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on 26 March 2014
I have had this box for 2 months now and previously had Sky+ for 5 years so will be making comparisons to that. I have never had any glitches or problems my Humax Freesat HDR 1000s box and am pleased with my purchase. Also to note I was happy with the Sky+ box and Sky customer service.
I am writing this review in part to correct some of the misinformation I have read in previous reviews when I was considering buying this.
* I have found the record and series link features to be faultless I have never missed the beginning or the end of any shows. (In fact I find them better than Sky+ in that with Sky I often found I had to fast forward to the start of shows, whereas the Humax starts much nearer to the beginning of the programme). You can (as with Sky) record either from the programme itself or from the guide, and are prompted to either record single programme or entire series. Also offered is the option to record in HD if you prefer. I like this feature, e.g. if you are on EPG and selecting to record a series on SD channel BBC4 it pops up would you like to record in HD.
* You can watch a previous recording whilst recording two channels and you can watch On demand, e.g. iPlayer whilst recording something.
* The layout of the channels is better than Sky. I find I watch HD channels more as there are not spread randomly all over the place; plus there is a nice feature that if you turn to e.g. BBC1 a message pops up offering you to automatically go to BBC1HD if you press ok. This is a nice feature; would be good if it happened on Channel 4 to 4HD as well. In addition you don't have to scroll through the countless number of blue screen channels that you're not subscribed to that you had to on Sky.
* Added to the improved channel layout, you can also edit channels. This means that you can delete channels that you don't watch or don't want.
* The box can also be switched to receiver only mode if you want to watch the sort of free-to-air channels you get on Sky. But really how many teleshopping channels does one man need.
* This box has all of the catch-up on demand channels. I.e. BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 (plus YouTube)
* I often watch things on BBC iPlayer, usually in HD and have always found the quality great with no lag or buffering. You can fast forward and pause direct from the remote buttons. (For reference my internet speed is 35 meg)
* Added to this is the Freetime feature which I had not heard of until I was buying a Freesat box. This is useful in that you can access on demand TV through the guide rather than having to search and go in and out of each channels individual iplayer. I like this Freetime feature but would not recommend upgrading an existing Freesat box just for this.
* If you are watching a programme for e.g. 10 minutes and then decide to record it, it records the programme from when you started watching (i.e. the same as Sky+) and not only from the point you press record.
* I have a 32" TV (not some big 40"+ telly) and the TV guide (EPG) is very clear and easy to read. I would say the layout and feel is slightly better and more modern than the dated Sky interface.
* The TV guide (EPG) comes up straight away; there is no lag or delay when scrolling down or forward through channels and programmes. (I am using a standard 2 satellite feed left over from my Sky days).
* I can only make this comparison for my TV which is a 32" Sharp, but for me the HD quality of the Humax Freesat is marginally better than Sky+ however the SD quality of channels is marginally worse. (These differences are only slight and I am fussy when it comes to images).
* The box is very quiet (I've never noticed it) and has no overheating issues.
* I find it is a bit too easy to delete things. Once something is deleted it's gone and putting `keep' next to a programme doesn't make a difference to manual deleting. Plus you get the option to delete whole series in one go. Oops my 5 year old just deleted the whole series I was saving up. Hasn't happened yet but I do feel that `keep' should actually do something, as it used to on Sky before they introduced the deleted folder.
* I do agree with other reviews in that the time to start up from standby is quite long. Not as long as booting up a computer, but not as quick as Sky+. In fact you can even programme a timer to switch it on each morning at e.g. 7 am, so clearly even Humax are aware of this.
* Also the remote. Some of the buttons do make an annoying clicking noise when you press them. This is particularly noticeable when scrolling through the TV guide or channels. And unlike Sky you can't programme it to change the volume of your telly which I found a nice feature.
* Would be nice if it had Netflix or Amazon Prime in the On Demand selection. Older reviews suggested this may be coming, however as of 2014 it did not. (Of course the Sky+ box does not have these either).
* Sky had the feature of going straight to the previous recorded programme you were watching by pressing play. I have not found an equivalent on Humax so you have to go in to recordings each time.
* In conclusion if you need to leave Sky for cost, internet speed etc. then I would recommend the Humax Freesat HDR 1000S. If you are the sort of person who records and keeps lots of HD programmes, may be worth considering the 1TB model.

