Humax HDR-FOX T2 questions.

chebby

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I have given up on the idea of (eventually) getting a Panasonic Bluray Player/Freeview HD Recorder. Too expensive.

I will keep my trusty Sony BDP-S370 for Bluray/DVD and BBC iPlayer duties.

However, I am missing the ability to record stuff/time shift etc. and iPlayer doesn't always cover everything I want to watch again.

So before our area gets upgraded to Freeview HD (in March next year) it might be a good idea to get a PVR.

The Humax seems to get mentioned the most and the HDR-FOX T2 seems to be the one I will need.

Some questions...

(1) When the Humax is in standby, will the Freeview signal (from the roof aerial) still be passed on to the TV or does it have to be on all the time?

(2) Does the Humax have to be connected to the television with both coax and HDMI.

(3) Does the Humax have stereo analogue audio RCA outputs? (If not, does it have a digital optical audio output?)

(4) Can the contents of the internal hard-drive be backed up to an external HD? (In case of failure.) And can the content be easily restored back when the PVR is fixed?

Thanks.
 

professorhat

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chebby said:
The Humax seems to get mentioned the most and the HDR-FOX T2 seems to be the one I will need.

Hi Chebby - see this earlier thread for my thoughts on the Digital Stream as a possible (and much cheaper) alternative.

chebby said:
(1) When the Humax is in standby, will the Freeview signal (from the roof aerial) still be passed on to the TV or does it have to be on all the time?

Not 100% on the Humax, but the Digital Stream will unless it's put in low power standby mode (an option in the menus).

chebby said:
(2) Does the Humax have to be connected to the television with both coax and HDMI.

Not necessarily. Coax into the Humax (or Digital Stream) to provide aerial input, then HDMI to the TV. Unless you want the TV's internal tuner to work as well (which from question 1 I'm guessing you do), in which case you would need to run a coax cable to the TV as well.

chebby said:
(3) Does the Humax have stereo analogue audio RCA outputs? (If not, does it have a digital optical audio output?)

Both Humax and Digital Stream have standard analogue outputs and digital optical outputs. Both can also be connected directly into an AV receiver just via HDMI to get 5.1 if you need this.

chebby said:
(4) Can the contents of the internal hard-drive be backed up to an external HD? (In case of failure.) And can the content be easily restored back when the PVR is fixed?

Not 100% sure on the Humax but I think this is possible. It can definitely be done on the Digital Stream. You can also backup your timer recordings on the Digital Stream, meaning you don't have to set them up completely each time you run a firmware update (Humax definitely doesn't have this feature).
 
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I have an HDR Fox T2 and can confirm your questions as follows

1. Yes it does passthough. There is a power save option on standby which stops the passthrough to get the smallest consumption figure but otherwise the signal is passed onto the coax out

2. Already answered

3. You can find out everything you need about the box (including the sockets on the back) from the Humax site where the user manuals can be downloaded at this link http://www.humaxdigital.com/global/products/new_manual/UM_HDRFOXT2_200GB_11-0208.pdf (if links not allowed just google hdr fox t2 user manual

4. Yes - you can plug in a USB drive and copy your recordings over. It can also browse to networked media devices (inc DLNA) and play media from those. You can also FTP stuff off the box as well. The previous posters answer wasn't quite true as the Humax definitely CAN back up the contents to an external drive and copy them back - the only out of the box limitation is that HD recordings are still encrypted so only play back on the box they came off. SD recordings do decrypt with a USB copy and can be played back with a variety of media players.

Hope this helps.
 

chebby

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oijonesey said:
The previous posters answer wasn't quite true as the Humax definitely CAN back up the contents to an external drive and copy them back - the only out of the box limitation is that HD recordings are still encrypted so only play back on the box they came off. SD recordings do decrypt with a USB copy and can be played back with a variety of media players.

Thanks. So if the HD in the T2 had to replaced (due to failure), all my stuff could be restored from the USB external drive and watched without any encryption issues? (I assume "so only play back on the box they came off" does not refer to a situation where there is a new internal HD on the T2.)

oijonesey said:
or anyone prepared to take a simple step further it can do just about everything.

