It’s Humax’s latest Freeview HD TV recorder, equipped with a 500GB hard disk and dual HD Freeview tuners. It lacks the impressive YouView catch-up TV service offered by the company’s Humax DTR-T1010 recorder, but you can still watch content from BBC iPlayer and other on-demand apps found in Humax’s TV Portal section. Elsewhere the HDR-2000T’s multimedia functionality makes it much more than just a TV recorder.
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The Humax HDR-2000T is compact and classy. Measuring just 320mm wide and 50mm high, it’s easy to slide into nooks and crannies, while the sleek black finish and gleaming brushed silver fascia is a chic combination. The casing is robustly built, as you’d expect at this price. On the front is a light that glows blue when activated or red when recording, alongside a row of discreet controls for changing channels and volume.On the bottom right-hand corner of the fascia is a USB port that lets you play music, video and photos from flash drives. On the back are HDMI, Scart and composite video outputs, optical digital and analogue stereo outputs and RF in/loopthrough. That’s a decent selection, and the Scart output is useful if you want to make copies of hard-disk programmes on an external DVD
There’s no built-in Wi-Fi sadly, but you can connect the Humax to your router (or a Homeplug system) via the Ethernet port, or you can buy an optional wireless LAN dongle and connect it to the second USB port.
The 500GB hard disk and dual tuner are standard fare these days, but less common is the range of network features, which includes a range of internet content and DLNA streaming of media files across a home network.
Internet content is found in Humax’s TV Portal menu. The selection is decent but the lack of ITV Player, 4OD and Demand 5 makes Humax’s YouView box a more appealing prospect.
There’s BBC iPlayer, BBC News, BBC Sport, YouTube, Picasa, Teletext Holidays, Wiki TV, Flickr and an internet radio app. That’s just what we found on the initial screen, but there are loads more to download in the App Market, including Daily Express, OK Magazine, Twitter and Bible TV. Pay TV streaming service VuTV will be added soon, providing access to Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.
Hit the Media key and it’ll bring up a list of PCs and servers on your home network. You can browse folders and files and play them through your TV. The list of supported formats is lengthy – we had no trouble streaming XviD, WMV HD, hi-def AVI, AVCHD and MP4 but there’s no streaming support for DivX or MKV. On the music side the Humax HDR-2000T is limited to MP3 playback. Alternatively you can play files from USB storage devices and doing so allows you to play MKV and DivX.
The 500GB hard disk gives you 125 hours’ worth of high-definition recording time to play with, or 300 hours of standard definition. The dual-tuner arrangement is more flexible than many PVRs, allowing you to record two channels simultaneously and watch a third channel while they record. This feature is pure gold but it’s not really flagged up in the manual or on the box – we’d be shouting it from the rooftops. You can, of course, play a programme from the start while it’s still being recorded onto the hard disk, what they used to call ‘chasing playback’.
There’s also an excellent range of recording features like Series Link, split programme recording, recording clash alerts, accurate recording (which tracks changes to the schedules so you don’t miss anything) and pause/rewind live TV. When watching a programme in SD, a little box appears at the top of the screen offering the change to watch in HD by pressing OK. Nice.
The Humax HDR-2000T also supports Dolby Digital Plus, subtitles and Audio Description.