Humax first to launch Freesat <free time> box

Humax first to launch Freesat <free time> boxHumax are expected to be the first to launch the next generation Freesat receiver, branded <free time>.

The new receiver, model HDR-1000S is expected to have a 500GB hard drive (1TB optional) and be available by the end of this month.

The rrp is expected to be £279, undercutting rival YouView’s launch price by £20, though we’d imagine prices will be lower than this from some online independent retailers.

Details are limited at this time, but here is the technical specification:

Power Supply
Power Type: External Adaptor
Power Consumption: Max. 48W (standby: under 0.5W)
Input Voltage: AC 100-240, 50/60Hz
Protection: Seperate Internal Fuse & Lightning protection

System Resource
FLASH: NAND 256MB
DDR: 1GB (DDR3)
HDD: 500GB or 1TB (optional)

Video/Audio Processing
Output Resolution: 1080p/1080i/720p/576p/576i
Graphics: 32bpp with 256 alpha blending, 1280 x 720 resolution for Native UI & Web Page, 3 layers (GUI/Subtitle & Teletext/Web Page)
Audio Mode: Single/Dual Mono/Stereo/Joint Stereo

Front Panel
VFD Display: 12 digits
LED display: 1 inside power button
Buttons: 5 keys (Power, Vol+/-, Ch+/-)
USB Port: USB 2.0

Physical Specification
Size (W x H x D): 352mm x 55mm x 238mm
Weight: 1.7kg

Front End (Tuner/Demodulator)
Input Connector: 2 x F-Type, IEC 169-24, Female
Frequency Range: 950MHz to 2150MHz
Signal Level: -25dBmV to -75dBmV
Demodulation: QPSK, 8PSK

I/O Specification
Tuner: 2 SAT input
TV Scart: 1 x TV Scart
RCA Out: 1 x CVBS/L/R
HDMI Out: 1 x HDMI 1.4 with HDCP
S/PDIF Out: 1 x Optical
USB: 2 x USB 2.0 (1 x @Front, 1 x @Rear)
Ethernet: 1 x 100BaseT (RJ45)
CI/CI+: 1 Slot @Side

Accessories
Quick start guide, User manual, Remote control unit with 2 batteries (AA), HDMI cable, Ethernet cable

Humax first to launch Freesat <free time> box
First image of front of Humax HDR-1000S Freesat+HD <free time> Receiver

Humax first to launch Freesat <free time> box
First image of rear of Humax HDR-1000S Freesat+HD <free time> Receiver

Satbuyer already have the product listed and are taking pre-orders; they usually offer the best launch prices and have access to stock first.

99 thoughts on “Humax first to launch Freesat <free time> box”

  1. My existing Humax box is connected to my wifi router.
    For and ‘upgrade’, given todays technology, I would expect to be able to browse into the box via a web interface (or even an official Humax App) and access the content from there. Even being able to control it and access the EPG from a tablet or wifi device within the network should be a simple task… but no.
    It might be an improvement but to me it is by no means ‘now’ considering what I can do with a tablet and other technology around the home.
    This PSU issue is a bit backward. The latest Apple Air-Port has a native PSU. The last one didn’t. You don’t get a company like Apple doing anything unless it improves it or saves money during manufacture. So the external PSU only highlights Humax’s inability to take control of it’s manufacturing supply chain.

  2. Rich This PSU issue is a bit backward. The latest Apple Air-Port has a native PSU. The last one didn’t. You don’t get a company like Apple doing anything unless it improves it or saves money during manufacture. So the external PSU only highlights Humax’s inability to take control of it’s manufacturing supply chain.