Can I get BBC iPlayer on it? (Not mentioned on the website blurb.)
 

daveh75

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oijonesey said:
the only out of the box limitation is that HD recordings are still encrypted so only play back on the box they came off. SD recordings do decrypt with a USB copy and can be played back with a variety of media players.

Hope this helps.

There is a utility called Foxy by Raydon (Bit of a legend within the Humax Community, who created AV2HDR and with the input of others custom F/W for the Humux Foxsat HDR) that edits the .hmf file and will allow 'in the clear' backups of HD recordings

http://myhumax.org/forum/topic/foxy-an-hd-recording-backup-utility-now-released

chebby said:
Can I get BBC iPlayer on it? (Not mentioned on the website blurb.)

Yes. Has iPlayer and Youtube etc via the Humax TV Portal.
 

chebby

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Just for now I have unboxed and pressed our old Panasonic DMR-EX78 back into service purely as a makeshift PVR. (The Sony BDP-S370 remains our DVD/Bluray player and BBC iPlayer source.)

It will do for now (until March next year when we get Freeview HD in our area).

When I can afford to, I will probably get the Humax. I have looked at sample EPG screens and read up a liitle and it seems the T2 is the best 'fit'.

Thanks for all the info and pointers.
 

professorhat

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I know this isn't relevant to you any more, chebby, but just to clear up a couple of points in case of future browsing by people brings them to this thread:

oijonesey said:
The previous posters answer wasn't quite true as the Humax definitely CAN back up the contents to an external drive and copy them back

Nope, I said the Digital Stream could backup scheduled timers (i.e. the list of items you've got which are scheduled to be recorded) - the Humax definitely can't do this. They can both backup and restore recodings though.

chebby said:
oijonesey said:
the only out of the box limitation is that HD recordings are still encrypted so only play back on the box they came off. SD recordings do decrypt with a USB copy and can be played back with a variety of media players.

Thanks. So if the HD in the T2 had to replaced (due to failure), all my stuff could be restored from the USB external drive and watched without any encryption issues? (I assume "so only play back on the box they came off" does not refer to a situation where there is a new internal HD on the T2.)

Actually, the encryption does mean just that. So any encrypted recordings can only be played on the original box - no good if the box is replaced rather than repaired (unless you go through the Foxy process outlined above). Whereas with the Digital Stream, the HD encryption allows recordings to be played on any Digital Stream box, so archived recordings can be played back on a replaced machine. SD recordings aren't encrypted at all on the DS and can be exported to a PC. It's a bit of a faff though, my guide on doing so can be found clicking here.
 

chebby

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Prof, I am grateful for your continued input to the thread (and the input of others) regarding this subject.

Don't let my interim DMR-EX78 workaround or - provisional - decision to buy a Humax stop the discussion. I am learning and others can benefit from it too.

I am fairly lazy on the technical side and tend not to get into unofficial software or 'hacks' (hence my satisfaction with 'stock' iTunes/Airplay/iPhone solutions on the audio side of the system).

So, a simple soul who wants to record things when I am out or asleep (or watching something else) and wants an elegant EPG with 'picture in picture' (and sound) when browsing menus. I will also want to record radio programmes (especially dramas) from Freeview radio. I have no particular need or desire to play what's been recorded on other devices, so the encyption issue is not a bother so long as any USB external backup is not rendered useless by a replacement internal HD on the T2 (in the unlikely event of failure).

It's not a deal-breaker (unlike the efficacy of external backup devices and software on our computers which I test to 'destruction' whenever I buy a new computer) because all we stand to lose is some telly/radio. Just nice to know that if the 'weakest link' (the HDD) goes kaput that we are not too inconvenienced.

BBC iPlayer would be a nice bonus but (like Panasonic and unlike Sony) Humax and others are vague and 'weasel wordy' on this ("in future..." and "we are developing..." etc.) which is why the Sony BDP-S370 stays until Humax (themselves and not users with a 'hack') emblazon BBC iPlayer as a certainty and not a prospect on the T2.
 

daveh75

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chebby said:
BBC iPlayer would be a nice bonus but (like Panasonic and unlike Sony) Humax and others are vague and 'weasel wordy' on this ("in future..." and "we are developing..." etc.) which is why the Sony BDP-S370 stays until Humax (themselves and not users with a 'hack') emblazon BBC iPlayer as a certainty and not a prospect on the T2.

