21/01/2018

Humax to the max with the FVP-5000T

The Humax FVP-5000T is the latest (and greatest) personal video recorder. It supports FreeviewHD+ which is basically Freeview and FreeviewHD and access to the various UK TV Internet players which currently is: -

  • BBC iPlayer
  • ITV Hub
  • All 4
  • Demand 5
  • UK TV Play

There's also YouTube and Netflix - though the latter requires a normal subscription and even if you have a subscription that supports 4K, the Humax box only supports standard HD (is that a thing, maybe just HD rather than UHD?).

There are 5 tuners, so 4 programmes can be recorded simultaneously while watching a 5th.

The remote control is a bit gaudy and 'plasticky', with dedicated big buttons for Freeview+ services, Netflix and On Demand. There's also an Guide (EPG) button as well as normal buttons to control playback and recording, channels, etc.

The EPG gives access to a week's worth of future viewing (7 days).

Recording can be done through the EPG and an individual program can be recorded or there's the option to record a complete series.

For the more adventurous there's an iOS and Android app that can be used to: -

  • Stream live TV from your recorder to your smart device
  • Stream your recordings from your recorder to your smart device
  • Set remote reminders
  • Schedule remote recordings
  • Access the TV guide from the myHumax portal

The actual box isn't huge (280 x 48 x 200 mm) and should fit under or next to a TV.

Looking at the rear where the connectors are, there's an Ethernet port (100Mb/s which is a good thing) though it also supports WiFi.

There's an antenna in (with a standard co-ax connector) and a loop out (to go to the TV). Then there's RCA out (CVBS/L/R), HDMI (1.4a with HDCP), optical S/PDIF and 2 USB ports (one on the rear and one on the side, USB 2.0).

The unit review had a 500GB disk which allows for 250 hours of SD or 125 hours of HD, though 1 and 2 TB versions are available too.

Accessing features is pretty instantaneous i.e. pressing the Freeview+ button or the Guide and navigation is pretty straight forward.

The system can also play content from a plugged in USB stick or over the network from a UPnP or Samba source.

Rather than review the system myself, my mother tried it (she's in her 80's) and to be honest, she has managed to use all the services, including recording individual programs, series and accessing on-demand (this is no mean feat!!!) and likes it. Having big buttons is a bonus for her.

If watching a SD channel where there's a Freeview HD version, the box will prompt you to hit OK to change to the HD channel (it pops up every now and again at the top left of the screen, so it's not too intrusive).

The only unusual; quirk is that sometimes, she has turned subtitles on, then turned them off again and after the unit is turned on sometime later, they have mysteriously turned themselves on again. Not a major problem, but I can be annoying, though easy enough to turn-off again (just entering the settings section seems to set them back to how they should have been set).

Though not tested the system can be used with the Humax H3 Espresso smart media player which can be used to access content stored on the FVP-5000T or live TV (it will use one of the available tuners).

There's also the Humax Eye which is IP-TV camera that stores its data in the cloud and that can also be watched through the PVR.

The 500GB version can be found on-line for £219.

Highly recommended (by my mother) which really is saying something as a general hater of technology.

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