Humax Aura Freeview Play PVR Review & Comments

zAndy1

Distinguished Member
I didn't think the aura app was available yet and it has to be said user reviews of this device have been less than stellar and that's definitely put me off picking it up. Hopefully firmware updates will help going forward...
 

Crun

Novice Member
I didn't think the aura app was available yet and it has to be said user reviews of this device have been less than stellar and that's definitely put me off picking it up. Hopefully firmware updates will help going forward...

You are right about the Aura app not being available, despite it still being promised as being out in November (2020) in Humax adverts. I contacted Humax last week and was told it was currently being tested and should be out this month January (2021). I have a Humax Freesat box in the lounge and being able to set up recordings, wherever I might be with internet access, via the Humax Freesat app on my mobile phone is very useful indeed.

I bought the 1TB version in November and had problems getting it to work smoothly and then it produced only sound. After talking to a Humax help desk person I was sent by email some factory reset instructions. I then managed to apply a reset after being frustrated by losing the picture and settings due to my not being able to act on the instructions quickly enough. Since doing the reset twice I have found the Aura to be very versatile, able to record and play easily and produce good quality recordings. The extra tuners over the Manhattan is also a very positive feature. I agree with the reviewer's caveat about trying to do too much of everything and thus being long-winded in navigating around the various guides and functions. As someone who doesn't currently subscribe to Netflix, its absence isn't too much of a problem for me.
 
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The Moog

Member
I've been running one for a few months now, and your view of its current state will largely depend on your needs. As a Freeview PVR it is a huge step up from my previous Freeview boxes in terms of its responsiveness, richness of GUI, and speed and functionality apps. The multiple 'homepages' are not an issue for me as I just use one of them and don't touch the others. As 'one media box to rule them all' (which is what I wanted) it is still not yet 'feature complete'.

Whilst all of the next-gen audio formats are listed as supported it won't yet pass anything high-def to my AVR, so whilst the Plex app works fine I only get DD+ from locally streamed media rather than passed-through object based audio. Although you can manually set the output resolution and framerate, it doesn't yet have a 'native' option so the Aura will upscale/downscale depending on what this is set to. This is probably fine for most people as it will just be set for their TV, but with a 4K TV and a 1080P projector I would like the Aura to output native video at the correct framerate and then do any scaling once in my AVR. It would also be nice to have the app so that I can set recordings remotely, but this isn't yet released.

I am hopeful that these issues will be fixed over time, and am otherwise happy with the feature set and performance of the Aura. If any of these are showstoppers for you, it would probably be better to wait until they have been addressed.
 

Galaxy

Active Member
I wish they hadn’t abandoned Freesat, one of these as a Freesat box would be a very useful re-placement to my ageing Freesat Humax box.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
An interesting review, but take a look at the 60-odd pages on myhumax.org discussing the Aura. There are plenty of issues out there, which the review didn’t cover.
 

dts

Distinguished Member
An interesting review, but take a look at the 60-odd pages on myhumax.org discussing the Aura. There are plenty of issues out there, which the review didn’t cover.
No product is perfect...the biggest problem is the general public can be ignorant. As always most of these products are a "Work in progress" I'm sure everything will come to fruition.

Mod edit: I have edited your response and any further abusive comments will result in a thread ban.
 
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Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
@dts : Not moaning at all! Just making an observation that the review could have been more in-depth in places, given that there’s plenty of evidence that the box has a number of issues that need to be addressed. Reviews tend to paint a rosy picture of products which in many cases don’t stand up to the scrutiny of reality.

As for your observation, if the general public is as thick as porcine excrement and they struggle to operate a given product, then either the design/implementation of said product is poor and/or the accompanying instructions are. I still have high hopes for the Aura, but based on what I’ve read, it’s not quite ready for prime time. I’ve just grabbed a Manhattan T3-R, which I may have to return/replace as it might be faulty. Nothing is perfect, I accept.

Why do you think that it’s acceptable for Joe or Josephine Public to spend their hard-earned cash on works in progress? I recognise that bugs do surface, but Humax has a track record in releasing products whose firmware needs a number of updates before it’s fully usable. My Humax Freesat box is a case in point.
 

scrowe

Well-known Member
For more technical minded, there are cheaper options out there. You sacrifice the ease-of-use and polish for more control/flexibility I'm considering dropping Sky so am playing this week with a ZGemma H7s which has twin satellite and single Aerial/Freeview. H7c gives you 2xAerial/1sat. I've popped in a 1tb laptop drive. It's linux based so you can get builds on top of the base OpenATV operating system, and all sorts of plugins including Kodi, IPTV on top. As I am SkyQ I can't test the satellite yet, until I switch back to non-SCR feeds, but the Freeview stuff works well enough for my needs, especially with a SkyQ uploaded skin. Obviously Kodi opens up more streaming possibilities, but you're not going to get HDR/DV/HD audio from what I can see.
 

lostinspace

Well-known Member
I wish this had been around a few years ago when my Digital Stream finally died.