    I think that’s a very sweeping statement. The external PSU is actually a very good idea for keeping the main box smaller and cooler and quieter that it would be if it was internal, and also makes replacing it easier if it blows, as that is likely to be the component most as risk from failing. Just because Apple has done something it doesn’t mean it’s always the right thing to do and soemone else who doesn’t do it is wrong! (Apple products are notoriously difficult to upgrade or repair). I’ve just replaced my 12 year old NEC LCD monitor, which has a mains plug going directly into it, with a bang up-to-date modern 1080P one from Acer, which has an external PSU. A 24″ 1080P TV I bought from Samsung last year also has an external PSU. My 7-year old HTPC has an internal PSU which I’m unhappy with as the box gets very warm and it has a fan for the PUS board alone. I’m now building a new one with, guess what, an external PSU. Am I wrong to do so?

  3. PS. you’re right in that Apple only does something if it benefits them. Putting the PSU inside a box makes it more prone to failure and more difficult to repair, therefore they can charge high prices for repairs or else you’ll just decide to but a new one when it fails.

  4. Wayne said:
    @Sean 38 yes the shiny new EPG is available without broadband, the other thing the new box does is it starts scanning for channels before you put in your postcode, once your postcode is in the stb is up and running in seconds.

    Thanks for that Wayne. I will invest in one of these for Christmas, that new EPG looks fabulous and I was afraid that perhaps the box would default to the old epg without a broadband connection, unfortunately where I live, a broadband connection is not an option at the moment, but as long as I can get the new epg ( albeit without iplayers etc ) I will be happy to buy one of these boxes. Looks far superior to the new Sky epg, using channel logos is a nice touch.

  5. I have read that a ‘zapper’ box is planned in 2013. What form is that likely to take? It would be really ideal to be able to use the main freetime box as a ‘master’ box and have zapper boxes that can stream content from the master box, along with working independently on IP streams. Is this likely to be what a zapper box can do?

  6. I accept there are two distinct and valid arguments regarding the merits of external power supplies. All I can say is that I prefer the neatness and simplicity of a built in power supply, one that has plenty of surrounding air to cool it and that is easily and cheaply repairable if it ever fails. The 50 watt external supply that this new Humax will have will no doubt get warm and be a sealed (and expensive) unit if goes wrong – plus these things are relatively easily lost or damaged in many households. Plus they look ugly on a wall!
    On a different topic, I assume that neither this box nor its YouView equivalent allow programs accessible via i-Player or ITV player etc to be recorded?
    Is there a technical reason for this, or is it a question of broadcasting rights? It seems a bit strange to allow a live broadcast to be recorded, but not one replayed via i-Player…

  7. Features:
    Disequ? (What flavour/version)
    3:00am housekeeping still required?
    Does IPTV still function if Sat signal not present?
    Any browsing capability?
    Any email capability?
    Any 3rd party app capability?
    Easy access to other sat?
    i.e. quick flip button/code or integrated into LCNs e.g. 5xxx
    or is more custom firmware going yo be needed?
    Is single cable mode supported? (What type[s], how many virtual RXs)
    Option to use cordless keyboard?
    Transfer old HD recordings for upgraders?
    What DNLA functions? (Share RX to other sets?)
    Extending disk using LAN NAS?
    Has anyone used the CI+ slot? (What results)
    Typical power operating? (says PSU 48W max)
    Pici shows fan slots – Really? (off board PSU…)

    Thanks in advance to any beta/reviewer who can look and answer any of these questions….

  8. I wonder what the resale price for a 1.5yr old Foxsat HDR would be … if it left a gap of about £100 between that and this I’d be tempted. But like others, I spent a lot on the Foxsat HDR and this new box isn’t really cheap either; I’ve had rid of Sky for 18 months so the Foxsat has technically paid for itself … but seems false economy to grab one of these as much as I’d like one …

    Also a shame the other OD channels aren’t ready at launch; Freesat has POOR rep for bringing this stuff on time and promising vague dates that pass us by … iPlayer still isn’t present on some boxes it was promised on at the time, so I hope they’ve tightened up their agreements with manufacturers in terms of product support.

    Glad to see Humax leading the way though; Foxsat owners have certainly never been left behind so I’d be confident in buying one of these new boxes by them; by other manufacturers, not so sure.

