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Humax PVR-9150T 

This new Personal Video Recorder (PVR) from Humax provides 160Gbytes of storage, enough for around 100 hours of recorded TV.
Humax PVR-9150T
click image to enlarge

The PVR-9150T joins the established PVR-9200TB we reviewed last year and the PVR-9300 product. We were impressed with the 9200 - it was the products stability and reliability that made it stand out from the crowd as much as price and features.

Connections on the 9150 have been significantly simplified from those of it's older stable-mate and it's clear that this product is aimed at the majority of people that want an easy to use, no fuss video recorder that attaches to their TV with the minimum of hassle.

First of all - appearance. The box is smaller than the earlier model measuring 360 x 50 x 245 mm (WxHxD) and weighs in at 2.9Kg. The size and box styling gives it a modern appearance without taking a lot of room.

The rear of the product is fairly minimalistic containing two SCART sockets (in and out) for connection to a TV and to an external video recorder, aerial in and a pass-through aerial out for your TV and a separate power-switch allowing you to completely power down the device without having to pull the plug from the socket. The only other connector is an RS232C serial port that can be used to upgrade the software. You shouldn't need to use this latter facility - instead software upgrade over-air should be the norm.

The front panel contains a central row of LED status lamps behind smoked glass coloured perspex sandwiched between two fold-down flaps. The status lights are both clearly labelled and logical and do not on multi-colours to convey information.

To the right of the status area a drop-down panel reveals a slot to accept a "Common Interface" module. Rather than the traditional card slot, the PVR-9150T requires the card be placed into a suitable module that then slots into the chassis. You have to buy (separately) the right kind of module for the Pay-TV channels you want.

The right-hand panel folds down to reveal a set of control buttons that pretty amazingly these days allow you to control virtually all device functions without having to track down that lost remote control.

When in use a small fan provides cooling. This rumbles along at a fairly low pitch but can be easily heard in a quiet room which may be an issue for those with sensitive ears. I didn't find the sound audible while watching TV or recorded video. In standby the unit is completely quiet.

The remote control is on the rather large side, although this does give a plenty of room for buttons. Less commonly used buttons are hidden under a 'slide-down' cover which rather let the product down - I just could not get the cover to slide down. In the end, despite being a little worried I was about to break something, I resorted to a knife to get inside. The cover did get easier - but still required a lot of fingernail use. I have to say that I'm not convinced of the logic for such a cover - while some of the buttons were arguably the less useful - one of them was the 'skip commercial advert' button - surely one of the most common? My temptation if I were to own the product would be simply to remove the cover.

Like most modern PVRs this unit includes two separate Freeview tuners allowing two channels to be recorded simultaneously - or record one, watch another. You can also record two channels and watch a recorded programme. The EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) presented the programme information very well but I found a few things annoying : you could only switch to a channel if the programme you've highlighted is currently on. If you've highlighted any other programme then instead you're given the option to record. The option to record a programme is to my mind oddly marked - instead of being labelled 'record' you select 'schedule'. Schedule to me suggested a 'reminder to watch'.

Many otherwise excellent products are often let down by their software. After problems with certain other products basically being unable to function if you press the wrong buttons in the wrong order I've tried quite hard with the PVR-9150T to make it crash. I'm very pleased to report that I failed.

One of my tests was to completely fill the hard disk (no mean feat and involving recording the whole of BBC1 and ITV1 for a number of days). This led to some very long 'programmes' of around 800 minutes - not a typical test. The PVR worked fine. I particularly liked the ability to place "bookmarks" within those long recordings, presumably to mark interesting scenes, however just as useful for marking the start and end of long programmes!

Humax PVR-9150T with panels exposed
click image to enlarge

The only software problem I encountered was watching a channel that had been recording for 700 odd minutes and pressing 'rewind' - instead of reversing play direction it jumped back to some time in the first 100 minutes. There didn't seem to be anyway around this.

Pausing live-TV is one of my favourite PVR features - saving many an argument at meal time. A frustration here though is that having paused TV if you accidentally switch channels you've lost the time-shift period. Generally it's safer to just record the programme permanently - you can watch as you record.