UPDATE:
I understand that this box now ships with a remote control that can be programmed to your TV; to adjust the volume, switch it off and on etc. I don't have personal experience of this but believe that if you have the control with an 'STB' button top left, rather than the MUTE button then this is the case. A sensible improvement on Humax's part.

Also to be clear; Amazon is sorting all Humax reviews together. My review is for a Freesat Box; i.e. you need to have a satellite dish, (this is not a Humax Freeview review).
2020 comments|694 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 May 2015
Extremely easy to set up. Just screwed in the two leads from my old Sky box into the back of the Humax, connected the plug, and the HDmi cable. The auto install doing the rest, with me only having to type in my postcode via remote.

Connecting the box to the Internet could not have been easier either. It came with a LAN cable, which could be used with items such as the plug socket adapters you can buy to transmit Internet signal from you router to any plug socket in your house. However, I chose to plug in a wifi adapter in the USB socket at the back of the Humax. From other reviews I found only certain wifi adapters are compatible, depending on the Chipset. I have attached a screenshot of the listing on Ebay that I bought a compatible wifi adapter from. At £7.49 for the adapter including postage, a pretty good deal in my view. After the simple installation of the satellite tuning, the available wifi networks appeared on the screen automatically, I picked mine, typed in my network password via the remote and I was up and running. (The Internet connection allows on demand viewing / catchup TV.) I have attached a picture of the EBay listing I bought my adapter from, in case helpful...

The user interface has a modern feel about it and is simple to navigate.

So far I am very impressed, and is exactly what I was hoping for.
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on 16 January 2014
After 20 years of paying for Sky, I decided that the time had come to cancel Sky and go with Freesat.
After a lot of research I chose this Humax box and so far I am pleased with it. Delivery from Amazon with very quick.
It looks good, TV guide is very good and I am happy with picture Quality. It was also easy to set up.
Some things could be improved, such as the Humax portal were you can access apps online but it is very limited. YouTube could do with a better set up.. I connected by Wifi to my router using a Edimax dongle costing £9.99 delivered instead of a Humax dongle costing £30 and it works a treat...So a good saving..
Being able to use all the On demand catchup sites for BBC, ITV (Not Northern Ireland) CH4 & 5 is great.
You can play your own files via the front USB port and it happily played my photos and video clips transferred from my PC by pen drive..
Sound quality, I am not yet convinced but time will tell.. TIP: don't set the volume on the Humax box to full!
Like every product on the market there is always Pros & Cons and I am happy with my purchase. Remember you can extend your warranty to 2 years by registering the product ID on the Humax website..
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on 14 November 2012
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Comparison between FOXSAT-HDR & HDR-1000s
==========================================

What's Better
-------------
1. Ubiquitous remote control sensor
2. Management of channels in TV guide (i.e delete unwanted channels)
3. Recording is so much easier now, many more opportunities to do it
4. Organisation of your recordings has improved a bit
5. Much better menu design, less navigating/button pressing
6. Aesthetically improved menu design, cleaner, fresher.
7. Search system has developed greatly; real-time results, HD/SD channel differentiation
8. Check mini now/next menu on the fly without detracting from your viewing
9. Light "click" satisfaction on remote control buttons, rather than sponge/spring pressing
10.Programmed skip button durations are shown visually on-screen when used
11.Official channel logos in programme guide

What's Worse
------------
1. No bookmarking of recordings (terrible blow)
2. Painfully slow channel changing (about 1.5 seconds)
3. Uglier remote control with less direct function buttons
4. No slow motion playback
5. UFO box shape
6. Nothing can really sit on top (delicate finish & small size)
7. The power on intro screen is OTT at about 20 seconds.

-----------------
General critique
-----------------
No built-in Wi-Fi for Free-Time function?!! only Ethernet.
Still will not record the full program if you suddenly press record mid-program.
No ability to trim recordings.
No ability to password protect recordings.
Your recordings list has "wrap" menu navigation. This is very annoying & unnecessary.
All menu listings are limited to about 7 items, then you must advance page - tedious.
Overall though, still a vast improvement over the FOXSAT-HDR, but much more work needed to get back to 9150T standards.
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on 20 February 2013
I bought this as a replacement for Sky+, and found it generally OK. Sadly though there was one show-stopping problem which made me take it back. I'll deal with that first.

