- Easy and intuitive to use
- Record two programmes at the same time
- Superb HD picture quality
- Fast and reliable
- BBC iPlayer built in
- Large 500GB or 1TB Hard Drive
- Not enough apps in the Internet Portal
- Only average media playback support
- Limited search options
- Recording schedule and favourites are deleted whenever you re-tune
Recordings & the Media list
Recorded programmes are accessed via the oddly named MEDIA button (there is a reason for this which I'll come onto later). This brings up a list of what has been recorded, or what is currently recording (shown by a red circular icon next to the programme name).
The list shows 5 programmes or folders at a time. These can be navigated via the up and down arrows or using the Channel UP/DOWN buttons to quickly page up and down.
Selecting a programme from the Media list will bring up a few options, such as Play from the Start, Resume Play, Delete, Rename and Lock.
The list can be sorted either alphabetically, by date or by channel using the OPT+ button, although folders are always shown alphabetically.
Watching TV & playing back recordings
Whether you're watching Live TV or a recording the FOX T2 supports the usual trick-play features you'd expect such as Pause, Rewind, Fast-Forward, Skip Back and Skip Forward.
Pausing, rewinding and skipping back also work when you are watching Live TV. Obviously you can't skip forward while watching Live TV unless you had previously paused the programme. For example, pausing for a couple of minutes allows you to then skip forward a couple of minutes until you
catch-up again to the live broadcast.
Think of the FOX T2 as a way to watch TV as well as a record. You'll be glad of the instant pause and rewind features when there's an expected knock on the door or when the phone rings.
While watching a recording, pressing the Play or Pause button will bring up a green timeline at the bottom of the screen that shows you how long the programme is. A vertical bar shows where you are so you can quickly and easily see how much you've watched and how much is left to watch.
While watching Live TV you are shown a similar timeline but this time in blue and showing a fixed 2-hour timeframe. The time you started watching the current channel is shown on the left and the blue bar shows how much of the live programme has been broadcast.
Never watch an advert again
The customisable skip forward and skip back feature allows you to jump ahead or back in pre-defined time intervals. The times can be changed in the Recording Preferences.
Adverts are normally broadcast in whole minutes so it's useful having skip forward set to 1 minute. When the adverts start, hit the skip forward button 4 times to skip 4 minutes ahead (which is roughly the average duration of adverts).
If you've gone too far you can use the skip back button which is best set to something lower like 15 second.
The other great use of skip back is that you can instantly replay something important you might have missed or something you simply want to watch again (and again).
The initial start-up time is a little on the long side at about 22 seconds but after that the FOX T2 is extremely responsive and importantly quiet during day to day operation. Menus open instantly, setting recordings literally takes a few seconds and the EPG is quick to navigate.
The FOX T2 supports a wide range of TV resolutions from standard definition (576i) all the way up to 1080p for those of you with Full HD TV sets.
If you set the TV output to 1080p (which I'd recommend you do if you have a 1080p TV), the FOX T2 does a good job of upscaling lower resolution content to fill a 1080p screen without the picture looking too soft or blurry.
The picture quality of both live TV and recordings is superb, in fact you'd be hard pressed to notice any difference at all between the actual live broadcast picture and the recorded picture.
All programmes are recorded directly from the aerial so they are an exact copy of the broadcast. That means that high definition programmes always look fantastic and standard definition programmes look, well, less than fantastic but that's not the FOX T2's fault!
How much can you record?
The standard 500GB Hard Drive is good for 300 hours of Standard Definition and 125 hours of High Definition programmes, or put another way about 75x 4-hour VHS tapes for SD and 31 for HD!
Unless you never delete any programmes, this should be more than enough for most but you can also choose the larger 1TB (1,000GB) Hard Drive. This obviously doubles the capacity and lets you store twice as much.
The FOX T2 consumes approximately 22-24 watts of power in normal use and less than 1 watt in standby.
You could leave it on standby 24/7 for the whole year then and it would cost you less than £1 a year!
So it's not only low-powered during normal use but great for the environment when in standby which of course helps keep your electricity bill low.
While in standby the unit powers down the aerial pass-through which is how it's able to achieve less than 1 watt of power consumption.
What this means is if you've looped through the aerial back to your TV and the FOX T2 is in standby, the TV won't actually be able to pick up any signal. You will have to turn power saving off in the preferences if you want this functionality.