One last niggle is the inability to find out how much disk-space is free when the hard-disk is either recording or playing back. If like most families your disk is almost always virtually full then knowing how much space is available before recording a second programme does become very useful.

Among the very nice features include setting on and off times for the unit - automatically placing it in standby over night. You can also configure the unit to go into 'power saving' mode when in standby. There is no explanation of why this isn't automatic - or whether some features are disabled by using power-saving. Although the technical spec states a standby power consumption of only 1W, you will only get this if you manually switch on power-saving (odd!).

Summary

On the whole this is a very robust PVR that will do everything (and a lot more) that most people need. Ease of use suffers a little and could be thought through somewhat better in places, but generally you'll soon get used to these, even if at first they are a little counter-intuitive. More importantly of course, during the test period the device did not lock up once and did not fail to record programmes that should have been recorded (except when the disk was full!)

The Humax PVR-9150T is available from Amazon for £123.99 including shipping. Given the specification this is a very good price :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B001EBQGIO?ie=UTF8&tag=gadge0a-21&linkCode=am2&camp=1634

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What's your experience of this product? Agree or disagree, or just have a question? Use the box below and let everyone know.

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Comment by Terry Collett, Apr 15, 2012 20:33

I have a Humax PVR-9150T and it does not respond to the remote control when Menu is pressed. I have to press Standby and wait until the TV says that the channel is not tuned in, then I press the Standby button again to switch the TV channel back on, only after this will the Humax respond to the Menu command. I have reported this to the Humax help desk and have been told to do a Default reset. Humax listed the reset instructions but at step 4, Press MENU, my machine failed again to respond and so ended the Default reset. I told Humax about this and they have failed to come back to me. I am considering returning the machine.
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Comment by ladylala, Oct 19, 2011 14:01

Dear Clemenzina, I used the link that you supplied,and got a reply. With respect, I then came back to this page and noticed that it actually said
"........Agree or disagree,or just have a question ?...."
As I still hadn't resolved the problem, I posted my question.
I am sorry about this.     
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Comment by clemenzina, Oct 19, 2011 13:19

This is not a support forum - please see the link to one, which I've posted twice below :-)
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Comment by ladylala, Oct 19, 2011 13:07

Is it possible to transfer all the recordings on my old Humax 9150T onto a new Humax 9150T ,if so, how is this done ?
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Comment by Phinny, Aug 28, 2011 11:50

@smig65 - oddly enough I found this page whilst looking for help with my own (new, less than a week old) PVR-9150T skipping sometimes. So far it has only happened during cartoons (I've been recording Family Guy and American Dad) so maybe there's a problem with the way they're recorded. I'll check out the DigitalSpy link which clemenzina provided, and also see if an OTA update tomorrow will help (http://www.dtg.org.uk/industry/download_schedule.php). The problems I've seen which other people have experienced have been the opposite, i.e. pictures freezing. Other than this minor annoyance, I'm very happy with the PVR, and am eagerly looking forward to mid-week when the transition to digital broadcasts is completed.
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Comment by smig65, June 13, 2011 20:55

had my humax pvr9150t a couple of month when the visuals started skipping forward and the sound going out of sync, it does right itself but its no fun when it does it 4 or 5 times while watching family guy, i took player back and got a new one but this also has the same problem, any ideas anyone its driving me nuts
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Comment by clemenzina, Dec 9, 2010 12:35

This is not a support forum - please see the link to one, which I've posted twice below.
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Comment by radioaddict, Dec 9, 2010 12:12

We have had a Humax PVR 9150T for nearly a year and were very very pleased with it, until the remote started to play up. The buttons had not effect, until i realised we needed to press one many times (eventually up to 150 times !!) and it would suddenly wake up and work, but if you did not press any buttons for about 15 mins, it went to sleep again and you had to start pressing again. We have an excellent TV shop who came out, checked the remote was working (you can do this yourself with a mobile phone camera apparently) but not affecting the unit, so he replaced the remote.
After a few months the same thing started again, so the shop called again and replaced the remote again - they said the original one was fine when they tried it on another box in the shop.
The third one is now starting to play up again, so I am considering buying a second remote and alternately them when one plays up.
Has anyone found another solution ?
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Comment by david2000, Oct 7, 2010 14:24

