We’re used to seeing ultrabooks, tablets and mobiles competing for the ‘world’s slimmest’ title but now the Size Zero product mania has gripped the Freeview world as well; EchoStar’s Ultra Slim Box (HDT-610R) is a Freeview+ HD recorder that looks more like a netbook or an Android tablet than a set-top box.
Even the dimensions (270mm x 204mm x 14mm) and weight (0.28 kg) mean that if you squinted you’d possibly mistake this for say a Motorola XOOM.
Ultra Slim Box isn’t all skinny trousers and no mouth though; it’s got a twin tuner, series recording, HDMI out and is compatible with 1080p, 1080i and 720p panels as well as 576p and 576i – enough to satisfy the HD heads and those will smaller sets.
You can access the BBC iPlayer and access on-demand movies through Box Office 365 and Picturebox apps. There’s an Ethernet port (10/100, natch) and two USB 2.0 ports.
The 8-day EPG is pretty neat; recording schedules track changes in case a match is delayed or there’s a programme reshuffle and if there’s any recording clashes, the Ultra Slim Box will automatically search for other/repeat showings. Plus, you can set the Ultra Slim Box to search for HD versions (where available).
If you’ve been watching a programme but not recording it, you can hit record any time during the broadcast and it will record as much as it can from the timeshift buffer – one of the first Freeview boxes to support this backshift recording.
The 500GB hard drive gives you up to 300 hours of standard definition recording and 125 hours of HD recording.
Available to order from tomorrow the 4th of May, the EchoStar Ultra Slim Box HDT-610R can be had from Amazon, John Lewis and Maplin. Pricing is TBA at the time of writing but we understand pricing to be in around the £250 region.