Anyone recommend a Freeview HD box with Catch-Up TV?


Novice Member
I'm not looking to spend too much, but was thinking of replacing my Freeview+ SD box with a Freeview+ HD box with Freeview Play or with the main Catch-Up TV services (BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4 and My5). Possibly a good quality hardly used or refurbished one.
I've looked at hundreds of them on ebay but none of them really say in the pictures and item description if they have some sort of catch-up TV on them.
In the pictures, the ones that you can connect an Ethernet lead into, I don't know if that automatically means you can view Catch-Up on it or not. Some only specify BBC iPlayer so don't know if the other catch-ups are on them or not.
Or is it a case of installing them on the box yourself?
If so, how would I do this?

Can you recommend any to me? Some also have a DVD/Blu-Ray Player/Recorder built in, so if it actually works out easier and not much more expensive to get one of these types, again please can you suggest any?

Also, I am currently still using a VCR to record some CCTV footage to so was thinking of also replacing that, but not replace it for a dedicated CCTV HDD recorder, but instead replace it for a SD or HD HDD Freeview recorder that enables you to record from an external input. In this case, the camera input.

Again, if you can suggest any such models, I'd be very grateful.
Thanks kindly in advance.


First question: Buy a Humax HDR-FoxT2 from eBay. (But check that the catchup suits you)
Second question: I don't think that any Freeview recorders allow you to record from an external source.


If you want all the freeview catch up services your choice will be very limited as this has only arrived on Freeview Play machines within the last year or so.

Any such recent devices will not have the ability to record any external analogue sources so all your wishes cannot be achieved by a single box.
e.g. Some older second hand boxes still had the ability to record external analogue sources and could play or record DVD/ Bluray... but they will not have any catchup services.


Novice Member
Are you recommending the Humax because you have one yourself, or because of another reason? Such as did it come top in a review of Freeview+ HD boxes or something?
Or did someone else recommend it to you first?
And why do you say "(But check that the catchup suits you)"?
Does it not have all the catch-up services I mentioned I wanted?

As for recording from external sources, I have seen some things that look to be able to do that such as the Panasonic DMR EX769EB which is not Freeview+ HD but is a Freeview+ HDD/DVD Recorder. Also the Icecrypt T2400 HDPVR Freeview+ HD TV Recorder with 1TB HDD.
Also the Panasonic DMR-BWT700EB 3D Blu-Ray/HDD recorder/Player.

With the exception of the Panasonic DMR EX769EB, the other two appear to be able to connect to the internet, but I don't know if they have catch-up TV on them or not.

If you can name any other brands, I will have a good search around for them and compare them.


Distinguished Member
First question: Buy a Humax HDR-FoxT2 from eBay. (But check that the catchup suits you)
Second question: I don't think that any Freeview recorders allow you to record from an external source.

The Freeview Panasonic DVD/Bluray recorders do (but only in SD from an analogue source). Real pvrs do not have the required analogue to digital converters (ADC) and real time mpeg2 compression. They do not need these as the digital TV and Radio stream is already mpeg2 compressed and just has to be copied to a hard disk. HDR FOX T2 only has iplayer and youtube. A really cheap NOW TV box without a subscription will provide the free catch up services.

The superceded Humax HDR-FOX-T2 has a very large advantage over the newer models, because it can run a custom firmware add on. With this it can do everything the OP wants (including exporting HD) except for the full range of catch up services.

It can near uniquely record the catch up services thanks to the CF. A 1 hour iplayer HD programme records in 5-10 mins on my 70Mbps net connection.

I have two incidentally.
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Novice Member
Thanks for your help with that.
I guess I am probably then looking at having to get a YouView+ box to replace my BT Vision+ box (might be a better choice than a NOW TV box, but I could be wrong) which I didn't really want to do as I understand with those there is no manual tuning on them and no being able to move channels up and down from their official EPG numbers in the TV guide.

As for replacing the video recorder for my CCTV, maybe a HDD/DVD combi recorder is still the answer.


no being able to move channels up and down from their official EPG numbers in the TV guide.
That's another thing you can do on the T2 with the custom firmware to which GLT refers. I have 'moved' the common HD versions on LCNs (channel numbers) 1 - 5 instead of 101 -105.


