Humax Foxsat -HDR Small box, but brings to you a big world

Advantages: enter free Satellite TV with High Definition pictures.

Disadvantages: a little expensive.

In April 2009 I bought a set of LG HD TV and really enjoyed it. As I wrote on my review about the TV the picture and the sound were very good. However I was told I can't watch HD programs without a HD receiver. After some serious search on internet I decided to give Humax Foxsat-HDR a go. Now after using Humax Foxsat-HDR for one year I think I can write a review about it.

About Humax Foxsat HDR:

Humax is an electronics company which was founded in South Korea in 1989. It manufactures set-top boxes, digital video recorders, televisions and other consumer electronics. As one of the world's leading digital satellite set-top box manufacturers, it exports products to more than 90 countries across the globe. The Humax Foxsat HDR is a digital box that allows you to pick up HD Freesat TV and record programmes straight to a hard drive.

The package:

The product comes packaged in a cardboard box. The device is very well wrapped in a thin poly bag with one User's Manual and one Quick start guide, RCA, SCART and HDMI cables, 2 batteries and a remote control.

The device:

The device is about a laptop size in pure black colour. There is a small semi-transparent front panel in the centre that shows which function of the device is on: standby, TV or radio. Next to it there are few buttons: standby button, TV/Radio button, Arrow button(changes the channel or moves the cursor up, down, left or right), Ok button(selects a menu or confirms the selected operation), Menu button(displays the main menu) and Guide button(displays the programme guide).

The rear panel includes: LNB IN port for connecting a satellite antenna cable; TV SCART for connecting to the TV using a TV SCART cable; VCR SCART for connecting to the VCR or DVD; HDMI for connecting to the TV; USB port for connecting to the USB memory and transfer of recordings, etc. There is a CI module slot on the right of the device for applying channels that require a subscription.

Connections and settings:

Connecting these cables is very easy and basic. First you need to connect the LNB IN to your satellite dish, then you need to connect the device to the TV using the HDMI cable and then connect the power cable. For the first time you need to set a few configuration items such as language, screen ratio/resolution, you also need to enter your postcode. Next the device will detect what type of service you can receive and search for channels.

Basic operations:

After your TV enters an HDMI interface of free Satellite TV you can use the remote control to change channels. There are 3 ways for that. One way is using the up/down button; Second way is typing the channel number; Last way is navigating the electronic programme guide and selecting a channel. By the way the remote control comes with the standard features so you don't need spend time on learning it. There are many features providing by the remote. I will not list all of them, but just mention the electronic programme guide(EPG) as an example. First you press the 'GUIDE' button to enter into the EPG, then you press up/down keys to the different channels either for watch or record. With the EPG you can list programs by channel or have a look a list of programmes per channel. There are four interactive buttons (red, green, yellow and blue) to use.

My experience:

I paid £280 for the device from Argos on line and collected it at my local Argos shop. At beginning I was worried if it was worthy the money or not. I thought it's ridiculous because the price was almost half of the TV set I paid. However after having it I do enjoy the new experience the device brought. The pictures are a lot cleaner than before without the device. The channels I get are huge beyond my expectation to be honest. Last but not least it also gave me more freedom to record the programs I missed or want to keep for later watch.

Although only BBC HD and ITV HD are available on Freesat currently, sometimes the HD signals are not stable, I still want to recommend the product because it works very well and brings a big fabulous world in my life.

Summary: it works very well and brings a big world in my life.