Humax HDR Fox T2 network media support

Just a quick blog on this, since I’ve not done exhaustive testing yet, but the new Humax Freeview HD recorder talks happily to my Synology NAS for network media playback.

More to test later, but success with Xvid (including a ‘problem’ file that my Panasonic TV won’t play), DivX, DivX HD, WMV HD, VOB files (eg from DVDs), and AVCHD .mts files.

Also seems happy to play back some of my other HD test streams including .trp files, and .ts, but no luck with MKV so far.

29 Replies to “Humax HDR Fox T2 network media support”

  1. Many thanks Nigel, have been waiting for news on this as I have a Synology NAS and would like to play back VOBs, AVCHD etc. Trying to decide between the Humax and the 3view. Re your tests on AVCHD/.mts files – were these from a camcorder and if so which make?

  2. I bought mine yesterday and have played xvid and avi files. mkv file made the unit reboot itself but i was aware of it not supporting this format. It won’t recognise .iso files. Slightly annoyed at it not playing in proper widesceen. (16:9 with black band at top and bottom). Managed to get it to play a file from my laptop though network but need more networking knowledge to get it to find the external hd on my laptop.

    BBC HD looks great. ITV HD and 4 HD close behind.

    Now just waiting for the BBC to move to Salford Quays and get MOTD up to HD.

    1. Are you using Windows 7? That should provide the necessary support for streaming; you may need to add the external hard drive, or the folders with media you want to watch, to the Library that you’re sharing.
      With regard to the black bars top and bottom, are you sure the material you’re watching is genuine 16:9 and not one of the fairly close but not quite identical cinema ratios?

  3. Using Vista. I tried mapping the drive to the same folder that the Humax had previously found files and played from but it didn’t seem to work. I can live with copying files to that location for now but it would be handy to have it see the whole drive. Shame Humax didn’t give instuctions on networking.

    As for the widescreen issue, it is probably that that particular file had the top and botton cut off to make the file smaller. I’ll try some more.

    Watching Bond girls in gloriious HD…

  4. Just checked that my hdd is accessable from other computers on the same network and it is. It seems the Humax is not that clever. Maybe the next firmware update will sort the networking capablity, I hope.

  5. Yes, but the other computers on your network will be using Windows file sharing.

    The Humax is using something different – DLNA, which is the most common way that things like media streamers find the content for you to view.

    Typically, you will have some software (and WMP can certainly do this on Win 7, not sure about Vista) that makes files available via DLNA. So, check to see if there are any streaming setting in your version of Windows Media Player.

    Also, you can try a different DLNA server – though you can’t run two at the same time, I think.

  6. Thanks for the advice, Nigel.

    I used windows media player and added my hdd to the library and then the Humax found all my files.

    I watched an HD film last night over the wireless network and it looked great.

    Easy when you know how!

    1. Not at present; sharing of recorded material is in the plan, but initially at least it will only be to other Humax boxes, because of the need to protect the content (especially HD stuff). That may change in time, apparently, depending on the adoption of a technology called DTCP, which will ensure that when content is streamed from the recorder, it goes only to a device that will respect any content controls – which you can read about elsewhere on this blog – that have been set for the content.
      When the streaming is introduced, you may well find that you can stream unprotected material to the PC, but we won’t know for sure until the update appears.

  7. Hi Nigel

    Interested to read the last comment about giving this box the ability to act as a server, streaming to other Humax devices.

    This could be ideal, at least until DVB-T2 PC cards are released and I update my home server to something more powerful.

    Have you received any info / leads on how long until such functionality may be added?



    1. No firm dates – companies that give really firm dates tend to end up with egg on their faces – but I think it’s around the same timeframe as the TV portal functionality, so perhaps this winter sometime.

  8. Thanks for the quick reply.

    I’m looking forward to this functionality. Do you know if Humax monitor places like Digital Spy and AVForums? It may not do any harm to show some interest!

  9. I have a HDR-Fox T2 1TB and the quality of the video is not very good

    I have a Panasonic G20 that can stream video content very well indeed but when I try to do the same with my Humax is looks asthough it is using a much lower frame rate, it makes the videos unwatchable to me.

    I am using Xvid files, but it is the same whatever I try

    Is the video quality just not very good?

