Maximising utility of our Humax Foxsat HDR

newbiexscoobie

Novice Member
Hi folks,

We've had our Humax Foxsat HDR from new for many years. We also have a Panasonic HDR with a combined DVD recorder. Both had been working flawlessly for years. We would copy recordings we wanted to keep from the Humax to the Panasonic. More recently the Panasonic developed a fault and can now only copy recordings in real time.

It was only once we had this problem (not being able to copy recording content fast enough) we discovered we could actually plug an external hard drive into our Humax and copy recordings to it and it would probably be cheaper than disks too! I had concerns over reliability but we went ahead anyway. We tried a pendrive first and then we got an external hard drive which has proven reliable so far. We now have the Foxsat HDR in the dining room and the Panasonic remains in the lounge and is still used to record and make disks.

It's only recently that we decided to look on line and see what else we might be missing in terms of making the most of what we have but to tell you the truth it all seems too confusing. What we be really helpful is some up to date guidance of what the options are with today's technology combined with our now quite ancient Foxsat HDR. We have broadband (fibre optic is now available at our cabinet but haven't upgraded yet). We also have a Panasonic BD player with wifi. We have a PS3. We have a wireless router and two plug in devices too. We also have a Talk Talk YouView box.

Now to some questions:

Is it possible to play recordings from our Humax in the dining room to the lounge? What's the best way of doing that? We had been considering getting another Foxsat HDR and plugging the external HD in there so we can watch programmes recorded in the dining room that way. Would that work?

The internal HD of the Humax is quite small these days and fills up in no time when recording HD content. What is the maximum size of a replacement that we could fit? Is it worth getting a SSD as the replacement drive?

I finally figured out how to format our external drives using EaseUs Partition Master 10.0 on our Windows 7 laptop and have successfully used WD My Passport Ultra 2TB portable drives formatted to EXT 3 with 4KB cluster sizes. Can bigger external drives be used successfully?

Since recording programmes to the external drive we've noticed that a symbol appears against HD programmes which seems to be copyright protection. Can that be overcome with custom firmware? We've noticed custom firmware being discussed but truth be told I'm daunted by the prospect of installing it. I've no programming experience and never even updated my computers operating system. It all seems like Greek to me. How easy is it for a technophobe like me to install (I'm more daunted by software upgrades than hardware upgrades). Is there a comprehensive but straightforward guide available explaining the process in layman's terms. What advantages does it offer anyway? Why should I go to the effort?

There's an ethernet socket at the back of the Humax. Is that for connecting to a network? How straightforward is that and what benefits would it provide? Would I be able to play programmes from the Humax via the Panasonic BD player in the lounge or the Sony PS3 for instance? If so, can the Humax be controlled from these devices or is it more like a mirror link? Also, would I be able to access recordings from elsewhere in the country or abroad for that matter?

There's probably some straight forward guide to all this already in existence and if so I apologize but all much of what I've found now seems quite dated and I'm sure things have moved on.

Finally, as mentioned, we may soon get a second Humax Foxsat HDR. Is it worth waiting for a new model to come out (not sure how long the existing model has been on the market)? Will they wait for 4K before releasing the next model? Is Humax still the best maker of freesat HDR's or are there other's. It would be great if Panasonic made a foxsat HDR with BD recorder!

Thanks everyone.
 

ObsidianEclipse

Active Member
https://www.avforums.com/index.php?threads/1829374/

The foxsat HDR is a fabulous machine. Have a look of this link it should pretty much answer all your questions. There is even a patch (raydon) to enable new HD recordings to be unencrypted so they can be viewed on other devices. The foxsat can be networked, you can even use networked hard disk drives and mount them as virtual USB devices. Make sure you have a good read.

The newer models may have all the fancy internet catch up doodads but it can't do what the foxsat HDR can with custom firmware.
 

newbiexscoobie

Novice Member
Thanks for your reply:)
I'll check out the link. I take it the patch only works on new recordings and wont work on existing recordings that have already been copied. There's no patch that overrides the restriction that's kicked in once an hd file has been copied is there?
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
Thanks for your reply:)
I'll check out the link. I take it the patch only works on new recordings and wont work on existing recordings that have already been copied. There's no patch that overrides the restriction that's kicked in once an hd file has been copied is there?

