New To The Game: FOX T2 or Foxsat-HDR

olly555

New Member
Hey there,
Happy to find this place – looks like the humax scene is truly alive and rocking, which for a gadget addict like me is a whole new world to explore – my missus wont be impressed when she sees another new toy that I have to fiddle with :)



I currently have a Sky DRX890 and have fitted it with a 2tb hard drive, which has been running nicely for the last few years. The reason im here, like many fellow men that went before me, im considering ditching Sky as its just to expensive. I think I will get my sport fix for free, with Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup on ITV, all available in glorious HD for free on the Hummy, without being charged £10 for the privelage of HD. Its 2013, for gods sake Sky, they try and pretend that HD is still some new, untapped, unearthed, groundshakingly new thing that we are too thick to realise is free on Freeview/Freesat.... ugggggghh

My main goal is the box has to be:
  • wife friendly, so as simple to use as the sky box really

  • responsive to the remote, quick channel changeover
  • able to run Skyplayer, even if custom firmware is required
  • perfect series link functionality – this is probably the one thing that has always stopped me from leaving sky, their series link just works so well and is reliable. I have a VU+ Duo box as well, and the supposed series link, which is called ‘autotimer’, is just so clunky and crap, it seems almost mechanical compared to Sky. I’m hoping one of these boxes has a near perfect series link which will just work off one button.

  • able to upgrade hard drive – I will be taking the 2tb drive out of the Sky box. Can these boxes accept a 3.5” internal drive ?
  • able to output via RF to a magic eye?
So the decision is, whether I go for a Freeview HDR-FOX T2, or a Freesat Foxsat-HDR.

I’m guessing that all the different hard drive sizes of the HDR-FOX T2 and the Foxsat-HDR run the same hardware, so are in effect exactly the same box, just different hard drive sizes fitted by Humax?

As I will be opening up the box, and hopefully fitting my 3.5” 2tb drive if this is possible, so I should really just buy the smallest hard drive size machine from Humax as this will be the cheapest.

I have found a few threads on the internet where people have sold their Humax boxes and returned to Sky, Im just hoping I can get the right box to start with so its not a wasted project with an eventual return to Sky – I do not want that to happen !

Hopefully an initial couple of weeks invested in learning the Humax and getting to know what it can do will prove it blows Sky away – as I have also seen that mentioned in many cases.

Anyone, please let me know your thoughts on the two boxes, I would love to hear.
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
  • wife friendly, so as simple to use as the sky box really
  • Never used a Sky box but my technophobe partner can use our HDR-FOX T2 with aplomb.
    [*]responsive to the remote, quick channel changeover
    In my view yes.
  • able to run Skyplayer, even if custom firmware is required
  • I think that limits you to the Freeview HDR-FOX T2
  • perfect series link functionality – this is probably the one thing that has always stopped me from leaving sky, their series link just works so well and is reliable. I have a VU+ Duo box as well, and the supposed series link, which is called ‘autotimer’, is just so clunky and crap, it seems almost mechanical compared to Sky. I’m hoping one of these boxes has a near perfect series link which will just work off one button.
  • Nothing in life is perfect but the Series link function on the HDR-FOX T2 is easy to use and reliable on the main channels. On minor channels all bets are off.
    [*]able to upgrade hard drive – I will be taking the 2tb drive out of the Sky box. Can these boxes accept a 3.5” internal drive ?
    Yes they take a 3.5" SATA II drive. I may be wrong but I think a drive bigger than 1TB will need formatting before installation in the Humax. There are various tutorials around for doing this.
  • able to output via RF to a magic eye?
  • Not out of the box. Somebody with more expertise in this area may be able to comment.
I’m guessing that all the different hard drive sizes of the HDR-FOX T2 and the Foxsat-HDR run the same hardware, so are in effect exactly the same box, just different hard drive sizes fitted by Humax?
Correct. The Skyplayer requirement rules out, I think, the FOXSAT.
As I will be opening up the box, and hopefully fitting my 3.5” 2tb drive if this is possible, so I should really just buy the smallest hard drive size machine from Humax as this will be the cheapest.
Yup.
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
As stated above Hard Drives Bigger than 1G won't be formatted by the Humax, but drives up to 2G max. can be formatted by using the Custom Firmware, which would also be required for Skyplayer. Series recording works well, but is dependant on the broadcasters tagging the programs correctly, the BBC rarely get it wrong, C4, Ch5, well mostly get it right
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
HDR-FOX T2:
responsive to the remote, quick channel changeover
Pretty quick if you use the channel up/down buttons, pretty quick if you enter the LCN and press OK, pretty quick if you enter the LCN as four digits with leading zeros, not so quick if you enter just the LCN and then wait for it to time out further input. Switching "back" to the last channel viewed requires two button presses.

able to run Skyplayer, even if custom firmware is required
Not without problems, see topic HERE (click). The Sky Player mod is not a guaranteed service, do not base a purchasing decision on its permanent and fully functioning availability - consider it a nice extra, not a primary function.

perfect series link functionality
The only certainty with Freeview series linking is not to use it. It is mostly OK. I don't have experience of Freesat. The most reliable method is to schedule recordings as individuals, using an automatic programme search and schedule via the custom Remote Scheduler web service.

able to output via RF to a magic eye?
No. You will need a SCART-to-UHF modulator. The picture will be so poor compared with a direct connection, why bother? We have one member running an acceptable picture across 15m of AV cable, HDMI can reach 10m (on an expensive cable), and with custom firmware the HDR-FOX can be controlled via a web browser. For remote viewing of HDR recorded content, many of us use a HD-FOX as a network streaming client (Raspberry Pi works too).

