- 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
Aside from the fairly standard features you'd expect from a PVR, the Humax HDR-FOX T2 is packed full of additional time-saving features that help make life just that little bit easier.
With so many channels (and radio stations) now available on Freeview it can be hard to keep track of them all.
This is where favourites come in as you can simply build a list of just the channels you want and filter out all the rubbish.
This makes the EPG a lot more manageable and ultimately means less time searching through channels you never have any intention of watching.
You can create up to 5 favourite lists that can be named anything you want, so you can have a main one, one for the kids and one for granny!
As with the schedule, any favourites you've created will be deleted if you re-tune the box.
Finding a specific program
There is a handy search feature which is accessed through the EPG.
From here you can either search by genre, such as Movie, Drama, Entertainment, etc. or you can search by Keyword using the on-screen keyboard.
Using search is a great time saver and obviously means you don't have to go hunting through pages and pages of the EPG.
That's about its limit though and there are no advanced options such as being able to search for 'actors' or any other keywords ('horror' for example) that might appear in the programme description.
It also searches through every single channel, TV and Radio. There are no filter options such as searching for 'Movies' on just the HD channels or 'Drama' on your predefined favourite channels.
So you may find yourself with a large list of programmes to go through which in some way defeats the point of having a search feature if you can't filter through the results.
It's a shame because other PVRs offer this kind of functionality and in today's search obsessed world it would have been nice to have a few more options.
But even though it's basic, it is at least fast and gets the job done.
Dolby Digital surround sound
For those of you that have an external audio setup such as a Home Cinema system, Sound Bar etc. you'll be delighted to hear that the FOX T2 can convert the multi-channel audio broadcast by some programmes into Dolby Digital 5.1. This is supported either through the HDMI or optical audio out.
The great thing is, there is more and more content being broadcast in multi-channel surround sound on the HD channels. So not only is the picture quality top notch, it also has the sound to match.
All of the BBC HD channels and Channel 4 HD channels broadcast multi-channel surround sound for content whenever available. Unfortunately this isn't the case for for ITV HD content, the best you'll get is 2.0 Dolby Digital but that's just essentially old school Stereo to you and me.
Having said that, no matter what audio track is broadcast, the FOX T2 handles everything without dropping a beat and will effortlessly and automatically switch between whichever audio decoder it needs without you ever needing to intervene.
The FOX T2 allows you to play different kinds of media content such as movie files (mp4, avi etc.) and audio mp3's from either your home network or a USB stick / drive.
This is why the button on the remote is called Media.
The options at the bottom of the Media screen allow you to switch between the type of Media and where the media is stored. You can select either a specific network folder you have connected (for example a folder on a connected PC) or a USB Drive to access further media content.
Annoyingly you have to specify which media type you want up front, i.e. Video, Music or Photo by pressing the yellow Media button. So if you have a folder with a mixture of videos, music and pictures, it will be filtered by your media of choice rather than showing everything.
It's not the most intuitive feature and I found the functionality and compatibility on the whole fairly limited. Despite a lot of testing and trial and error I could never quite get it working reliably and when it did work, there was always a compromise.
It's something I really wanted to use but due to it's limitations, in the end I gave up with it.
If you're serious about media playback and you're considering the Humax HDR-FOX T2 as one-stop solution as both a PVR and a media player, then like me, you're probably going to end up being disappointed.
Humax TV Portal
The Humax TV Portal is another one of those features that promised so much but never really delivered.
It was meant to bridge the gap between live broadcast and internet catch-up services such as iPlayer, YouTube etc.
Unfortunately Humax hasn't properly supported the portal and apart from the BBC iPlayer (which to be fair does work reasonably well) there just aren't enough apps and services to make it even worth talking about.
It's clear that Humax's vision was for an integrated PVR / internet catch-up set-top box, but this never materialised. My guess is because they were probably working on their YouView PVR at the same time so it wouldn't have made sense to develop two rival services.
YouView very quickly sealed the Humax TV Portal's fate so once again if you're looking for an all-in-one PVR and catch-up set-top box then you're better off with Humax's own DTR-T2000
If you have any sort of visual or hearing impairment, the FOX T2 has you covered via a couple of options you're probably already familiar with, subtitles and audio description.
- Subtitles are an on-screen text based commentary of what's happening on screen. From the dialogue being spoken, to key audio sound effects and any music that might be playing.
The subtitles are actually recorded as well as part of the programme so it's not just something that works for Live broadcasts.
Whether you are watching a recording or Live TV, as long as the programme was broadcast with subtitles, they are available at any time by pressing the SUB button near the bottom of the remote.
Most programmes these days support Subtitles, but if you want to make sure, press the i-button and look out for [S] at the end of the description.
- Audio description
- Audio description for the visually impaired provides additional voice over commentary to describe key information during parts of the programme.
This descriptive audio track can be enabled by pressing the Speaker button with a question mark next to it.
Not many programmes carry an additional Audio Description track but as with Subtitles, you can check the programme information and look out for the [AD] symbol.
As you've probably concluded yourself if you've read through the whole review, I'm a huge fan of the Humax HDR-FOX T2.
It's not only well designed and easy to use but reliable as well. I've been using mine for over 4 years and I've never experienced any major problems with it.
From the pin sharp HD pictures and slick menus to the sheer joy and effortlessness that comes with using it on a daily basis, this Freeview HD recorder will take some beating.
I would steer clear of the media player and catch-up TV features as neither of these really perform well and were poorly implemented but ignoring these more advanced features, this is a truly great PVR that performs effortlessly day in day out.
If you're new to the world of PVRs or you're thinking of upgrading then you won't go far wrong with this product.
It's a shame then that Humax have stopped production of this particular model as I would recommend it to anyone without hesitation.
So while I hope you've been inspired to take the plunge, unfortunately you can no longer buy them new.
It's not all lost however, as Humax followed the FOX T2 with the HDR-2000T which by all accounts is extremely similar and cheaper.
There are also some refurbished deals to be had on amazon plus of course there are some fantastic deals on
9 / 10 (Excellent)