Humax PVR-9300T Freeview PVR - Humax PVR-9300T

By Danny Phillips



  • Recommended by TR
Humax PVR-9300T Freeview PVR


Our Score:


The rear panel is even more interesting. The most significant addition is HDMI output, which offers a clean all-digital connection to your flat-panel TV and allows you to upscale Freeview pictures to 720p, but strangely not 1080i. It's taken a while for HDMI to make its way to the Freeview PVR market but with Humax and Topfield leading the way, others are sure to follow suit.

You'll also find a USB port on the rear, but this isn't activated and will only be found on early models of the PVR-9300T - it will be removed from later versions; a response to customer feedback said that a USB port wasn't a key feature. Fair enough, but it's still always nice to have the option.

Also included in the connections roster are two SCART sockets, one of which offers RGB, S-video and composite output, the other offers S-video and composite. They're joined by composite video and stereo audio outputs, plus an optical digital audio output that can send a Dolby Digital bitstream to an AV receiver. There's also an RS-232 port for making software updates manually, but these are usually carried out automatically using over-the-air updates.

The rest of the feature list goes well beyond the norm. You can chop out sections of a recording using an editing tool that lets you enter start and stop points in real time, or split a recording in two. The picture-in-picture mode lets you watch two channels at the same time and even has its own set of controls on the remote. You get access to all the usual Freeview features including lightning fast digital text, MHEG support, favourite channel lists and subtitles, which can also be recorded. There are also four devilishly addictive games embedded in the firmware, which help pass the time when there's nothing on TV.

When you first power up the unit, the automatic channel tuning takes the hassle out of installation, and in action it's a well-oiled machine with slick, responsive software that brings up menus and changes channels very quickly. The onscreen presentation is also faultless - the setup menu uses large icons, huge text and an appealing colour scheme, and as you're browsing the channels the ‘i-Plate' display gives more info than you could ever need (including whether the current channel has interactive content and subtitles). The Time Bar can be called up while watching TV to provide an overview of the current playback or recording status.


August 14, 2008, 6:33 am

We've recently upgraded from a cheap PVR (the one with the mirror finish) to the 9200T and while the extra recording capability is really nice I found the usability somewhat lower. While the cheap one's remote had big buttons for the recorded programs and programs scheduled to record the humax hides the list of recordings under the slidy bit and relegates the programs to be recorded to an option inside the menu.

Further with the humax although you can set up recordings using the EPG you trying to do so on a program that's already started just switches you to that program, very annoying!

And on the subject of the EPG the humax won't do a full height one, it only gives you five channels with an info pane at the top which doesn't seem to be toggleable (and doesn't show you any information about the selected program).

I did consider this model because of it's very low standby power consumption (0.6w compared to 6w for the 9200T and 15w(!) for the topfield 5810) but with reconditioned 9200Ts availible direct from Humax for 𧴦 and the non-functional USB port on this the choice was made in favour of the older one.

p.s. There is also a very good comparison chart between various PVRs that helped tremendously here:


August 14, 2008, 6:53 am

Sounds like a lovely piece of kit - So glad Humax have got this out of their system - now roll on the FreeSat HD Version .... taps foot impatiently


August 14, 2008, 12:42 pm

"In fact the only operational flaws we could find were minor ones - to enter the list of recorded programmes, you have to enter the setup menu rather than simply hitting a button on the remote."

On the 9200T there is a button that loads the list of recorded programs as a pop-up and keeps the TV in the background. Drop the flap on the remote and its on the top row second from the right (little box with a few horizontal lines), I'd be surprised if they have removed that from the latest version.

Peter A

August 14, 2008, 1:25 pm

Humax's are groaning under the weight of their own extensive functionality; complicated menus, options and button presses that get in the way of doing the basics: watch tv, record it, play it back. Whilst Sky+ may cost a minimum 㾶 / month and have a couple of annoyances that are way overdue a fix, watching TV, recording it and playing it back are lessons in simplicity. Having switched to a Humax from Sky+, we've all but stopped using live pause and recording of TV. Putting recordings and planned recordings in different screens is moronic. Not showing the day of the week, but the date it was recorded? Stupidity in design rarely seen outside Yugo's R&D* lab. There's Sky+ and there's everything else. Nothing comes close. And this from someone who loathes the Sky monopoly.

