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Humax HDR-1010S review

 Review: January 2014  

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The Humax HDR-1010S Freesat receiver includes the new catch-up TV service, plus outstanding connectivity and a big 1TB disk for recording.


Setup & requirements

If you're considering downsizing your monthly bills, then Freesat could save you quite a bit compared with a monthly Sky subscription and the Humax HDR-1010S is a good choice of Freesat box. Freesat uses the same satellite dish as Sky and is a good option if you can't get a high quality Freeview signal in your location. Once you've bought the box, there are no monthly bills to pay.

As well as a satellite dish, you'll want a fast broadband connection if you plan to make use of the catch-up TV services which are streamed over the internet. The Humax box connects to the internet via an ethernet port. If you don't have your broadband router close by, you can run broadband via your electrical sockets using HomePlug adapters.

A HDMI or SCART cable is used to connect the box to your TV. You can also plug in a USB memory stick or other USB-enabled device.

Freesat channels & catch-up TV

Freesat includes more than 170 free TV and radio channels and 5 HD channels, which is more than Freeview, although Dave is missing because of licensing conflicts with Sky.

The HDR-1010S 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 options available are the BBC iPlayer, ITV player, 4oD and Demand5. A YouTube app is also included. The EPG also includes Showcase, which is Freesat's pick of the week's highlights. Everything is accessed via the new freetime TV guide, making the system simple to use.

Pause, rewind & record live TV

The HDR-1010S 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 decent 500GB, which is enough to record 300 hours of standard definition content or 125 hours of HD.

Home networking & media

The 1010S is able to connect to your home network via the ethernet connection and will self-discover content from compatible devices on the network. This includes a wide range of video, picture and audio content types. Videos, music, and photos stored on connected USB devices are also available to play via the media library.

Conclusion - an excellent Freesat box

The Humax HDR-1010S is a good choice for ex-Sky customers with a satellite dish already installed, or for anyone who struggles with Freeview reception. The box provides a good range of catch-up TV accessible through the new freetime TV guide, making it easy to use.

In addition, we like the fact that the box functions as a media player for home networks.

The look of the box is unusual and may not be to everyone's taste, and the remote control isn't up to Sky quality, but it's a good low-cost option.

Humax HDR-1010S features include:

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