Operating a PVR with one input

It’s commonly known that a PVR satellite receiver operates best when used in conjunction with two inputs/cables from the satellite dish. This allows you to record one channel whilst watching/recording another, or even recording two channels whilst playing back another.

Not everyone can benefit from this setup, many have to suffer with just a single input/cable, especially when residing in an apartment or flat. This results in conflicts and problems when trying to record one channel and watch another, usually a message on screen telling you “no can do”

Fortunately the Humax FOXSAT-HDR has a solution, and whilst it won’t give you the ultimate flexibility of two inputs/cables, it’s certainly a step forward. Humax have included for 2 inputs and 1 output on their PVR receiver, which means that with the correct set up you can at least record one channel whilst watching another, providing it’s sharing the same polarity.

All you need to do is connect up your cable from the satellite dish to input 1, then using a small length of cable with f-plugs on both ends, connect up input 2 to output 1. That’s it.

The channels you will be able to watch whilst recording are below. Big thank you to Graham Thompson (member of DigitalSpy) for the list:

Updated 14-Apr-09

Low Band Horizontal

102 BBC Two
103 ITV HD (red button)
104 Channel 4
105 Channel 5
106 BBC Three
107 BBC Four
114 ITV2 +1
118 ITV4 +1
125 More4 +1
138 Zone Horror
139 Zone Horror + 1
206 Russia Today
300 Film4
301 Film4 +1
400 Wedding TV
514 Clubland
600 CBBC
601 CBeebies
690 Inspiration TV
705 BBC Radio 5 Live
706 BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra
750 RTE Radio 1
751 RTE Radio 2fm
752 RTE Radio Lyric FM
753 RTE Raidio na Gaeltacta
786 BFBS Radio
806 Celebrity Shop
807 Shop on TV
809 JML
811 Thane Direct
851 Netplay TV
861 Gala TV
950 BBC 1 London
957 BBC 1 NI
960 BBC 1 Scotland
964 BBC 1 Wales
968 BBC 2 England
969 BBC 2 NI
971 BBC 2 W
974 Channel 4
986 Teletext

Low Band Vertical

101 BBC One
103 ITV1
108 BBC HD
113 ITV2
115 ITV3
116 ITV3 +1
117 ITV4
121 Channel 4 + 1
122 E4
123 E4 +1
124 More4
135 Zone Romantica
140 Black Entertainment Television (BET)
203 Al Jazeera English
205 France 24
208 Bloomberg TV
302 True Movies
303 True Movies 2
304 Movies4Men
306 Movies4Men2
308 Simply Movies
403 Rural TV
450 Men and Motors
451 Audi Channel
500 Chart Show TV
501 The Vault
502 Scuzz
519 9XM
602 CITV
603 POP
604 POPGirl
605 Tiny POP
606 Kix!
662 9X
724 Absolute Radio
725 Absolute Classic Rock
726 Absolute Radio Extreme
727 NME Radio
728 WRN
729 JazzFM
777 Insight Radio
790 TWR Radio
803 Pitch TV
804 Pitch World
852 Smart Live Casino
951 BBC 1 CI
952 BBC 1 E Mids
953 BBC 1 East (E)
954 BBC 1 East (W)
955 BBC 1 N West
956 BBC 1 NE & C
958 BBC 1 Oxford
959 BBC 1 S East
961 BBC 1 South
962 BBC 1 S West
963 BBC 1 W Mids
965 BBC 1 West
966 BBC 1 Yorks
967 BBC 1 Eyrks*L
975 Channel 4 + 1
977 ITV 1 London (audio described)

High Band Horizontal

120 S4C
200 BBC News
201 BBC Parliament
202 S4C2
402 Information TV
504 B4U Music
700 BBC Radio 1
701 BBC Radio 1 Xtra
702 BBC Radio 2
703 BBC Radio 3
704 BBC Radio 4 FM
707 BBC 6Music
708 BBC Radio 7
709 BBC Asian Network
710 BBC Radio 4 LW
711 BBC World Service
712 BBC Radio Scotland
713 BBC Radio nan Gaidheal (Gaelic)
714 BBC Radio Wales
715 BBC Radio Cymru (Welsh)
716 BBC Radio Ulster
800 QVC
801 price-drop tv
802 bid tv
816 Ideal World

High Band Vertical

136 Zone Reality
137 Zone Thriller
141 BET + 1
204 Euronews
401 Wedding TV +1
509 Zee Music
650 Teachers TV
719 Capital 95.8
720 Choice FM
721 Classic FM
722 Gold
723 XFM London
730 Planet Rock
805 Gems TV1
813 Best Direct

62 Responses to “Operating a PVR with one input”

  1. Mike Says:

    All this makes this box far less desirable.