Distinguished Member
I guess I am probably then looking at having to get a YouView+ box to replace my BT Vision+ box (might be a better choice than a NOW TV box,
Why not get both? Being on BT you'll get YouView for peanuts and a Now TV box only costs £20.
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Novice Member
Having had time to have a good think about it this weekend, in all fairness, I don't really think all the catch-up services are a must. I have got a Smart TV and if I was to start to use Catch-Up more frequently, I can just watch them through my TV and change my broadband package for an Infinity package to save me going over my monthly allowance.

As for boxes, I am looking to get ideally a Freeview+ or Freeview+ HD HDD/DVD recorder with AV phono inputs and 2 scart inputs to replace my VCR. One such item that almost does the job is the LG RHT497H.
And as for the BT Vision box, if the other box is a HD box then I may just keep the BT Vision box but cancel paying the £6 a month.
Or otherwise I will replace that too with a cheap-ish Freeview+ HD box.

I have so many items I'm watching on ebay and have spent so much time looking at different ones, my brain is frazzled with different ideas what to do and which ones to get!

I just wish you could just take a look at each one, find out everything you need to know about it and make a decision there and then if that is one that works for you or not!


Novice Member
Just thought I'd write an update on what I decided to purchase after your advice.

I decided I might as well keep the BT Vision+ box for now and to replace the VCR with a Freeview+HD box that can record from external sources.

The way I had the VCR connected, I made use of both Line 1 and Line 2 Scarts and Line 3 Phono inputs.
So I decided what I needed to find was a Freeview+HD recorder that had exactly the same inputs.

On starting to look around firstly I discovered to find a suitable product, I would most likely need to buy a HDD/DVD combination recorder as there weren't really any stand alone HDD recorders with external input recording connections.
Secondly, I found there were mostly Panasonic units for sale that fitted my requirements, but mostly weren't Freeview+HD, just normal Freeview+ in SD.
Some of the HD model numbers that I could choose from were some HDD/Blu-Ray recorders DMR-BWT700, DMR-BW780 and DMR-BW880.
The 780 and 880 models were selling for over £300 and too expensive so needed something cheaper.

I would've bid on a 700 model but I then found two DMR-XW380 models, one of which that was ending before the 700 model I saw ended.
I decided I would bid on that 380 as I was expecting a Blu-Ray recorder to sell for something near the Buy It Now prices of the other two models I quoted.
In the end, the 380 I won sold for £20 less than the 700 I didn't bid on, around the £100-£120 price range.
A few days later the other 380 model like the one I won sold for £25 less! Gutted!

On well, I guess that's the gamble you have to take when it comes on whether to bid on one item or wait for the same item to end and risk missing out on both on ebay by not bidding on the first and possibly being outbid on the 2nd!

It might not have Catch-Up services on it but as I said I barely use it anyway and I still can watch Catch-Up on BT Vision if I want to (at the moment at least) and can watch it through my Smart TV or from my Laptop to my TV even anyway.


Let us know if it does what you want.


Novice Member
I would say it can be a little slow to respond when you call up the menu or press other infra-red commands.
Also, I don't know whether there are a few little occasional faults with it or not as the seller said it was in full working order but after tuning it after I received it, when I switched it back on next day I noticed my main ITV region automatically swapped places with a secondary region for whatever reason. After I swapped them back, they have stayed in place.
Another thing was when I was looking through the channels, strangely, both Channel 4 and Channel 4 +1 went to a black blank screen with no sound.
Other channels on the D3&4 multiplex are fine so don't know what was different about both those channels which didn't affect other channels on D3&4.
After going onto these blank channels, it somehow affected the recorder and some recordings failed.
But after giving the recorder a full reset and retune, it does seem to have resolved those problems and can now record programmes again.
But am still a bit cautious about trying to view those two channels in case the same thing happens again and I have to reset and retune the recorder and add my timer recordings from the beginning again.

So I will keep my fingers crossed it will continue behaving and it should be a good recorder and I will be pleased I bought it.

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