Humax and Freesat launch compact and connected Freetime

Humax and Freesat have launched the most compact and affordable Freetime set-top box recorder to date, bringing the benefits of the subscription free satellite TV service to a wider group of cost-conscious consumers.

Integrated Wi-Fi has been built-in to the new PVR range for seamless access to Freesat’s Freetime on-demand and catch-up players including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, YouTube and Curzon Home Cinema.

Available from today, in a glossy black or white finish, the Humax Freesat HDR-1100S with Freetime offers all the features of the Freetime service, including access to over 200 channels, a roll back TV guide, TV recommendation service Showcase, catch-up services, plus a range of on-demand content. The set top box can also be paired with the Freesat App to let customers plan their viewing and set recordings while they’re out and about.

Measuring just 280W x 48H x 200D and priced affordably at £189 (500GB), £219 (1TB) and £299 (2TB), the new Humax Freesat HDR-1100S with Freetime is available from a range of retailers and independents, including John Lewis, Dixons, Richer Sounds, Argos, CIH Euronics, Tesco and Humax Direct (JF – help support independent retailers, we recommend you purchase from our sponsor, Satbuyer).

Graham North, Commercial Director of Humax

With the ever-increasing consumer demand for the connected home, there was an absolute necessity to incorporate Wi-Fi within the new Humax Freesat Freetime family. The new box adds even more appeal to the popular Freetime service, allowing great streaming and on-demand content to be easily accessible. Its compact size and range of colours provide further value and choice to consumers, making it a must-have product for home entertainment.

Paul Gilshan, Marketing Director of Freesat also commented:

As household bills continue to rise across the UK, particularly pay TV prices, we’re proud to launch a compact and low cost recorder that gives consumers an affordable alternative all for a one off cost with no monthly subscription, that’s £0 a month. With Freetime, customers enjoy the flexibility of a connected service with a huge range of content.

35 thoughts on “Humax and Freesat launch compact and connected Freetime”

  1. Does black or white really constitute a “range of colours”?

    And maybe my expectations are off, but an entry level price of £189 doesn’t strike me as “low cost” either.

  2. It’s good value when you consider the number of channels it receives, plus all the on-demand functionality and now wifi (though I’d still promote the use of Ethernet cable connectivity), from a strong brand. However, there isn’t really anything to compare it against, Humax have had a very comfortable position on the Freesat platform.

  3. Please explain your comment “though I’d still promote the use of Ethernet cable connectivity” … why the use of a cable … my thought is that I would only consider upgrading from existing box to acquire WiFi connectivity. Does WiFi not work well when using Freeview? Also I agree with previous comment re entry level price being too expensive.

  4. No reflection on how good the wifi is on this particular unit, just that when streaming on-demand services, to reduce the chances of buffering, you can’t beat hard wire. I’m a fan of hard wiring these sort of devices. Remember this isn’t an entry level product, those are offered by other manufacturers.

  5. I will make my usual comment at this point. Not sure what the internet, WiFi, Freetime, etc, has to do with receiving television via satellite. Just for the record I have an Amazon fireTV stick which works well with WiFi.

    Is it likely that a single new HD channel will launch on Freesat this year?

  6. Agree to an extent, Freesat is about free satellite television, but without on-demand etc, the platform simply wouldn’t survive, as others wouldn’t either. Technology and the way we watch television has changed massively and can’t be ignored long-term.

    What HD channel do you expect Freesat to obtain?

  7. The HD channel I want the most has always been Film4, but 5 should be available and the rest of the ITV suite. Some of these channels available on Sky must attract tiny audiences. They would probably be better off on Freesat/Freeview.

    I hardly stray from the HD section of my Manhattan, preferring to view something on RT or NHK rather than some poor SD channel. One other channel which I do put on is Bloomberg. At least they are now broadcasting in widescreen but HD would be nice.

  8. Presumably these are functionally the same as the HDR1010S and they will replace that model? It’s a pity that the new models have ditched the front panel display of the previous generation, but I suppose this does enable the box to be sold at a lower price. I’d be interested to know if these share the same chassis as the forthcoming Humax Freeview Play models, which might enable a further cost saving.

