874 of 882 people found the following review helpful
Another solid Humax,
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This review is from: Humax PVR9300T/320GB Digital TV Recorder (Electronics)
Having owned one of the early Humax PVRs, the excellent 800 for many trouble-free years, I decided it was time to upgrade when I bought a Sony Bravia LCD TV for the following reasons:
1) Twin tuner
2) Larger recording capacity (up to 200 hours)
3) HDMI upscaling
4) Series Link
For those who are unsure what a Freeview PVR (Personal Video Recorder) is, it is essentially the free-to-air version of Sky+ i.e. it is a Freeview receiver with an internal hard disk that allows you to do everything Sky+ can do (record, pause and rewind live or scheduled TV) and in some cases better. No discs or tapes required. Obviously no Sky subscription means no Sky channels and also note THIS BOX IS NOT HD but SD (Standard Definition) only.
As Amazon were the cheapest I bought here again and super saver delivery was a decent 3 days. Out of the box, I was surprised to see it came with both a SCART and HDMI lead which is unusual, but welcome. Setting up was an absolute doddle, just a case of plugging in the power, co-ax input (from wall to box), co-ax output (to TV) and of course the HDMI to the TV. I then went to the menu to search for channels and was up and running in about 10 minutes. I was helped in the setup as the menu is very similar to my old Humax (I haven't needed to look at the CD manual) but with a few useful tweaks. A case of if it ain't broke.....
The box itself is fairly attractive in a black and understated way. The remote is also quite smart and sleek. The advanced buttons are hidden under a sliding flap at the bottom which is a good idea. Recording is very easy; just find the programme on the excellent (if slightly small) EPG and click ok. You are prompted for option of series link (which works brilliantly by the way) at that time also. Playback is just as easy, find the programme from your recorded list and hit play; as few as two button presses. If you only watch some of it, the PVR remembers where you left off, similar to most DVD players. Having a twin tuner, you can start watching programmes being recorded before they have finished which is very useful, as well as watch one channel and record another.
From power on, the fan is noisy for all of 5 seconds and the box then operates silently which I was very relieved about. Anyone suffering from a noisy fan should update the system firmware from the menu which should fix the issue. Standby power usage is 0.9w which is green enough for me. Unlike the Sky EPG (Electronic Programme Guide), the Humax shows a small picture of the selected channel (with sound) and has an excellent search facility that includes genre (e.g. movies, sport) or name search with an on-screen keyboard.
The picture (you can toggle between 576p or 720p) is very good. Despite having a 1080p TV, I find 576p is more natural. It is better than my 800 but not massively so and has that slight "digitised" feel to it on occasion but it depends a lot on the age and format of the programme you are watching. The new series of Waking the Dead for example looks amazing whereas old episodes of Frasier are slightly blurry and washed out. If anything, the inbuilt tuner on my TV delivers a slightly clearer image but the features on the 9300 mean I will use that much more for general viewing. I get the occasional pause but only in bad weather when my ariel is taking a battering from the wind.
The picture-in-picture feature is under the flap and very useful and easy to use. You can move the small picture around to different corners or even have 50:50 - handy for when there's two games on.
Overall, I am very happy with this box and glad I've upgraded. Humax have fixed the fan issue and whilst it may take a bit of getting used to (if you haven't owned one before), it is an excellent alternative to Sky+ for price, features and recording capacity.
** Note this review is pretty old now (but still getting votes so people are still reading it) so I'd like to add that as it's a bit long in the tooth now I certainly wouldn't pay more than £150 for this item **
** UPDATE Due to persistent signal problems (nothing to do with this box) I have changed to a Humax FOXSAT-HDR Freesat+ which is an excellent bit of kit also (review on page 15 or so of my profile). I have passed this onto my mum who is still happily using it (Jan 2014) **
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Showing 1-10 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Jan 2010 21:23:47 GMT
S. Ridout says:
what a brilliant review for non-techies like myself - I had no idea 'going digital' was so complex if you live in an area, as I do, where the signal is dodgy....
Posted on 14 Jan 2010 13:22:10 GMT
Ms. Sharon M. Mcdermott says:
Can you help? I realise this is a PVR for Freeview but do you know if it would record Virgin Cable programmes? I have Virgin Media TV, a Sony Bravia with built in Freeview and a Phillips HD recorder. Currently my HD recorder records from Virgin (not the TV built in Freeview). I realise the Series Link feature on this one would not be compatible with Virgin Media but do you know if will record from VirginMedia at all or will it only record the Freeview from its own tuner? (Hope that makes sense). I only ask as I have a lot more channels on my Virgin cable than Freeview has. I wasn't sure if the Twin Tuner feature on this one meant that I could maybe record one Freeview channel and one Cable channel at the same time? LOST is starting soon on SKY so would love a decent recorder if poss.
In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2010 17:32:05 GMT
This unit only records internally i.e. from it's own tuners so it's very unlikely it could be set up to record from Virgin Im afraid.
Posted on 19 Jan 2010 14:39:02 GMT
Posted on 18 Apr 2010 21:45:37 BDT
Mr. Andrew Wilkinson says:
Super review, cleared up many questions in my head, thanks.
Posted on 19 Apr 2010 20:59:32 BDT
the EPG populates in a minute or two? Can I have what you're smoking? More half an hour.
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Apr 2010 20:21:18 BDT
Maybe it's your signal strength but mine DOES come up in around a minute
Posted on 30 Apr 2010 16:21:00 BDT
W. F. S. Boyd says:
Excellent review in simple language that your average buyer understands.
Posted on 10 May 2010 22:55:30 BDT
Good review. Out of interest, is it possible to move saved programmes from an old Humax (a 9200, now playing up!) to a new Humax?
In reply to an earlier post on 11 May 2010 03:18:25 BDT
Short answer is no I'm afraid. You'll have to do what I did and keep the old box under the TV until you've watched all those programmes on your 9200. It can then be relegated to the bedroom !