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Humax HB-1000S Performance and Verdict

By Danny Phillips


  • Recommended by TR
Humax HB-1000S


Our Score


User Score

Review Price £99.00

Humax HB-1000S – Performance

We have absolutely no qualms over the HB-1000S’s performance. It delivers piercing high-definition pictures, bursting with detail and rich colours. From tea-time game shows to glossy BBC dramas, the Humax renders them all with enticing clarity and depth, niftily side-stepping noise and judder in the process.

Humax HB-1000S

Naturally, standard-definition pictures don’t have the same impact due to the higher levels of block and mosquito noise – aging sit-coms on low-grade channels like ITV3 look particularly fuzzy and muted – but that’s down to broadcast bitrates more than any performance shortcomings from the Humax.

Humax HB-1000S

Also impressive are pictures from the on-demand services. Streamed video looks solid and smooth, with strong colours and good detail. There’s some noise in the picture but nothing likely to ruin your enjoyment. There were a couple of hairy moments when programmes on BBC iPlayer refused to play but on the whole the freetime experience is smooth and hassle-free.

Operating speed is also fast – menus segue into each other quickly, the complex EPG slides from page to page without delay and box responds instantly to remote commands. There are some nice flourishes, like the live TV box that zooms from small to fullscreen. It’s an impressive performer.

Humax HB-1000S

Should I buy the Humax HB-1000S?

Given its price, generous feature list and super-smooth operation, the HB-1000S is an excellent purchase. Freetime would be worth the money alone – having every catch-up TV service as part of the EPG is a godsend – but it’s backed up by loads of other features, like file streaming, online apps and USB media playback.

But what’s most impressive is how everything is executed with slickness and sophistication. The menus look great, it’s easy to set setup is a cinch and the EPG makes it easy to find programmes in the past, present and future.

Only built-in Wi-Fi and greater flexibility in non-Freesat mode (like the Manhattan) would have improved it, but as it stands the HB-1000S is a top-drawer Freesat box.

Humax HB-1000S – Verdict

With loads of features, slick operation and terrific performance, the HB-1000S is an impressive Freesat receiver

Want to match up the Humax HB-1000S to a great telly? The read about the Best TVs

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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.

ps.it dosn't work with usb stick only HDD, but it helped finding out the above ^^^^^^

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