:? The Humax HDR-Fox T2 has iPlayer via the Humax TV Portal (and not some 'user hack')
 

chebby

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daveh75 said:
The Humax HDR-Fox T2 has iPlayer via the Humax TV Portal

Ok I was taking Humax UK at their word from their own webpages...

"Internet TV Portal (Sky Player, Catch Up TV, Internet Radio and etc are available) future upgrade*
* Not available at launch, in development."

"Humax is currently developing a “TV Portal” service which will allow users to access services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and Youtube etc by a press of a button."

I have been 'bitten' before by buying something that claimed BBC iPlayer would be along soon and was 'in development' (Panasonic) so I am a bit wary nowadays until they say it is there, on the product, right now.

So a Humax HDR-FOX T2 (Freeview HD) can get BBC iPlayer, right now. Good. Thanks.

I guess they need to update their product webpages.
 

daveh75

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chebby said:
daveh75 said:
The Humax HDR-Fox T2 has iPlayer via the Humax TV Portal

Ok I was taking Humax UK at their word from their own webpages...

"Internet TV Portal (Sky Player, Catch Up TV, Internet Radio and etc are available) future upgrade*
* Not available at launch, in development."

"Humax is currently developing a “TV Portal” service which will allow users to access services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and Youtube etc by a press of a button."

I have been 'bitten' before by buying something that claimed BBC iPlayer would be along soon and was 'in development' (Panasonic) so I am a bit wary nowadays until they say it is there, on the product, right now.

So a Humax HDR-FOX T2 (Freeview HD) can get BBC iPlayer, right now. Good. Thanks.

I guess they need to update their product webpages.

When it launched last year the TV Portal was indeed a development. But the F/W was upgraded back in February to include it.

So, yes it has iPlayer and yes, they need to update their website.
 

Greenwich_Man

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I've reserved a 1TB model of the Humax from Richer Sounds -- I'll be picking it up on Friday.

From what I've seen on another forum - it will need a dongle to connect wirelessly to the internet (to get iPlayer) and an Edimax EW-7711UTn is recommended by current users. So I’ve ordered one of those from eBay.

I’ll let you know how I get on.
 

Greenwich_Man

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I went to Richer Sounds on Friday and got my new Humax box

As expected it was easy to set up. The Humax software is a bit different to our old Humax box - we find the TV guide to be a bit more difficult to read (because of the colours) than on the old box. And we had to hunt around to find the recording schedule.

As for the TV portal that is available with firmware update 1.02.20 - and the box came with 1.02.07 installed (a January 2011 update). So downloaded onto a USB stick - but the Humax couldn’t see my USB stick. But 1.02.20 will be broadcast between this Wednesday and Friday. (28th to 30th Sept 2011). And expect the wireless dongle to arrive in the next couple of days.

So hope to be up and running with iPlayer by the weekend.
 

AlmaataKZ

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I have the version without the built in hard disk (HDFOXT2) and very happy with it. picture quality is a lot better compared to the tv tuner. user interface is good too.
 

chebby

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Greenwich_Man said:
From what I've seen on another forum - it will need a dongle to connect wirelessly to the internet (to get iPlayer) and an Edimax EW-7711UTn is recommended by current users. So I’ve ordered one of those from eBay.

So what's the ethernet connection on the back for?

My Sony BDP-S370 uses an ethernet connection for iPlayer etc. so I sort of assumed the Humax would be the same. Is the 'TV Portal' only available via wireless?
 

chebby

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Greenwich_Man said:
As for the TV portal that is available with firmware update 1.02.20 - and the box came with 1.02.07 installed (a January 2011 update). So downloaded onto a USB stick - but the Humax couldn’t see my USB stick. But 1.02.20 will be broadcast between this Wednesday and Friday. (28th to 30th Sept 2011).

Again, why can't the software/firmware updates come down the ethernet connection either automatically or on demand when prompted by the user? (They do for my Sony and Marantz.)
 

professorhat

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chebby said:
Greenwich_Man said:
From what I've seen on another forum - it will need a dongle to connect wirelessly to the internet (to get iPlayer) and an Edimax EW-7711UTn is recommended by current users. So I’ve ordered one of those from eBay.

