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3.2 out of 5 stars25
3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 23 October 2010
I have been willing myself to like this radio. It's size is amazing - much smaller than I thought from the photos; and the sound quality (especially spoken word) is excellent. It has a smart minimalist, almost Apple like feel about it. But, over the few days I have been trying it out, it just does not live up to expectations in performance. I am not new to internet radio - I have a quite old Logik mains wi-fi radio from Dixons, which was only £35 when on sale, but needed a home made hardware upgrade in the shape of a new wi-fi adapter to improve range and stability (plus re-fitting the speaker through 180 degrees to rid it of mains hum (so a pretty lousy piece of hardware until my DIY!)).

I got the View Quest to connect to my home wi-fi without problem; it remembers the connection key fine and the range is adequate throughout most of my house and into the garden. The radio is charged via mini USB; a cable is supplied, but not a mains charger, so unless you have a USB mains charger, you will need to charge via via your PC. All this is fine.

The problem is with performance and stability. Keep in mind that all internet radios are linked to an online internet radio service provider. For the View Quest it is VTuner; for my Logik it is Reciva (for Pure radios it is its own front end service called Lounge, but which probably uses VTuner or Reciva as the back end). The first thing I noticed with View Quest was that BBC podcasts (called "Shows" on the View Quest menu) would often stop and then restart (but always annoyingly from the beginning). On my Logik these listen again podcasts (called "On Demand in the Logik menu) seldom stopped, and if they did continued where the programme left off.

I then noticed two other weaknesses:

1. For locations I sampled, the View Quest has far fewer radio stations listed for e.g. under a particular country.

2. Even when listed I often got an error message saying that the programme was not streaming. The Logik managed to show them and play them just fine. For example, under Singapore (where I often travel on business) most of the 15 stations listed on View Quest would not play. All 17 listed on Logik played fine.

3. Under e.g. BBC Radio 7 Listen Again, the Logik shows dozens and dozens of podcasts available; the View Quest gave me only 5 or 6 and all children's programmes

The form factor is superb, but the actual core performance is very disappointing. I so like internet radio, that I wanted a smaller radio that I could take from room to room and into the garden - the Logik is a brick tethered to a mains lead. I even thought the View Quest is so small and light I would pop it in my suitcase for travels. But it is let down by performance. I don't know if this is the internal software (which is the latest 5.1 firmware) or bad integration with VTuner. Overall it is a waste of money and I will be sending it back to Amazon as a poor quality product. I may try the highly acclaimed Pure Evoke Flow, but is nowhere near the size and portability of the View Quest.

[Additional note: for those who want to travel with their internet radios, keep in mind very few wi-fi spots are easy to use for radio connection. Many these days have landing pages, (a browser page requiring you to agree T&C etc before connection) which are incompatible with devices without browsers such as radios]
11 comment57 of 59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This little Internet radio, sold here under the View Quest brand, is a very mixed bag indeed. A bit of Google research shows it to be a product of the Hong Kong based Brilliant Peak Company, and manufactured at their factory in Guangdong. The clever bits are designed by UK company CSR Plc - Cambridge Silicon Radio - and through them connectivity to the vTuner Internet portal. The radio is sold under a number of brand names around the world, some brands provide an additional FM band, and some come with international power adaptors.

This View Quest branded model is just the basic Internet radio only and is supplied by Hampshire based Pyramid Ltd, but is customised for the UK market. The menu brings up the UK as the default location and it has a pre-programmed list of BBC stations. I had no trouble connecting to my BT Home Hub 1.5 - it just needed the 10 digit WEP code to be entered - however I had to use a magnifying glass as the display digits are so small!

Once connected the range from the router is very good - I got a good signal all over the house and even a useable signal at the far end of my garden. The sound quality from the small mono speaker is not too bad, but stereo through headphones is really good. Quite a bit of thought has gone into the design of this radio and it actually won the German IF design award earlier this year.

What lets this radio down is the unreliable or non-connectivity to stations in the vTuner database. I have used vTuner on another WiFi radio and it works much better than it does on this View Quest. Another reviewer mentions no RTE stations and that is still the case, some BBC stations stream unreliably or not at all, and my local Kent stations from KMFM do not work at all. All these stations work fine on my other vTuner radio and also on Reciva based radios so the streaming is OK although this radio says not.