Now, with the ease of use of catchup services I wonder if it's getting a bit late to launch another recorder. The Manhattan I currently have is my last PVR.
 

davisa

Active Member
UI still looks pretty poor, especially the program guide - only 7 channels at a time, only 1 1/2 hours on screen at once, current 'live' stream (this is a negative), so much wasted space and limited functionality. We don't all have 20 inch TVs these days Humax.
 
This is an excellent box with a very good UI, which looks so much better than the Manhattan T3-R.
UI still looks pretty poor, especially the program guide - only 7 channels at a time, only 1 1/2 hours on screen at once, current 'live' stream (this is a negative), so much wasted space and limited functionality. We don't all have 20 inch TVs these days Humax.
Mine has 2 hours on screen at once.
 

davisa

Active Member
We clearly have very different views for what makes a good UI, but to be honest I’m still intrigued. Its not like others do it much better these days anyway.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
The Manhattan is easy to drive, but then I haven’t had a play with any of the Humax Freeview boxes. The Humax Freesat box that I have seems OK though.
 

woodbar

Member
What I do not understand is how you can describe the features of the app when it is not available, so you can not have verified them, and they keep putting the release date back so they obviously can't get it to work.

Maybe the app is in "Alpha" mode because the PVR is certainly only at "pre-Beta" stage it has so many bugs!

I bought mine direct from Humax - the app was promised last November - IF they can't deliver it by the end of January I will be returning the whole lot for a refund - NOT as described or fit for purpose at the moment.
 

dazzitfc

Standard Member
I've had this box for a couple of weeks in readiness for ditching Sky in a couple of months, and I'm pretty happy with the performance and picture quality. I think I agree with the review that the "desktop" is slightly cluttered would be nice to add and remove parts of the "desktop" like you can the apps which run across the top. Has everything I need after getting into developer mode, Cinema, Mobdro and XCIPTV apps loaded no need for Netflix with Cinema. No glitches whatsoever so far....fingers crossed.
 

Crun

Novice Member
What I do not understand is how you can describe the features of the app when it is not available, so you can not have verified them, and they keep putting the release date back so they obviously can't get it to work.

Maybe the app is in "Alpha" mode because the PVR is certainly only at "pre-Beta" stage it has so many bugs!

I bought mine direct from Humax - the app was promised last November - IF they can't deliver it by the end of January I will be returning the whole lot for a refund - NOT as described or fit for purpose at the moment.

The Aura app is now available to download from Google Play. Now all I have to do is add my Aura box to be able to use the app! I tried several times earlier this morning with no success. I must have another go during my lunch break...
 

Gerry557

Active Member
The Aura app is now available to download from Google Play. Now all I have to do is add my Aura box to be able to use the app! I tried several times earlier this morning with no success. I must have another go during my lunch break...

I can't see it, what is it called tried Humax, Aura and both of them. Unless it was there, didn't work, then recalled???
 

Crun

Novice Member
I can't see it, what is it called tried Humax, Aura and both of them. Unless it was there, didn't work, then recalled???
 

Gerry557

Active Member
I found it now, I dont know why it wasnt there before. Maybe because I had the play store already open!

Closing and reopening sorted it.

Now I have it ........ Im a bit underwhelmed!
 

Crun

Novice Member
I found it now, I dont know why it wasnt there before. Maybe because I had the play store already open!

Closing and reopening sorted it.

Now I have it ........ Im a bit underwhelmed!
I have the app and can see and use all aspects apart from the TV guide...
 
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Crun

Novice Member
There's a firmware update for the Aura available now, I have just downloaded it....

786mb

Release notes say it adds FTP server capability, amongst other things

It adds auto refresh rate switching, and says it fixes some of the bugs like the live TV app crashing,

It also enables the remote to control TV volume directly.
 

morrig

Active Member
Rolli
There's a firmware update for the Aura available now, I have just downloaded it....

786mb

Release notes say it adds FTP server capability, amongst other things

It adds auto refresh rate switching, and says it fixes some of the bugs like the live TV app crashing,

It also enables the remote to control TV volume directly.
Rolling out over the next few days... Humax Aura « My Humax Forum
 

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