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<  Satellite receivers, cable boxes and PVRs  ~  Humax (Foxsat) Freesat HD PVR 320Gb

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Bawbagg
Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:24 pm Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 11 Aug 2005 Posts: 1122
glenmcfar wrote:
Hurry up, HD content, hurry up!!!!
Don't hold your breath. I've been muttering this to the V+ box since it was installed nearly 3 years ago.

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glenmcfar
Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:34 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 4519 Location: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
So, Lozzer loves his Foxsat HDR. I quite like mine too (although it's not a Toppy Wink ), and I'm enjoying the challenge of getting used to a non-Toppy machine. Points to note:

The 320GB (280GB for recorded programmes) HDD is VERY small if you're gonna be recording (predominantly) Hi-Def material.

The remote needs to be pointed directly at the unit.

It takes 4 button presses to delete a file. Also, if you're playing or recording something then you can't delete anything.

I've had a couple of recordings that have apparently failed, but they play back fine and the full programme is there.

It would be interesting to hear the opinions of other Foxsat-HDR pioneers - the Digital Spy forums are more than useless at the moment with everyone complaining that the machine isn't fit for purpose - it IS and it's lovely!

Glen.

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animal
Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:32 am Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 28 Oct 2007 Posts: 32
I like mine too, at least until a short while ago. Here's what I posted on the digital spy forum:

Quote:

This morning I have powered the box on several times. I went through and checked recordings to ensure they had recorded correctly, by skipping through to the end. Disk was 40% full.

I just powered it on again, box booted up successfully, I pressed guide, the screen flickered a couple of times like it was adjusting the resolution and it then put up a message 'please wait'. After about a min or two it overlaid that message with another slightly different 'please wait', then dumped me into the setup wizard. I was forced to reenter everything and at the end, I find my HD is empty. All recordings are gone!

Loved the box up til now... Sad


And of course you cannot archive the HD recordings... Sad
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R2-D2
Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:08 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Dec 2006 Posts: 12148
After the Christmas "overload", ITV return to their more normal HD schedule, even though it's still the bumper TV New Year period: HD schedule.

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Wallace
Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:58 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 22 Mar 2008 Posts: 911
R2-D2 wrote:
After the Christmas "overload", ITV return to their more normal HD schedule, even though it's still the bumper TV New Year period: HD schedule.


That was funny.. Laughing

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digsatman
Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:53 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 May 2005 Posts: 166 Location: West Midlands
As a longtime 5800 owner as well as varioue satellite systems, here are my brief views on the Foxsat HDR.

Good Points
Freeview EPG is good and probably the best thing about the Foxsat HDR and the series link seems to work well. The box is easy to use for a novice and picture quality is good. Setting the timer paddings to "auto " makes the box start recording at the correct time for late/early programmes but I missed the last 30 seconds or so at the end of several news programmes using "auto" for padding at the beginning and end. I suspect that the news programmes overran slightly - a problem that I assumed the new fangled Freesat EPG was suppose to get around. Again, I suspect it's all down to the channel concerned sending the necessary info to update the EPG. They obviously seem not to bother sometimes.

The Conditional Access module socket works with CAMS such as the "Predator/T Rex" which accept a valid Sky card for SD programmes. If one can stand using the Foxsat HDR in "non-Freesat" mode (see below) then one can receive/record "Sky" programmes.

Bad Points
Impossible to set timers manually, they can only be set from the Freeview EPG although they can be adjusted after having been set. If one wants to receive any "non-Freesat" channels that are FTA such as Sky News or Luxe TV HD, the box has to be set to "non-freesat" mode and this results in loss of the Freesat EPG and all capability to set timers. This must be a first - a recorder that you cannot set to record!

Even using the "hidden menus" to scan for specific channels in "non-Freeview" mode, the Foxsat HDR does not find the BBCi Stream channels. Given that one cannot set timers in non-Freeview mode this is somewhat academic but I would have been very annoyed if I had wanted to set timers to record certain events from the Olympics earlier this year when the BBC published full schedules for the BBCi Streams on their website.

In "Freesat" mode, BBC-HD programmes cannot be archived to an external USB device as they are copy-protected. In non-Freesat mode there is no such restriction but, as above, you cannot set any timers.

It is not possible to convert the timeshift buffer into a permanent recording. I have been used to this capability on every hard disc receiver I have ever used and this missing feature is inexcusable.

External USB devices have to be formatted in FAT32 or EXT3 formats. If FAT32 is used, files cannot be archived that are larger than 4GB. EXT3 gets round this but most owners of the Foxsat HDR will probably not be Linux experts and EXT3 is not native to Windows PC's.

The remote control is very directional and getting round some of the menus is awkward and sometime sluggish particularly if the box is updating the EPG in the background.

Whilst one can set up a "search" in the EPG, this is non-persistent as it only looks at the current seven days or so in the EPG. I have become used to the Mystuff control timers on the 5800 and whilst these may be unique to the 5800, the fact there is nothing comparable on the Foxsat HDR (and other receivers) is a shame.

Other points
Whilst the Foxsat HDR is currently the only official Freesat Hard Disc recorder, there are now third party solutions for using the Freesat EPG with other cards/receivers/software such as DVBViewer and the Dreambox.

Conclusion
Great for someone who is prepared for limited functionality (Granny maybe!) but a step backwards for anyone who is used to a 5800 and TAPS such a Mystuff.[/b]
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MarkG
Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:26 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Apr 2006 Posts: 673 Location: UK
digsatman,

Thanks for your detailed and considered comments on the Foxsat PVR - most informative.