I didn't find the sound audible while watching TV or recorded video. In standby the unit is completely quiet.
san diego moving company
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Comment by clemenzina, Sep 8, 2010 2:01

RonK got sorted via Digital Spy's dedicated Humax PVR forum, I'm hoping you will too:

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=119

There's lots of expertise there from fellow users.

clemenzina
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Comment by smike, Sep 7, 2010 15:06

Had a Humax PVR 915T got two years. All along it has tended to cut pre-recorded programmes off before the end. Now it will not record at all. Retuning to the default setting has not solved the problem. Sometimes the Humax screen will not appear at all. If it does, it is difficult to get back to the main TV screen. Eventually a notice appear asking if I want to reformat the Hard Disk. On saying No to this, the main TV screen comes back on. Defeats me. Any thoughts, please?
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Comment by RonK, May 6, 2010 20:42

Took your advice Clemenzina.Went to Digital Spy and got same advice.Then to Digital UK to get the frequencies for a manual tune.Retune was easy and recorder has now got a new lease of life. All the probs have gone and it has been stable for a week.Many thanks
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Comment by gordon344, Apr 29, 2010 9:37

I bought one in March. Very impressed with it, BUT it buzzes from the tv speakers. I have tried another tv, just the same. I contacted Humax who replaced it, but the replacement buzzes also. Has anyone had the same problem? It's not the fan problem because if I mute the tv the noise goes away.
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Comment by clemenzina, Apr 27, 2010 1:03

RonK, before you give up entirely, have you posted your problems in the Humax subforum at Digital Spy?  They might be able to help.

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=119
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Comment by ronK, Apr 26, 2010 22:22

Purchased a Humax 9150T a month ago and am about to give up on it.It frequently does not respond to the handset so I have to reset the box by switching it off then on again, this then results in the recorder taking hours to repopulate the programme times.When the handset does work it can take several seconds for the box to respond.It has also failed to record scheduled programmes.Manufacturer does not respond to e-mails.Roll on Sky!
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Comment by Pete, Jan 13, 2010 19:17

We bought the Humax in Autumn and were very impressed. At first. Then we had the same software update as everyone else and since then have had significant problems recording. Particularly any channel associated with Channel 4 (More 4, Film 4 etc.) Recordings frequently stop at the first advert break espite the recording schedule showing the correct start/stop times. Recently it has got worse with frequent crashes and problems recording off other channels e.g. no sound on BBC2 recordings.
So, hopefully the problems are all associated with a dodgy software update which will be sorted at some stage (soon please Humax). Until then, every recording will be accompanied with fingers crossed!
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Comment by Mouse Catcher, Dec 15, 2009 18:41

We bought our Humax box in February and at first were very impressed but the last 4 months have been a total disaster, we are now reduced to only being able to record live tv, use the menu, ok and list buttons which can also be temperamental.  We have found the information provided by this company absolutely useless and they are not sure what is going.  I am seriously considering taking it back as I am so fed up of waiting for the update software which they keep promising and not being able to provide a date for when they are being broadcasted. ARRh
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Comment by Wendy, Dec 7, 2009 23:44

I loved this digibox at first, but about a week ago all my channels from number 14 onwards have disappeared including the shopping ones!! I have tried doing an automatic channel search but no luck. I am considering returning the box. Anyone else having the same problems?
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Comment by janetandjohn, Dec 6, 2009 11:03

I contacted Humax about the update issue, they say they are aware of it and trying to sort it out as quickly as possible. It was to do with an update they transmitted. But thanks for letting us know we aren't the only ones!! Cheers, Jan
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Comment by flossy, Dec 5, 2009 16:44

Exactly the same problem as janetandjohn. I wonder if Humax knows about the problem. There is no troubleshooting guide for any of their PVRs - they don't even appear on their support site under the product list.
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Comment by John Davies, Dec 5, 2009 11:55

My PVR-9150T also asks us for a channel search every time it is turned on. This started after a recent update (software HPTTF 1.00.17, loader a4.37, dated 2009 November 12). I've tried "Default setting" to re-initialize the box but that doesn't help. (In fact it made things worse because it erased our recording schedule so we missed several programmes.)
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Comment by Alex Mac, Dec 1, 2009 16:27

Hi

Following: Comment by janetandjohn, 28 Nov 2009 10:22

I have exactly the same problem. Has only started happening in the last week or so. Has there been a recent over the air update that's triggered this.