This rather spoils what is otherwise a very innovative radio - it all depends on which stations you want to listen to! Many stations work really well, fortunately including most of the ones I want to listen to. I would love to be able to recommend this radio as I am really quite pleased with it, but just in case your favourite station doesn't work it with it I won't; four stars for what it does well for me.
33 comments27 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 March 2011
I was so excited when I got this two weeks ago. I had no difficulties setting it up. However - as has been pointed out - RTE live streaming doesn't work although you can get podcasts. And some of the BBC networks are erratic. But when it works it is great. However two weeks of using it every day and suddenly it wouldn't charge up anymore. Dead as a dodo. I tried a different USB connector to see if it would make a difference but nothing. S0 - as brilliant as the size, portability and design are - this really isn't up to hard listening. I'm returning it with regret as I so wanted it to work.
0Comment2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 January 2012
When the radio arrived I was really pleased - in time for Xmas, small and neat in size, and looked great. The design style was modern, cute and minimalist - cool. Plus, it was extremely reasonable in price. However, there was huge disappointment on Xmas day when the gift recipient tried to get the radio to connect to the Internet. BT is our ISP, and it just wouldn't connect. We contacted View Quest Technical Support (only available via email not phone, which was irritating) several times over the next 2 weeks but to no avail. After a number of emails, they said they couldn't help us. They never came out and explicitly said it, but it would appear that the radio is not compatible with BT Internet. Maybe I was being thick when I bought it, but I didn't see any mention of this in the promotional material when it was purchased, which is annoying. We are in the process of trying to get our money back so we can get one that is compatible with BT. A real shame, especially as it was a Xmas present.
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on 22 June 2011
I've had this radio for about a year, and was very happy with it until about 2 weeks ago, when BBC Radio 4 disappeared. The preset stopped working so I deleted it and retuned, in case the URL had changed or something, but still nothing, the display reports a 'server error'. Other stations (well BBC 5 Live, which is the only other station we listen to) still work, it's just Radio 4 that's broken.
Checked for a firmware upgrade, says it's up to date.
If anyone can tell me how to get Radio 4 back I'll edit this review to give the radio the 4 or 5 stars it deserves.
Thanks

Edit: Radio 4 is now back, after a month's absence. Unfortunately in fixing R4 they broke 5 Live, but an email to vTuner support got that fixed in a couple of days, so all is now well again, and back to 4 stars.

Further edit, 5th Sept 2011: BBC 5 Live is now consistently unreliable, Radio 4 and others are fine, it's just 5 Live that's broken, so it's back to one star for me since that's what I bought it for.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 November 2011
I bought the View Quest Portable Internet Radio after reading the customer reviews in the Amazon website. Unfortunately, I had to send back this radio, as I was unable to use it. When switching on it recognised my Wireless Network SSID, but when entering the correct WKP passphrase it brought back an error message. I contaced my broadband provider (British Telecom), had a long conversation with them; they confirmed my WKP passphrase, but it still did not connect. After corresponding with the vendor, I got the message that the radio does not work with BT as they are not WEP compatible with the viewquest radio. So I had to send it back at the end of September 2011 to Fanacea, using their return forms. I am still awaiting reimbursement of the purchase price.
11 comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 September 2010
A warning for all buyers who want to listen to RTE radio stations on this: it will not play these stations at the moment. It's not clear whether this is due to the radio itself, the website it uses to identify stations or due to RTE. If this changes, I'll let you know.

Aside from this problem, it seems to be a very nice piece of technology.
11 comment7 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 November 2010
I bought this product in spite of the negative views written out in previous reviews because I thought (foolishly) that any problems would have been ironed out by the makers.

I was wrong. The machine did not accept the key for the wi-fi system and in spite of the valient efforts of a technical friend we could not get the machine to function and allow me to listen to the BBC or any internet stations.

The website of the product is entirely unhelpful with no contact telephone number and other more friendly advice centres did not manage to make the thing work.

I sent it back and got a full refund, but I am sad that the machine did not work because if it did, it would have been ideal.

But it didn't and therefore doesnt even rate a single star.
11 comment6 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 January 2012
This is my 3rd Wifi/Internet radio so I am familiar with the pros & cons of these devices. I wanted something that was portable and was like an ordinary transistor radio is size.
Like another reviewer I wanted to badly love this device but it's drawbacks prevent me.
Firstly it is small and lightweight but it's sleek design has no thumb or finger grips so it can easily slide from your hand.
The display text is small so if like me you need reading glasses on to see or change the channels.
Entering in your Wifi code is best done with a magnifying glass and pay attention to upper and lower case and when ready to press the enter button (the middle of the jog wheel)watch you hit it dead on or you will enter in an extra character. Took 30 mins to get this right.
The Wifi reception is ok around the house and better than with my other plugged in wifi radios.
Sound is good enough for a small device.
If suffers from a lot of drop-outs - every few mins it goes dead for a few seconds but I can live with that.
Problem on listen again/shows is when a drop-out happens it reverts to the start! Hate that.
On line the Vtuner database allows to add station to your favourites list and it very easy to use.
It is possible to add stations not in the database if you can get audio stream url off the internet.
Summary
PROS: nice & small, great battery life, good wifi reception, good database online.
CONS: A little too small to see display, frequent drop off in playback is frustrating
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on 9 April 2012
I bought two of these products and both suffer from the same basic flaw. ALL Listen Again / Podcasts restart 3 times before the whole track plays. This happens without fail after listening to the track for the first time for around 45 seconds.

The vendors website is useless and NO SUPPORT INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE FOR THIS PRODUCT.

There is NO EXCUSE for selling a product that does not function correctly.

I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT TO ANYONE. There are very many Internet Radios out there now. Look elsewhere...
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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