Tag Archives: Humax

Humax Freesat with Freetime

Freesat introduced its smart tv platform in 2013, which was designed to be a competitor to smart TV platforms like Youview and Tivo (Virgin Media)

The main home screen, appears when you first turn on the reciever,

Now & Next bar, you can skim through the channels by using the Up & Down buttons

Pressing the i button bring up information about the current program, you can also view information for programs on other channels and future programs

The main TV guide, shows what’s currently on. Like most other internet connected EPG’s you can scroll backwards through the guide, which will then take you to an on demand link for the program.

A list of genres for certain channels, accesssed by pressing the List button

Where have all the music channels gone? Seems you need to manually tune them in these days

Showcase

Freetime showcase is mean to highlight and advertise upcoming programmes of interest. Similar to how TV guide magazines showcase programs of interest

Settings

This model supports both Ethernet and Wifi, however a separate USB dongle is required for WiFi functionality.

An external hard drive can be connected via USB to enable recording functionality, if you have a Freesat box that does not have an internal disk drive. This allows you to record and rewind TV, but with only one tuner you are limited to just one program/channel at a time.

Non-Freesat Mode

TV portal is still accessible in this mode.

Personally if you wish to manually tune on channels without any BS restrictions I would advise just to get a standalone FTA receiver, or get a TV with one built in.

Settings – Non-Freesat

Non-Freesat mode can be used to add channels that are not part of the Freesat EPG, but are still FTA. This won’t work with encrypted Sky channels, rather channels that are testing or misc ITV regions

A list of all Astra 28.2E transponders that can be selected, save having to enter the parameters manually

On Demand

A good selection of both Free and subscription on demand services. Most of the major catchup service are present, most of them anyway. There are some omissions though like Britbox, Amazon Prime, StarzPlay, Nowtv and Channel 4

Search

Media Player

You can also play media files from an external USB hard disk or a DLNA server using the built in media player

Humax TV Portal

Humax TV Portal allows you to access interactive applications hosted by Humax, originally supported on their Freeview HD receivers.

Recordings & DLNA

On this model, an external USB Hard disk drive can be connected to the Freesat box, to allow the use of recording. The Freesat software will automatically format the box and prepare it for storage.

Alternatively you can also stream recoding from another Freesat box, or any box that allows DLNA streaming. Some Panasonic TV sets allow this.

You can select the recording, or file to play. And can fast forward and rewind at will, depending on the network conditions, ethernet is recommended.

Alternatively you can stream from a network attached storage device.

Finally there is a section to provide help and support, which takes you to instructions and articles on how to use the various Freesat services.

BT Youview in 2020

BT’s main TV service, basically Freeview with a few subscription channels and streaming services built in.

User Interface

The interface is quite different compared to what Sky or Virgin use with this reliance of pictures/tiles to browse through different programs. All which rely on an internet connection.

The MyTV section shows recordings made, and programes on your watch list. Currently Nowtv supports this, programs you bookmark to watch later will then appear here.

Bad things? Well you cant directly access the apps or recording through the remote, you have to highlight the banner and press left, which I found clunky. They should but colour button shortcuts to access these areas. It would be far easier if you could press the green button to go directly to the apps section, and the yellow button to go directly to recordings then these buttons are unused on the banner. The search option is also redundant since there is a dedicated button on the remote to access search.

It’s worth mentioning also that the remote does not have a dedicated apps or recordings button, so in order to access them you have to press the Home button to call up the banner, then press Right to select MyTV.

TV Guide

The main TV guide interface. The guide is presented using a grid like design which shows programmes broadcast today. You can also navigate to programs broadcast in the future which will give you the option to record or set a series link. The guide can also give recommendation’s on that to watch next and what’s being broadcast now.

Series links can also be set, but unlike Tivo they are not as intelligent. You cannot configure them to exclude certain broadcasts such as reruns, or to record certain seasons. The Youview box will just blindly record whatever is scheduled on that channel. It does ignore repeated episodes broadcast on +1 channels.

Subscription Channels

The NowTV channels appear here, along with the regular BT channels if you are on one of their classic entertainment packages. These channels are streamed through the IP connection. the selection offered by NowTV is quite limited compared to the classic TV packages that BT had provided previously, and rumors suggest they plan to adopt only the NOWtv packages, meaning that other channel packages will be discontinued. This wouldn’t be so bad if NOWtv actually offered channels that BT previously offered.

BT Player

BT’s main store for its TV programs where they can be purchased. Some stuff may be bundle into the existing subscription like the AMC programs. This requires an active BT broadband subscription and connection.

UKTV Play

A nice looking service let down by its horrible search interface. Seriously why not just display a qwerty keyboard on screen? Also you cannot use the keypad on the remote to type in search items, Why?

CBS

Catchup services for CBS’s free view channels, and also include Horror channel also

Britbox

Britbox was a recent addition to the service an is a collection of older programs previously broadcast by BBC and ITV (similar to the UKTV channels of the past) with promise of new original content.

Whilst the interface is nice, the on screen keyboard used in the search is terrible an no , you cannot use a USB keyboard.

Netflix

Netflix is fully supported, and it even supports the use of a USB keyboard for its search! Probably the only service on here to actually support that.

Nowtv

The main attraction to BT’s Youview, all of the Sky Sports/Movies and entertainment on demand is delivered through here. sadly it’s not a good experience, being slow to respond for that appears to be a very basic interface. The search keyboard is OK but you still cannot use a USB keyboard, meaning you must use the on screen keyboard, you also cannot use the number keys on the remote to enter letters.

Thankfully you can watch and record the NowTV channels in the guide so you are now wholly reliant on the app.

Amazon Prime Video

my5

Works well, but we are still unable to use a USB keyboard in order to search.

itv Player

Provides access to all of itv’s shows and has a god awful search keyboard. No USB keyboard support either. Rather than include a proper working keyboard for search they would rather virtue signal

All4

Channels 4’s on demand service (that mysteriously disappeared off Freesat…)

BBC iPlayer

Misc onDemand

Whilst Youview support’s MHEG5 text services, certain streaming extensions are unsupported, instead these services must be accessed via the Youview apps section

Settings

Help & Support

Error Messages

Summary

  • Ideal as a smart TV platform, as all the popular apps are supported
  • Interface is OK, but colour buttons are underutilized, and common features are hidden under menus (like MyTV/Recordings)
  • Poor support for keyboards for entering text, although Youveuw supports USB keyboard for control, this cannot be used to enter text with the exception of Netflix.
  • Even though the remote number pad has alphabet letters on, this can only be used for the Youview search function, you cannot enter text for the catch up apps using the remote, unless you use the directional pad. This makes it time consuming to enter text.
  • No support for external hard drives
  • Unable to stream recordings to other Youview boxes, or to smart TV’s running the Youview app.