Humax YouView DTR-T1000 review
While the Humax YouView DTR-T1000 may look like any other hard disk PVR, inside it's something a bit special, as this is the first model to use the YouView platform. What this means, is that as well as being able to view and record Freeview HD broadcasts, you can access all of the main channels' (BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five) on-demand programming from one seamless interface.
Before we get into the details of this PVR, it's worth addressing some of the points made about YouView, particularly as a lot of the press have been rather negative about it. We've explained why YouView is good in our in-depth article, but the short version is, yes it's delayed, no that doesn't make any difference to you and the Humax DTR-T1000 isn't particularly expensive - as it has the same launch price as the company's previous Freeview HD PVR, the Humax HDR-FOX T2. The only thing that's important about this box is whether or not it's a good PVR for live TV and if the on-demand programming adds anything.
Things are certainly off to a good start from the outside. The DTR-T1000 has Humax's usual quality build quality and looks every inch the high-end PVR. It's currently available as a 500GB model, although a 1TB model will be available in the future.
The Humax YouView DTR-T1000 is an attractive-looking PVR with dual Freeview HD tuners
At the rear are all of the usual connections you'd expect including a single RF-in for the dual Freeview HD tuners, HDMI out (a cable's included in the box), Ethernet (again a cable is provided) and composite and SCART outputs for older televisions.
A short quick-start guide helps you set up the box and basically involves plugging the Ethernet cable into your router and the HDMI cable into your TV. Sadly, there's no support for wireless at the moment, although the USB port at the rear may be enabled for this at a later date; in the meantime, Humax recommends HomePlug if you don't have your router within network cable distance of your router.
The first time you power on the box it takes a few minutes to set itself up. Then, there's a short wizard you have to go through to automatically tune in the channels and set your postcode so that you receive the right programme information.
FREEVIEW HD PVR
Once done, you're ready. From an initial look the DTR-T1000 looks and acts like a regular PVR. The EPG is simple to browse through and we like the thumbnail preview of the channel you're currently watching.
The YouView EPG is one of the best that we've seen: it's clear and easy to read
Hit record on any programme and you get the option to record either that single programme or, if it's part of a series, all future episodes. You can step forwards by a day and use the channel up and down buttons on the remote to skip quickly through the channel list.
As you'd expect from a PVR, you can record a single programme or an entire series.
Recordings are simple to access, you can view programmes that have been recorded and scheduled recordings - so you can cancel the latter if required. You can also filter the list of recordings by those you've watched and those you haven't. There's also the standard option to delete a recording or lock it, so that you can keep it forever.
You can filter Recordings by Watched and Not Watched, as well as viewing those Scheduled
Watching live TV gives you all of the features you'd expect, including the ability to rewind and pause live TV. As there are dual Freeview HD tuners, you can record two programmes at once and watch a third, provided it's on the same multiplex as one of the current recordings (multiplexes being the small groupings that digital channels are broadcast in). All-in-all, it's a very simple, feature packed PVR that does everything we'd expect.