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

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ryclark
Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 5:54 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 10 Jul 2005 Posts: 1604 Location: Shropshire
What you need is one of these, if you can afford it Wink

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Vindictor
Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:29 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Oct 2005 Posts: 220 Location: Cornwall
ryclark wrote:
What you need is one of these, if you can afford it Wink


Funnily enough, my mate down the electrical shop sent me an SMS about that, except for the price, so when I asked him again, he came back with 800!

So to be honest, I'll be more than happy with the Humax box, provided I can record HD programmes, and get them onto my PC "as is" with no reencoding...or be possibly even more happy if there was a new Toppy to do it.

But my mates shop has the Humax in, so I could pick one up next week to compliment my Toppy, so long as I know that I can get these recordings off of it.

That Panasonic is one hell of a beast though, but I'd never buy one... problem is, all your eggs in one basket, when the bluray laser fails, or any other single part, it's a pain in the backside.... like for the several people I know who, years ago, bought those DVD players and DTS5.1 all-in-one systems. after a while the DVD player doesn't play properly, dying laser or whatever, and they can't just get a 15 DVD player and plug in to carry on... so seperates are better in some circumstances.

Still, if I had money to burn, and wouldn't miss 800, that is one hell of a thing! Smile

Hopefully the Humax will do the job.
I'm hoping after all this time, a firmware update may have come out, and fixed any niggles.

Vin.

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nwood
Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:53 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 29 Mar 2006 Posts: 348 Location: Bracknell, Berkshire
Bought a FOXSAT-HDR from John Lewis last Saturday, 249.95 with 2-year guarantee.

Took it back for a refund on Monday.

Just couldn't get on with it. A file manager mode for deleting recordings? Get real.
Just the sheer sluggishness when navigating around the EPG and recordings screens.

But what I really missed was a clear picture of what the box, in it's infinite wisdom, was setting up for me when doing a series recording.
Perhaps I should have just trusted it, but I really missed the instant, simple, and infinitely customisable screen views in MS 5.6.

HD was nice though. Both channels Wink When they were on Confused
So now I'm thinking, that virtual surround soundbar with built-in blueray player from Samsung looks promising.

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nwood
Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:55 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 29 Mar 2006 Posts: 348 Location: Bracknell, Berkshire
Oh, yeah, and you can't seem to record a program that's just started.

On the Toppy with MS, press record, press ok, done.

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Barry
Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:18 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 22 May 2005 Posts: 122 Location: South West
nwood wrote:
Oh, yeah, and you can't seem to record a program that's just started.


Just press record.
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nwood
Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:32 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 29 Mar 2006 Posts: 348 Location: Bracknell, Berkshire
Barry wrote:
nwood wrote:
Oh, yeah, and you can't seem to record a program that's just started.


Just press record.

I think I was pressing record, but from inside the EPG.
It worked for programs in the future, not not those already started.
Anyway, too late now Wink

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Vindictor
Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:50 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Oct 2005 Posts: 220 Location: Cornwall
My local store has these in stock again now, at 299, and I'm so tempted to go down and get one, but something keeps stopping me.

The fact that I can't seem to find much on Freesat (that interests me) that I don't already have on my Toppy Freeview PVR... I've plugged my old Sky box in to see what's out there for free, and it's nice to have M&M again, although to be honest, I've not seen anything on there to watch yet, and Skuzz.

I was primarily interested in the Freesat PVR, to receive the HD channels.

In the shop I played with one of their Panasonic TVs with Freesat built in. I could only find BBC-HD on there. ITV-HD, as I understand it, is activated with a red button press when HD content is available? So, what happens if you set the PVR to record?

I very rarely watch Live TV, so, if something came on ITV that I wanted to record, could I only set the box to record ITV-SD from a timer?
If so, well that's no good to me.

Second, I'm still concerned about being able to get BBC-HD recordings off of it. If I can't, I think I'll also pass. A shame, I was really looking forward to getting some HD channels at last, but not for 300 if I can't even set a timer to record them, or pull the recorded programmes off.

