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