  10. don’t panic when it pauses during update at 85% and 99%. It will complete OK. Mine didn’t restart when i pressed standby at the end but it installed alright. Just turned off the power for a sec and it was fine.

  11. I have a HDR T2 plugged into an ethernet LAN with a 1tb NAS drive on the network that my Xbox can see and works fine. The HDR however seems only to see the music files and none of the shared folders with photos and films. All the films are DVD backups as MP4s. Any helpful suggestions as to how to get the HDR to see all the media files and folders?

    1. OK; are the video files correctly marked as being shared in the NAS? What sort of NAS is it?
      If you can’t even see the folders, that would suggest that they’re not being shared via DLNA (they may be being shared in a different way which makes them visible to the Xbox). So, check that first.
      If you can see the folders, but not the contents, one quick thing to try would be to rename the files with a .avi or .divx extension, and see if that makes them visible to the T2; it might not make the playable, but if they then become visible, then the issue is that the T2 doesn’t recognise the .mp4 extension as containing files that it’s likely to play.
      mp4 is a fairly generic extension, and can contain various different types of video, not all of which will be playable. If changing the names does also make the files playable, as well as visible, then it’s happy with the contents and you can then do one of two things. The tedious option is to rename all the files with a different extension. The techy option is to tell your NAS to indicate the .mp4 means a MIME type that the T2 is capable of playing – some units allow you to add extra MIME types. And if you have mp4 with, say, DivX contents, then you could set up that mapping, which might solve the problem.

  12. Running Twonky on my server and can play media from my Win 7 machines OK but the Humax just fails everytime with No Server! Any ideas???


    1. Do you mean that it’s not seeing the server at all? Or that it shows the server on the network, and then fails when you try to connect?

  13. I have a problem where my HDR-Fox T2 can see my Windows 7 Media Server fine, it can see and stream the videos but it cant see any Music, I am changing the media type to Music.

    I have Panasonic G20 and that can access all the Music and Videos no problem so I dont think the Server is the Problem.

    It was working fine, My Humax is on ver 1.02.07 and I have tried a factory default reset.

    Any ideas what I could try?

  14. I have a macbook and am having trouble viewing the media files on the tv via the humax box.

    I have the humax box connected to my router via wifi and the access to the tv portal works fine.

    However, when looking for the storage devices only the o2 wireless box appears and not the laptop. I have made sure the files are shared in the system preferences on the laptop but this doesn’t help me.

    Any help gratefully received!

    1. The Humax will be looking for content that’s shared via DLNA / UPnP, rather than Windows file sharing, which is what will happen if you turn on sharing on the Mac and tick the box for Windows computers.

      You’ll need a DLNA server, such as Twonky, though I don’t think there’s a free version of that any more. There are plenty of others out there, and I’m sure someone must have packaged at least one up to run under OS X.

  15. I have a humax hdr T2 box and via my sony blu-ray player (BDP S370) over the ethernetwork I can play some of the tv shows recorded on the humax but not others, I can find no common factor to indicate why some work and others don’t. Different channels, do and don’t work, even some episodes of the same series do and don’t work. The only constant is that nothing changes, if it works it continues to work and if not it never seems to start working even after a system wide reboot.

    It would be great if somebody else has found a solution to this problem.

    Many thanks,

    Willy (UK)

    1. Some devices can be very picky about the resolutions that they play, and the exact parameters of the MPEG stream; it may be that the BD player is limited to certain specified combinations of settings – the DVD spec is pretty strict on that, and it might be the case that it will only play files that match that spec, though this is only guesswork.

      One of the things that some channels on Freeview play around with is what’s called the GOP size; GOP is ‘Group of pictures’. In digital video, there’s a complete picture transmitted, and then information about the changes in subsequent ones, until the next complete picture. The number of frames between complete pictures is the GOP size. Making that bigger means less bandwidth is needed to transmit the programme, but it also makes things like fast forward and reverse a bit trickier, and can mean it takes longer for a picture to appear when you tune to a channel, for example.

      Channels may vary the GOP size on the fly, depending on what’s being broadcast, and for broadcasting, there’s quite a wide range of allowable sizes. The DVD video standard specifies a much smaller size – when you’re dealing with a disc, saving bandwidth like that isn’t as important.

      So, my suspicion would be that it’s something like that, or one of the other more obscure parameters, that isn’t supported either by the firmware in the BD player, or (less likely) by the chipset.

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