In the programme guide (and recordings list), the text used to display programme descriptions is so small as to be illegible on my 32" TV, viewed from 7-8 feet away (actually I could read it if I squinted hard enough, but it brought on immediate eyestrain - see uploaded customer image for an example). Not only is it the smallest font on the screen (by some margin), but it's horizontally condensed as well, as if the layout designers found they didn't have enough space so just crammed it in. My partner couldn't read it at all from a normal viewing distance. The programme names are fine - it's just the details ("In this episode of Eastenders, Sharon tells Phil..." etc).

This might sound trivial, but for me being able to browse programme details is a key feature of digital TV. I've been using Sky's EPG for 12 years with no problems, and my TV's Freeview EPG is fine too. If you have anything smaller than a 40" TV, and anything less than perfect, 25-year-old's eyesight, I'd strongly recommend seeing this machine in action before buying.

As for the rest of the box, it's swings and roundabouts compared to Sky's kit. Setup is very easy, and although the box takes a few seconds to start up each time it's not too long. The box is very quiet, with no fan noise. Picture quality is good, although HD images seemed just a bit soft and I'd have preferred it not to upscale SD channels (unlike Sky, you can't switch this off). In 'auto' timer record mode it had a tendency to cut off a few seconds at the start (and, in one case, end) of programmes, but you can add extra padding time. If you press 'record' while watching a programme it only records from that point, not the start of the record buffer. There are good features for things like choosing between SD and HD recordings (when available), but the list of planned recordings showed some confusing dates on series record.

Playback is a mixed bag. Unlike Sky there are no bookmarks, no way to start playback from a specified position and no slow-motion playback (although the help pages say there is). There's also a noticeable delay when pausing live TV, as it switches to recorded playback. However the skip-forward button (with selectable time periods) makes jumping over ads very quick, and the skip back button is great for action replays. The remote control feels good quality, and some buttons have a positive, click-action feel. The menu system is logical enough, and there are shortcut buttons to areas such as the recordings list, although you still have to perform a lot of clicks to do things like delete a recording.

Humax don't seem to support wi-fi on this box (although they sell a dongle), insisting on an ethernet connection to your broadband router. To my surprise, my old Sky Ethernet/wi-fi adaptor worked fine - I just plugged it in and got instant connection (changing the network password would be a problem though). iPlayer performance was excellent (amazing picture quality), although unlike Sky's catch up service you can't record, only stream. The much-vaunted Free Time go-backwards EPG wasn't quite what I expected - instead of extending the programme grid into the past, if you're on a channel that supports catch-up (currently BBC or ITV) then scrolling left switches to a list of available programmes from that channel. This makes it fiddly to switch between channels, and I ended up just using the standard iPlayer interface instead.

The packaging also says that this model supports 'apps for services such as YouTube', but when I registered on the Humax website it said 'Your product does not support this feature' every time I tried to obtain one. I was able to connect it to a DNLA server but performance was poor and it wouldn't recognise JPEG images. The product only comes with two thin getting-started guides, and there was no guidance to using USB memory sticks etc, although the device has two USB ports.

The overall impression was of a quality product whose software is still a bit rough round the edges (and might, of course, be updated). I would have kept it, but for the problem with the programme description text. Instead after a few days, with sore eyes, I gave up. I really would check it before buying.
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on 5 January 2015
Sadly after only seven weeks since the purchase and eight calls to Humax help centre, then five resets the box is still going wrong! It freezes continuously and On Demand only worked for two weeks and never could get it reconnected, you have to keep unplugging the power cable to get it up and running, today 5/1/2015 after two more calls to Humax they have finally told me there is a fault and to return it too Amazon, after every reset you loose all your planner and have to start again, when it is working it is brilliant easy to set up and great picture quality. Now after several Freeserve boxes one only lasting 13 months and only getting a partial refund from Amazon and this Freesat Box I am wondering weather I should bother with these and go back to Sky as these boxes do not seem value for money, not sure if this review will show as Amazon seem to chose the reviews to post as several bad reviews I have posted have not been published only the good ones.
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on 8 January 2014
this unit is fantastic , the only small bad points are

the remote control is not programmable so you wont be able to switch your tv on/off as you can with sky , not sure why humax have left this option off the remote as I know for sure that their freeview (terrestrial youview) box has this option on the remote .
easy to overcome this by getting a 1 for all remote control .

