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Is now the time to buy?

Discussion in 'HDR-FOX T2 Freeview Recorder' started by Hans Klopek, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. Hans Klopek

    Hans Klopek New Member

    I'm considering upgrading from my 9200 to a HD PVR solution. I still think that the 9200 is a great machine and so therefore I’m looking at the new Humax models first. I had considered Freesat but I’d need to run another cable to the dish, which would be a pain.

    Few queries:

    Are Humax still leaders in the PVR market with these new models or are the competitors producing better boxes now? The custom firmware hosted here is obviously a clear pull towards Humax.

    The HDR T2 model has been out for quite some time. Is now a good time to buy or is there a newer model waiting right around the corner? Even if a new model didn’t offer many more features, at least it might drive down the price of older models.

    Has the T2 any troublesome (hardware) limitations that cannot be addressed by firmware updates? Similarly, are there any significant software bugs that Humax have failed to fix?

    Are there any clear reasons why I should reconsider Freesat HD versus Freeview HD? Many articles I discovered were old and focused on bandwidth limitations with Freeview HD which could hinder expansion. Has the analogue switch-off freed up bandwidth or are they completely unrelated?

    Sorry for all the questions. Any assistance appreciated.
     
  2. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    Just one person's opinion but, here goes :-

    1) Humax are still the leaders of the PVR market and you're correct, the Custom Firmware put it streets ahead
    2) The replacement 'you-view' Humax box was supposed to be out mid summer (don't be surprised if it's 6 months late)
    3) I think pretty much every hardware limitation has been fixed by Humax or the Custom Firmware
    4) Freesat has much more bandwidth available, but in the short term you probably won't see any benefit from it
    5) Analogue switch off could free up Freeview bandwidth, but in the short term it won't
     
  3. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member


    "Bugs" - no.
    But they still cope very badly with being tuned to more than one transmitter. If you can tune a 9200T you will be OK to tune a Humax HD/HDR.

    Also note that some of the functionality of the 9200T is not available on the Humax HD/HDR.

    An example is the lack of recorded programme editing.

    Another example is the lack of picture-in-picture.

    Another example is that the HDR has one scart and because of this you may need to change how your components are connected.

    The HD/HDR menus are designed for viewing at distance suitable to appreciate HD. If the HD/HDR is used for just standard definition (SD) you may need to be closer to the TV to be able to read the Humax menus. This is due to the non-changable colour scheme Humax have used.

    Humax HD/HDR freeview models record standard definition programmes differently to the 9200T. This results in the recording space being used up faster on a Humax HD/HDR for SD programmes than on a 9200T.
     
  4. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

    Why, the HDR FOX T2 encrypts all recordings but afaik this doesn't make them significantly larger. They are still byte for byte recordings of the original transport stream files. After decryption by copying to usb (or in situ using the custom firmware) the file should be near identical in size to a 9200T recording.
     
  5. MartinLiddle

    MartinLiddle Super Moderator Staff Member

    Could you explain the difference please?
     
  6. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    This is the first time I've ever seen anyone comment on the colour scheme. Under the bonnet the HDR actually contains two different schemes and allows some tweaking of box backgrounds through the settings database. Which parts do you find hard to read? It might be possible to make some changes through the custom firmware.

    The HD/HDR recordings do include control frames relating to things which were on the same Mux at the time (although not the actual video/audio) which could expand the size of the recordings. Is that what you're referring to?

    It's possible to strip these out and save space although you need to strip the corresponding entries from the index file too. We don't currently have a utility to do that but it's somewhere on my todo list... It's one of the reasons that converting to MPG through the web interface produces smaller files.
     
  7. xyz321

    xyz321 Well-Known Member

    The encryption/decryption makes no difference to the size of the file. Where there is a difference is in the content. There are an additional 4 bytes of header data for every 188 byte packet. Also the SDT and EIT tables are included in the data stream which was not the case for the earlier models.

    Edit: Additional size of header was incorrect.
     
    af123 likes this.
  8. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    Right time to buy -

    My attitude to considered purchases is this: if I'm sure I want it and I can afford it I buy it now. If I hold off purchase because there might be a better one around the corner, I will hold off forever (there is always a better one around the corner). If I hold off buying because the price might fall, I have traded money saved for a period when it is not available for use. If I buy something now that I might want in the future, I have tied up money now (even if it was a good price) for something I may not actually have a use for.
     