I followed the instructions twice. But I still get the prompt every time I turn the box back on. So I just ignore it.
But it is annoying.

Anyone else having the same problem?

Alex
--
Humax pvr150t
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Comment by janetandjohn, Nov 28, 2009 10:22

We've got a humax PVR-9150T which we've had for nearly two years, and it has started telling us we need to do a channel search every time we turn the box on. We've tried 4 or 5 times, but the message keeps appearing. Any ideas?Cheers, Jan
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Comment by ray, Nov 14, 2009 3:26

In response to karen , try doing a new automatic channel search especially now that the digital channels have been shifted around on some machines. If the message is still appearing do a default setting. That should cure it, if not try customerservices@humaxdirect.co.uk), they were very helpful. I have had the previous 9200t model for about 6 years and it gets used a lot, but still going strong. Cheers Ray.
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Comment by karen, Nov 9, 2009 9:15

i have noticed in the last couple of weeks my freeview box keeps saying "load application" and the screen goes blank! now it is happening every few seconds and i cannot watch anything now! help!
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Comment by Ian, Nov 3, 2009 15:14

I've just bought one of these for my parents. After the initial tuning, the channnel list contained pretty much what I expected except for Ch1 being BBC One Wales and Ch2 being BBC TWO Wales. As my parents live in the North West of England this doesn't seem correct! After retuning several times and searching through the channel list I found the correct BBC One and BBC Two located at Ch800 and Ch801. My initial thought was that the Welsh channels must be the strongest signal, but if I tune the TV with built in Freeview, from exactly the same aerial point, the BBC channels are correct for the North West and are listed as 1 and 2. I can delete the Welsh channels from the listing on the PVR but cannot relocate the correct channels to positions 1 and 2. This may not be possible anyway, but has anyone else come across this type of problem? I appreciate this may not be the correct forum for raising this question so if that is the case please could someone redirect me.
Thanks,
Ian
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Comment by Margaret, Jul 13, 2009 13:35

Bought a Humax a couple of weeks ago, twice now the picture on the TV has frozen. Yesterday whilst recording an ITV1 program I switch the TV back on, only to find the the picture on the TV had frozen. The recording also stopped I later found out. the remote would not work and I had to switch off the Humax and reboot, then it worked OK
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Comment by kevin, May 5, 2009 19:41

I just bought a pvr 9150T and are very impressed with it.  Only thing I cant seemed to find is a programme reminder option.  On my old recorder there was an option of being reminded when a certain prog was about to start that i want to watch rather than recording.  A pop up would appear saying "top gear about to start on Bbc 2" " press green to watch red to cancel".  Does this unnit have the same option

Many thanks in advance
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Comment by clemenzina, Mar 10, 2009 23:22

Jenna, I strongly suggest you go to a forum where there are lots of people with Hummys who will be able to help you.  Please see the links to Digital Spy which I posted on 16th December and 10th January - they've got a forum DEDICATED to Humax.  (If you think you've got problems - I just bought a Topfield!!!  A techy's dream, my nightmare.)
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Comment by Jenna, Mar 10, 2009 21:07

I was wondering if you could help.  My Humax PVR 9150T has been fantastic, but recently I have been having problems with it's recordings.  It keeps neglecting to record timed programmes (and does not display an error message - either just keeps them at the top of the schedule even though the date has passed, or just wipes them altogether), records only part of a programme - sometimes skipping bits in the middle, or only recording the last ten minutes of a 2 hour film, or records the wrong programme completely.

The time is set properly, there do not appear to be any problems with reception when I am watching from the PVR, and this has only started happening recently.  Can you suggest anything?

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