Freeview+HD from Humax 

As my search continues to find a perfect HD box with PVR I move onto this Humax box that I first saw it as a prototype in early summer, now deep into winter one has arrived to be thoroughly tested to see if it meets my high standards.

As so many boxes fail to deliver power through the pass through when in standby that became one of my first tests, after changing a few settings (it does now peak at just over 1watt) it can deliver a perfect signal in standby. The reason it does not do this out of the box I was told is that ‘standby’ standards demand less than 1watt of power.

It is 37x25x5cm but add another 3cm to the 25cm depth for any cables. There are four small touch buttons on the right side as well as a big amber/blue disc button in the centre that acts as on/off. When on the blue changes to red when recording, but when in standby the orange stays orange. To the left of this is a twelve character display. However during my test period I only used the buttons for testing as everything can be done from the remote.

The rear of the unit has a line of connections, first the Common Interface, then the Aerial In and Aerial Out sockets, SPDIF is next and then HDMI with the Ethernet and USB ports bunked one above the other, the same configuration applies for SCART and Composite cables next the fan vent and finally power on/off button.

Most will be up and running with the 16 page A5 Quick Start Guide. For those who need more there is the slightly larger 112 page User’s Manual.

As with most modern products the power lies in the remote control here it is 23x5x2.5cm the last figure is maximum at the back end where the two ‘AAA’ batteries are inserted at the front it is only a little over 1cm thick.

There are 57 buttons including the ubiquitous five position joystick and should you wish it can control most devices such as your TV, DVD and Audio but to work out to program it you will need to read the User Manual.

Connect cables to rear, connect power and assuming you are using HDMI your TV should show the Humax logo and offer to tune the unit this took around three minutes it found 103 channels including four HD ones.

This is a dual tuner unit meaning you can record two programs at the same time (even two HD programs) and should you wish replay another already recorded program simultaneously. If you wanted to watch a third then you would need to use the passthrough. This works fine while the unit is switched on however when in standby (not recording or blue light on) you will need to change a setting via the menu that allows power to the aerial passthough, this cannot be set as default as the unit would then fail the ‘less than 1 watt’ in standby test.

Watching a program ‘live’ via the PVR the 12 character display shows the name and it will scroll from right to left. When watching a recorded program it shows the name and the elapsed time in hours and minutes. Finally when on standby the display shows a digital clock, however for some unknown reason this is made up of dots. All these are in orange, I would prefer the elapsed time to be shown in minutes as often the extra couple of characters cause the scroll. Another point why is the clock less bright and solid than the rest of the display, I find it difficult to read from my normal viewing distance. As for knowing when recording is taking place why is this in tiny characters on the top line, why not an LED that would be easy to read.

The Humax HDR-Fox T2 is a nice unit; recording quality is excellent in both standard and HD modes. Playback is also fine and providing you are willing to go a tad over the 1watt standby a perfect passthrough is available.

Certainly this is the best of the recent raft of HD PVR’s I have tested and my only tiny gripe is the orange display.

Doing my Internet searches found the Humax HDR-Fox T2 at a best price of £279.50 from the link below.

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