  9. @Rich (not the one above) Says
    The obvious answer is not to be an early adopter, but wait for 6-12 months. By then the Humax box will be available for around £200, there will be other Freetime boxes available from Manhattan and the like – and the other OD channels will have lanched.
    I don’t think you need have any worries about the resale value of your HDR, the Humax boxes of all ages seem to hold their value pretty well.

  10. Will this catch up function work with non uk ip addresses? Freesat works perfect in mainland Europe, but iplayer etc will not work as non uk ip detected. Be great if it worked outside the uk, anyone know?

  11. upthePOSH said:
    Sorry if this is a daft question but will the new tv guide be in HD?

    Yes you are right its a daft question why would anyone be bothered its only a tv guide

  12. steve 1 said: Yes you are right its a daft question why would anyone be bothered its only a tv guide

    What I mean is I’ve experienced the new sky egp which is in hd on a big screen tv and it looks very sharp , clean and detailed and as I’m considering buying the new humax box I just wanted to know if the new freesat epg was in hd because in my opinion it does make a difference.

  13. upthePOSH said: What I mean is I’ve experienced the new sky egp which is in hd on a big screen tv and it looks very sharp , clean and detailed and as I’m considering buying the new humax box I just wanted to know if the new freesat epg was in hd because in my opinion it does make a difference.

    How do you know its in hd its a gimmick you don’t really watch a tv guide its just a
    Reference really anyway if its hd anywayvon sky you will be paying for it.its the programs what really count surely

  14. steve 1 said: How do you know its in hd its a gimmick you don’t really watch a tv guide its just a
    Reference really anyway if its hd anywayvon sky you will be paying for it.its the programs what really count surely

    I can spell by the way I was tapping away on my smartphone and I pressed the wrong keys and I didn’t check before I sent it.

  15. upthePOSH said: What I mean is I’ve experienced the new sky egp which is in hd on a big screen tv and it looks very sharp , clean and detailed and as I’m considering buying the new humax box I just wanted to know if the new freesat epg was in hd because in my opinion it does make a difference.

    Everything is upscaled anyway a bit like a hdmi DVD player you cant tell.go for the humax you won’t be disappointed

  16. admin said: It is conceivable that maybe they didn’t want to include it as wifi can cause streaming issues and they wanted to ensure hard wire connections for reliability.
    Either that or maybe (like with adding formats to play back media) the wifi standard carries a licensing charge, I’m not sure. (maybe Alex can clarify this one).

    Good news – the 1TB Humax box will have WiFi. http://recombu.com/digital/news/what-is-freesat_M10877.html

  17. admin said: If accurate (not always on Recombu) then this is good news for those that want it. I had wondered why Humax were indicating that the 1TB version might not launch until Christmas and I had thought surely this delay wasn’t because of a larger hard drive; I guess wifi is a reasonable explanation.

    The humax t2 pvr has a WiFi dongle at a extra charge of around £30

  18. Any update on these ‘zapper’ boxes that Humax have been talking about? What do they do, when are they likely to be available?

  19. admin said: If accurate (not always on Recombu) then this is good news for those that want it. I had wondered why Humax were indicating that the 1TB version might not launch until Christmas and I had thought surely this delay wasn’t because of a larger hard drive; I guess wifi is a reasonable explanation.

    The Recombu article is sourced from Digital TV Europe which quotes Humax’s commercial director Graham North and looks convincing. Will be interesting to see how much it costs.
    http://www.digitaltveurope.net/27981/freesat-to-launch-wifi-free-time-set-top-this-year/

  20. Andrew said: The Recombu article is sourced from Digital TV Europe which quotes Humax’s commercial director Graham North and looks convincing. Will be interesting to see how much it costs.
    http://www.digitaltveurope.net/27981/freesat-to-launch-wifi-free-time-set-top-this-year/

    Probably is right but no official quotes from Graham North. Seen the trade prices and it looks like the rrp will be £299, or follow the 500GB at an approx. £20/£30 difference.