  9. Tuesday bought 1010s 1tB which I am very pleased with. The new Humax announced Wednesday 15 July I is a further development . Tremendous step forward in mine and the very latest. You might decide on unlimited broadband though. Decades ahead of the earliest Humax satellite recorders. I can still view old recordings on mine, but a bit fiddly. Congratulations. It complements Sky which we shall keep!

  10. Nice to see a new entrant to the Freesat hardware line-up as things overall have bene pretty quiet platform-wise over the last few Months.

    Having Wi-Fi as standard at the entry level price is good as most non-tech savvy believe Wireless connections are the quickest and most convenient. Like admin, I too agree that where possible a wired connection is the only way to go – certainly in my new house everything is wired, even where it has Wireless capability as a ‘fixed’ device and an Ethernet socket.

  11. Personally I am not a huge fan of the very small sized Freesat / Freeveiw set top boxes as seems to be the fashion from manufacturers these days.
    Connectivity problems can occur regarding ease of access to rear input terminals because of the limited physical space at the back of the unit especially if all the connections are needed, also the weight of the interconnecting cables overpowering the weight of the unit causing it to move & tilt in some cases which can be a real pain, less room inside the box also means less air circulating which does the internal electronics no favours regarding heat transfer issues, also consider that visual displays will also be harder to read from distance.
    For me, the larger full sized set top box always stands proud & looks the part in my home system … Going micro is not always best!

  12. Fair enough on size, but much of your reasoning isn’t valid in this particular case; the inputs are still spaced as before, maybe even further apart due to the removal of scart. The balance of the unit will prevent it raising up at the front, and also there is no visual display to struggle reading.

  13. I sometimes wonder what people expect from manufacturers, this is a good step forward, and at £189.00 it is well priced. How many of us read the display on the unit instead of looking at the TV screen? cmon guys how about a bit of support for a change.

  14. Well I for one read my display on a regular basis and agree with Alvin about the size. My Humax Bein Sport box is affected by cables and I only have 2.

  15. Nice to see a new model, but would really like to see some competition from other manufacturers.

  16. Is there a recording light on these new models? Also do they boot faster than the previous models?

  17. Daran Brown said:
    I sometimes wonder what people expect from manufacturers, this is a good step forward, and at £189.00 it is well priced. How many of us read the display on the unit instead of looking at the TV screen? cmon guys how about a bit of support for a change.

    I agree guys lets have some positivity.
    The Hdr1100s is smaller but not micro. No worries with cables. From what I have experienced there is All the features of the HDR 1010s. The ability to place Pictures, Photos and Video content also on to the hard drive works well. I also do like the standby light coming from the bottom of the box. The wifi works very well if the router is in the same room.17 ft away mine is. I have not tried a longer distance.
    This is sure to continue with many sales as the great work Humax and freesat have been doing since 2008 I have saved bucket loads of money. Many holidays have been taken. And many will follow as long as freesat keep adding content and progressing forward with technology as the other platforms are. I look forward to the peak advertising and the many additions that hopefully come through.

  18. soldierboy001 said:
    Well I for one read my display on a regular basis and agree with Alvin about the size. My Humax Bein Sport box is affected by cables and I only have 2.

    The bein sport box is absolute micro compared to the Hdr1100s. Pop a long to a retailer and see for yourself . There would be no complaints on cables.

  19. Is this box going to be upgraded to 4k like the new bt freeview box launching soon. Which is going to have a 4k sports channel and 4k net flicks. Also freeview seems to have a lot more hd now like all the channel 4 channels. I Think I could be going away from freesat . Freeview is going places. Freesat has stopped . Come on freesat and humax.

  20. I can’t understand the constant comparison between Freeview and Freesat. The way I see it is that the two services are complimentary to each other, with Freesat aimed at the many people in the UK who are not able to receive Freeview, or the full FV service. Of course, each has its pros and cons and offers a slighly different channel line up, but I don’t see them as rivals. After all, both offer 90% of what the pay TV services offer and neither of them are charge us any money,

  21. Freesat should be all about the ability to receive any FTA channels broadcast from Astra satellites at 28 degrees East without the need to buy a box from Sky, who quite outrageously charge extra for the ability to record FTA non subscription channels.