  9. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

    2% larger is hardly significant :). With 500GB of storage losing 10GB is hardly worth worrying about. Presumably the missing SDT and EIT data was recorded anyway in the sidecar files so overall won't affect the total storage required per recording (or is it simply not there ?)
     
  10. xyz321

    xyz321 Well-Known Member

    On all boxes part of the EIT data relating to the particular recording is stored once in the sidecar files. However, on the HDR the whole of the EIT data relating to all channels is also stored repeatedly in the transport stream file.
     
  11. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    A couple of weeks a go I made the same recordings on my HD and 9200T to compare the sizes;
    BBC1 30 minutes: 775MB v 948MB - a 22% increase​
    World Service 30 minutes: 28MB v 175MB - a 520% increase​
    BBC radio 3 30 minutes: 49MB v 198MB - a 300% increase​
    I initially noticed this because of the 74.5/80GB disk I was using filled up faster than I was expecting. Not many will use the recorder primarily for Radio but even just a 22% overhead will lose 18% of the HDD space.
     
  12. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

    Did you add in the associated sidecar files ?

    Just twigged, larger drives have larger sectors so storage of small files is very inefficient because the minimum storage allocation is much larger, which is likely why the radio files appear to be much larger than they really are. There is a finite limit as to how many sectors a specific file system can address so larger drives have a larger minimum. A recording using a few bytes over the minimum will use double the allocated minimum.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ext3
     
  13. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member


    No I didn't as I've not currently got a mod to access the 9200T. But that would not make a significant difference to TV recordings as the vast bulk is the ts file and the Radio recordings increase is very noticeable. I wouldn’t have originally looked if hadn’t been noticeable.
     
  14. xyz321

    xyz321 Well-Known Member

    As an experiment I just tried extracting the EIT data from a standard def. transport stream file. The resulting file (containing just EIT data) was 20% of the original.
     
  15. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    It will be worth writing a utility to strip that out then!
     
  16. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Every now and again on various sites there is post that includes a small comment concerning the colours or contrast.
    The most frequent hassle for reading from normal SD distance is in the Media Menus. Under the programme name there is a line which has
    hh:mm DD/MM nnn min. nn Channel.
    This is in grey and depending on viewing distance sometimes does not show up well even when transparency is switched off. I have been known to delete the wrong episode of a series due to the sort order not being as expected and the date not being obvious because of the grey.
     
  17. xyz321

    xyz321 Well-Known Member

    I just made a radio recording of about 350MB. It turns out that 73% of this is comprised of EIT.
     
  18. brianmt

    brianmt Member

    To be fair the tuning problem is nothing to do with Humax. Pal was a very inefficient transmission medium, hence lots of repeater masts. With digital we could probably lose half these repeaters. The humax tuner is very sensitive hence picks up multiple transmitters, manual tune is the best or a -3db attenuator on the aerial in.
    The reading thing I don't understand both my wife and myself find no difficulty, with or without glasses, reading any of the menus from our normal seating distance, about 12ft , on a 32" TV and we both have distance glasses.
    Did anyone actually use the editing on the 9200 it was far to cluncky and you were more liable to erase the program than the ads
    I bought a HDR because my 9200 was failing and liable to die at anytime , great machine , no regrets, I also have 16 gb of mp3 on it which is a bonus plus it sees my android phone.
    It's a different beast to the 9200 they share a common ancestor but it's like comparing my Ford Anglia to today's Mondeo's. By the way my 9200 2years down the line is still showing signs of giving up the ghost anyday now, still in use everyday,got to be close to 10 year old !!!!
     
  19. Brian

    Brian Administrator Staff Member

    Even though it was only released late 2005.;)
     
  20. brianmt

    brianmt Member

    Doesn't time fly when you're having fun , I bought my 9200 on a whim in a comet not far from Staines, I was working there at the time. It was late sept or Oct , I think. I thought it 03 or 04 but if it's as you say 05 then a rubbish buy only 7 year old and on every day bah :cool:. What i still find amazing is HID who hate anything in the slightest technical, took to it from the start. Given the choice me to go or the Hummy than I'm afraid I come a very poor second.