Third thing I'd wish for, is the ability to stream live TV through its ethernet port.

I guess I've answered my own questions really, and the only thing to do is wait!

Much as I would like to be able to watch the little HD content available at this time, I'd probably be better off waiting.

Also, what about Ch4-HD?

OT: we had our Analogue Switchoff here today, and quite the opposite of HD, I've noticed some of my BBC channels have gone from 720x576 to 544x576, and cut the bitrate too. Talk about a downgrade!

Vin.

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DX
Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:38 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Apr 2005 Posts: 2695
Vindictor wrote:
ITV-HD, as I understand it, is activated with a red button press when HD content is available? So, what happens if you set the PVR to record?

When you set the recording if the programme is available in HD you get asked if you want to record it in HD.

Vindictor wrote:
Second, I'm still concerned about being able to get BBC-HD recordings off of it.

It's down to the BBC - they flag everything in HD as copy protected. Until that changes every Freesat+ PVR will respect this.

I think you can record HD in non-freesat mode and get at it that way, although I haven't tried it myself.

Vindictor wrote:
Also, what about Ch4-HD?

There is endless speculation about this. There are rumours C4HD will come to Freesat this month but personally I'm more inclined to think the end of this year to co-incide with the Freeview HD launch.
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Vindictor
Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:47 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Oct 2005 Posts: 220 Location: Cornwall
DX wrote:
When you set the recording if the programme is available in HD you get asked if you want to record it in HD.


I see, that's not so bad then, at all.
So the EPG has some kind of "also available in HD" info in it, so you can set a timer to record ITV-HD. That's fine. Are ITV-HD programmes also flagged as copy protected, and therefore are unable to be transferred off of the PVR?

DX wrote:

It's down to the BBC - they flag everything in HD as copy protected. Until that changes every Freesat+ PVR will respect this.


That's a real shame. This is one of the main things putting me off. To be honest, I have what I could describe as a "childish enthusiasm" towards this box Wink Typical Boys and their Toys type stuff. I just really fancy one, because I've been busting to be able to get some HD channels for ages. It's just bitter sweet that I'd not be able to backup the odd file that I may want to keep. May I also ask what your opinion of the upscaler is like? The Toppy doesn't look fantastic on my LCD, especially compared to my PlayTV box, which uses the PS3 to upscale the SD content, and makes it look considerably sharper.

DX wrote:

I think you can record HD in non-freesat mode and get at it that way, although I haven't tried it myself.


Being cheeky, would it be possible for you to try this for me? Having never played with a Freesat box properly, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this. If you mean that non-freesat mode has no EPG, BUT, you could manually set a timer for a certain channel between certain times, to record BBC-HD content, and get around the copy protection flag, I could certainly put up with this workaround. If the PVR is in non-freesat mode to record something off BBC-HD, does this render the whole PVR not able to view Freesat channels whilst recording from BBC-HD in this way, or could it simply record BBC-HD this way, whilst watching freesat channels in Freesat mode... if you get what I mean? Again, if it's literally like a switch, where you can use Freesat mode or not, it's not THAT important, because whilst recording from BBC-HD in this fashion, I could fallback to the Toppy to watch other channels, just while BBC-HD is recording.

DX wrote:

There is endless speculation about this. There are rumours C4HD will come to Freesat this month but personally I'm more inclined to think the end of this year to co-incide with the Freeview HD launch.


Fair enough. So even if there's no Ch4-HD at present, it's safe to assume that it will definitely be coming at some point in the not too distant future? Again, I could handle that. After all, there's no choice really.
If I want to get a DVB-S box, it has to be a PVR, so the choices are, Pay for Sky for the Sky+ functions (not going to happen), or get a Freesat PVR.

