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Humax HDR-1000S review

 Review: January 2013  

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: A stylish Freesat receiver with the new catch-up TV service, plus outstanding connectivity and a big 1TB disk for recording.


Setup & requirements

The Humax HDR-1000S is a Freesat receiver/recorder. Freesat is an alternative to Freeview and can be a good option to choose if you experience poor Freeview signal quality in your location. You'll need a satellite dish to receive Freesat signals, and most Freesat users are probably ex-Sky users with a dish already installed. In this case, you can simply replace your Sky box with the Humax and start watching. There's no need to move the Sky dish, since Freesat uses the same satellite as Sky. If you don't already have a satellite dish in place then you'll need to have one installed.

You'll also want to connect the box to the internet so that you can take advantage of catch-up TV and the home networking potential of the box. To do this you have three options. You can connect the box to your broadband router if it's in the same room. If not, you can run broadband via your electrical sockets using HomePlug adapters. Thirdly, you have the option to buy a USB Wi-Fi accessory and open up your Humax box to your wireless home network.

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 memory stick or other USB-enabled device (there are 2 USB ports). A HDMI cable is included.

All these options make the HDR-1000S a very well-connected device indeed.

Freesat channels

Freesat includes more than 150 free TV and radio channels and 5 HD channels, which is more than Freeview, although Dave is missing because of licensing conflicts with Sky.

On Demand TV

The HDR-1000S includes Freesat's new service. This adds catch-up TV to the Freesat service, so you can roll backwards through the EPG (electronic programme guide) on selected channels to access the past week's programmes via a broadband internet connection. The EPG also includes Showcase, which is Freesat's pick of the week's highlights.

isn't quite as good as Freeview's YouView catch-up TV service. At present it only includes the BBC iPlayer and ITV Player, but it's - dare we say it - catching up with YouView!

Pause, rewind & record live TV

The HDR-1000S also functions as a PVR (personal video recorder), so you can pause and rewind live TV and record programmes on the hard disk. There are two inputs from the satellite dish, so you can watch one programme while recording another, or record two programmes simultaneously (while also watching a recorded programme or catch-up TV). The PVR is easy to use with a simple option to record a whole series.

The capacity of the hard disk is a generous 1,000GB (1TB), which is enough to record 600 hours of standard definition content or 250 hours of HD. A 500GB version is also available for about £30 less.

We're pleased to see that Humax have simplified the horrendously complicated remote control used on the old Foxsat-HDR, so it's much easier to use. It's not as easy as the DTR-T1000 Youview box, and isn't in the same league as Sky+, but it's definitely a welcome move forward.

Conclusion - the best Freesat box

The new catch-up TV service from Freesat moves the service forward significantly, and we like the EPG and general ease of use. It's still lagging behind YouView though, and we'd definitely recommend the Freeview option over Freesat if you can get good reception in your area.

Having said that, for ex-Sky customers and for anyone who struggles with Freeview reception, Freesat is the obvious way to go. In that case, we heartily recommend Humax's new box.

It's a nice-looking device with a clean and fairly simple remote. The new scroll-back EPG is simple to use, and it's easy to record a series, browse the highlights and catch up with any BBC or ITV programmes from the past week. We also appreciate the full 1TB of disk space, the ethernet & Wi-Fi connectivity options and the bonus of a USB slot.

Humax HDR-1000S features include:

User questions

Got a question? This is the place to ask it!

Please don't ask a question that has already been asked. Duplicates will be removed.

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Can I use Freesat whilst still a Sky Tv customer, in process of leaving Sky.

Asked by Gill from United Kingdom on 10th Mar 2018
CancelledvSkyvTv but still receiving it until April, can I connect Freesat box whilst still receiving Sky TV?

Can u use this equipments without broadband I don't have it?

Asked by jeanette from scotland on 14th May 2017
I don't have the Internet can I use this box?

Does the humax use a lot of electricity when in use, apparently it uses approx 40+ watts, isn't that quite a lot of energy??

Asked by Kim from England on 6th Jan 2017

See all 6 questions

Humax HDR-1000S user reviews

Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it, and please ask questions in our User Questions section above. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!

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Average rating from 1 review:

Reviewed by Peter from UK on 15th Feb 2015
For the price this is good value but it has sone irritating faults listed below

The connection information is very sparse on the instruction booklets (no mention of the scart socket or it's possible use i.e feeding a dvd recorder etc)

Whilst you are able to record a series there is no facility to use the 'keep' facility for a series meaning that you have to mark every episode with a 'keep' as they are recorded.

I am finding the software (currently feb 2015) a bit flakey and it sometimes doesn't boot up with all options available.

On booting up to record it sends a pulse to the TV through the connection by hdmi which means that on some makes of television, (i.e. Panasonic) if you are watching the TV it will cause the TV picture to blank out for about 5 seconds until the Humax has gone into standby prior to recording.

Finally the display on the box will scroll if it is displaying a long script (like a long programme name) This can be distracting if the box is close underneath the TV. When you are watching the tv your eyes are distracted by the movement of the scrolling script below.

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