Free introduces Freebox Revolution Gateway and Set-top Box

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 
Iliad logo

As part of its new Freebox Revolution offer, Iliad subsidiary Free has introduced the ‘freebox server’ home gateway and ‘freebox player’ set-top box to the French market.

freebox server

The Freebox Revolution has been designed to enable optimal Internet access:

  • A modem that is common to both fibre and ADSL subscribers: Free has built the modem with both ADSL and optical fibre (FTTH) plugs so that Free subscribers can enjoy the best bandwidth provided by such technologies. With the new Freebox Revolution, Free subscribers transferring to Free’s FTTH offer can keep the same modem and will be transferred to the optical fibre offer automatically.
  • The best WiFi on the market: 802.11n (450 Mbps). Free has introduced a WiFi with unequalled bandwidth offering each of the connected terminals the best Internet access: The WiFi network covers all encryptions (WEP, WPA/TKIP-CCMP, WPA2/TKIP-CCMP).
  • A Switch with 4 Gigabit Ethernet (1000 Base-T) ports that provide both comfort and power, that in turn will enable Free subscribers to share their content inside their home.
  • A DECT™ (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephone) Cat-IQ base is integrated: by using this technology in its Freebox Revolution, Free is facilitating the use of telephone within the house: 8 DECT™ handsets can be connected to the Freebox Revolution without needing to link them.
  • An easily accessible USB 2.0: port on the front where external hard disks and peripherals (digital cameras, MP3 players, etc.) can be connected in order to access their content.
  • The Freebox Revolution encompasses several connector technologies that meet different requirements: 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 eSATA port, 1 audio video input/output.
  • Integrated in the server are two loudspeakers for listening to music (music stored on the server or Web radio for example) or voice messages.
  • In order to best match current usages and simplify sharing, Free has opted to integrate the hard disk into the modem-component of the box (server). The server hence boasts a 250 Gb hard disk, thus enabling digital content to be stored and shared with greatest ease (both locally and distant) thanks to its Network Attached Storage (NAS).
    • Fast and easy network sharing within homes: UPnP (server) protocol is included in the server (NAS). This enables the different terminals in the house to share their content easily (films, videos, music and photographic libraries, etc.) as well as multi-terminal viewing (TV, computers, smart phones, notepads etc.).
    • « Always On »: content is accessible at all times wherever you are. All the household’s content is centralised on the hard disk and accessible 24/7 without needing the computers to be powered on all the time. This functionality is also very useful for handling background Internet downloads.

With this Free offer, many of the Freebox Revolution functionalities can be accessed via mobile phones and notepads. For example, with the Freebox Connect application the server content (NAS) can be accessed and managed from an iPhone or iPad. Recordings can also be started remotely and the Freebox can be programmed from a mobile phone, as well as TV guides viewed, the TV programmed, voicemail managed and the Freebox remote-controlled. It also enables a virtual keypad on mobile phones.

This mobile phone application will be available as from January in the Appstore.

freebox player

By designing this Freebox Revolution we aim to simplify using television whilst nevertheless offering the best of TV.

Performance: an Intel® ATOM™ CE4100 processor

Free has selected the Intel® ATOM™ CE4100 processor (Intel Corporation – NASDAQ: INTC) for its Freebox Revolution. This processor combines high-performance, miniaturization and low consumption to offer Free subscribers optimal comfort of use. The smooth, ergonomic and intuitive user interface of 3D graphics mean users can fully benefit from the many services, TV functionalities and applications such as 3D Blu-Ray™, online gaming and content sharing.

By selecting the Intel® architecture, which is open to Linux, Free will also enable the entire developer-community to contribute to via numerous applications.

An Interactive remote control

The Freebox Revolution remote control was built to allow an easier use of TV and to enjoy highly intuitive interaction. The remote control uses radio communication with the Freebox Revolution: no need to point the remote control at the Freebox in order to use it.