  21. They may have shot themselves in the foot calling it . This has thepotential to cause havoc with browsers! For example, the Recombu article linked above has the phrase: “Freetime (or as it’s styled)…” that doesn’t make sense. A quick look at the HTML source clarifies…

    “Freetime (or as it’s styled)”

    Basically, Freesat have chosen a styling for the brand that web browsers and servers have difficulty rendering!

  22. Chris said:
    They may have shot themselves in the foot calling it .This has thepotential to cause havoc with browsers!For example, the Recombu article linked above has the phrase: “Freetime (or as it’s styled)…” that doesn’t make sense.A quick look at the HTML source clarifies…
    “Freetime (oras it’s styled)”
    Basically, Freesat have chosen a styling for the brand that web browsers and servers have difficulty rendering!

    Agreed and I’ve already raised this issue with them; it makes a right mess of the email notifications sent out to this sites readers. I think most will end up dropping the <>‘s because of this.

  23. I don’t know if everyone is aware of this technical information sheet which is rather hidden away on the Humax Direct website (http://www.humaxdirect.co.uk/product.asp?ProdRef=10108#more-info)?
    It reveals that Wi-fi connectivity will be provided by a separate dongle sold by Humax. Also that the HUMAX TV Portal will provide access to YouTube, Wiki@TV, flickr, Picasa, Teletext Holidays, AUPEO, HUMAX support, etc.
    Not sure if any of this is new, but I am surprised that the machine isn’t getting more prominence on the main Humax site.

  24. Lawrence Pearce said:
    I don’t know if everyone is aware of this technical information sheet which is rather hidden away on the Humax Direct website (http://www.humaxdirect.co.uk/product.asp?ProdRef=10108#more-info)?
    It reveals that Wi-fi connectivity will be provided by a separate dongle sold by Humax. Also that the HUMAX TV Portal will provide access to YouTube, Wiki@TV, flickr, Picasa, Teletext Holidays, AUPEO, HUMAX support, etc.
    Not sure if any of this is new, but I am surprised that the machine isn’t getting more prominence on the main Humax site.

    The humax t2 freeview hdr has it

  25. Just to let people know who haven’t already noticed, but Comet is now listing the Humax on their website for £279.99 (the same as Currys). If you click on availability, it says the earliest they can deliver is Monday 24th September, so I take it this is the date we can expect availability.

  26. MPD said:
    Is Scart really necessary?

    Yes when the upscaler on the PVR using the HDMI does a poor job on standard definition pictures. Unfortunately, this is my experience of Humax boxes so I use Scart for Standard definition and switch to HDMI with the HD channels.

  27. The hdmi lead doesn’t hand shake but I disagree I think the humax does a good job of upscaling of sd.its a clever box well thought out

  28. Comet appear to have pulled all references to the HDR1000S at the moment – could be due to shipping delays, but the only mention of a Freetime product is now ‘coming soon’ on their website.

  29. Lee S said:
    Just to let people know who haven’t already noticed, but Comet is now listing the Humax on their website for £279.99 (the same as Currys). If you click on availability, it says the earliest they can deliver is Monday 24th September, so I take it this is the date we can expect availability.

    I did indeed have one ordered for delivery on Monday 24/09,however had a call from Comet stating this would now be Monday 08/10. I have now cancelled this order and have emailed Humax for clarification on delivery dates.

  30. Just noticed that the Humax Freetime box is now being advertised on Ebay

    The two sellers have good feedback ratings and prices are £260 for the 500GB machine and £280 for the 1TB. Would be interesting to know the source of these machines!

  31. lawrence Pearce said:
    Just noticed that the Humax Freetime box is now being advertised on Ebay
    The two sellers have good feedback ratings and prices are £260 for the 500GB machine and £280 for the 1TB. Would be interesting to know the source of these machines!

