Humax DTR-T2000 YouView review

A capable YouView recorder that's lacking when it comes to specs

Humax DTR-T2000 YouView

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Humax has fixed the slightly jarring gap between the slick YouView user interface and the apps that contain the on-demand content, and provides a tad more processing power, too. However, there's still no USB media playback, no Wi-Fi, and for now the DTR-T2000 is limited to a paltry 500GB hard disk.

We liked

YouView is so easy to use that's it's easy to love, and the ability to scroll back through the last week and instantly play on-demand programmes is addictive.

The guide page at the centre of the YouView experience is excellent; clear, HD graphics in black, blue and white make it easy to look at, while a live TV thumbnail in the top right-hand corner means it's not too dominating.

There's a handy search option, too. Just hit 'search' on either the remote control or select from the YouView carousel and begin entering a search term using the numbered keypad. The DTR-T2000 displays its best guess almost immediately in a ticker-tape above. Press that and a carousel of up to five images from relevant programmes is shown, switchable from On Demand and On Now & Next, all while an almost full-screen live TV picture plays above.

The chance to do all of this remotely via the YouView app for iOS and Android is a great idea that puts the platform into the big league with Virgin and Sky.

We disliked

What no Wi-Fi? OK, so set-top boxes from Virgin and Sky don't have this either, but surely Humax should be aiming higher if it wants YouView to supplant the big players. Ditto digital media playback from its dual USB slots, both of which should be 'live' to bring a must-have all-in-one feel about the DTR-T2000.

Though the set-up is a cinch, with the DTR-T2000 tuning in 144 TV and radio channels inside five minutes and checking our online status, it then forgot all of the Freeview channels it had found earlier in the set-up process, and gave me no easy one-touch option to re-tune.

Once I had re-tuned the box, it then froze. It stalled a couple of times later in the review, too, though for 99% of the time it was a breeze to use (this shouldn't be considered a terminal problem; Virgin's TiVo stalls all of the time!). However, two tuners is limiting, and a big reason why many go for a Virgin Tivo box over a Sky+HD box.

It's not just that more programmes can be recorded simultaneously, but rather that if you're recording two programmes, you then can't watch another channel. Anyone who's had TiVo will consider the (in some ways much more polished) DTR-T2000 a step-down. A three-tuner version would redress the imbalance that free-to-air TV currently suffers from. Ditto the 500GB hard disk; a 1TB upgrade option would be useful.

Final verdict

More needs to be done to make YouView a success, and it's largely down to hardware like this basic box. The DTR-T2000 is a well made, good value product, but it doesn't have the inspiring catch-all spec it should. Without Wi-Fi, the placement of the DTR-T2000 will be problematic for many, while the lack of digital media file playback over USB (something Humax set-top boxes have been marvellous at in the past) also limits its appeal.

The ability to scroll back seven days, search, browse, record, pause and rewind live TV, all for no subscription fee, is alluring, and the price is nice, but the DTR-T2000 lacks the bells and whistles to make it a must-have product.

Also consider

Since the DTR-T2000 is the newest incarnation of a YouView box, it ought to be the best. However, the older Humax DTR-T1010 has the option to double the hard disk capacity, and the BT YouView box is hard to ignore if you're already with BT.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),