Humax HB-1000S review



  • Recommended by TR
Humax HB-1000S


Our Score


User Score


  • Generous features
  • Slick freetime EPG and menus
  • Superb HD pictures


  • Wi-Fi not built-in
  • Limited non-Freesat mode
  • Plasticky fascia

Review Price £99.00

Key Features: BBC iPlayer, 4OD, ITV Player, Demand 5, YouTube; Network file streaming; USB media playback; Internet apps; USB HDD recording

Manufacturer: Humax

What is the Humax HB-1000S?

It’s a Freesat receiver with freetime, a feature that lets you access on-demand TV straight from the programme guide alongside live broadcasts. Its compact design and affordable price make it ideal for use in a second room, or as a cost-effective way of bringing catch-up TV into the living room. But it’s not just about TV – this smart little box of tricks also plays media files from networked servers and USB devices.

Humax HB-1000S

Humax HB-1000S – Design

The box itself is slim and compact, perfect for slipping into a tight spot. It’s styled in a tasteful black finish with a brushed strip on the front, although it’s nowhere near as glamorous as Humax’s HDR-1010S Freesat PVR. The fascia is plasticky and there’s no LED display (just a boring light) but the rest of the casing is nice and robust. There are no controls on the box itself apart from a standby button.

Humax HB-1000S

Humax HB-1000S – Connections

Somehow Humax has crammed loads of sockets onto the skinny rear panel. There’s an HDMI output for piping high-definition pictures to your TV; an LNB input to feed in a signal from a satellite dish; two USB ports – one of which can be used to connect a USB hard drive, another for Humax’s optional wireless LAN dongle – plus analogue stereo, composite video and optical digital outputs. The line-up is competed by an Ethernet port for a wired connection to your router or homeplug.

Humax HB-1000S

Humax HB-1000S – Features

As well as bringing you almost 200 free satellite channels, six of which are high-definition, the HB-1000S also gives you access to all of the UK’s catch-up TV services – BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD and Demand Five. These can be accessed though the EPG (more on that in ‘Operation’) or from the dedicated ‘On-Demand’ section, which throws in YouTube for good measure. Additionally the TV Portal section houses a range of other apps, including Wiki TV, Flickr, Picasa, Teletext Holidays, OK!, the Daily Star and Daily Express.

Humax HB-1000S

You can also play your own music, video and photo files from USB devices or from servers connected to your home network. That’s a lot of functionality for a ‘simple’ Freesat receiver.

As if that wasn’t enough, the HB-1000S can also be turned into a PVR by connecting an external hard disk to the USB port. That means you can schedule recordings from the EPG and record an entire series at the push of a button. There’s only one Freesat tuner, so you can’t record one channel and watch another, but it’s great for recording stuff while you’re out.

Elsewhere the Humax can upscale any channel to 1080p and is compatible with Dolby Digital Plus.

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October 1, 2013, 8:51 am

If this were Freeview HD & not Freesat, this would be perfect for me. Do you know if they have plans to release a Freeview version?


October 1, 2013, 11:28 am

Decent specs and review but I could never bring myself to put something that ugly under my TV.

Paul Walton

October 1, 2013, 3:48 pm

I think it looks good not ugly, Humax have been one of the best setr top box makers for years


October 2, 2013, 3:42 pm

Is there a compating product that also throws Netflix and LoveFilm into the mix? With that I'd be able to replace the PS3 for these duties


October 6, 2013, 3:31 pm

Does the remote actually work? I've had a couple of humax boxes and they're great, but the remotes are terrible - had to replace with 3rd party models...


October 30, 2013, 5:56 pm

Remote works great, quick and seamless.

I had a Foxsat before and its light years ahead of it :-)

Slight niggle with changing channel if recording but thats same for any single tuner box

Love it


November 9, 2013, 8:53 am

no itv player available in Scotland, but available on Samsung smart tv


November 13, 2013, 5:38 pm

There is YouView which is essentially the same thing but with Freeview instead. Definitely recommend YouView.


November 14, 2013, 2:26 pm

Unfortunately there is no DLNA facility on Youview, which is essential to me. At the moment to get both catch-up TV for all channels in addition to DLNA, I need to buy two boxes, which is ridiculous!


