The beauty of setting up a Freeview PVR is that you only have to plug in your rooftop aerial – no faffing about with satellite dishes. Once it’s up and running an installation wizard runs through the important stuff to save you the hassle later on – language, aspect ratio, resolution and channel search. It’s extremely quick and easy.
We plugged in an Ethernet cable and the HDR-2000T had sorted out its internet connection before we’d even picked up the remote. We weren’t sent a USB dongle but we’re guessing setup is similarly straightforward.
Although onscreen presentation isn’t a patch on Humax’s YouView recorder, all of the menus are attractive and easy to follow. It doesn’t take long before you’re whizzing through them like a pro.
The main menu is superimposed over the picture, sporting large, crisply resolved text and attractive icons. From here you can jump straight to the channel list, EPG, TV Portal or the Settings menu. There are video, music and photo options too. It’s no-frills stuff but gets the job done.
The TV Portal uses large app logos over a black background, which is hardly radical but we like its clarity. Media browsing is easy too. From the media menu, use the blue button to switch between HDD, USB or Network, and the yellow key to switch between music, video and photo. Recordings are listed with comprehensive details and a thumbnail, but there are no editing features besides renaming or copying.
The EPG is intelligently designed and easy on the eye. Humax has squeezed everything onto the screen without making it feel too cluttered, including a live TV screen, synopsis and seven-channel programme grid. Long programme names and synopses are shortened, but you only have to select them or hit the ‘i’ key to read them in full.
You can search by keyword or genre, but even more useful is that you can filter the channels so it only shows the HD ones, or ones you’ve used recently. Excitingly, forthcoming HD channels like BBC Three HD and CBBC HD are already listed in the EPG ahead of their launch next year.
If you want a quicker way of checking what’s on, hit ‘i’ and the onscreen banner lets you browse any channel days in advance – it doesn’t limit you to ‘now and next’ like some Freeview receivers.
We love Humax’s remotes, not only for their effortless usability but also for their coffee table appeal. The gloss black finish, curved sides and central silver ring is a good look. Clear labelling and helpful button placement make it easy to use, although the Record and Menu buttons are too high up – you need to shimmy your hand upwards to reach them. The remote can also be programmed to control a TV.