The follow-up to Humax's much lauded PVR-9200T has been a long time coming, but given the exceptional quality of its first PVR, the company's reluctance to replace it is hardly surprising - if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But after keeping the 9200T on life support with firmware updates and seeing rival manufacturer Topfield snatch its crown with the superb TF5810PVRt, Humax has finally burst back onto the scene with two new models, the 160GB PVR-9150T and top-spec PVR-9300T.
The PVR-9300T boasts a 320GB hard-disk, which is double the capacity of the PVR-9200T and is rather generous by usual PVR standards. It enables you to record up to 200 hours of TV, but if you need more than that then we suggest you get out more. It also features twin Freeview tuners, giving you the flexibility to record one channel while watching another, or even record two channels simultaneously while watching a third, which is a rare talent in the PVR world.
However, there are restrictions - if you're recording two channels on different multiplexes, then you can only watch a third channel if it's on the same multiplex as one of the channels being recorded. But if you're recording two channels on the same multiplex, then you can watch a third channel from any multiplex. It sounds complicated, but trust us, it's a very useful feature.
Additionally, you can also watch a recording from the start while it's still being recorded thanks to the Chase Play feature, or watch a previous recording while recording two channels.
The other important feature of the PVR-9300T is its Freeview+ compatibility (formerly Freeview Playback) which makes it nigh-on impossible to miss your favourite programmes. Schedule tracking means the unit will record a programme accurately even when the schedule changes, while series link records an entire series at the touch of a button. Alternate instance recording alerts you when recordings clash and lets you know when the programme is being repeated.
Although it's still no oil painting, the aesthetic design is a big improvement on the PVR9200T. It's slimmer and sexier, with the display panel moved to the centre and all of the control buttons hidden under a flap on the left. The black finish is attractive and the information panel is bright and legible, helpfully giving the full channel name and the time. On the right is another flap that hides a common interface slot for adding subscription TV channels.