Only works on new recordings. If by restriction you mean the copy once restriction (Raydons AV2HDR can reset the flag anyway). It's not an issue if you have the custom firmware as you can directly copy recordings to a PC using your home network.
 

Jellyroll

Active Member
To answer some of your other questions in summary, with the links already provided giving the detail:

Is it possible to play recordings from our Humax in the dining room to the lounge? What's the best way of doing that?
Your Blu-Ray player may be able to play content directly from the Humax if it is networked and has the custom firmware installed (an easy and pretty much foolproof option), else you may be able to copy recordings from the Humax to some other part of your home network.
We had been considering getting another Foxsat HDR and plugging the external HD in there so we can watch programmes recorded in the dining room that way. Would that work?
It would, but it's using a sledgehammer to crack a nut for which the custom firmware already provides an elegant nutcracker (as it were...)
The internal HD of the Humax is quite small these days and fills up in no time when recording HD content. What is the maximum size of a replacement that we could fit?
I have a 2TB drive in mine. It's not the fastest of options, but I performed my upgrade some years ago and newer drives are faster than mine. If you're happy with the performance of your external 2TB drive an internal one will suit you fine. Others may have tried bigger drives still.
Is it worth getting a SSD as the replacement drive?
My personal opinion is that the main advantage of an SSD, that of speed, is not necessary in the Humax. Fast enough is fast enough, faster still gains nothing, so go for a fast enough drive with the capacity you desire.
I {...} have successfully used WD My Passport Ultra 2TB portable drives formatted to EXT 3 with 4KB cluster sizes. Can bigger external drives be used successfully?
Again, I've stuck at 2TB with mine. Others may have tried bigger.
{...}custom firmware{...} What advantages does it offer anyway? Why should I go to the effort?
Among other things, if you install it and connect your Humax to your home network using its Ethernet port then it may allow you to view Humax recordings on your Blu-ray player (although I've not had much joy using my Panasonic DMP-BDT220) or PS3 (I don't have one, so can't confirm), and will definitely allow you to view them on a PC. It will allow you to use a PC, tablet or smart phone as a remote control in a different room, and will allow you to copy files from a PC, similarly rename them and manipulate them in other ways. You can set recordings up from a PC, even when away from home if you set things up in the correct manner, and if you wanted to watch the Humax when away from home even that's possible (but subject to the limitations of Internet speeds, so I wouldn't hold your breath on that one).

If that doesn't sound exciting enough, it might be simpler to say that the down-side of installing the custom firmware, if you then never use it, is a very slightly longer boot time for the Humax.
 

REPASSAC

Well-known Member
Media & File Server Bundle for the Foxsat HDR - Release 4 - PART 5 | AVForums

The foxsat HDR is a fabulous machine. Have a look of this link it should pretty much answer all your questions. There is even a patch (raydon) to enable new HD recordings to be unencrypted so they can be viewed on other devices. The foxsat can be networked, you can even use networked hard disk drives and mount them as virtual USB devices. Make sure you have a good read.

The newer models may have all the fancy internet catch up doodads but it can't do what the foxsat HDR can with custom firmware.
While the custom firmware and it's add ons can indeed be credited to raydon - the additional patch you mention originated from nowster and is the only code which modifies (Patches) the Humax settop application.

The Humax will detect and format drives up to and including 2GB. Make sure you select an CE/AV drive. WD and Seagate are the usual brands.
 

mjr

Novice Member
The Humax will detect and format drives up to and including 2GB. Make sure you select an CE/AV drive. WD and Seagate are the usual brands.

IIRC it's 1TB for the HDR, and anything above that requires manual partitioning/formatting.
 

REPASSAC

Well-known Member
IIRC it's 1TB for the HDR, and anything above that requires manual partitioning/formatting.
It is a while since I had the Foxsat so you may well recall correctly.
I recall that a large number of recordings does slow the recordings display down.

Edit: 1 TB is the largest that it will self format - Just found Bob_Cats original post.
 

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