Humax HDR Fox T2 review

For those who’ve not noticed it, there’s a short review of the Humax HDR Fox T2 Freeview HD recorder on the ComputerActive website.

I wrote this a little while ago, so it’s worth pointing out that the problem I mentioned in the review about searching the programme guide has been fixed by a firmware update. I’ve also done a longer review for Register Hardware, though that’s not yet been published.

12 thoughts on “Humax HDR Fox T2 review

  1. I live in Reading, Berkshire. it’s a big town but not due to get Freeview HD until 2012. I don’t understand how half the population is currently getting FreeviewHD if it’s not available in big towns like Reading.
    Why does it take so long for existing transmitters to be upgraded?

    1. There are over 1,100 TV transmitters in the UK, and switching them all to high power digital signals is a pretty complex task – a massive jigsaw, and one that also has to take into account the frequencies used by neighbouring countries, to avoid any interference.
      So, there’s a complex schedule that was drawn up a few years ago, dictating which regions go fully digital in which order. The decision to include HD on Freeview didn’t happen until after that schedule was drawn up. As a result, the HD service is being fitted in by converting one of the digital groups of services to HD, in areas as they switch over, and retro-fitting it in areas that have been switched already.
      It’s a more sensible use of resources to do it that way than to re-engineer just part of the Freeview service in every area, and then have to come back and do the whole lot again when the area goes all-digital. With all those transmitters around the UK needing work, it would slow down the whole process if they suddenly changed all the plans part way through.
      Obviously, they want as much coverage as possible at the same time. So, in addition to switching HD on as each area goes all-digital, in a few areas (Crystal Palace, Lichfield, and some others) it has been possible to find a temporary frequency where an HD service can be provided at a lower strength, without having too many unwanted side-effects. That actually means that, for example, Crystal Palace is effectively transmitting a dozen services (five analogue, plus the standard six digital, plus a temporary HD service). There are only a few areas around the country where you can do that, and not interfere with too many other things.
      I’m afraid Reading just isn’t one of those areas where it’s possible or worthwhile (in terms of technical ease, amount of population covered, and so on) to run such a service; it’s probably too close to Crystal Palace to be able to find another frequency where something could be provided, just too far away to benefit from the HD service that does cover Greater London.

    1. You may be able to find it at hummy.org.uk, which is a users’ site for Humax kit.

      But there is also apparently an OTA (ie broadcast ‘over the air’) update scheduled for the 18th-20th of this month; leave the box in standby and it should receive the update automatically.

  2. Hi Nigel
    Can you tell me if the Humax can use an external hard drive to archive recordings to in both hd and sd. I’ve heard some pvr’s will but only in sd.
    Many thanks
    Simon

    1. You can archive SD material from the Humax; I’ve just done a quick test copying Spooks to a FAT-32 formatted USB memory stick. It plays with Media Player on Windows 7 and VLC on the Mac.

      HD material can be copied off, but will be encrypted, so can’t be viewed or processed on other devices.

  3. Hi Nigel,
    Thanks for your review – most interesting and useful – and for your answers on this blog. Can I ask, what happens if you connect your HDR T2 to an old (ie non-HD) TV via Scart and try and watch an HD program (or record it onto an SD PVR)?
    Thanks,
    John

    1. You will be able to watch HD channels via the SCART, though they’re obviously scaled down to SD. That said, the picture quality should still be better than an SD channel, as the original source will be better to start with.

  4. Nigel,
    Thanks for this. I have an elderly but still very useful Toshiba RD-XS30 which can only handle analogue broadcast, but can also record from Scart and has an excellent editing and DVD authoring facility. This gives me a practical way of archiving HD broadcast material that gets around the encryption that some of these programs come with – OK, it’s not HD, but as so many people have said in reviews, on forums etc. HD takes up a huge amount of space.
    So, Plan A is get an HDR T2, record programs available in HD and watch them on my Toshiba Regza HD TV, then if I want to keep them (perhaps 1 in 20 prgrams), re-record them to the RD-XS30’s HDD at a good level of (SD) quality, edit them to get rid of adverts etc. and write them to DVD. I don’t plan to sell them, or even give them away, just keep them for my dotage!!
    John

  5. I have just bought and set up a Humax HDR Fox T2. When viewing any channel the time is shown in the bottom of the TV screen just like when I used to set the TV to analogue. Is this normal or have I done something wrong?

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