12 April 2007

Humax PVR-9200T

It’s taken well over a year, but last week we finally made up our minds and purchased a Humax PVR-9200T.

Goodbye E180 VHS tapes; Hello 160GB HDD!

Coco Riley got his back in December 2005 when it was reasonably new technology and apparently the best PVR available in the UK. I figured I’d sit back and wait for a better, cheaper model to come along – but 15 months passed and I was still left waiting!

Luckily, a couple of weeks ago, I got a tip-off from the elusive blog commenter known as “S Crayon” telling me to buy it from Hughes Direct’s Which? associated website – – where you can get several pounds off their already-reasonable prices. He’d just bought one from there after consulting the Digital Spy forums. When I bought it on Sunday, it cost me £170.99 plus £6 P&P. Today it’s going for £163.90! And whilst I was a little worried because I hadn’t received an order confirmation email, it arrived today, just as promised.

If you buy one and think the front panel is scratched, it probably isn’t. When I took the thing out of its box at work today, Lister asked whether it was a reconditioned model because the front panel didn’t appear to be covered in any protective film and seemed to have quite a few tiny scratches on it. Having ordered a new one, I was a bit disappointed and started to search for Hughes Direct’s customer services phone number. And then I spotted this description next to the product:

Freeview Twin Digital 160gb HDD recorder. The front has protective film to preve

I’ve no idea what “to preve” means but managed to work out they were trying to tell me something. I guess they’ve had a lot of customers complain about the front panel being scratched, only to find that it does have a very inconspicuous “protective film to preve” after all!

I’ve only used it for a couple of hours tonight but I’m very happy with it. Not only does it give me loads features than my old Freeview box and VCR put together, but the picture quality and signal also seems to be much, much better. With our old Philips Freeview box, half our channels would cease to work at around 8PM every night and we never found out why (presumably some interference from some electrical equipment somewhere) but we’ve not had any problems at all with this box tonight!

“S Crayon” also tells me that there’s a software update due for it very soon that will add Series Link functionality like Sky+ and a stored EPG instead of loading it every time you switch the box on. This thing just gets better and betterer!

If you’re looking for more comments and opinions, read these posts by Coco Riley:

My only grumble? I should have bought one 15 months ago!

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"The front has protective film to preve" is maybe "The front has protective film to prevent scratches"

"The front has protective film to preve" nt small arms fire from penetrating the unit?

Regarding the bit about new features coming soon. Apparently the series link bit depends on the broadcasters transmitting relevant info which currently only the BBC is presently doing. Although the others are supposed to be at some point.

As far as the EPG goes. At the moment you can use the auto on/off function to populate the EPG, ready for your viewing pleasure. E.g. If you get home at 6pm set the unit to come on at 5:45 and by the time you sit down to watch TV the guide will be fully populated. The auto on/off function also allows you to set it to switch off at say 11:59pm in case you forget to turn it off at bedtime thus helping to reduce your own personal carbon footprint.
by Anonymous Anonymous  

I bought the unit a few months ago - superb except for the lack of Series Link. I wrote to Humax back in November and got a reply from 'Michelle' where she confirmed that the Series Link update hadn't been released yet, but was due for release in January. So, it shouldn't be long now.....

George, you're right. I heard that the Freeview Playback 2 over the air download, which includes Accurate Recording and Series Recording, will be broadcast between the 14th to 16th of January 2008. I'm looking forward to it!