It has been almost exactly 12 months since Humax released a new, own-branded YouView set top box/personal video recorder.
Design & Connections
The vacuum fluorescent display behind the metallic front is nice and provides useful information such as channel tuned and playback time elapsed. The illuminated control button at the centre is more decorative than functional as although it can be used to skip channels and adjust volume, it really doesn’t work very well. Also on the front is a touch-sensitive standby button, over to the left.
The remote control is also identical to previous versions and presents an ergonomic design that curves in at the middle making it very comfortable to handle. The colour coding of the Record (red) and YouView (blue) buttons also helps and it can also act as simple controller for most brands of TV giving you volume and power commands, at the minimum. Some brands will offer a fuller control suite but you’ll need to experiment with which button does what to find out as they’re not always logically aligned, in terms of naming and functionality.
Set Up and Menus
The Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) provides a 6 channel/1 and half hour view with a handy timeline running down the screen vertically to display the current time status. Programmes highlighted in light grey are currently on air and those in dark grey surroundings are upcoming. There’s also a date ticker across the top, making it simple to schedule recordings and you can skip days in advance by using the Fast Forward transport button on the remote. For that matter, you can back up a day at a time by hitting rewind.
All menus are got at from the blue Youview button on the remote control from where 5 options – Search/MyView/Guide/On Demand/Settings – are presented. The Search facility is excellent, allowing you find content from both the EPG and On Demand Players. It doesn’t yet extend to genre searches beyond being able to filter for items from On-Demand, the EPG or Music Videos but it works very speedily and provides suggestions in a grey bar corresponding with the letters you’ve keyed in, which can certainly speed up the process.
Device Management has options for power saving, software update checking and On Demand Player update options. From there, you are also able to choose whether to automatically delete recorded content from the hard drive to free up space but, maybe with 2TB to spare, that’s a slightly less useful option with this box.
Freeview PVR Functionality
With the World Cup in Brazil looming, imagine your despair if you were to set a knockout tie to record, only to find that you missed extra time and/or penalties because the box stopped recording at the exact scheduled programme end time. In theory, in this instance, the BBC and ITV should update the EPG to allow the box to continue but how often this is done in practice is open to debate. All that said, England supporters may just be better off not seeing the inevitable carnage.
From a stability point of view, we found the DTR-T1010 2TB to be everything we expected. That is, it’s rock solid when it comes to making planned recordings. Consecutive recordings were all kept intact with no chopping of the beginnings or ends of timers. The box will also give you a warning when you schedule overlapping timers over more than 2 channels and we like the fact that you will be asked if you would prefer to record a HD version of any SD programmes scheduled, should yo commit the sin of not doing so in the first place. That great bit of PVR magic, ‘Chase Play’ also works really well and by going in to the MyView menu you can select a programme to view before the recording ends. That’s something that never fails to please. You can also lock recordings, preventing unwanted deletes by highlighting a programme in MyView and hitting the yellow button on the remote.
The YouView software also allows access to all the players from a hub page and lets you filter content searches based on type of content – Films, TV, Radio or Adult - and then further within those categories – Childrens, Drama, Comedy etc.
Newly added are some of UKTVs factual, comedy and lifestyle channels including Yesterday, Dave, and Really which are accessed by a catch-all player in the On Demand portal. In all honesty, we’ve never used it prior to conducting this review and, despite repeated attempts during it, we couldn’t get it to load.
Still, that doesn’t stop YouView from being one of the, if not the, go-to platforms for On Demand lovers and we haven't even mentioned Milkshake (C5 Kids entertainment) and the new S4C player. It's worth remembering that the bundled BT and TalkTalk boxes feature different and additional services so we'd advise checking their offers for details. We just hope pulls a blinder by unleashing Netflix on to the 'vanilla' platform.
- A great interface
- Superb On Demand roster
- Very reliable with recording
- Nivs mobile app
- No WiFi
- ..And still no padding options
Humax YouView (DTR-T1010 2TB) Box Review
The box retains the same, generally gloss black, chassis with a strip of silver concealing a useful VFD display. In terms of connectivity, you get an HDMI out, digital audio and some legacy video connections. There’s also a LAN port but still, inexplicably, no built-in WiFi.
The missing wireless connection is a fairly big deal considering one of the major selling points of the YouView platform is its integration into IPTV systems and the wealth of on-demand and streaming services available. Hopefully someone will see sense soon and get a box out there with WiFi connectivity.
Those on-demand services mentioned above include BBC iPlayer, 40D, ITV Player and Demand 5 so all the big terrestrial players are covered and there’s also new services from UKTV including Dave and Yesterday to get your teeth in to. The DTR-T1010 also gets you access to Sky’s NOW TV and Sky Store content, provided you’re willing to pay for the privilege.
In terms of its PVR capabilities, the Humax DTR-T1010 2TB is extremely solid and reliable and includes excellent implementations of time-shifting, ‘ad-skipping’, chase play and series record features. The glaring omission for the feature-set is the lack of padding options meaning live event recordings, in particular, could be cut off in their prime. This is such a simple thing, we can’t believe it’s not been added yet.
Other than that criticism, we found the overall package provided by the Humax DTR-T1010T to be generally excellent, particularly with the on-demand integration, so we have no hesitations in giving it a Recommended Award. It would have been higher but for the lack of padding.
Ease of Use Menus/GUI
Picture Quality HD
Picture Quality SD
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
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