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On principle this is a fantastic item and it really would change your viewing habits if only Humax would sort out the serious technical glitches. If it wasn't for the freezing problems this product would get 5 stars without a doubt. Our box 'freezes' on an almost daily basis which means we have to turn it of and on again to reset it, this means we have lost loads of programmes we were recording because it freezes half way through. It also means that we cannot rely on it to record if we go on holiday etc. We have contacted Humax about this although we got no reply from the e-mail address and it took a while o get through on their customer service line. The eventual response was that they knew all about the problem and that there was nothing wrong with our box but had something to do with them having the wrong technical codes which get confused with the tv signals, they assured us that the problem was being dealt with and that it would be rectified soon. That was three months ago and nothing's changed yet. The digital guide is ok but a little slow and you have to wait for about half an hour for it to reload everytime you reset it. You also have to set your own buffers as the programmes are recorded by their original timeslots and make no allowances for overruns which happens more often than not these days so you can get the end of you progamme cut off unless you remember to manually enter a buffer. When it does work though its brilliant, being able to record two programmes and watch another has stopped loads of arguments and pausing live tv is a godsend when the phone goes! The memory lets you store loads of recorded stuff and its easy to find it all. The picture quality is also excellent but we live within three miles of the Holme Moss transmitter so we have an excellent signal strength so we've also not had a problem with missing channels etc. We've not yet been able to dispense with the old VCR entirely but I would absolutely recommend PVR but not Humax until they get the glitches ironed out.
It is about 370mm wide by 265mm deep and no more than 60mm high, which means that it can slide easily in a unit near your television. It has a few controls on the front of the unit, those being the play,forward, backward, pause and the usual controls that you find around any cursor. There's also four buttons next to the cursor which are for 'tuning', 'menu', 'guide' and 'exit'. These are the only controls that are on the unit itself, but it has a remote control so that you can fully control the unit from the comfort of your armchair.
It has the standard EPG to see what's on and what's coming up, covering the next 7 days.
The HDD on this is a good 80GB which can handle nearly two full days of recordings,
you can pause, rewind, fast forward, slow motion, search and much more. You can set your favourite channels, putting them in what ever order you want to. You can even pause live TV which comes in handy when you have to nip to the loo for a number 2 halfway through the live episode of Eastenders, (other badly written and depressing shows are available).
You can choose what ever output you want from the standard 4:3, 16/9 and automatic, which is great for when it comes to watching your favourite shows.
This hard drive recording device is on sale for about £80 - £100 which is good money considering the fact that you can record hours of programs and watch them back in any order you want. Unlike the old fashioned VHS tapes which you had to spin forward of backward in the hope of finding the program that you taped the night before.
This may not be a well known name, like panasonic, sony, sanyo and the other badged ones, but it is as good as those and, due to the fact it's an Android in an Apple world, so to speak, it can offer its good for a low price.
If you can get this for £100 or less then it's worth grabbing as it will really help you out if you're a television addict.
We had this set top box, the Humax PVR 8000 a while ago and only got rid of it when it one day decided not to work anymore for reasons known only to it. We got a good few years use out of it first though, so it wasn't too much of a problem.
It is very much an entry level PVR for people who don't have subcription servies to things like Sky, Virgin Media or BT Vision and so isn't suitable for people who like all singing all dancing packages. It is suitable for people who just watch the regular free to view channels and would like the added bonus of being able to pause live television and record either individual programmes or whole series. It is a cheap and simple alternative to the subscription services I was talking about.
The box is very easy to use and the guide has a full seven day listing which makes it easy to see what is on and to go through and choose what you want to record. The guide is sometimes a little slow in displaying all the information, but it does get there eventually. The remote control makes things very simple too as there isn't an array of random buttons to confuse you and it is easy to use. My seventy year old mother in law had one and managed to record things (mainly Dad's Army and Keeping Up Appearances!) without too many lessons!
The box isn't widely available now in stores because, as is the case with technology, they are always replacing stuff. But you can get it on ebay for around the £25 mark, which is pretty good value for money.
Don't pay a lot for it, but like I said, it is a good, cheap and simple alternative to spending a lot of money on TV packages.