Humax HDR-Fox T2 Freeview+HD Features & Review
The first point to note about this device is that it is a Freeview HD Recorder, not just a receiver. It has twin Freeview HD tuners built in, allowing you to watch one Freeview HD channel and record another Freeview HD channel at the same time (both tuners also receive standard definition Freeview channels so you could watch an HD channel and record an SD channel at the same time, or vice versa).
300 Hours recording capacity
The built in hard drive is 500Gb, giving enough storage for up to 300 hours of standard definition recordings or 125 hours of HD recordings. They always say size is everything and it seems people are becoming obsessed with the capacity of the hard drive -300 hours is equivalent to 12.5 days of continuous television. Who could ever want to keep that much TV? Lets face it, with most programs, if you haven’t watched it in 12 days then you will have missed the latest episode. This aside, it is useful if you are going away for a couple of weeks and couldn’t bare the thought of missing 2 weeks worth of Coronation Street and Homes Under the Hammer.
Series Link and Recommended Recording
As a Freeview+ certified device, it does all the usual things including pause, rewind and record live TV, series link and has an 8-day electronic on-screen program guide. It will also recommend what programs you may like to watch/record based on the programmes you have already recorded. How intelligent this feature is is yet to be seen, but it can’t be any worse than some of the suggestions other people make as to what I should watch.
Home Media Player, Internet TV and Radio
Apart from the obvious ability to view and record Freeview HD channels (currently BBC HD, ITV HD and Channel 4 HD), perhaps some of the fanciest features of this device are in the ‘media player’ department. Long gone are the days when a Freeview Recorder simply plays and records TV programmes. This device can also play music either from a USB hard drive or via your home network. Now strangely this device doesn’t offer WiFi compatibility, but it does have an ethernet port on the reverse of the box. When connected, it can retrieve and play media content (mp3, jpeg, xvid files) from your computer and play them through your television. Needless to say, the Humax is fully DLNA compliant (the new standard for home media sharing).
The second part to this is the internet catchup / BBC iPlayer functionality. At launch, this is not accessible on the HDR-Fox T2, however Humax plan to release it via a free-of-charge OTA (Over the Air) update. When it is released, it is expected to add SkyPlayer, BBC iPlayer and other content, possibly to include LoveFilm etc.
Humax was a little late in bringing this to the market – other manufacturers have been selling similar devices since June or July this year. However, judging by the customer comments so far, Humax have got this absolutely right – with the best (internet connectivity) still to come. Menus are great, responsive programme guide and quality you would expect from Humax. Stock is limited right now, and as this device just won the What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision 5 star award in October 2010, if you see stock, buy one while you can!