The BBC iPlayer interface on the Humax Portal is very similar to other versions of embedded iPlayer we've seen. So if you've used it on a Sony TV or a PlayStation 3, you'll be very familiar with it.
It's fairly quick to load, albeit more sluggish than Sky Player on our fast-as-you-like connection - it seems to take 15-20 seconds to load up from the Portal menu. Quality is brilliant and loading times once you're in are not too much of an issue at all.
All videos open in full screen without needing an additional button click - always a relief.
Unlike Sky Player there's no access to live TV, but why you'd need a feature like that on a Freeview HD box we don't know.
Using a set-top box and TV combo to listen to the radio is a bit of a bugbear for us. It's got to be the most energy inefficient and environmentally unfriendly method of entertainment imaginable.
However, if you simply must use this feature, the Internet TV app seems to work pretty well.
It's a it of a pain to navigate using the remote control, but once you've found stations you like it's super-easy to add to your favourites list.
Curiously, even though there's a BBC menu option fairly high up in the menu system, the only channel in there is something claiming to be 'BBC Russia'. A browse through the UK stations and a search for BBC confirmed that there really are none of the popular BBC radio stations available here.
Flickr and WIKI @ TV
The last two apps are an unofficial Flickr app which seems fairly useless as it doesn't appear to have a search option. The app itself boldly displays a message saying "this product uses the Flickr API but is not endorsed or certified by Flickr".
Without a search option we were left to browse the images in the 'explore' screen. We were able to enter an email address in order to track down a friend's Flickr images, but there was no option to search for specific pictures.
And the WIKI @ TV app is exactly as you'd expect - it allows you to search Wikipedia. It's a basic interface but it seemed to work fairly well. We can imagine it being useful on the odd occasion to look up something you've just heard on QI, but really, we can't imagine ever using it ourselves.
Clearly, the major draws of the Humax TV Portal are Sky Player and BBC iPlayer. And so that's what we're going to judge it on.
Both services work very well and we can't imagine anyone being disappointed by the quality of the video or the simplicity of the interfaces. Browsing is quick and painless.
The missing Sky Player channels are a bit of a a let-down, but if Humax is right and the likes of Sky One will be added shortly, there's no need to lose any sleep over it.