November 23, 2013, 8:59 pm

Interesting review and I will probably buy one but your Specification page seems to be nonsense. According to your info it has no HDMI input or output, no USB input/output and no CAT5 Ethernet connection and no mention of the network DLNA capability! Who checked this list? Regarding the unit's design, why is the USB connection (yes, it does have one!) not on the front panel to make flash drive access easy? having to fiddle at the back of the unit seems an unnecessary inconvenience.

Mick Emmett

January 15, 2014, 5:25 pm

After having this box for a week now; I can honestly say it's a big disappointment. I had hoped to be able to record to a memory stick so I could then take the stick up to the telly in my bedroom and watch recorded films up there but no, it will not record to memory sticks; only HDD's. It wouldn't be any good if it did record to a stick any way as the recordings are encrypted and you can only watch them back through the Humax box anyway. You also cannot record anything from catchup TV (you can with a sky box) don't know why this function isn't available? You are also not able to delete your recordings yourself after you have watched them, the box uses a first in first out system where the box deletes recordings when the HDD becomes near to full, you can mark programs so they are not deleted if you wish to save them but you cannot manually delete them yourself; which leads to endless lists of programs to search through to find the one you want. It does have a nice user interface but things like the DNLA feature; the ability to play films and music etc from other devices attached to the network is hidden away in the menus and not a single mention of this facility or how to use it is mentioned anywhere in the manual; very poor. The unit has locked up on a number of occasions and the only way to get it functioning again was to unplug the power cord and plug it back in again. A permanent bug is that when you come out from watching something on catch up back to normal freesat you are met with a blank screen instead of the freesat channel picture you should be seeing, it doesn't matter if you go in to the channel menu and select the channel; it simply will not appear, the only way to get it back is to go up or down a channel number and then back up or down to the original channel number you were on; the picture and sound will then appear on the screen as it should. Picture quality is good with the option to upscale to 1080p and sound quality is good but I suppose that all depends on how good your tv is. Another problem I have had but won't apply to all is that I now have two humax boxes, unfortunately humax seem to use the same remote frequencies for my new box (hb 1000s) as they did for my old box so I can't change the channel on one box without it affecting the other box, could be awkward if recording on one and watching something else on the other box. Yet another problem I had yesterday was that when I went to watch a program I had left it recording I was told that recording was not available and that if I wanted to record I needed to plug a hard drive in to the unit, the unit had a hard drive plugged in and I had been watching recorded programs from it for the last few days? The only way the unit would recognize the hard drive again was to unplug the hard drive and plug it back in, the humax then said to be able to use the HDD I would have to format it, that of course meant any recordings would be lost. As soon as I powered up the box it updated the software so these are problems that exist with the box right now and can't at the moment be resolved with a software update (as it has the latest version installed), maybe in time there will be a new update to resolve the problems. As it is now I wouldn't recommend this bug riddled unit to anyone, pay a little extra and get a proper freesat recorder with 2 tuners (this unit only has one so you can only record the channel it is on) and a hard disk drive built in.


August 21, 2014, 12:20 pm

I have just bought the humax 1000s which has the facility to record however when I connected my external hard drive it does not recognise what I recorded before which is a huge disappointment also trying to delete or select favourites is nigh impossible as the instruction manual is hopeless saying that the epg and the remote are great


December 1, 2014, 5:32 pm

Thank goodness I read your review - encrypting the recordings is a killer! No thank you! That is a crucial bit of info missing from the review. I want to do the same as you - record and go to another tv.


December 4, 2014, 10:36 pm

I own a HB-1000s freesat hd with freetime.

In the manual or videos;-

It dosn't tell you anywhere how to format or pair a HDD

It dosn't explain what this IS or which one 's to buy.

Also how big the storage space the HDD needs to be?

For anyone over 40 years old I would say that was a nightmere!

I know NOW (after hours of looking and messing about with a usb stick) that it is

Settings, System settings, Storage, Start disk format. dosn't work with usb stick only HDD, but it helped finding out the above ^^^^^^

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