Humax YouView DTR-T1000 review
STEP BACK IN TIME
Where things are different from a usual PVR is that you can also step back up to seven days using the same EPG. Programmes that were shown in the past can be viewed, as long as they are on a major channel, via internet-based streaming services.
Just hit the OK button and instead of box tuning into the correct channel, the relevant on-demand player (BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD or Demand Five) is started and the programme plays automatically. It's a neat trick and the integration of live and catch-up TV in one simple EPG makes choosing what you want to watch incredibly easy. Though we would have liked our own recordings to have also been marked up on the EPG, as an alternative to streamed ones.
The integration of the services goes beyond simply being able to select a past programme to watch, though. Because YouView is connected to the internet it can also pull in extra information about live programmes. So, select Info on a programme in the future and, if available, you get a More Episodes button, which pulls its content from the relevant on-demand service. Each programme's information is also pulled from online, giving more detail than is standard for a Freeview EPG.
There's also a search facility, which lets you search all of the on-demand services in one go, looking for the programme that you want to watch. This search steps back through the entire content catalogue, so you can find programmes that are more than seven days old. At no point do you have to concern yourself with which on-demand application you need to load. Currently, the search facility doesn't work with live TV, which is a shame, as you can only find this by browsing through the EPG.
You can also browse through on-demand content by type (Films, children's TV, Adult, etc), with YouView pulling all of the relevant programmes from each service. Should you know which on-demand service houses the content you want to watch, you can jump directly to its YouView app and use that solely.
Even better, when you're watching on-demand TV you can bring up the YouView menu and search for new content or browse the EPG without interrupting your viewing. In essence, then, YouView presents and treats catch-up TV as though it were live TV.
Detractors of YouView often don't take into account this integration when they say that all of these facilities are available already through Smart TV or by plugging a laptop or tablet into your TV. Smart TV doesn't have every catch-up service and you have to quit live TV and then choose the service you want to watch. Plugging in a laptop gives you every catch-up service, but you can't search through them seamlessly and you lose the remote control ability. So, yes YouView does what you can already do, but it does it better and with less hassle.
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