corrected. An issue where HDR could trigger incorrectly, causing the picture to be overly saturated until a restart, has been fixed. 

Wi-Fi network detection improved. The T4 could previously fail to find any Wi-Fi networks after waking up when ‘Standby Mode’ was set to ‘Smart’ or ‘Sleep’. While this has been addressed, users should note that sometimes the T4 may not reconnect to the last Wi-Fi network automatically. If this occurs, manually reconnecting via Settings → Internet is advised.

App performance enhanced. Apps could previously take too long to open or play content. For example, iPlayer might occasionally take 30 seconds to open instead of the usual 7 seconds. This issue has been improved.

Dolby Audio and lip-sync issues addressed. Dolby Audio was previously late, and the lip-sync adjustment would not correct it. Now, positive lip-sync adjustment values work as expected. However, negative lip-sync values are still not working properly and will be addressed in a future update.

Channel Editor and favourites display improved. Two issues have been resolved: the Channel Editor failing to display the favourite icon next to channels marked as favourites in the TV Guide if they had been swapped by the Freeview Play Channel List Management service, and favouriting a swapped channel resulting in it being favourited with both channel numbers.

Watchlist playback fixed. An issue where watchlisted programmes could fail to play or play an incorrect programme has been resolved, improving the reliability of this feature.

Zoom feature display issues corrected. Two zoom-related problems have been fixed: header elements (e.g., menu title, Freeview Play logo, and clock) could disappear after turning the Zoom feature on and off, and the date and time could overlap in the TV Guide after applying Zoom.

Manhattan T4 TV hero

T4 Improvements:

Dolby Audio settings clarified. The Dolby Audio settings have been changed from ‘Off’ and ‘On’ to ‘Off’ and ‘Auto’, better reflecting that ‘Auto’ only outputs Dolby Audio via HDMI on HD channels when the connected device supports it.

Lip-sync adjustments expanded. The ‘Lip-Sync Delay’ setting has been renamed ‘Lip-Sync Delay (PCM)’, and a separate adjustment for Dolby ‘Lip-Sync Delay (Dolby)’ is now available when Dolby Audio is set to ‘Auto’, providing more precise audio synchronization options.

Playback resume function enhanced. Users can now press OK to resume playback when seeking, in addition to the Play/Pause button, offering more flexibility in controlling playback.

Programme tile display improved. Programme tiles in carousels without a broadcaster-provided image now show the channel logo rather than the channel name in text, providing a more visually appealing interface.

Menu transitions refined. Elements of the menu header present in both menus are no longer animated when transitioning between menus, resulting in a smoother, less distracting user experience.

How to Update Your Manhattan T4-R or T4

Users can update their devices in two ways:

Over the internet:

Ensure your device is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

The box will update automatically overnight while in standby, unless automatic updates are disabled.

To update immediately, press HOME and select: Settings > System > Software Updates > Check for update now.

Manhattan T4 check for updates

Using a USB stick:

Download the full instructions and update files from Manhattan’s website.

Follow the provided instructions carefully to complete the update.

To check your current software version, press HOME and select: Information.

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7 thoughts on “T4-R Freeview Box Gets A Big New Update – And A Warning”

  1. Two criticisms of the tr4.
    Firstly it takes a while to boot up after stand by. I can’t see why this should be on an expensive recorder like this.
    Secondly the way it learns the volume, mute etc buttons off the tv remote. It is hit and miss if it works. I’ve managed eventually to get volume and mute on but it hasn’t yet got the tv on/off switch. I can’t understand why you just can’t put the number in for the tv as others do. I bought an older now not supported recorder and had no trouble doing it. Come on Manhattan, get your act together.

    Reply
  2. Thanks for the in depth review. Our Panasonic became unstable not recording or stopping recording after a few mins. We opted for the T4-R. Naturally we compare. The T4-R is easy to navigate and so far seems reliable. The biggest pain is the EPG nice and clear but I cant re-order the display so the channels to a logical order. i.e. BBC1 followed by 1,2,3,4 etc. As I could on my Pana TV and recorder According to Manhattan the has been a requirment change and this isn’t allow. Is this true?

    Reply
  3. I decided to acquire the T4-R. Plugged it, updated the firmware and set it to record a couple of programmes.
    I was disappointed to find I couldn’t watch a third programme while recording. It seems it has to be on the same Mux to do so.
    Ideally, it could have had another tuner to get around this, and it’s my biggest disappointment.
    Otherwise, all is fast, and slick; much faster than the 5000-T.

    Reply
    • Can you get around this by using the T4 to record but using the TV’s own tuner via the loop option to watch the third. Only had the unit a week so far the T4-R seems to work well although still feels strange. I miss the clock and being able to just insert a memory stick and card stright into a unit to look at photos.

      Reply
  4. Seriously undewhelmed by the frequent “Please Wait: Localing Disk” issues that means it skips recording and restarts necessary. Was already in the the ‘Energy Saver’ mode prior to the v5 upgrade … although from reviews at Amazon/Argos etc I am provbably in a minority and may have to fault it woth the manufaturur. It’s a shame as for the use case I have (already have Apple TV/Firesticks for apps – just want to skip adds and record mainstream channels) it should be perfect.

    Reply
  5. Having experienced nearly all of the issues addressed in the latest firmware update, left wondering what sort of testing regime they used? Given the delays in getting to market there is little excuse. Generally happy with the recorder though the menus and graphics seem a bit outdated and unless they can find a convergence path to freely left wondering just how long this will be around.

    Reply

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