    But Freesat isn’t about that at all as expensive EPG listing costs seem deliberately designed to ensure the platform largely only contains channels from BBC, ITV, C4 and Five plus a few other big budget FTA broadcasters. So inept is Freesat’s marketing strategy that it continues to shut out one of the most popular specialist FTA channels on 28 degrees East (Horse and Country) has lost a large number of music channels that were formerly in the EPG (look at all the many now unused blank music channel numbers in the middle of the sequence) and allows HD versions of ITV2 to 4 to turn up only on Sky and also Channel4+1 HD and 47HD to be available only on Freeview.

    This all seems to be part of a thoroughly cynical ploy by BBC and ITV executives to ensure there is so little other choice of viewing available on Freesat boxes that you will have to spend a large amount of time watching only their channels. They clearly aren’t committed to the Free To Air satellite tv movement or otherwise they would have every single English speaking FTA channel broadcasting at 28 degrees East included in the EPG and/or make it easy for viewers to manually add Non Freesat channels alongside those in the Freesat EPG without all the absurd nonsense of switching from Freesat to Non Freesat mode to view them (with no EPG on non Freesat channels beyond the one at a time Now and Next info banner).

    For Freesat to also fail to include FTA news channels like especially Arise News (now broadcasting on Freeview and heavily UK located) plus CNC World and News 18 India (the latter English speaking and clearly having a huge potential UK based viewer base given demographic shifts) clearly says everything there is to know about the totally out of touch arrogance of the BBC and ITV members of the Freesat Board.

  22. A good step forward, but not much use to me, i use Mobile Broadband with a dongle so no WiFi. For catch-up TV i just use the Laptop.

  23. Paul Ryan said:
    A good step forward, but not much use to me, i use Mobile Broadband with a dongle so no WiFi. For catch-up TV i just use the Laptop.

    Get yourself a moblie MIFI
    Like the Huawei E5220 MiFi

  24. I am very reluctant to invest any more Freesat hardware. Happy with the Humax FOXSAT-HDR Freesat+ 320GB. Freesat haven’t attracted more HD channels on the platform and some of the freeview channels like Dave and Quest are missing.

  25. Just received an email from Freesat advising that i can claim a £20 discount off the new box using the discount code FREESAT20. I’m not sure if this is because i registered with the site, or whether it is a general offer – but at £169, this sounds like a good deal!

  26. “Sorry this discount code has reached its usage limits and can no longer be used”

  27. Pollensa1946 said:
    “Sorry this discount code has reached its usage limits and can no longer be used”

    Email said the first 400 units sold would receive this discount, but I can tell you now, there isn’t a chance that they sold that many, maybe not even 10% of that amount. There were a lot of complaints from independents about this tactic to offer a brand new product under trade price direct from Humax; especially as units are still hard to obtain, so maybe it was pulled.

  28. I have had a Freesat Humax for about 9 months and the remote has, over a number of weeks, been playing up. Firstly the TV guide button and numerous other buttons stopped working and now the Recordings button doesn’t work. To watch anything recorded I have to turn it off and then back on and then it displays the TV guide and Recordings. I am bitterly disappointed with it as I really am happy with it apart from the remote. What canI do?

  29. Lorna Conway said:
    I have had a Freesat Humax for about 9 months and the remote has, over a number of weeks, been playing up. Firstly the TV guide button and numerous other buttons stopped working and now the Recordings button doesn’t work.To watch anything recorded I have to turn it off and then back on and then it displays the TV guide and Recordings.I am bitterly disappointed with it as I really am happy with it apart from the remote.What canI do?

    Speak to Humax or the retailer you purchased from but make sure you are not pressing the TV button the Humax remote by accident, otherwise it won’t give commands to the receiver. That is assuming your remote has TV and PVR at the top, it may be an older version you have, in which case disregard this solution.

  30. admin said:
    It’s good value when you consider the number of channels it receives, plus all the on-demand functionality and now wifi (though I’d still promote the use of Ethernet cable connectivity), from a strong brand. However, there isn’t really anything to compare it against, Humax have had a very comfortable position on the Freesat platform.

    Whatever happened to the other free time boxes announced by freesat over a year ago?