And TR, whilst I'm on my soapbox: any review of any PVR that doesn't show several screengrabs of the EPG: 0/10.

* Yes, yes, it was probably just some bloke in a corner office with some crayons.


August 14, 2008, 1:49 pm

Looks good, parents have the 9200T might look at getting this, however a shame Component video was missed out


m memmory

August 14, 2008, 1:50 pm

I have a PVR-9200T and I must say that, although it's different to Sky+, it's every bit as easy to get through.

Having just 1 button to get to the TV guide or to your list of recorded programs beats the menus my dad has to drill into to get his recordings & viewing all sorted. Plus being able to see the TV while selecting what to record is brilliant. And as for not showing the day of the week it was recorded - I'd much prefer to have the date it was recorded personally so that when I'm listing my recordings by title I can see which order the programs were shown quickly & easily.

Sky+ is nice and easy enough my dad (who doesn't work these things out easily) likes it but I much prefer my PVR. Each to thier own and what they get used to first I guess.

The one thing that I did have to do with my PVR is remove the sliding bit at the bottom - there's 2-3 of those buttons I use all the time and having to slide that down was getting irritating.


August 14, 2008, 4:22 pm

Is the main difference with the other one the size of hard drive and the lack of HD?


August 14, 2008, 6:14 pm

Another person here who wouldn't mind some screenshots of the EPG, even if it is just to compare it with my V+ Box.


August 15, 2008, 2:36 am

Pbryanw, its the same EPG as the PVR-9200t. Screenshots and video are uploaded on

Matt G Baish

August 15, 2008, 4:15 pm

'... a response to customer feedback said that a USB port wasn't a key feature'

What! That IMHO is absolute rubbish (both the fact & the reason)! How are you supposed to archive the stuff?! The reason I have delayed upgrading from my 8000T (or whatever its called :) was because I want a decent archive facility (i.e. not having to reply on recording off the SCART). A friend has the 9200T and says the bundled Humax SW is rubbish but that third party apps to the job well (slow speed but quality high) and I had hoped they may have improved things with the 9300T. I think this omission is more technical and/or political (i.e. I seem to remember that Humax have cited copyright issues in the past).

Bah! Another contender consigned to the `oh so nearly` bin.


August 15, 2008, 8:48 pm

Thanks for the link darkmavis. My last Humax was the 8000T. It looks like things have moved on a great deal since then (I hope the new Humax boxes allow padding now), but I'm happy with my V+ Box at the moment (plus I'm still in a 12 month contract with Virgin).


August 19, 2008, 11:38 pm

Peter complains that his HUMAX system is inferior to his old Sky box, and that he's stopped using features like live pause.


If you want live pause, press the 'Pause' button on the remote and you'll find it works the exact same way. And yes, while the HUMAX interface does have its idiosyncrasies (or, put another way, it's not the same as your Sky box), once you've gotten used to them you'll find the whole experience much faster than before.

For example, scheduling multiple programmes in the EPG no longer has you hopping endlessly between the guide and the upcoming recordings list. You select which one you want, and it's flagged live in the guide. You can also search for programmes by title, and aren't made to lean on the 'Page Down' button and scroll through a seemingly endless list of junk. And where a Sky box will often ask you to change what you're watching so that it can record two programmes simultaneously, it's seldom that you'll find yourself running into the same problem. As mentioned in the review, you can watch a show on the same multiplex as any other you're recording, and still have the headroom to record something else entirely.

I should say that I find the box slightly noiser than my old Sky HD box, and the fact the EPG doesn't appear to be saved when you switch the box off is my main annoyance (made worse by the fact the 9200 did it too). However, I chose the HUMAX over its rivals for two reasons: one, HUMAX support in this country seems superb (I've received a number of emails explaining that my box will be auto-upgraded, and that I just have to leave it on overnight), and two, the equivalent Topfield is not only 𧴜 more expensive but also lacks a very crucial feature. You can't press 'Record' in the middle of a program and have it continue to the end. The TR review dismisses this as minor, but for me that's half the point in having a PVR. If the phone goes, someone raps on your front door, or one of the kids is sick, you'll want the programme you were watching recorded from where you left off all the way to the end. The fact the Topfield doesn't do that for you is just unbelievably stupid.

Andrew Jones

August 22, 2008, 6:13 am

The Humax also has some other interesting things which the review fails to mention..

