More recording options, HDMI-CEC support and more – are among the new features coming to the Manhattan T3-R Freeview recording box, with the long-awaited Version 2 update that’s coming out this week.
Manhattan TV’s top box, the Manhattan T3-R (see our full review), is a 4K Freeview Play recorder with a fast interface, smart recording features, and most of the major UK catch-up streaming apps – therefore it’s our Editor’s Choice in our list of the top Freeview boxes.
The software update, which is free to all owners of the T3-R (see ahead on how to get it), was originally supposed to come out back in September as version 1.5, but got delayed – in part due to the pandemic.
With the number of new features, Manhattan decided the release warrants a Version 2.0 title. Another update is still set to come out in the first half of 2021, with even more features, like global Freeview guide search and remote recording.
What’s Included In Version 2?
The new update brings with it several new features and fixes to the Manhattan T3-R, including:
1. Third channel recording and timeshifting
Until now, Manhattan’s recording boxes only allowed you to record two channels at the same time, while either watching one of those two – or watching a previously recorded programme.
With Version 2, you can now record two different programmes on two different channels – AND watch a third programme on a third channel, with the following limitations:
- If the two channels are on the same multiplex, then you can watch any third channel
- If the two channels are on two different multiplexes, then you can only watch a third channel that’s also on one of these two multiplexes
This also extends to reminders – now, while two recordings are in progress, reminders (to watch something that’s airing now) can be set for programmes on (available) third channels.
2. Manual Padding For Recordings
Normally, Freeview recording boxes know when a programme starts and finishes according to signals that come from the broadcaster.
However, some broadcasters tend to mess this up (especially with live programmes), and you might find some recordings end prematurely (because the programme started too late, or ran longer than expected).
With manual padding, you can now set your own padding (extra minutes) before and after the programme you’ve set to record.
3. HDMI-CEC Support
If your TV’s HDMI port supports HDMI-CEC, then with Version 2, your T3-R 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.
The 2.0 update also includes several interface improvements (such as more accurate fast forward and rewind speeds), and a few bug fixes.
4. BritBox App
A standalone BritBox app, for the streaming service from ITV and the BBC. Since this is a big one, you can read more information about this release here.
How Do I Get Version 2 On The T3-R?
The update is due to go live this week, and there are several ways to get it:
- If your Manhattan T3-R is connected to the internet, and you haven’t disabled auto-updates, then the update will download and install automatically. When that happens, you will get a notification on your screen, next time you turn on the box.
- If the T3-R is connected to the internet and you don’t want to wait for the auto-update, you can go the System Settings and choose “Check for Update Now” (this should start working at some point today – or tomorrow at the latest).
- If your T3-R is not connected to the internet, you can download and apply the update via a USB key. You can find more information on how to do that here.
Customers who buy a new Manhattan T3-R, will be prompted to update to Version 2 when they first turn on and connect the device to the internet.