MG

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mossman
Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:45 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 26 Jul 2006 Posts: 582 Location: South of Birmingham, TX: Sutton Coldfield
Quote:
External USB devices have to be formatted in FAT32 or EXT3 formats. If FAT32 is used, files cannot be archived that are larger than 4GB. EXT3 gets round this but most owners of the Foxsat HDR will probably not be Linux experts and EXT3 is not native to Windows PC's.


For those that are happy to work in Windows, EXT3 filesystems can be read using EXT2 IFS for Windows:

http://www.fs-driver.org/

It can definitely read EXT3 filesystems:

http://www.fs-driver.org/faq.html#acc_ext3

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Geoff_W
Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 1:36 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 19 Jan 2006 Posts: 603
I too, have succumbed to the siren call of the Humax HDR.

After using the Toppy as a backup system for the first week, I'm sad to report I haven't used it since. It's just sitting there, burning 9W/hr and looking very forlorn.

I am very pleased with the Humax. Yes it's got a few quirks, as pointed out by digsatman above, and the method of deleting files is both cumbersome and extremely slow, but overall I can forgive this for the benefits of HD PQ.

I'm sure that Humax will improve and upgrade the functionality in the future, so at the moment I'm a happy bunny.

Geoff

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mossman
Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 2:05 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 26 Jul 2006 Posts: 582 Location: South of Birmingham, TX: Sutton Coldfield
It seems that Topfield are really in danger of losing out on this one. Sad

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gomezz
Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 2:24 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Nov 2005 Posts: 3985 Location: Buckingham
Does anyone know when the Humax exclusivity lockout contract expires and other manufacturers are allowed to sell freesat PVRs so we can have some proper competition on features and price? I could never bring myself to buy anything else from Humax with their poor track record of not supporting older but still current (still in the shops) boxes which still have major problems that have gone years without being fixed. Worse than Sony now I reckon.

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jumbo
Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:59 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 11 Apr 2005 Posts: 4731
gomezz wrote:
Does anyone know when the Humax exclusivity lockout contract expires
Does such a contract exist? Shocked Perhaps it is a Gentlemen's agreement Wink
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digsatman
Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:45 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 May 2005 Posts: 166 Location: West Midlands
Geoff_W wrote:
I too, have succumbed to the siren call of the Humax HDR.
After using the Toppy as a backup system for the first week, I'm sad to report I haven't used it since. It's just sitting there, burning 9W/hr and looking very forlorn.
Geoff


The reverse in my situation - The Humax has been relegated for many reasons, including those given in my previous post. Fortunately, I have alternative ways of receiving/recording High definition.
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glenmcfar
Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:35 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 4519 Location: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
digsatman wrote:
The reverse in my situation - The Humax has been relegated for many reasons


My Foxsat-HDR was bought with the intention of using it entirely to record HD - sadly it hasn't convinced me otherwise (although i was rather hoping it would be wonderful) but it's early days yet - remember the Toppy a few years back - YIKES!

Toppies rule, OK!

Glen.

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Vindictor
Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:05 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Oct 2005 Posts: 220 Location: Cornwall
I've just come across this thread from Google Smile

Yesterday, we got a communal Satellite dish fitted to the building, so now I'm in the market for a DVB-S HD PVR.

My local electrical store sell a Humax Freesat HD PVR, so I gather it's the same one you guys have been talking about in here.

I'm still more than happy using my Toppy as a Freeview PVR, although if the Humax does a good job in upscaling the SD content, I may start using that more.... but my main concern is....

One of the main things I want from a Freesat HD PVR, is the ability to pull recordings off of it, like I can with the Topfield. Indeed, if it can do so via LAN or USB HDD, then this will do away with my need to keep an XP machine here, as my other systems have Vista x64, which don't work with the Toppy.

But, what I want to do with the Humax, if I buy one, is to keep a copy of HD content I record. I gather this must be possible somehow? There are torrents available on the net, of h.264 rips taken from BBC-HD. I saw the Torchwood ones, and they looked pretty damned good, which is what's now tempted me to get the Humax.

But I've read about about this Freesat Mode, or non-Freesat mode or whatever, and an inability to record, or backup?

So is this true? If I were to record the odd HD show that I'd like to keep, I'd not be able to copy it off the PVR? I've been spoiled by the Topfield, and am used to, on the odd occasion, pulling a .rec off the Toppy, and either burning it to DVD to watch on another TV, or lend to family members, or compress to XviD to store on my server. So, this is one feature I absolutely don't want to lose... well, I wouldn't LOSE it, as I'd keep the Toppy too, what I mean is, I'd love to be able to do this with the odd HD show too.

So do BBC-HD (and any others) block the ability to copy off ALL of their content? If they blocked HD films being copied off, I'd sort of understand it, but not everything?

If the HDD fills up quick, it would be nice to be able to shift stuff off to an external drive. I could also potentially play the files back with my PS3 on my main TV, or play back on my laptop in the bedroom.

So any updates to this?

Can HD programmes be copied off the Humax HDD somehow now, after a firmware update or something? Or is this copy protect flag hackable somehow? (Again, I guess I'm spoiled by the clever members here, providing firmware hacks on the Toppy) or can the USB or LAN be used to transfer and/or Stream video files (Streaming via LAN would be a Godsend here, as I can't get a TV signal in the bedroom, so I could stream over the network to my laptop in there)

I'm going to pop down to the local electrical shop next week, but I'm sure the salesmen won't know anything about the transferring files off of it anyway, so thought I'd check in here first.

To be honest, if I can record, and then copy off HD recorded content with the Humax, I may just buy one, unless Topfield have an equivalent 5800 style box coming out, but for DVB-S HD? (in the very near future, which WILL allow ALL recorded programmes to be transferred to PC)

Thanks for reading,
Vin.

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