XBMC developer acquires TVonics IP

We learned today that Peterborough-based Pulse-Eight have bought the remains of TVonics.

This is potentially great news for all us existing TVonics owners, who have been left wondering where we stand with regards to software updates and ongoing support.  Of course, the article makes it clear that Pulse-Eight are in no way responsible for the burden of the existing customer base, but the very fact that someone has picked up the great work TVonics was doing is very encouraging, and I personally hope for great things to come from it.

The TVonics design philosophy, as it appears from the eyes of an on-looker, was a great one… well built, simple to operate yet entirely competent solutions to the PVR problem. While we all know that the TVonics range wasn’t without its problems, one can certainly say they were heading in the right direction.

I don’t know what plans Pulse-Eight have for the TVonics hardware, but I look forward to seeing how that plays out.  It seems Pulse-Eight aim to create a set top box based on XBMC (they are key contributors to the XBMC effort). XBMC is a great platform in its own right, but I’ve never been convinced it carries the necessary components to make a great PVR. I hate the idea that what I use to view free to air TV has to be separate to what I use to rent films or access on-demand services such as iPlayer, so the promise of a ‘YouView’ style solution to the problem is one of great interest.

Wireless Woes.

I was excited to learn that the DTR-HV250 and other TVonics products are iPlayer certified devices, I just need a suitable USB wireless adapter and I’m away.  Of course, when they were in business, TVonics offered an ‘approved’ USB wireless adapter for this very purpose, and others have been seen advertising on eBay and Amazon USB wireless adapters that are ‘compatible’ TVonics boxes.  Of course, in actual fact the approved and the compatible adapters were one and the same thing. Unfortunately though, neither seem to be available to purchase now.

Thinking I was being clever, I searched long and hard for a USB wireless adapter that appeared identical to the one offered by TVonics, and came up with this:


However, while the unit looks identical to the one offered by TVoncis, and carries a Ralink chip set, this one didn’t work.  I get the impression that the chip set supported by the DTR-HV250 has long fallen out of favour with manufacturers or isn’t available any longer, making compatible USB adapters rare.

I had an email from a guy called Bob the other day… it was mainly a thank-you for hosting the firmware files on this site than anything else (you’re welcome), but Bob was asking after instructions for accessing iPlayer from his DTR-Z500HD.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to help him with that, having failed to get the network adapter working on my own box (maybe someone could post a comment explaining) but I did quiz Bob on his apparent success using an after market adapter.  I gather from reading forums that there has been limited success elsewhere too, but the overall picture isn’t clear.

Anyway, Bob let me know that he purchased his USB wireless adapter from the eBay listing below:


… which appears to work with his DTR-Z500HD with the latest firmware.  There may be a case for building a compatibility matrix, which I would love to do.  If you’ve had success, please comment or contact me through the contact page with the details of your wireless adapter.  If you’re able to tell me the chip set too, that would be a great help.

New remote codes page.

A page is now available with all of the remote codes from the TVOnics pdf file uploaded to this site by Andrew B. Thanks Andrew!