So yes, sorry for all these questions.
Part of me is just busting to go out this afternoon, buy the box and bring it back, and jump straight in. I just don't want to be disappointed with my purchase. Getting BBC-HD files off really is something I'd like to be able to do. I've seen BBC-HD rips on the internet, like the latest Torchwood series, which looked great I might add, so the people who did the rips must've got the content copied onto their PCs somehow. I don't believe in this case that they used component cables, as the quality was just so good, so maybe they found a way to bypass the BBC copy protect flag.

Such a shame that there isn't a Toppy PVR that could do this, as I'm sure some clever soul would hack the firmware to allow this to happen Wink

I'm still seriously considering it.
There are other upsides. If the upscaler is good, then that would be a bonus, plus copying other content off the PVR wouldn't require that I keep a machine with XP here, like I do with the Toppy. If a streaming capability came to the Humax, I'd also buy one straight away, and if I knew I could get BBC-HD content off the box, I'd also probably go get one now. There's still this sensible side inside me though, that just wants me to wait a bit longer. So I'm torn, for whatever reason I'm busting to buy it, it would be nice to be able to finally view BBC-HD and ITV-HD at home, I just don't like the restriction.

Anyway, thanks for getting back to me, and sorry for going on.... you've probably got an idea of what's going on in my mind Wink This battle of the child who wants his new toy, and the grown up trying to be sensible Wink

Cheers,
Vin.

EDIT: can anybody also confirm what restrictions I'll have, due to only having one Satellite output? I'm in a block of flats, with a new communal dish that was installed last week. we only have one LNB connection on the faceplate. The Humax has a passthrough capability, a bit like the Toppy?
I know I'll not be able to receive the full range of channels whilst recording one... that's not a problem, I'll still have the Toppy to record/watch other channels whilst the Humax is busy... but I was reading about dual LNB connection being required to perform a firmware update? Is this true? This can't be achieved by using a passthrough? Or is there any other way to perform once, such as downloading from the internet and installing with a USB drive? For all the good things I read about this box, I also seem to come across a niggle.

EDIT2: I just came across this on avforums

Quote:
short of moving the internal disc to an external esata caddy. The caddy has usb port that a pc can access and copy directly to a ntfs volume. Even encrypted HD files can be archived in this way


Starting to sound like hassle now, but at least there's one way.

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TAPs: Movie Progress V3.2 - Jag's EPG v3.0 Beta 2 (Full Version) - UK Timers v1.2 - DescriptionExtender 2.1 - mcgCYRResume V1.0 - Power Manager v2.0 - MyInfo A4
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DX
Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:29 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Apr 2005 Posts: 2695
Vindictor wrote:
May I also ask what your opinion of the upscaler is like?

Seems OK, but I prefer the TV upscaler.

Vindictor wrote:
If you mean that non-freesat mode has no EPG, BUT, you could manually set a timer for a certain channel between certain times, to record BBC-HD content, and get around the copy protection flag,

Nothing that advanced Smile You can switch the whole PVR to non-freesat mode but you can't then set timers, only manually record. You have to leave it in non-freesat mode for the duration of the recording. While I was able to copy the result onto a USB stick I couldn't do much with it on a PC. From something I just read elsewhere I think you can make external backups of BBC HD but they will only replay on the PVR they were recorded on.

Vindictor wrote:
So even if there's no Ch4-HD at present, it's safe to assume that it will definitely be coming at some point in the not too distant future?

While I think it will happen when is a more difficult question.

Vindictor wrote:
Getting BBC-HD files off really is something I'd like to be able to do. I've seen BBC-HD rips on the internet, like the latest Torchwood series, which looked great I might add, so the people who did the rips must've got the content copied onto their PCs somehow. I don't believe in this case that they used component cables, as the quality was just so good, so maybe they found a way to bypass the BBC copy protect flag.

I assume they have used a PC based system to record. If you are going to routinely work with BBC HD recordings that might actually be a better route for you than using a PVR then transferring recordings. An HTPC with Windows 7 Media Center will give you a 14 day EPG courtesy of Microsoft, or there are open source projects to use the Freesat EPG.

