The idea behind the Cello iViewer LCD TVs can’t be faulted; for the first time on any TV you can stream BBC iPlayer straight to the set, cutting-out laptops and neck injuries. Hurray! It gets even better, with Cello promising to add widgets for Facebook and Twitter this summer, followed by support in June for the (subscription-only) Sky Player suite of live and on-demand channels.
More on Cello iViewer:
Cello launches iViewer
Cello iViewer TV: Seven reasons to buy
Cello iViewer: Content
Trouble comes when you actually start to look for content on this 26inch TV. Although the iPlayer widget contains a merry-go-round of popular programmes, it’s tricky to browse because you can’t easily go back a step using the remote – instead you must return to the beginning and begin searching all over again.
Meanwhile, the IPTV channel choice is only mildly diverting, with ‘channels’ such as Disney Movies Preview, CNN daily video podcast, Jamie’s Ministry of Food, the Larry King video podcast and the slightly bizarre Delicious TV Veg. Here, access to YouTube is the headline act, and though it’s generally easy to use with impressive picture quality (even playing HD files), during our tests we did encounter a few unexpected ‘file not supported’ messages.
Cello iViewer: Connections and extras
Elsewhere, the iViewer is an average 720p LCD TV. There are two HDMI, two Scarts, and inputs for a PC, composite video, S-video and USB make for a healthy haul, while DLNA streaming works with a plethora of file types. Picture quality lacks contrast and the viewing angle is rather tight, but it’s certainly not a bad TV.
Available exclusively at M&S, the Cello iViewer does come with a free five year guarantee and free installation, so the fact that we couldn’t get the optional extra Wi-Fi dongle to work during our test needn’t be a nail in the coffin. But with bigger TV brands like Sony – and umpteen Freeview HD set-top boxes – about to offer iPlayer access, this market is going to get very crowded, and it could be worth waiting to see if anyone else comes up with a more tempting and user friendly package. But content is king and the addition of a VOD movie service like Lovefilm would pique our interest further; let’s hope Cello can to add more strings to this tentatively impressive bow. Web browsing, anyone?
Link: Marks and Spencer