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MULTIMEDIA

Humax DTR-T1010 - Digital TV Recorders

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We test a new set-top box that brings all the US’s catch-up services straight to your TV

While we’re used to seeing the BBC’s iPlayer turn up on everything from games consoles to smart TVs, services from the other broadcasters (ITV Player, 40D and Demand 5) are less ubiquitous. YouView brings together all the catch-up services from the major US broadcasters and lets you access them in one convenient box.

The Humax DTR-T1020 is also a Freeview hard-drive recorder that does a good job of saving the programmers you can view them later.

Humax DTR-T1010 - Digital TV Recorders

Humax DTR-T1010 - Digital TV Recorders

It’s frustrating to have the latest Sky Now movies listed if you aren’t a subscriber

Connecting the box to your TV is very easy, but it also needs en Ethernet connection to stream programmer from the internet. We added it to our HomePlug network and it connected straight away. It’s the YouView service that’s really interesting, though, and makes the box an appealing purchase for telly addicts. The dedicated blue button on the remote brings up the YouView interface, which you navigate using the directional keys. As you’d expert, you can leap straight into each catch-up player, choosing from iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, Demand 5 and Milkshake (a dedicated children’s player form Channel 5). You can also access Sky Now, which has stacks of films available, but costs $22.5 per month for a subscription.

Connecting the box to your TV is very easy, but it also needs en Ethernet connection to stream programmer from the internet

Connecting the box to your TV is very easy, but it also needs en Ethernet connection to stream programmer from the internet

Having access to all these services on your TV is great, though some work better than others. For example, BBC iPlayer lets you search for specific programmers, but ITV Player only lets you scroll through its options, so is good for browsing but annoying if you’re looking for a particular show.

A big bonus for YouView is that it lets you browse through content across the players. Choose the Films category, for example, and you can see all the movies available from all the services. Each has a thumbnail and a logo to show you which service it’s come from. Programmers from the free services are displayed first but it’s frustrating from Sky Now listed alongside them if you aren’t a Sky subscriber.

The only thing missing is the ability to use the Humax DTR-T1010 as a media streamer. It’s not a cheap way to transfer your catch-up viewing to your TV, but watching it on a big screen with a proper remote is absolutely perfect.

For example, BBC iPlayer lets you search for specific programmers, but ITV Player only lets you scroll through its options, so is good for browsing but annoying if you’re looking for a particular show

For example, BBC iPlayer lets you search for specific programmers, but ITV Player only lets you scroll through its options, so is good for browsing but annoying if you’re looking for a particular show

Our verdict

The Humax DTR-T1010 is a great way to bring all the main catch-up services to your TV with a single box. It’s also a Freeview hard drive recorder, so if you already use Freeview, you can ditch your old device and replay it with this, so the space under your TV isn’t stacked with lots of boxes.

It’s ideal if you watch a lot of TV across all the channels, but would rather tune in when it suits you, not on the whim of the broadcasters.

Features: 4/5

Performance: 5/5

Ease of use: 5/5

Value for money: 4/5

Product info

Humax DTR-T1020 Digital TV recorder 500GB

Website: www.humaxdigital.com

Price: $389

For

·         Get iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5 on TV

·         Also works with Sky Now (subscription only)

·         Watch and record Freeview programmer

Against

  • Subscription services get in the way if you’ve not subscribed
  • Can’t stream files over network

Specifications

·         500GB hard drive

·         Ethernet network connection

·         HDMI, SCART, Composite video out

·         Remote control

·         2.75kg

·         380 x 246 x 55mm

 

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