wifi is not built in and the humax wifi adapter is overpriced , however if you get yourself an Edimax Ew-7711UAN adapter at half the price it will plug straight in and work a treat ..

to easy to accidently delete recorded programmes , hit 1 button on the remote and a full series can be wiped .hopefully future updates in firmware will sort this all that's needed is an extra alert to say 'delete are you sure ' !...

apart from these minor issues I'm more than happy .
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on 25 January 2014
this freesat freetime box is not worth the £250 i paid for.firstly everything work well all recordings were being recorded.second the box kept going into stanby every week and change channels when watching another channel when i didnt use the remote.freesat upgraded with their software last week and now channels are missing and the on demand service does not work now ( bbc iplayer 4od 5 demand and youtube) now i just discovered that it will not pause or rewind now. i have went back to using my freesat hdr box. hopefully freesat will sent another upgrade on the freetime box to repair the bug from the last upgrade NOT WORTH THE MONEY.
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on 15 May 2013
I bought this as a replacement box for Sky+ HD after getting fed up with spending money on a monthly subscription which I didn't use. My review is therefore somewhat comparative.

Installation took all of ten minutes. I disconnected the dish cables from my sky box and connected them in turn to the Humax. Ethernet, HDMI and power cable followed and I switched it on. Immediately I was taken to the installation wizard which is clear and speedy. After entering my postcode (so you get regional TV) I was up and running.

The picture quality is stunning - even better than Sky in my opinion. HD is superb and not as sharp as Sky's which gives a smoother picture with no loss of detail. You can of course adjust sharpness on your TV but with my existing settings this is better.

The interface is slick and works well - it doesn't feel cheap at all and is well thought out. It's different from Sky's but not better or worse. I like it since as they say, a change is as good as a rest. I saw some negative comments about the remote but I really like it. The buttons are positive and it fits better in the hand than the Sky one. It also controls volume on the box itself which I like since my TV sound is routed through my hi-fi.

Freesat have still to come up with the goods with 4OD and Five on Demand for Freetime but that's not Humax's fault. iPlayer and ITV Player work really well. 4OD is now expected in June 2013.

There are a number of built in apps - the youtube one is great and you can pair it with your mobile to search for and play videos on the TV. Very nifty. There is also the option to play content from a USB drive connected locally or via a DNLA server - my NAS box (hard drive connected to the network) was recognised and movies played straight away. My PS3 is now being moved to the study for gaming and streaming and now can be retired from the lounge.

As a straight Sky replacement, this is worth the money. I paid £220 on Amazon, cheaper than John Lewis by £40. Register with Humax for a free year's extension to the one year warranty. Well done Humax, let's see what more goodies this box can bring with firmware updates. It's a brilliant start!
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on 24 August 2013
As well as this FreeTime box I also have a YouView, both Humax. I have found the operation of the YouView box much better than the FreeTime box particularly the way recordings are stored and managed, this box is really not at all so straightforward, it's quite confusing and unnecessarily complicated. The remote is also not so straightforward to operate. Having said that, it is a very good alternative to Sky and the available channels are more than enough and FREE. On receiving my box it was quite easy to set up but only BBC and ITV on demand were working, Ch.4 & 5 will be available in time. One thing I find annoying after being used to Sky is the time taken to boot the system and to make various selections such as playing back a recording. All is much slower than the Sky Digital HD Box on which selections are immediate.. The Sky HD has been around for some time so why is the same system software not available to Humax? Were this box as easy to use as Sky it would be a 5 star rating.

All that said, if you want an alternative PVR to Sky with NO fee, (bearing in mind that if you cancel your Sky subscription you cannot still record on the box, it can only be used as a STB)) this is the box to go for.
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