Humax YouView DTR-T1000 IPTV Freeview PVR review
In time for the Olympics, but is it a champ?
You can record up to two channels and watch anything at the same time from HDD or online. It does the usual Humax trick of allowing a live channel to be watched while two others are being recorded, as long as it's in the same multiplex being used by one of the tuners.
The remote is uncluttered and intuitive, but cursor keys are a bit loud and clicky
A 1TB version is due, along with a possible cheaper zapper box that is to have no HDD and only one Freeview tuner, but will still carry the online portal. Apps for smartphones and tablets to act as a remote control and for remote booking recordings are apparently on the drawing board, to bring it in line with Sky and to some extent TiVo.
At its heart is a well built Humax Freeview HD recorder
The box takes about 30 seconds to boot up, or more than two minutes if you set it to power-saving deep sleep. There is no media playback from network or USB sources, nor streaming from the HDD as a server. There are hints that these could follow in firmware updates because they are features Humax provides elsewhere. At launch, YouView is keeping it simple.
Oh dear, this was happening a lot, inexplicably dropping its network link
That makes sense, especially as there are still annoying bugs to be fixed. For instance, my review sample sometimes wouldn’t go back online when a catch-up programme had finished, or when the box had been resting. There's already a catalogue of error codes in YouView’s FAQ. If these prove widespread, they have to be fixed fast or customers will wonder what they are getting for their money.
Needs some refining but could be a winner among the Pay TV refuseniks
The terrestrial networks account for the majority of TV viewing, even in homes that have satellite or cable. So by pitching YouView at pay-TV refuseniks, it has the concept right. The launch price equals about 14 months of basic Sky payments; however, it’s currently too expensive to go flying off the shelves.
There are plenty of YouView naysayers but I think there’s a need for a unified free-to-air digital and internet-TV hybrid like this. Taking the box in its own right, it's more user friendly than most 'connected TV' screens and set-top gadgets. When it comes to the catch-up services that people use regularly, then it's got those sorted, with plenty of potential to improve. ®
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