Pure Avalon 300R Connect review
- Cool animated user interface
- Multimedia file support
- Slim and quiet
- Limited On Demand services
- Pure Connect slow to navigate
Having conquered the airwaves with its DAB and internet radios - including the Pure Sensia 200D and the Pure Contour 200i Air, the brand is now determined to make a noise in the world of Freeview+ HD.
The Pure Avalon 300R Connect looks unlike any TV recorder that's come before and ships in two versions, 500GB and 1TB, able to store around 125 hours and 250 hours of hi-def respectively. Its principal high street rivals are the Humax YouView HDR DTR-T1000 and Panasonic DMR-HW220.
Pure Avalon 300R Connect: Features
Unlike YouView and Freesat Freetime, Pure hasn't launched with a retrospective EPG. Instead, the brand is relying on an eye-catching user interface - delivered via an Intel Sodaville CE4150 processor running PowerVR graphics - and its Pure Connect online audio service to stand apart from the crowd. It's a potent combination.
Catch-up is a little thin, with just BBC iPlayer and YouTube on offer, but LAN/ USB file playback is excellent. Naturally the box offers regular recording niceties as well, such as Series Linking and a Recommendation Engine which prompts you to go high definition if you foolishly choose to record an SD show.
Pure Avalon 300R Connect: Design
Slim at 44mm, the overall appearance of this box is smart but anonymous. Ultimately, the real beauty of its design lurks beneath the hood.
Thanks to that PowerVR graphics engine, you can personalise your Avalon experience with a bewildering choice a channel transitions, including circular and vertical wipes, dissolves, ripples and page peels. Some effects look more elegant than others, and if you tire of them they can always be turned off.
Pure Avalon 300R Connect: Specs
The rear of the Avalon holds another surprise. In addition to an HDMI output, Ethernet LAN, two USBs analogue stereo phonos, and two digital audio outputs, there's a four-input HDMI switch. Ideal for routing all manner of HDMI gadgets through to your TV, these inputs can be renamed as required (PS3, Blu-ray etc). Wi-Fi is built in.
Pure Avalon 300R Connect: Performance
AV quality is excellent. Transparent to source, timeshifted HD looks superb and multichannel surround sound is supported over HDMI. The deck also does a grand job upscaling SD programmes to 1080p. The Pure Connect integration is best described as a work in progress. It can be used for internet radio, ambient music and (if you subscribe) Pure's own streaming music service.
Pure Avalon 300R Connect: Verdict
With the Avalon, Pure has taken the humble Freeview+ HD recorder and given it a gorgeous makeover. The animated menu system and whizzy channel transition effects provide pure eye-candy, while multimedia file playback is excellent both from USB and across a LAN, with all key file types supported.
While we'd like to see more On Demand and catch-up services on tap, Pure's Connect platform holds considerable promise. Image quality and audio performance is outstanding. Overall, we rate the Pure Avalon highly; it's a tempting alternative to YouView (albeit, not a cheaper one) and offers the best PVR user interface we've seen to date. It's perfect for the music-loving TV addict.
Pure Avalon 300R Connect release date: Out now
Pure Avalon 300R Price: 500GB £299, 1TB £350