    Sorry, I won’t allow this company to be advertised on here. Both those companies are one of the same. Neither have stock (they state estimated 16 days arrival) and aren’t in Humax’s good books so might not get stock! Feedback good, providing you have no issues with the product, try contacting them with a query or fault, you’ll not get a reply!

  32. Mike B said:
    At present, i have a Foxsat HD box. I am thinking of upgrading to the new HDR-1000S. Theproblem is, i only have one sat. cable to input.Is there any way i can get the full benefit of the unit without having a second cable fitted?

    Mike, try a stacker/destacker setup such as http://www.globalinvacom.com/products/sds.php. I’ve been using this with my Foxsat HDR for quite some time now with great results. I had a single (high quality) cable installed some 10 years ago when I never thought of adding a 2nd cable, I then had a quad LNB fitted in the attic and use the stacker/destacker which works a treat.

  33. Humax Direct are stating the HDR-1000S will be available 08/10 subject to confirmation. They also say the launch delay is down to Freesat. Have mine ordered from Comet for delivery launch day.

  34. bampsam said:
    Humax Direct are stating the HDR-1000S will be available 08/10 subject to confirmation. They also say the launch delay is down to Freesat. Have mine ordered from Comet for delivery launch day.

    You might not get it launch day, very rarely do Humax have stock with the suppliers prior to the day; preferring to hold back to encourage more sales from them direct first. Something Humax have done for quite a while and has annoyed many a retailer.

  35. Managed to pre-order one of the 1TB models for £259. Apparently should be in by November. Humax have it listed on their website at £299, so this is a steal at cheaper than the 500GB model.

  36. Jon said:
    Managed to pre-order one of the 1TB models for £259. Apparently should be in by November. Humax have it listed on their website at £299, so this is a steal at cheaper than the 500GB model.

    May I ask where you have pre-ordered it from at that price , I’m looking to buy this to compliment my humax hdr g1 box and I don’t mind waiting till November to get this.

  37. upthePOSH said: May I ask where you have pre-ordered it from at that price , I’m looking to buy this to compliment myhumax hdr g1 boxand I don’t mind waiting till November to get this.

    Jon stated the place but I’ve removed it because he’s a new poster here and couldn’t validate a genuine customer or representative for them (sure he’ll appreciate that). In the interest of encourage sales to our sponsors, Satbuyer are stating £269.95 with further discounts to those that pre-order or get added to their waiting/news list.

  38. admin said: Jon stated the place but I’ve removed it because he’s a new poster here and couldn’t validate a genuine customer or representative for them (sure he’ll appreciate that). In the interest of encourage sales to our sponsors, Satbuyer are stating £269.95 with further discounts to those that pre-order or get added to their waiting/news list.

    Thanks for the info admin , I’ll pre-order it with Satbuyer .I’ts still a great price at £269.95

  39. Just done a search on Google [admin – site removed] offering the HDR-1000S box for a penny under £240. They appear to be genuine as there are stores in Yorkshire and Lancashire, but you know when something appears almost too good? They do have a company registration number on their website which checks out and they publish their addresses.

    Has anyone had experience of them, or if someone lives around Bolton/Dewsbury/Wetherby/Doncaster, can they confirm if this is a genuine company? If so this is one heck of a bargain but I’d like some second opinions what others think.

  40. Stuart, this company (of which we’ve removed the name) has been spammed to death on this site today. Never heard of them before and know of most retailers in this sector. Note that the company you mention also charge £6.99 postage.

    The price is good, though Satbuyer (currently showing £249) have said they will offer a discount to those who pre-order or go on their waiting list, so probably to around the same price (and sponsor this site so take priority of course).

    The margins appear quite good on this product whilst the price suggestion remains around the rrp. Suspect £239 will become common place before long.

  41. Oops sorry didn’t realise i shouldn’t post the name, never mind – i took a punt, completed on credit card – any issues they share the liability. Seems to have some good google reviews. If not I’ll stump up the extra and buy direct.

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