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Humax DTR-T1000 review

 Review: January 2013  
 

Rating: 5 stars

In a nutshell: The first YouView box and the best "set-top" box you can get that doesn't require a monthly subscription.



 

Setup & requirements

YouView is an extension to the popular Freeview digital broadcasting system, adding additional content via the internet. The Humax DTR-T1000 is the first YouView box on the market.

The DTR-T1000 uses an aerial to receive Freeview channels and a broadband internet connection for the YouView catch-up and on-demand content. The box then integrates the two services into one easy-to-use package. The best thing is that it's all free (once you've bought the box itself)!

To connect to the internet, you'll need to be able to plug the box into your home router via an ethernet cable. Don't worry too much if your router is located in another room, as you can now run broadband via your electrical sockets using HomePlug adapters. Wi-Fi would have been a nice feature, but almost no boxes currently offer that at present.

A HDMI cable is used to connect the box to your TV. Alternatively there's a SCART connection and also a digital optical output for connecting to a home cinema system. You can also plug in a USB. Usefully, HDMI, Scart and ethernet cables are included in the sales package.

We also want to point out that this is a very stylish and attractive device. After all, who wants to fork out a lot of money for a slim, stylish TV only to stick an ugly old box beneath it?

On demand & catch-up TV

As well as giving you more than 70 free-to-view TV and radio channels, including HD channels, YouView adds additional content that can be accessed via the internet. From the user's point of view, this is completely seamless. The Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) scrolls forward 7 days, just like in any Freeview box, but cleverly you can also scroll back in time 7 days to watch programmes that you might otherwise have missed. The EPG displays the weeks' highlights so you can easily find the most popular shows.

Not every channel currently offers catch-up TV. At the moment it's limited to content available via the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD and Demand 5, although this may well change in the future.

In addition, Now TV lets you watch a range of pay movies on demand.

Pause, rewind & record live TV

The box also functions as a PVR (personal video recorder), so you can pause and rewind live TV and also record programmes on the hard disk. There are two inputs from the aerial, so you can watch one programme while recording another, or record two programmes simultaneously (while also watching a recorded programme). The PVR is easy to use with a simple option to record a whole series.

The capacity of the hard disk is 500GB, which is enough to record 300 hours of standard definition content and 125 hours of HD. This may sound like a lot, but other boxes offer more, and it's a shame that this premium box from Humax doesn't include a larger disk.

YouView app

The YouView mobile app lets you view what's on TV now and over the next 7 days and set your box to record from your smartphone or tablet.

Conclusion - the best subscription-free box

YouView is the most comprehensive of the subscription-free TV options, and the Humax box is the only YouView box currently available. That makes it the best option unless you're willing to sign up with Sky or Virgin.

The new scroll-back EPG is simple to use, and you can easily upgrade your existing Freeview service to YouView just by installing the new box instead of your old one. We like the user interface on the DTR-T1000 and the remote control is simple and uncluttered.

Overall, we love the YouView experience, and we love the Humax box. A larger capacity disk would be nice, as would built-in Wi-Fi, but apart from that it's hard to imagine how the product could be any better. A big thumbs-up from S21!

Update: The new special edition DTR-T1010 has now launched which has an increased 1TB of recording space and a premium silver finish.


Humax DTR-T1000 features include:

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Reviewed by Simon Costain from Isle of Man on 16th Jan 2013
There is a Humax box with more disk space

DTR-T1100 I think
Rating:

Reply by S21 from UK on 16th Jan 2013
You're right, Simon. A 1000GB version does exist, but it costs nearly 100 extra. It's the same model number, i.e. DTR-T1000.

Reply by S21 from UK on 17th Jan 2013
The new special edition DTR-T1010 has just launched which also has 1TB of recording space.


 

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