Humax FOXSAT-HD Freesat Receiver - Humax FOXSAT-HD

By Danny Phillips



Our Score:


Picture quality is generally impressive but far from perfect. Hi-def broadcasts on the BBC HD channel look magnificent, boasting masses of detail and a wide range of rich, vibrant colours - best demonstrated by clips of the Beeb's beautifully shot wildlife programmes. Movement is smooth with minimal pixel noise and clean edge definition helps the image look crisp and forceful at all times. In a direct comparison with a Sky HD box, there's very little difference in quality between the two, making this a superb way of getting hi-def channels.

Upscaled standard-def picture quality depends on the channel, but more often than not it looks quite ropey. BBC One, for instance, looks fairly clean and sharp, but ITV1 and some of the music channels look soft and noisy. All of the channels suffer from a little pixel shimmering here and there and there's some ringing around edges, but a lot of this is down to the quality of the original broadcasts and none of it really spoils your viewing experience anyway.

As for sound, the inclusion of Dolby Digital output is a real boon when watching BBC HD, as you get full-on surround sound, the quality of which is superb. But if it's not linked up to a home cinema system then stereo sound from the HDMI, SCART or analogue outputs is clean and audible.


If you're interested in getting Freesat then we really can't recommend the FOXSAT-HD highly enough. It's incredibly fast and easy to use, delivers solid HD and SD picture quality and at £150 it won't break the bank. Our only criticism is that Humax didn't come out with a hard-disk equipped model first, but they're bringing one out later this year. Also disappointing (but nothing to do with Humax) is the limited HD content and lack of certain channels (including Five) but it's early days and only a matter of time before more channels are added.

How it compares with forthcoming Freesat receivers from the Alba stable is yet to be seen, but judged on its own merits the Humax is a superb set-top box that perfectly shows off the benefits of the Freesat service.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Performance 8
  • Value 8
  • Features 8

The Pope

June 9, 2008, 6:24 pm

Sounds like we have a winner for my Freesat installation later this month :)

David 8

June 21, 2008, 5:37 pm

With regard to the HD content (BBC, Luxe)I would agree the performance is superb HOWEVER, no doubt due to the quality of the s.d. programs any upscaling causes the picture to appear soft and sometimes ill defined! On some channels apart from loss of edge definition solid areas appear to be too smooth, as if noise control has been introduced into the scaling process??. Having tried both Grundig and Goodmans receivers I found that their upscaled s.d. was far more pleasing to the eye, edge definition and general detail being to my mind noticably better. I will keep the Humax as it is a lot more flexible for interconnects etc. Comments welcome.

David Clarke.

Steve Oll

July 11, 2008, 10:04 pm

Sounds like a decent set top box. I just purchased an SD digital satellite system from Lidl here in Ireland for 80 Euros that includes the dish and coax cables, etc. I installed the system myself and can get 800+ channels from Astra 28.2E Satellite. Sounds good that I can just plug this new box in addition to the one that have already and get HD channels as well.

The channel setup on this box needs a postcode to get the local channels setup right (seems like from the review it couldn't do this properly). As I now live in Ireland I was wondering if this function can be overidden so that I can choose the regional channels that I want that I can do with the SD satellite receiver I already have. Also, does the box have phono output so I can hook it up to my old stereo (no fancy surround sound setup yet)

Andy Vandervell

August 29, 2008, 6:38 pm

Well I wouldn't read too much into the price just yet. Humax were unwilling to name a price and simply said something along the lines of: "you could say it's twice the machine of the FOXSAT-HD". Like all these things it'll probably start high and come down fairly steadily.

Martin Kulin

September 9, 2008, 7:25 pm

I have SKY + and pay about 㿌 a month for 2 boxes and basic package and was fed up with its monopoly, I thought of upggrading to SKY hd but have to pay for teh box 𧵎 + 㾶 a month (why should I?) I went to Currys got the HUMAX Free SAT HD box and was blown away, I will certainly buy the recorder version when it arrives and then dump SKY totally, its amazing, teh quality and the small footprint of thsi box is just 100%, no issues other tahn I wish there were more channels, but there will be and I like teh fact ITV will not allow sky its HD version. Go for it, its brill


December 22, 2008, 10:32 pm

I have a Humax hd box and have tried the new hd pvr and find on both the optical digital conection does not work with my sony str-da1200es multichannel av reciever.I have sky hd which works perfectly but is expensive.Niether sony or humax can help.Can anyone tell me why please.there is no fault on any of the equipment that i can find.

Andrew 21

September 17, 2009, 1:15 am

I bought the Foxsat hd after reading the reviews and I can tell you it is a piece of junk. The remote broke after a couple of weeks and had to be replaced. Ok this can happen. The main problems are as follows:- There is a delay after pressing the remote buttons which means you have to wait for the machine to catch up after pressing a button and I can tell you it drive you mad, you have to have the remote pointing exactly at the machine for the remote to work at all, the remote buttons are all over with the most used buttons hidden amongst the ones you never need, now I cannot delete the programs i have watched (i could do at one time) so I will be back on the phone to Humax, and to top it all there is no return path built in to the back (as you get on sky boxes and is industry standard) so if you want to output the signal to a distribution amp or to another room you are stuffed. The picture quality is good and the hdd is good but the machine is a pig to use and drives you round the bend. Better to wait till something better comes out.

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