The i-Player Plus is also different in that it offers Internet access through your TV. You can get a wireless keyboard for it, as well as other peripherals such as an Ethernet connection for if you have broadband or a home network. It also supports USB storage devices from which you can play music or view pictures.
Unfortunately, the i-Player is no longer available to buy.
Instructions are provided on an audio CD to help you set it up. Many people have managed to set it up on their own, without needing any help.
If you have a television, it needs to have a SCART socket to plug the box into. Or, if you have a video recorder with a SCART socket, it can connect to that.
You do not need a television: it also has a 3.5mm jack socket output to connect to your hi-fi, and a S/PDIF optical output. Spoken guidance helps you to set it up and use it.
It is not currently possible to listen to the audio description separately.
Some improvements and changes in the software are expected, and these will be available to you free of charge down the telephone line (except for the cost of the local rate phone call).
If you have broadband on an Ethernet network, this can be used instead of the phone line using a standard USB to Ethernet adapter (eg Belkin F505050). There is also some support for Wi-Fi devices (eg Belkin F5D6050).
The remote control's stylish design also helps you find your way around it. There are three sections to it. At the top are twelve buttons in a three by four grid, which are channel controls. Below is a navigation section. This has a large round button in the middle, four small buttons around the top, and three curved buttons on the left, right and below it. At the bottom are four long horizontal buttons in a vertical line, with two small buttons above them, to the left and right.
The twelve buttons at the top are arranged like a telephone keypad. There are the conventional ten digit buttons, with a tactile bump on the 5. These can be used to select channels directly. On the left of the zero is a backspace button. This is useful to take you back to the previous page, when you are using the web browser. On the right of the zero is a list button, that shows a list of available channels on the screen. Since the i-Player was originally intended to be used visually, much of its communication is visual. However, it has been adapted to speak some helpful words to give access to essential features.
Below the twelve keys of the number section is the navigation area. In the middle is a large, round joystick button. This can be pressed left, right, up, down and in the centre, which is 'OK'. The four buttons above it are coloured red, green, yellow and blue. On the left is the volume control. Pressing this at the top increases the volume and at the bottom decreases it. On the right is the channel selector button. Pressing this at the top goes to the next channel, and at the bottom goes to the previous channel. Below is a back and next button, back being to the left and next being to the right. Back will take you to the last channel you were watching, or the previous page when using the internet.
The two round buttons below are 'text' on the left and 'info' on the right. The text button is used to turn on and off the digital text service. This is currently purely visual. The info button brings up an Info bar showing the name of the current programme. Also, it will say the name of the channel when you press it. A second press brings up more detailed information about the current programme. A third press clears the info. When the info bar is displayed, access to some of the audio description features is enabled. You can press 'next' to turn the audio description on and off. A rising tune indicates turning it on, whilst a lowering tune indicates turning it off. When it is turned on, the joystick control can adjust the sound levels. Pressing it up and down adjusts the volume level of the audio description, and left and right controls the overall volume. When you change channel, the info bar automatically goes off.
The four buttons at the bottom, from the top, are mute, picture in picture, menu and power. The mute button turns the TV sound on and off. The picture in picture switches on and off a small window showing the current programme, when you are accessing the internet. The menu button gives access to system set-up and other services. The power button switches the i-Player between on and stand-by.
There are a couple of magic keys. Pressing menu followed by green (don't do this too quickly) starts an update of services. Menu followed by yellow starts a channel search.
If you select channel 900, the i-Player connects to a special service provided by RNIB. In particular, this includes a TV guide of programmes with audio description. Instructions are provided when you arrive at the service. If you are using a telephone line, this can take a while because the i-Player needs to dial up. Make sure nobody is on the telephone when you try this! Calls are charged at local rate.
|QC pro 4000|
|Hard drive||Freecom||FHD-1 20GB|
|IOMega||20GB slim portable|
|Disk on Key||PQI||Traveling Disk 32Mb|
|Traveling Disk 64Mb|
|Traveling Disk 128Mb|
|Traveling Disk 256Mb|
|Linksys||USB Disk 64Mb|
|Digital Camera||Nikon||Coolpix E4300|
|Belkin||F5D6050 (old and Rev2)|