  31. There doesn’t seem to be anything new in this model. Still wish they would bring out a network PVR. Humax already have a SAT>IP server and clients available in Europe. I’ve given up waiting and and have now bought a SAT>IP server and in the process of installing DVBLink software on my NAS – this will give me 4 independent tuners for recording or for viewing on any device including tablets. Of course it won’t have the advantage of an automatic Freesat EPG, but it doesn’t look like we’ll ever get one here, they’ve only just released this new model therefore it will be seveeal years before any other device appears. Freesat is not progressing. (Oh, I apologiuse, this new model does have wifi built in. Wow. I agree with the comments about hard-wiring anyway, leave wifi spectrum to the devices that actually can’t operate without it, i.e. phones and tablets).

  32. Chris S. said:
    There doesn’t seem to be anything new in this model. Still wish they would bring out a network PVR. Humax already have a SAT>IP server and clients available in Europe. I’ve given up waiting and and have now bought a SAT>IP server and in the process of installing DVBLink software on my NAS – this will give me 4 independent tuners for recording or for viewing on any device including tablets. Of course it won’t have the advantage of an automatic Freesat EPG, but it doesn’t look like we’ll ever get one here, they’ve only just released this new model therefore it will be seveeal years before any other device appears. Freesat is not progressing.(Oh, I apologiuse, this new model does have wifi built in. Wow. I agree with the comments about hard-wiring anyway, leave wifi spectrum to the devices that actually can’t operate without it, i.e. phones and tablets).

    CHris,
    Which model Server did you go for?
    I would be interested in doing something similar

  33. @peterhb: sorry for delay in noticing your question! I’ve got an Inverto Airscreen iDL400s, from Germany via Amazon. I got it because it can use a Quattro LNB and can also stream via DLNA. I can’t say it’s all been trouble free! The box does have an annoying bug that I’ve stumbled across, which I’ve reported to Inverto and they’ve reproduced it and have promised to fix it – if a client requests another tuner while all are in use, the box crashes and reboots.

    The DLNA server works but clients are very limited. It seems it streams in MPEG2 TS format which not a lot of DLNA clients can understand.

    There isn’t actually a lot of choice when it comes to Sat>IP clients. Hardware…same issue as the servers really, not readily available in the UK. Software…there’s the Elgato mobile apps, which you have to pay for. Not expensive at 78p each I think, but I wanted to try to free ones first, particularly as I didn’t think I’d stick with Elgato anyway. Thern there’s the TVizen mobile apps which are free, but are not fully Sat>IP compliant (“certification pending”) and very temperamental, failing to tune channels the majority of the time. The only thing I’ve found that works very well is DVBViewer Lite, and it even generates an EPG off the air as you tune into channels. While it has a nice HTPC-style OSD, it is designed to work with keypresses so you’d have to buy a remote control and program it for it to work well on a TV.

    The DVBLInk software should be better as it has its own clients on multiple platforms and has an XBMC/Kodi pluging for use with a HTPC – you’d think its own clients should be able to understand its streams! It too has DLNA server so maybe that will be better supported, although I doubt it, it probably just transmits the broadcast streams as-is.

    I haven’t installed the trial software as yet as I’ve got another problem ataching the Set>IIP server to my NAS. When using a Sat>IP TV tuner, traffic on the network is obviously doubled – from Sat>IP server to DVBLink, the from DVBLink out to clients. I’m trying to avoid this by connecting the Sat>IP server to the second LAN port of my Synology NAS, thereby keeping it on a separate network. But having problems tryiong to get the Synology to privde an IP address to it via DCHP – currently got a case open with Synology on that score. I’m not sure whether it can generate an EPG on-the-fly or whether you absolutely need to subscribe to their TV ADviser product.

    Looking at another thread on this forum about Freesat being in debt etc, if they actually persuaded Humax to release a Freesat version of their network server then it would be a major coup over Sky – Sky haven’t got one yet, although they are rumoured to be getting one. Obviously, I’m not party to the business world and Freesat’s finances and contracts etc, but I can’t understand why it would cost Freesat too much to get this sorted. The product is already there, it just needs the Freesat software added in. Or perhaps this *is* rocket science.

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