So what's the ethernet connection on the back for?

My Sony BDP-S370 uses an ethernet connection for iPlayer etc. so I sort of assumed the Humax would be the same. Is the 'TV Portal' only available via wireless?

iPlayer will be available from ethernet. I think poster is just saying there's no inbuilt wi-fi for those who need it.

chebby said:
Greenwich_Man said:
As for the TV portal that is available with firmware update 1.02.20 - and the box came with 1.02.07 installed (a January 2011 update). So downloaded onto a USB stick - but the Humax couldn’t see my USB stick. But 1.02.20 will be broadcast between this Wednesday and Friday. (28th to 30th Sept 2011).

Again, why can't the software/firmware updates come down the ethernet connection either automatically or on demand when prompted by the user? (They do for my Sony and Marantz.)

I've not seen any Freeview HD boxes which can update firmware via the ethernet port (neither the Digital Stream nor the Philips HDT8520 I had prior can do it either). The only one I know which can is the 3view box, but this isn't an officially licensed Freeview box.

No idea why mind you, just seems to be very common that updates are done via USB or via over the air updates. The ethernet port is actually part of the Freeview+ HD hardware specification for compliance. So some boxes (like the aforementioned Philips) have an ethernet port which has no function whatsoever!
 

Greenwich_Man

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Hi Chebby - I could connect by the ethernet - but its a long way to my router (and I need the new firmware to open the TV portal anyway).

And I'm not aware I can use the ethernet to update the firmware
 

Greenwich_Man

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I downloaded the update on Wednesday. It took about 1.5 hours to download and install (I will need to find out which memory sticks Humax is happy with, for future updates)

The next step was to insert the dongle in one of the USB ports and reboot the box. Before being able to access the TV portal I had to go into Settings – Internet settings and log into my wireless broadband by inputting the password.

Then I accessed the TV Portal (which is labelled as Beta – so I expect improvements will be on the way). I accessed both iPlayer and internet radio. There was a bit of a problem with my wireless connection on iPlayer, the signal dropped a couple of times – so I didn’t get to see an hour program all the way through. So I will be experimenting with putting the wireless router in different places.

Clearly it’s better if you are able to use an Ethernet cable from the Humax to the router – some folks recommend a home plug that uses your house wiring as a computer network.

It is nice to watch iPlayer on the telly rather than on the laptop.
 
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I was clearing up some old emails and reminded myself of this thread. I thought I'd just catch up and say that things have certainly moved on to the point where I think that everything that people have asked for in this thread are all possible albeit if you install a customised version of the firmware from http://hummy.tv. I have (it's as easy as updating the standard firmware and completely undo-able - although like a previous poster I had to find a usb stick that the box likes!!) and I can now backup schedules (good for retunes), decrypt and download SD and HD recordings, access the box contents and manage all the custom settings via a web interface at home, stream recorded content to other devices around the house and even submit recording schedules remotely from a web browser from anywhere on laptop and smartphone. If you have one of these boxes or are thinking about getting one you'd definitely want to include all this potential in your decision process. Hope this helps.
 

chebby

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Things may have moved on a bit since I opened this thread.

Panasonic have (finally) recently issued a firmware/software update to their 2010 TVs and 'Viera Cast' Blu-ray machines to bring them up to 'Viera Connect' level. (I downloaded it to my Panasonic TV last week).

Along with that news, Panasonic are reported to be in the final stages (with the BBC) of getting the iPlayer platform onto their machines.

Once that happens, I will have no need to have to use my Sony BDP-S370 and a PVR and will be able to get a Panasonic Blu-ray recorder with a 320GB HDD built in (and twin Freeview HD tuner) thus keeping everything in one box rather than two.

No final decision until Panasonic/BBC 'do the deed' and actually get iPlayer working properly on Panasonic hardware (i'll believe it when I see it and not before).

All being well, a PVR will not then be necessary and my system's 'box count' goes down by one more.

(I am currently using an old Panasonic DMR-EX78 as a makeshift PVR alongside the Sony S370 for iPlayer so I will be glad to relegate them both to storage under the stairs as 'spares'.)
 

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