Free also made it ‘smarter’ by giving it an accelerometer and a triple-axis gyro that enable Free subscribers to interact with the Freebox Revolution via simple hand movement and to surf the Web with great ease.

An intuitive TV interface

The Freebox player interface offers an unprecedented TV experience in terms of navigation simplicity and smoothness. The display quality contributes to both the aesthetics and the readability.

  • Channel preview: when watching one channel, the programmes running on other channels can be viewed.
  • TV Guide: navigation information appears over the programme, one can thus view it without interrupting the programme.
  • A true cinematographic encyclopaedia at the tip of your remote control: thanks to this new Freebox Revolution, subscribers can access one of the largest cinema and TV-series information databases right there on their television screen. Just one click and they can access all the information sheets on the films and TV-series stored on their hard disk. They can also access castings, synopses, as well as actor and director filmographies.

The TV interface enables easy access to all the content saved on the Freebox server (NAS): music, photos and videos. Photos can also be viewed as a slide show.

Internet on TV

To further enrich the user’s TV experience, Free has also integrated a Web navigator into its Freebox player. One can therefore browse the entire Web and bookmark favourites. Emails can also be accessed on the TV. Free’s Webmail can be accessed on the screen directly.

Browsing is highly natural and fluid thanks to the remote control and using the cursor that appears on the screen. Free has designed a virtual keypad to enter text, again just one click and there it is.

Thus, with this Freebox Revolution, users can now access the entire Web straight on their television screen without needing a computer. Furthermore, a mouse and keyboard can also be connected to the player.

An integrated Blu-Ray™ player

Free wanted to simplify the access to household-content by designing a box that can act as any digital media player (dvd player, etc.) To achieve this Free has equipped its new Freebox Revolution with a Blu-Ray™ player. The player can read all types of disk.

Thanks to this Blu-Ray™ player, Free subscribers can enjoy a truly high definition image (1080p) with 3D and Dolby® Digital Plus and 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound.

Freestore: an application platform open to all publishers

This Freebox Revolution opens a whole new world to content publishers who will have access to an unequalled distribution platform. This Freestore is our vision of an open universe where developers and publishers can share the success of their applications and content with the Free-subscriber community.

This Freestore provides Free subscribers with a whole host of downloadable applications: practical applications, news and weather applications, social network applications, games, etc.

Freebox Revolution: your new game console

Free has teamed up with Gameloft®, the world leading downloadable-video-game developer and publisher in order to provide the first HD-game offer on a triple-play box. Gameloft’s know-how combined with the Freebox Revolution’s power will grant Free subscribers access to a game console whose performance is equivalent to those sold in stores.

Games can be accessed via TVs connected to the Freebox Revolution and offer huge enjoyment : intuitive, simple, fluid… with the Freebox Revolution, gamers can enjoy video games fully.

This offer will be available as soon as the new Freebox Revolution is released and as a world premiere with a huge range of games: Asphalt 5, N.O.V.A. Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance, Real Football 2011, Uno, Let’s Golf 2 and Gangstar 2. Other games will gradually supplement the offer’s catalogue.

As of the launch, 2 games are included in the package: Asphalt 5 and Let’s Golf 2.

So that Free subscribers can enjoy the best of game sensations, the Freebox Revolution comes with its own Gamepad.

And of course, since the Freebox Revolution is connected 24/7, Free subscribers can play online!

Everything is included

  • The Freebox Revolution is delivered with an HDMI cable in order to enjoy the best of High-Definition.
  • A gamepad is also supplied to fully benefit from the HD game
    experience.
  • Also integrated in the offer are the Freeplugs in the power supply units. They integrate PLC technology thus linking the components efficiently and securely. PLC simplifies connecting the server and the player: no more cables running around the house, the two boxes communicate via the house’s electric network. Thus, the Freebox player can be installed anywhere in the house, even in a room that is far from the Freebox server.