Vindictor wrote:
can anybody also confirm what restrictions I'll have, due to only having one Satellite output?

You can dual record, within the limitation that both channels use the same band and polarisation. You can also watch a 3rd channel as long as it is on one of the transponders being recorded. There is a spreadsheet floating around that details the various combinations of channels.

Vindictor wrote:
I was reading about dual LNB connection being required to perform a firmware update? Is this true?

I've not heard that, and I can't see a reason why it could be a problem. Maybe its best to contact Humax support and ask to set your mind at rest.
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Vindictor
Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:06 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Oct 2005 Posts: 220 Location: Cornwall
DX wrote:
Snip


Thank you very much for taking the time and the effort.
I'm now better informed and can have a good think about it.

Much appreciated.
Vin.

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TAPs: Movie Progress V3.2 - Jag's EPG v3.0 Beta 2 (Full Version) - UK Timers v1.2 - DescriptionExtender 2.1 - mcgCYRResume V1.0 - Power Manager v2.0 - MyInfo A4
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nwhitfield
Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:27 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9577
Certainly on the original firmware for the Humax, it needed both cables connected to do the firmware update, unless you swapped the feed from one to the other and the appropriate time.

I think that was resolved in the very first update, though.

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Barry
Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:11 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 22 May 2005 Posts: 122 Location: South West
Single cable updating problem was fixed with version 1.00.02

Units leaving the factory since Feb have an even later version 1.00.03 installed.

For details of the spreadsheet referred to earlier see:

http://www.hummy.org.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=5594
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Wildoat
Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:23 am Reply with quote
MyStuff Team Joined: 18 Apr 2005 Posts: 532 Location: Diss / Tacolneston Transmitter
New to this party - just installed one of these in an apartment in France to replace a PACE Sky Box and a connected HD recorder and I think its excellent - obviously a vast improvement on a Sky Box + HD recorder. Now whether I would replace my Toppy at home thats another matter as:

1) HD content still very very limited.
2) No Virgin 1 (unless I have missed something).

So v the flexibity of a Toppy with TAPS (and of course MyStuff) it will struggle as the content is not a killer app - I guess when there is more HD content I will have both! Very Happy

W

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Vindictor
Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:55 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Oct 2005 Posts: 220 Location: Cornwall
Wildoat wrote:
New to this party - just installed one of these in an apartment in France to replace a PACE Sky Box and a connected HD recorder and I think its excellent - obviously a vast improvement on a Sky Box + HD recorder. Now whether I would replace my Toppy at home thats another matter as:

1) HD content still very very limited.
2) No Virgin 1 (unless I have missed something).

So v the flexibity of a Toppy with TAPS (and of course MyStuff) it will struggle as the content is not a killer app - I guess when there is more HD content I will have both! Very Happy

W


I'm still considering one of these, though in no way to replace my Toppy, just to go in addition to, for a few extra channels, and the HD stuff, which I hope will grow as time goes on.

I just did a Google and found this list

http://www.radioandtelly.co.uk/freesatchannels.html

Seems Virgin1 isn't listed, no Dave either, or the Fiver channels. I guess, apart from Channel 5 itself, you can work out which channels will be on Freesat from your Sky box, with the card removed. The Fiver channels require a Freesat card as they're encrypted, whereas Freesat receives the same channels, but has no decoder, so can only do FTA.

I guess this is right.

Anyway, yes, where you gain a few like Men & Motors, you lose others like Virgin 1 and Dave. Shame there's no middle area.

You can get Freesat, but miss out on the encrypted FTV channels.
You can get Freesat from Sky and get the lot, but you can't use PVR functions without paying a sub.

Well, the middle ground is freeview of course... in France that won't do you much good though!

Vin.

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TAPs: Movie Progress V3.2 - Jag's EPG v3.0 Beta 2 (Full Version) - UK Timers v1.2 - DescriptionExtender 2.1 - mcgCYRResume V1.0 - Power Manager v2.0 - MyInfo A4
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