  2. Roger Says:

    Thanks for this information its a great help.


  3. What box to buy? - AVForums.com Says:
  4. Humax Freesat+ Foxsat HDR - Reviews? - Page 2 - AVForums.com Says:
  5. Humax FOXSAT-HDR Freesat+Owners Thread - Page 2 - AVForums.com Says:
  6. Humax FOXSAT-HDR Freesat+Owners Thread - Page 2 - AVForums.com Says:
  7. Trevor Says:

    Only have a single lead from the satellite as in an apartment block. Using the connection process as recommended are the software updates then available?


  8. BJ Says:

    @Trevor: There is a known issue with firmware updates using a single feed from the LNB. Humax are looking into this. There is a workaround which is to initiate the update. Then at the point where it asks for confirmation that you want to do the update. Carefully disconnect the cable from line1 and plug it into line2 then confirm the update. You need to take care not to short out the LNB.
    Of course when the update is complete swap the cable back again.


  9. Trevor Says:

    BJ Thanks for that, any update on that or more info available, would love to hear about it.


  10. Alan Says:

    If you used a cable splitter would this allow the software update to download and could you record one program whilst watching another if you only have a single LNB feed.


  11. mart Says:

    can i split the single feed into the house using a spliter making two feeds from one


  12. mike Says:


    I suspect that it is not possible to use a splitter. If it was that simple they would have put a splitter inside the box. Components for an L-Band Wilkinson splitter costs approx 4 pence – the F-type connecter they put on the back probably cost more than that when you add in the labour.


  13. Mark Says:

    Has anyone tried doing the software update as per the instructions above? They didnt work for me. It appears the 2nd tuner is turned off if it has detected you have a single lnb connection.


  14. richard Says:

    is there a CI-MODULE SLOT cam so i can put my sky card in if i wist to get more channles from sky latter


  15. arth Says:

    Hi guys. I am interested in items 8 & 13 above.

    1. Has anyone succesfully tried this?
    2. I have read somewhere that ‘U DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK’. What is the risk . . . can u damage the pvr? Many thanks.


  16. Colum Says:

    Could anyone provide a link to an exact “small length of cable with f-plugs on both ends” which could be purchased to do the task recommended above?


  17. admin Says:

    Colum, the cable between the LNB IN and OUT ports only needs to be 10-20cm, the distance between them on the back plate is literally a few cm.


  18. fiona Says:

    I bought the FREESAT HD, it did detect that i have single LNB and after scanning it came to a total of 143 channels without the ITV HD and some of the channels simple movies, russia today, pop,bloomberg tev., teacher tv etc seems not to be working. I have also looped it and its still the same and i can’t update the software as well.

    The worst part of it is that I leave in a flat where all the cables are conduit with a socket at the lounge and we twelve in the flat that shares the Satelite dish which is on top of the roof and for you to access it has to come from the leaseholder which is pretty difficult.

    my question is why did Humax put into consideration that there might be people living in a flat and how possible is it to have the two feeder and there should have been another option.

    And what’s the excess of buying a Freesat with Hard drive if you can’t be recording and as well watching another channel then its not fit for purpose then.
    Its not value for money.


  19. admin Says:

    Fiona, digital signal via satellite must be via individual cables for each signal, i.e. two if you want to record whilst watching something else, this is not the fault of the manufacturer, it’s standard setup for DSAT, so really it’s your property management company that have not supplied enough cabling for future expansion. :)


  20. Tony Bennett Says:

    The good thing is I can get rid of BBC2 Wales. They are always ruining good TV programs. At last Goodbye BBC2 Wales!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  21. thewriteone Says:

    Complete satellite novice so excuse any stupid questions…
    Just bought Humax Foxsat HDR PVR. Have only one cable from existing Sky dish, intricately fed under floorboards etc to site of TV. Tricky to change to twin cable then. So, my questions:

    1) If I get the loop cable variously described above, but what do I ask for in the shop? Length and plug types described in postings, but what sort of cable do I ask for? (& pity Humax didn’t include one as many people can only use single cable.)

    2) I have existing Humax PVR (terrestrial) connected to TV & an old DVD/Video combi & an ordinary Sky box. Could I hook up the terrestrial PVR to the HD TV at the same time as the Foxsat HDR one (and DVD/video combi)? I realise Sky has to be junked to get the cable and dish for HDR.

    Since old PVR connects via scart and new HDR by sat cable, would TV cope with this duality of inputs and outputs? (Plenty of connectors on new TV). If not I’ll put old PVR on terrestrial and old CRT TV upstairs.

