Preview: Humax Foxsat-HDR


As it's the only Freesat+ PVR to appear this year, all eyes have been on Humax to deliver a potential Sky+ HD 'killer' in time for the busy Christmas FTA HD schedules.

Freesat is just that - free. So if you're not inclined to pay Uncle Rupert for your HD TV (although Sky does have many more channels) you may well be excited at the prospect of a twin-tuner, dual recording SD/HD satellite PVR with an EPG that is more advanced than that found on most non-Freesat products.

Pause and rewind

Based on a next-generation version of Humax's iCord receiver, the HDR has an eye-catching blue fascia and matching clear LED display that somewhat resembles a Blu-ray player.

Its 320GB hard disc is capable of storing up to 80 hours of HD programming or 200 hours of SD.

The EPG is up to the standards of Humax's Foxsat HD zapper, with the added benefits of series recording, radio recording, schedule tracking to accommodate changes and split programme recording.

Freesat is calling this trickery Freesat+, a move that could spread further confusion among certain brand-bewildered electronics shop staff.

You can pause and rewind live TV and there's support for Freesat's enhanced interactive and digital text services. Notable connections include HDMI and component outputs for HD, two Scarts, Ethernet, a digital audio output and a CI slot. You can also transfer SD recordings, MP3 and JPEG files to and from the hard disc via USB.

The Humax Foxsat-HDR is shaping up to be a real blinder, and will shortly be put through the TechRadar testing labs. We'll have a full review for you soon.