I look forward to the day somebody comes up with an inexpensive HDMI-to-DVB(T) modulator.

So the decision is, whether I go for a Freeview HDR-FOX T2, or a Freesat Foxsat-HDR.
There are two considerations: do you prefer satellite or terrestrial, and how much will you value the custom facilities. As far as I know, the Foxsat is more restricted in what the customisations can do for it.
 
OP
olly555

olly555

New Member
Muchos gracious, lovely clear and well explained replies, thankyou MartinLiddle and Black Hole for answering so clearly.


Im pretty certain to go with the Freeview HDR T2 box now, as it sems to be a more capable box all round, plus I would like to try Skyplayer on it, even if it has its problems.

I will adjust to the differant interface for series link on the Humax in time I guess. I still dont understand how Sky's series link is top notch and had never failed me in years, but when I play with autotimer/series link on linux boxes like a dreambox, and what I have heard regarding the Humax - they seem to not be as polished.

Im guessing sky themselves make sure their broadcast signals are getting send out on time and are accurate, whereas the Freeview broadcasters (possibly with the exception of BBC) do not put as much effort in making sure their series link broadcasts are as accurate.

Best way to see if you like a box is get one and invest some time into it I think.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
The greatest dissatisfaction seems to occur when somebody stumbles upon an unexpected "feature". Often there is a work-around, which would have lessened the dispondency. You will find the links in my signature panel (below) useful background reading.
 

socrates

Member
Did Sky perhaps create their own series link data rather than relying on the original broadcaster's embedded signals? That was the way TiVo did it, even in the pre digital days. That meant that in some respects it was unequalled, eg in carrying over series links to new seasons, recognising repeats, finding new episodes even if on a different channel etc. The downside was that as it did not use embedded signals it could not detect last minute schedule changes.
I do use series link on the HDR and have found it faultless ( on the main channels ) once I manually tuned it to get rid of duplicates in the 800 range.
 
I can confirm socrates' assessment of series linking, it even works on Pick TV (Stargate SG1) except when crossing season-boundaries (one this week for SG1). My wife likes Foyles War, Taggart, Wycliffe etc whose series episodes occasionally crop up on ITV3 and the HDR has picked them up.

However, I do keep an eye on series links by going into the Schedule and Right-Arrow clicking on the series (thanks BH for the info) which shows the upcoming episodes. I can then spot a "missing" episode and can check on the EPG.

Martin
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
Same here, there were glitches early on with series link, but it is rare for a recording to fail these days. Two examples I can recall are Father Ted, where several shows were late starting and the channel broadcast the "start" signal on time. Also, it is always a good idea to check your recordings when there is a sporting fixture on that might overrun and delay your program start.

There is a circumstance when Freeview, Freesat and Sky will fail, of course, and that is that the series link only knows about programs in the next week or so. Consequently, if the time associated with one of your programs at a non-clashing time is changed, eg, F1 at a different time each race, or changing from BBC1 to BBC2, you can end up with a clash of three programs that you could not have foreseen. eg,

Initially

progA on BBC1 9--10pm,
progB on BBC4 9--11pm,
progC on Five 8--9pm.

If for some reason progC is on series link and its time changes to 8.10--9.10, there will be a class that will not have been checked when you set the series link.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I beg to remind you we have had mysterious cases of programmes not getting recorded as part of a series even though they were broadcast on time, and I have myself seen occurrences of the S-CRID changing mid-series.

Recording a series without incident requires the broadcaster not to change the S-CRID, not to duplicate the P-CRID (so the Humax doesn't think it has already recorded that episode), and for the AR flags to turn up when expected (if using AR). This works most of the time, but if marital harmony is going to be irreparably disturbed in the event of even one rare incident, it is probably lower risk to use RS auto-search and turn off AR.
 

af123

Administrator
Staff member
...not to duplicate the P-CRID (so the Humax doesn't think it has already recorded that episode)
Do we have any evidence that the Humax keeps a history of recorded episodes to avoid duplication? I haven't seen this behaviour or any sign of such a history... I think it is down to the broadcaster to use a different SCRID for repeats - something they often get wrong too!
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
It's a long-held belief if it doesn't. I feel sure it has been mentioned, but it might take some finding.
 
Reference knowledge of previously recorded episodes. See:

http://hummy.tv/forum/threads/ar-effectiveness-survey.1052/page-8#post-33880

My interpretation of the experiment results is that the HD-T2 retained the fact that it had recorded Series CRID/Prog CRID combination for 24 hours and then allowed the recording of the same combination. Thus the HD avoids the C5, C5+1, C5* problem since the Prog CRIDs change every day.

During my experiments I could only find Radio Programmes with CRID combinations that extended beyond 24 hours.

I can't remember where I posted it but I reported that my TVonics never recorded the same Series CRID/Prog Crid combination unless the first recording was corrupt/foreshortened in which case the TVonics looked for the same combination and re-recorded it.

Martin
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Do we have any evidence that the Humax keeps a history of recorded episodes to avoid duplication? I haven't seen this behaviour or any sign of such a history... I think it is down to the broadcast to use a different SCRID for repeats - something they often get wrong too!
I think you are right. I just checked A Question of Sport, in the EPG for tonight and repeated Wednesday. The P-CRIDs are the same but the S-CRIDs are different. So a recorder would be able to search for an alternative programme in the event of a conflict or recording failure, but not an alternative broadcast time for the whole series (except by guessing).

Incidentally, I thought we could see the CRID codes for recordings? I tried the i button on a recording and although the synopsis came up there were no code details.
 
Top