    3) If I go back to shop and pay for install by dish engineer, could I have two dishes to avoid horrors of moving existing deeply embedded cable, ie, run one from each dish to the HDR dual sat inputs.

    Thanks for comments


  22. Mike Says:

    It seems most people have one cable coming from the satelite dish. What would it take to get two cables from the dish? Is this possible? Not being TV/Dish savey, is there a work around for this?

    I currently have a standard Humax PVR 9000, and currently we can record two channels while watching at the same time. I would like to buy the Humax Foxsat HDR PVR, but don’t want to lose the ability to record two channels and watch while recording? So what is the solution? Like the post above, would it be possible to plug in the old to run alongside the new?


  23. Sara Says:

    Hi is there any point in buying this if one has only one available cable connection from the dish? I saw the the solution re a cable between the 2nd LNB in and the LNB out but if this means no updates are possible it is it worth me buying this box? I presume there would be the same problem if a splitter was used? I currently have a basic Sky box and like a previous corespondent live abroad so would have to set this up myself and just wonder if I would be wasting my money I would love some advice thanks


  24. Carl Says:

    I am considering purchasing one of these, and am happy to try it out with one feed only. However – just a thought, to save recabling my flat, is it possible to do the following to get full functionality: connect a second feed from a dual LNB, once in the flat, connect that feed to a splitter to the original cable, then at the Humax end split out again and connect independent feeds to the box. Will this work, or does it really require two separate cables all the way from the dish to the box? I’m new to this, so if this is a daft question and betrays a lack of understanding about satellite feeds, forgive!


  25. Martin Says:

    “All this makes this box far less desirable.”
    “my question is why did Humax put into consideration that there might be people living in a flat and how possible is it to have the two feeder and there should have been another option.”

    Why are people whining like this? The box is obviously capable of working with a twin/quad LNB (with 2 cables coming from the dish – that’s why it has 2 inputs as mentioned in the second sentence of the third paragraph) but Humax have ADDED the capability of working with a single cable, albeit with reduced capability. If you don’t like it, go buy a Sky HD box instead, see how far you get on that with just one cable.

    “my question is why did Humax put into consideration that there might be people living in a flat and how possible is it to have the two feeder and there should have been another option.”
    Another option? Such as? LNB polarity is set by changing the voltage going to it, band selection is made by the presence or absence of a 22kHz signal on the cable. The only way they could do it is with some sort of custom-designed LNB that splits the groups into different frequency bands down the cable. That of course would then be incompatible with what you’ve got on the roof!
    One way round it is if you have a satellite AND aerial cable both coming from the same place (if satellite and aerial amps are separate units located near each other). If this is the case a diplexer or triplexer can be used on the aerial cable. One end (near the amps) merges TV, FM (if you want it) and satellite signals down the one cable. At your end, the signals are split apart again to give TV, FM and satellite. Add the satellite connection you’ve already got, and Bob’s your uncle. Or you could just ditch your aerial feed and have a pair of satellite feeds instead. Assuming, of course, that there are spare ways on the satellite distribution box!


  26. Richard B Says:

    I once connected a F type coax to a SKY box whilst it was live ie, switched on. The simple action blew something is the box and now the box will not recognise a sat signal. Muck about with live cables at your peril, usually something somewhere is not gouing to like it and fail..


  27. Richard B Says:

    Do SKY + boxes ned two LNB’s?


  28. admin Says:

    Satellite cables carry a charge from the digibox; you must switch the digibox off at the mains before adjusting the cables.

    This is a Freesat site, not Sky, but yes, to get the most out of Sky+ you need two cables from the LNB.


  29. Laurence Upton Says:

    I have Sky+ and when recording two channels at the same time, you cannot watch ANY other channel, only something on the hard drive you have already recorded. The Humax’s ability to let you have access to some other channels when both tuners are already in use is a major additional feature, not something for which they should be criticised. Its unadvertised workaround for people with only one feed (something for which a box with two tuners is clearly not designed) is another big plus.


  30. Simon Says:

    Some of the replies above have been quite helpful, although I’ve not understood much of the techy jargon.

    Basically, I live in a flat with a single satellite feed. I just want to know in layman’s terms, is it worth me getting a foxsat box? What will be the limitations?

    I basically want it to work as a hard drive recorder, where i can do series link, pause/rewind live tv and so on. if i can get HD then great.

    Is any of this possible?


  31. Laurence Upton Says:

    Simon, the things you describe could all be done with a single-tuner PVR and so are possible. It will give you HD pictures if your TV is HD-ready. As there is not currently a single tuner PVR available, the Humax is presently your only choice in one unit. The limitations arise when you want to do any of this whilst watching or recording another channel at the same time.