1) the Humax constantly buffers whatever channel you are watching for 2 hours (when it isn't actively recording something) meaning you can rewind back for up to 2 hours!

2) if you find yourself sitting partway through a film and think I wish I had recorded this... rewind the box to the beginning of the film and then press record - whatever has already been broadcast is stuck on the front of the recording and the box records to the end of the current program / film - end result - the entire program! Best function ever!

Jay Werfalli

August 29, 2008, 4:07 am

We've added some screenshots of the EPG.

Nick 3

September 5, 2008, 5:20 pm

For Xiphias, On recording once a program has started. If you use the record button (the one with the red dot to the left of the pause button) while tuned to the channel you want to record it picks it up there, it does sometimes take a second or two but be patient....


October 2, 2008, 2:15 pm

These reviews are so informative - thanks all.

I've been in the mark for some time now lookat PVR's.

Decided on a Humax but not sure whether to go for the 9150T or the 9200 because of price.

Apart from upscaling to 720 with HDMI and the Freeview + function are there any other glaring differences?

Tx in advance!


November 19, 2008, 5:27 pm

I bought one of these but took it back after 2 Days. The Fan noise is totally unacceptable for use. I happen to be a specialist in noise & vibration problems and this problem has been widely investigated (and solved) in Disc drives.


November 20, 2008, 8:05 pm

Fan noise problem is (supposedly) due to be tackled (solved?) in new software update 1.00.12 available OTA at the end of the month.

We'll see if it makes any difference - personally, I'm waiting to see how this upgrade is received before I splash out!

Paul 8

November 28, 2008, 6:33 pm

Received the 1.00.12 upgrade this morning, the automatic uprgade failed with an E-HW error, but running a manual upgrade successfully downloaded the update and installed it; the good news is that it fixes the issue with fan noise - the fan kicks in on a power up of the unit but as soon as the boot-up sequence completes (a few seconds) it runs in blissful silence.


November 30, 2008, 6:09 pm

Excellent news - thanks Paul! Will definitely consider buying now. :-)

Graham 9

December 4, 2008, 2:51 pm

I just bought this machine yesterday - the software version it installed ends with 06 and the fan is noisy, so I have tried to do an automatic update to the new software that ends with 12 which apparently addresses the problem. I've had no luck as the machine tells me that there are no updates available. Can anyone help? it's bound to be me that's the problem - I also tried to do a manual update, but I don't really understand what I'm supposed to do!


December 16, 2008, 9:02 pm

I have had the Humax 9300T for about 6 week (so still learning!!) Can anyone tell me if, having set the box to record for, say, a couple of days, is it OK to put the box onto "standby"? When I did this, it only recorded for a 24 hour period. The next time, I left the box on - only to come back to the fan still going(!!) and the picture was frozen and I had to unplug it! I have emailed Humax twice and phone twice, but cannot get through to them.

Any advice would be most welcome!



January 4, 2009, 10:38 pm

Has anybody noticed the picture quality on the 9300t? I have been setting one up today for my father in law and couldnt help noticing the quality being much worse than I expected on a PVR that has set him back the best part of 𧶀. I have adjusted the output to 720p (What no 1080P!!) into his Toshiba HD TV. The Tosh is really smooth and has great clarity on its own off air terrestrial internal reciever but when the source is changed to the Humax a very noisy mushy picture is displayed. Is this common or is this unit faulty? or Have not quite set things up quite right? I have a VPlus box at home and the quailty of that absolutely destroys the Humax. Any Ideas?


January 9, 2009, 8:32 pm

Hi everyone, got one of these at Christmas - love it. However I have one question. It doesn't seem possible to just set a program reminder in the EPG for a future program, it always puts a recording reservation on. Sometimes I just want to be reminded that theres a program on I want to watch - not record it. SKY+, V+ and other Freeview boxes allow this to be done - anyone know if its possible. Also, yes, the fan noise is quite loud (as it was on my V+ box) - can something be done about it? Thanks for any advice you might have, cheers!


January 12, 2009, 12:39 pm

Pastyman, I have my 9300T500 connected to a 40in Sony Digital LCD TV. I too have found that, when connected to the TV via the supplied HDMI cable, the picture is not good (all I've done is plug it in both ends & selected 720p via the PVR's menu, have I done it right?). However, when connected using one of the TV's RGB scarts, the picture is superb, a much better picture than when viewed via the Sony's onboard digital tuner! Give it a try.

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