Product Type: Humax set top boxes
Newest Review: ... The older boxes are simply not able to deal with 100 plus channels on their chipsets. Humax have spent a lot of money firing out on air... more
I was happy with my tapes until Humax barged into my life
Member Name: goosey
Date: 17/07/12, updated on 08/10/13 (145 review reads)
Advantages: Eliminates expense of purchasing tapes and discs. Simple to set up and use.
Disadvantages: Cannot store lots of recordings permanently as on tapes and discs.
I have never yet known any gadget or appliance of mine fail at a time convenient to me, but always at the very moment I choose to use it, i.e when all shops are closed, helpful family members or neighbours are asleep or on holiday and emergency call out fees doubled.
My Samsung video recorder was no exception to that annoying law akin to 'Sod's Law' whereby any appliance belonging to me will malfunction at the most inconvenient time possible.
It was a Friday night, when my Samsung decided to retire permanently, demonstrating very clearly its intentions by chewing the tapes and playing tug-o-war as I tried to eject the cassettes... not a pretty sight.
Saturday came and anxious to have a recorder in place to record programmes I would otherwise miss, I visited my favourite, local dealer Protec, to inquire whether my Samsung VCR was repairable. Once the symptoms were relayed, a sharp intake of breath from the dealer, told me all I needed to know, the prognosis was poor.
Having purchased items from them before, I knew that all the electrical equipment they sold were of good quality. Better still, if I had any difficulties setting up any set or gadget, they were always willing to help (free of charge) so it will not surprise you that I came away with a Humax personal video recorder and a feeling of relief.
For a change, I did not try to get the price down from £158, even though the price of these recorders new, range from £120 to £160 from various outlets, such as Currys, and Amazon, for I knew I was paying a little extra for their good will and valuable assistance should it be needed.
~~~~What was in the box~~~~
The Humax recorder with mains lead connected.
One scart lead... to add to my ever increasing collection.
One remote control.
Two AAA batteries.
One comprehensive 72-page user manual in English.
Length: 35.5cm, width: 24.5cm, depth: 5cm. Weight: 3.0kg
Power consumption: 26Watts, maximum; and minimum, whilst on standby, 0.9Watts.
At the rear are two scart sockets, one that connects to the TV via the TV scart lead and the other a VCR scart port that connects to any other VCR or DVD using the supplied VCR scart lead.
Also a RS-232C socket connects to the PC to update software.
Two RF sockets, one for the TV aerial and the other for TV/VCR using an RF cable
One on/off switch.
The remote is rather unusual, in that at the bottom it has slide down cover, which hides a few additional buttons, which are not in constant use as are the usual buttons on most remotes. More on those later.
The Humax PVR-9150T Digital Personal Video Recorder.
Since I was only used to video recorders using tapes, and unfamiliar with the new (to me) technology of recording programmes on hard drives, I wondered at first, how a recorder would work without my slotting in either disc or tape. Then it dawned on me that my CCTV system does just that, and of course, so will my PC.
The setting up of the Humax was a breeze, all I had to do was disconnect my recalcitrant VCR and connect the Humax, each socket was labelled and the user's manual easy to follow. I did phone Protec to check that I could still use the Humax HD system set up previously.
The TV scart went from the TV into the socket labelled TV on the Humax, and the aerial and other leads into the appropriately labelled sockets, all of which were also shown diagrammatically in the manual.
Once the cables, leads and power were connected, all that remained to do was to flick the on/off switch at the rear of the box to on and power on. The Humax automatically then searched for and stored the channels.
The most useful feature, for me, is the guide button, whereby on pressing it, the programmes for each channel are listed, along with a brief description of the programme and time of showing, so by scrolling through the channels, it is easy to see and select programmes.. rather like looking at the TV Times magazine. Although, having said that, there is often a delay in the programmes being listed beyond an hour or so viewing. The programme showing at the present time can be selected just by pressing the central OK button, then a small Picture-in-Picture (PIP) appears on screen and if it is a programme of interest, the "exit" or "back" button is pressed and the picture becomes full screen.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was no complicated setting up of timers when wanting to record a future programme or a series of programmes. By using the guide button, the programme selected to be recorded is highlighted by the OK button a menu appears asking if the single programme is to be recorded or the series.
I also like the fact that two programmes can be recorded simultaneously whilst watching another and that there will be a brief, on screen indication of when each programme recording is starting.
Best of all though, I can save up to 100 hours of recordings before having to delete a programme and that I do not need to watch them in the order they were recorded, but select from the recorded programme list which one I wish to view.
The other advantage of this system over video tapes is that when selecting a programme to be recorded; if that programme is a part of a series of programmes a choice will be given, either to record the current programme, or the current one and the rest of the series.
The buttons, I mentioned that are under the slide down cover, allow different options for example one button will bookmark and save a current viewing position in a recording, another button will display the bookmark list. Another useful button will play recorded tracks in slow motion. There is also a commercial skip button so that whilst watching a recording the commercial can be skipped by the press of a button, rather than fast forwarding.
There are five fast forward speeds x2, x4, x16, x32 and x64. The speed will increase each time the FF button is pressed. However if the fastest speed is selected to skip a commercial, it is likely to skip past the beginning of the next section of the programme.
At the end of each recording the screen returns to the list of recordings, where you can delete the programme, if you wish, and/or select the next to view.
I also like the fact that when I wish to stop viewing a recording part way through, when I next select to watch the remainder, it will automatically start at the point it was halted.
I am very pleased with all the options I have with this set-up when I compare it with the other methods I have used in the past to record programmes. There is no danger of tapes breaking, being chewed in the recorder or running out before the end of the programme.
I can select and view without the hassle of rewinding, or fast forwarding. I can bookmark sections so that I can return to it without fast forwarding or reversing.
Of course there is always a down side to everything, and for this, it is the fact that I cannot lend a recording to friends or families, as I often would do when recording on tapes.
On two occasions, and I am not sure why, it did miss recording a selected programme, It was in all probability my own fault, for the television needs to be left on standby, for obvious reasons and I may have inadvertently turned it off at the mains, or there might have been a mini power cut.
Other than those two blips in 5 months of use, I have had no problems at all.
I have since discovered that if, when watching a programme, the phone rings, I can put the programme on hold as if it were a recording, then resume watching the programme, when ready again.
Summary: Installing a Humax PVR is paramount to adding a hard drive to your television set.
More reviews in the field of Set Top Box
- Tivo Box is the future!
- tv at a good price
- Virgin Media Tivo Future of Television
- Is this the only HD recorder you'll ever need for your TV?
- Virgin's former flagship product before the advent of the mighty TiVo
- Value for money!
- OK, but noisy and with limitations
- Record straight to your ps3!
- An Oldie, But a Little Bit of a Goodie
- Hitachi HDR225 freeview recorder