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Can someone point me in the right direction....

sophies hero

Established Member
I all, i currently have sky HD and am really keen to get rid of it, i watch sky sports and i watch the f1 channel but i've come to realise (after 4 years) that i just dont watch enough of it to justify the £45 a month. I have all the cabling plastered in to the wall and was wondering if someone could recommend a freesat type box that i can buy outright and get a good selection of channels using my existing sky dish and cable? Is it possible to get something good that i can pause/record/rewind and still get channels like fx & discovery or are these all locked to sky? I dont have any knowledge in this area so would be grateful for any input. Thanks, steve
 

hemel-george

Standard Member
Have a look at the Humax Foxsat HDR recorder. There are two models, one with 500Gb hard disc and one 1000Gb (1 terabyte). You can see the channels this provides on the Freesat website, and for full details on the box, check the Humax website, and there's also plenty of information on this forum and other Humax forums.

You can use the same satellite dish and cables as the sky box - I'm assuming you have two cables going to the sky box at the moment. It has twin tuners so you can record two channels at the same time, or record onw while watching another.

There are other freesat recorders available, but I think the general consesnsus is that this is one of the best.
 

sophies hero

Established Member
Ill take a look at them now then thanks, whats the benefit of a humax box rather than other makes? Is it reliablity or the UI
 

hemel-george

Standard Member
I can't comment on reliability personally, because I own the single tuner non-recording humax freesat box, known as the Foxsat HD. I've had it for four years and have been happy with it. Perhaps other owners of the twin tuner Foxsat HDR recorder could comment on reliability.
As far as I recall the Humax Foxsat recorder was the first Freesat recorder to be launched, initially with a 320gb hard disc. The software has been updated along the way, so I believe it is now a mature product - some may say it is getting on, but I'm not aware of many new freesat boxes being launched recently. An advantage of it being a mature product is that there are lots of users, and lots of advice in several humax related forums, as well as on AVforums. There is even some user generated Custom firmware which can be loaded and provides extra functionality.
My understanding of Freesat is that the main User interface, especially the electronic programme guide (EPG) is very similar for all Freesat boxes.
 

brian badonde

Established Member
You could of course get an Echostar 600hds, i have both the humax and Echostar, i like the Echostar, picture quality is better and its faster through menu's/epg etc. The humax is at the end of its "shelf-life", it can be modified if thats your thing? You will not be able to receive FX Channel or Discovery channel either on Freesat. Sky have these type of channel encrypted. Another plus with the Echostar is that it comes "sling-loaded" i.e. Sling Player is included meaning you can watch your tv or recordings anywhere in the world via internet/broadband on a Smart Phone or lap-top for example. Good luck
 

hemel-george

Standard Member
Hi Brian, thanks for adding the info about the Echostar - I had forgotten about that one. I've heard good things about that one as well. As you own both, I wonder if you could tell us if there any things that the Humax (with or without the custom firmware) does that the Echostar doesn't, or that it does better than the Echostar.

I might be looking at getting a freesat PVR myself. Is it possible to copy recordings from either the Humax or echostar onto a usb disc or on to a PC? What's the support like on the Echostar, and are there any active forums?
 

brian badonde

Established Member
Hi Brian, thanks for adding the info about the Echostar - I had forgotten about that one. I've heard good things about that one as well. As you own both, I wonder if you could tell us if there any things that the Humax (with or without the custom firmware) does that the Echostar doesn't, or that it does better than the Echostar.

I might be looking at getting a freesat PVR myself. Is it possible to copy recordings from either the Humax or echostar onto a usb disc or on to a PC? What's the support like on the Echostar, and are there any active forums?

I don't have the "custom firmware" installed in my humax foxsat hdr, so can't comment on it, both boxes are good, i believe recordings can be taken off the humax via other media devices(not HD recordings though as they are encrypted). This cannot be done on the Echostar (yet), it has 2 USB Ports but only used for official software updates at present. In my experience Customer Support from Echostar is far better than Humax, check out the Freesat Forum on AVForums for lots of info on both boxes. Good luck :smashin:
 

brian badonde

Established Member
I looked at there site and found this one http://www.myechostar.co.uk/Products/ConnectedDevices/HDT-610R/Features.aspx

What a lovely bit of kit that looks like. Is there custom firmware etc available for the echostars?

Sorry, no "custom firmware" for the Echostar, it does look great too, pretty retro! As i said previously though, both are great boxes and you shouldn't go wrong with either. If your a "techie" buy a humax and look into the custom firmware or if you simply want an "out of the packet, user friendly box" with the Sling-Loaded facility included try an Echostar. Good luck :smashin:
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Ill take a look at them now then thanks, whats the benefit of a humax box rather than other makes? Is it reliablity or the UI

Had a Foxsat-hdr from launch 2008, still going strong. Compared to the Echostar offers archiving of recorded content to USB (including HD but the USB device needs to be EXT3 formatted for files larger than 4GB). HD recorded in Freesat mode is encrypted but will still play back from a usb device. Using non-freesat you can manually record HD content without encryption. The custom firmware amongst other benefits lets you access the internal hdd from a PC. You can also stream unencrypted content to other suitable devices. Not tried a Echostar but from reports sounds to have a more responsive UI than the Foxsat and of course adds the slingbox capability.
 

iaint

Established Member
Hi.
Remote can be a bit inept with the FoxsatHDR. But it takes normal AAA batteries, and can be programmed to operate many TVs, DVD/VCR players and audio kit. But it can be sluggish doing guide/media type things; haven't used the Echostar, but have a Digitalstream DHR which is a lot more responsive.
The quick start guide for the Echostar you linked to (a terrestrial FreeviewHD+ box) talks of a remote that takes CR2032 button batteries. Only basic TV control.
http://www.myechostar.co.uk/Products/ConnectedDevices/HDS-600RS.aspx is the Echostar Freesat+ box. Again, only basic TV control, but it does take AAA batteries.
--
Regards, Iain.
 

sophies hero

Established Member
Yes i must have missed that bit when i got caught up thinking how nice it was looks wise. As i say im an absolute noob in this area (as with most) i do appreciate all your input. Still not sure what route to go down but will post when i do eventually take the leap.
 

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