  32. Angie Says:

    We have bought a FOXSAT-HD box and would like to know in simple terms!! how do we connect it to work on two TV’s we only have one LNB from the dish into the property.


  33. richard tucker Says:

    I could take a second feed from an ajoining room which has freesat, if i use a splitter in this room would this work as a input to the two boxes


  34. Ron Says:

    I’m seriously considering buying the FOXSAT-HDR and junking Sky. My Grundig Dish has a single cable running to the sky box, however it looks like it is a dual output dish. How do I get the plastic case off the dish without damaging it?


  35. Tom Says:

    I am living in Belgium and have Freesat now without the interactivity, no red button etc.. I would like to buy a Freesat box but need one with CAM for the local card which runs on Mediaguard 3 code.
    1. Are there Freesat boxes on the market with a CI slot ?
    2. I have a double LNB one pointed to 28E the other 19E (Canal Digital) can these boxes handle the dual signal through a Diseq ?


  36. BBCfan Says:

    Hi Tom,

    Question 1: Yes, the Humax Freesat pvr has a slo.

    Question 2: The box can handle Diseqc.


  37. Geoff Says:


    I will shortly be buying the Humax PVR and with regard to the short cable with f type connections (whatever that means) where or how do I purchase this cable please as I only have a single cable feed?


  38. Sarah Says:

    Helo, does anyone know if splitting the signal makes the signals poorer than a single line? Thanks!


  39. dave asbury Says:

    The solution for a single cable set up is :

    1)buy a twin lnb for you dish
    2)buy a stacker / destacker set up (not cheap)

    connect up and go. multiplexes as if you had 2 cables.

    hope this info helps


  40. Mark Says:

    If I want to watch/record two channels simultaneously using one input, can I only do this within one of the four bands listed at the top of this page? E.g. record BBC1 and ITV1 simultaneously.



  41. Ian G Says:

    I recently bought a Humax Foxsat HDR (fantastic product) but only have a single cable coming in from a single LNB so I also get the channel losses when recording. The loopback option didn’t work for me. I have had this upgraded to a quad LNB and the dish aligned, problem was the CAI approved aerial guy said that adding an extra cable behind the wall would be very expensive due to the amount of work needed. I am therefore about to try a stacker/destacker, if it works it will be cheaper than getting all the other work done, I will post back when I’ve tried it.

    I have also emailed Humax for their comments on how to get this working but so far had no response. If all else fails the other option is to run a cable myself from the loft down behind some trunking or skirting board to get the extra cable.


  42. Ian G Says:

    As promised, tested just now with a stacker/destacker. I can record a channel but some channels disappear. I can record 2 channels at the same time but that limits the other channels even more, so it works to an extent but not fully, most channels are unavailable. I then decided to test with one feed being my current tv cable which I know is fine (RG6 quality) plus a 2nd feed direct from the LNB both going into the back of the Humax. Result is exactly the same as with the stacker/destacker, lots if not all of the channels get lost when recording. This setup is exactly as Humax describe with one satellite dish, 2 LNB feeds direct into the Humax box, but I cannot record 2 channels and watch a 3rd. Anyone else see this problem?


  43. Ian G Says:

    My final update. I called Humax support (0844 669 8800) and because I previously used a single cable the box had that set to use just the one. The support guy had me walk through changing this to 2 cables through the main menu, and now all works fantastically including with the stacker/destacker from Global. I can record one channel and see all others, and can record a 2nd channel at the same time (although what channels you can watch then are limited).


  44. Rick H Says:

    Thanks for the info :-)

    The fact that Humax has taken into account the restrictions of those of us stuck with a single satellite feed & given us a simple way to get the maximum functionality we can is laudable (many others have not!)

    p.s. Just try hooking up a Sky+ box with a single LNB feed… all the splitters, boosters etc its a NIGHTMARE!


  45. Lionel Says:

    I got a GFSDTR500HD with 1 LMB feed i cant record on standby and if im watch another channel is this a fauilt in the GFSDTR500HD.


  46. michol Says:

    I have just taken the plunge and installed freestat with Humax Foxstat-HD and very impressed with the picture quality. We were running with analogue TV with normal terrestial channels and so find the number of available channels on Freestat is something of a cultural change and trying to find a simple way to access the channels we are interested in seems long winded afair via the ‘guide’ Is there a simple way to allocate a channel to a key pad number as per the analogue system, or any other way develop a ‘favourites’ list or ‘bookmark’. The Humax manual is short on explanstions or examples.


