Set top box maker Manhattan has launched the Plaza HD-T2, a £50 Freeview HD box that boasts a very Chromecast-style YouTube feature.
While many connected TV boxes come with YouTube apps and YouTube LeanBack makes controlling them with your phone easy, the Plaza HD-T2 side steps all the pairing hassle.
Slinging videos to your TV through the Plaza HD-T2 is a simple case of finding the YouTube video you want to watch on your phone or tablet and hitting the Play on TV icon (the same as the Chromecast icon) in the top right of the screen.
You’ll need to be on the same home network as the Plaza HD-T2 for this to work – just like Chromecast.
As well as YouTube, you also get BBC iPlayer, BBC News and BBC Sport, letting you catch up on BBC programmes and sports highlights.
These apps don’t have the same Chromecast-style function but you at least get access to programmes from all of the BBC’s channels and you’re also all set up for 2014 World Cup repeats and highlights.
They’re also HD HTML versions of the services, meaning they’ll look great on a 1080p HD TV. The older Manhattan Plaza HD S2 Freesat box we reviewed last year featured the older SD versions of the apps.
On top of this, Manhattan is throwing in one month of VuTV with the Plaza HD-T2.
VuTV (normally costs £6.99/month) is an interactive Freeview HD channel which you can find on channel 238. It’s actually a series of channels within a channel – we described it as ‘Freeview’s TARDIS.’
You can stream channels like MTV, Cartoon Network and Comedy Central provided you’ve got a broadband connection consistently delivering download speeds of 2Mbps.