The Manhattan TV Freeview boxes are among the best in the market these days (with the Manhattan T3-R being our Editor’s Choice) – and soon they will get even better, with new upcoming features – such as support for a 3rd simultaneous channel and HDMI-CEC.
Manhattan TV’s top-tier box, the Manhattan T3-R (see our full review), is a Freeview Play recorder with a fast interface, smart recording features, and most of the major UK catch-up streaming apps – with 4K support.
The T3-R is accompanied by the Manhattan T3 (see our review), which is a Freeview Play box without recording capabilities, and the Manhattan T2-R (see our review), which is a Freeview Recorder without Freeview Play or streaming apps.
Originally, Manhattan were planning to release a big update this summer with several new features – but with things being what they are around the world, some of the features have been delayed.
Instead, and in order to not delay everything, the company has decided to split the big update into two parts – Version 1.5 and Version 2. The updates will be free software updates to existing and new owners of the devices – no need to buy any new hardware if you already have a relevant Manhattan box.
Version 1.5, which will be released
by early September (Update: Now expected in Mid-November), will include:
1. The ability to watch, pause and rewind a 3rd channel while you’re recording 2 others: Currently, Manhattan’s recording boxes only allow you to record two channels at the same time, while either watching one of those two – or watching a previously recorded programme.
With Version 1.5, you will be able to record two different programmes on two different channels – AND watch a third programme on a third channel (as long as it’s on the same Freeview Multiplex as one of the other channels).
2. HDMI-CEC Support: If your TV’s HDMI port supports HDMI-CEC (and it’s turned on), then starting from Version 1.5, your Manhattan Box will be able to control your TV. That means that if you turn the box on or off – it will also turn your TV on and off. And, the same goes for your soundbar (as long as it’s also connected via HDMI).
3. Manual Padding To Recordings: Normally, the Freeview recording boxes know when a programme starts and finishes according to the broadcaster’s signals on the EPG.
However, some broadcasters tend to botch this up, and you might find some recordings end prematurely (because the programme started too late, or ran longer than expected).
With manual padding, you will be able to set your own padding (extra minutes) before and after the programme you’ve set to record.
Version 2: More Features Coming
By the end of the year, Manhattan TV are planning to release Version 2, which will be an even bigger update. They were willing to share with us some of the planned new features, including:
Global Broadcast Search: Currently, the global search only works with content from the Freeview Play catch-up apps – which is something I complained about back in my original review.
With this update, you will be able to search within the EPG and the regular Freeview broadcast channels – so searching for “Gordon Ramsay“, for example, won’t just show on-demand episodes from the Channel 4 app, but also every Gordon Ramsay programme that’s coming “live” in the next 7 days and is listed on the EPG.
Remote Recording: With this feature, you will be able to control your Manhattan recording box directly, through your phone, and instantly set things to record.
There’s a lot more planned for the upcoming Version 2 – so keep following us for future updates.