  47. Craig McLaughlan Says:


    Check your manual again. there’s a simple solution, basically setting up a favourite channel via one of the coloured buttons. From memory you have up to 4 favourite channel sets.


  48. steph Says:

    I have a SagemHD + box and I cannot record from standby with only 1LMB so I am sending it back. Does anyone know if the Humax will record any channel OK from standby if you do the cable connection fix? Thanks


  49. Martin Vermond Says:

    I have a Panasonic TV with built-in Freesat tuner giving great reception from one of the outputs on a twin output LNB. Now want to add a pvr but they all have 2 inputs. Any suggestions? Forget the TV tuner and connect both cables to the pvr? Connect just one cable to the pvr? Or will the feed-through on the Humax pvr give me the same service on the TV as I get direct from dish?


  50. Rowan Says:

    Hi. I have a single line feed at the moment from the dish. I have not done the loop between the Line in 2 and Line out yet. What does this loop do?

    Without the loop, when we pause live TV or record TV, it will not play back smoothly. Is this because the loop is not there, or a fault with the machine?



  51. Alan Says:

    Yes indeed thank you Graham Thompson for your polarity and band group list as at 14th April 2009 but could you possibly update this list so we can see what’s possible to record while watching an alternative channel on the Humax HDR with only one LNB connection in use.

    Many thanks.


  52. Frank Morton Says:

    Could you please advise. My Daughter lives in Spain Menorca and have a Sky Box. Through the day BBC1 and BBC2 has a perfect picture until about 18:15hr and then she loses the picture it pixerlates. Could you please tell me how she can fix this problem.


  53. mark s Says:

    hi all, iam looking to buy a Humax Foxsat 500bg HDR or a Echostar PVR 500 bg (HDS-600RS) only £30 difference in price, which is the better model? and what can you do with the Humax LBN output , I would like to run another tv/freesat box from it , and would like to watch rec. programs from the Humax Foxsat 500bg HDR or a Echostar PVR 500 bg on the second tv, and only use a standard freesat box with the second tv. I think the only way to watch rec. programs on a 2nd tv is to use the scart output and connect it to a R F modulator, and do away with the 2nd freesat box, if so would sky magic eyes work ?. Its all confusing but great fun.


  54. Gerry Says:

    If you only have one dish connector , say in flats, why not use the freesat recorder to record, and watch live TV using freeserve. Surely the freesat will still record if you switch the TV to freeserve?


  55. admin Says:

    You mean Freeview. Consider that some don’t have Freeview and others that can’t receive it at all. You are right though, changing the input of the television won’t cause problems for recording as you are not changing the channel of the freesat receiver itself.


  56. Gerry Says:

    Sorry..of course I meant freeview ! Both John Lewis and Currys salesmen say I can set the recorder on a Manhattan recorderto record one channel, then switch tv source to freeview ( which I can get) and watch live tv on a different channel. Using only the one dish connector to the freesat as I will be in a flat with only one. Ii think you are saying that they are correct.


  57. Gerry Says:

    Gerry said:
    Sorry..of course I meant freeview ! Both John Lewis and Currys salesmen say I can set the recorder on a Manhattan recorderto record one channel, then switch tv source to freeview ( which I can get) and watch live tv on a different channel. Using only the one dish connector to the freesat as I will be in a flat with only one. I think you are saying that they are correct.


  58. Gerry Says:

    Sorry to be a pest, but could you confirm that what I say above is correct………..I don’t want to buy one and find it does not work !! Gerry


  59. admin Says:

    You are correct as changing the television channel is the ‘input’ rather than the receiver itself.


  60. Gerry Says:

    Thank you very much for you help. Gerry


  61. Barbara Says:

    I have just purchased a humax HDR 1000S recorder with freetime.to receive and record uk tv in france.

    I am purchasing 2 homeplugs to connect to my WIIFI.

    As I only have 1 LNB input can I change channels to watch freeview whilst recoding another as Gerry suggested.

    Can a double head be installed on an excisting dish?

    Thank you- still trying to get my head around best way to proceed.


  62. steve Says:

    Martin Vermond said:
    I have a Panasonic TV with built-in Freesat tuner giving great reception from one of the outputs on a twin output LNB. Now want to add a pvr but they all have 2 inputs. Any suggestions? Forget the TV tuner and connect both cables to the pvr? Connect just one cable to the pvr? Or will the feed-through on the Humax pvr give me the same service on the TV as I get direct from dish?

    I have the same situation with Samsung tv with freesat connection. currently have both connections via humax pvr, but appear to be only getting sound via tv without humax sound turned up with HD channels. wondering whether it would be better to use one connection each for tv and humax 1000s.


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