My experience of the Humax Aura.

Moviebuff

Well-known Member
I know for a few, this will be slightly contentious , but I have just taken delivery of a Humax Aura, and I'm more than taken back by how good it is!

A little bit of background.

I had a Humax Fox Hd years ago, when it first came out. I hated it - slow, frustrating and just generally extremely poor. Moving on a few years, I took a punt on a HDr-1010S, and again, found it an intensely frustrating experience! On both counts, our relationship didn't last long. I'm looking to ditch Sky, and as much as I enjoy the Q offering, in these times, it is proving to be too expensive. I'm done trying to haggle a better deal, hence looking at alternatives.

Que the Humax Aura.

My experience of Android Tv, has thus far, come from two sources - our 5 year old Sony 75" & via an NVidia Shield. I've read quite a few reviews on the Aura (too many!) to the point it has done 'my head in', and mainly because very few were glowing. It staggered me that in this age of multi room viewing, that a competant standalone PVR, was simply just not available. I had seriously considered the Manhatten T3 R, as it looks a decent bit of kit, but the limited multiple recording on offer, would come as quite a compromise. My missus time shifts stuff, like no other.

Now it also has to be said that our viewing habits tend to revolve around the main stream terrestial channels, with the odd Prime/Netflix movie. So with a Sky Signature & movies package with fibre internet, coming in at £108 per month, and in these trying times, it was now a case of let's tighten that belt!

It's unboxed ......

Having initially plugging the Aura into my AVM60, things did not start at all well. As a legacy of Sky Q 10bit, the main HDMI link from the amp to the TV, was set to receive HDR 10 bit enabled at the TV end. A digital haze ensued! After much head scratching, and thinking "here we go!", I resorted to resetting the HDMI config on the Tv, from enhanced HDMI, to standard, and hey presto, we're in business!

So, now having gone through the inital intuitive & painless box update & setup, what do I think?

There is no getting away from the fact, that argubly, Sky Q is the very best current offering, bar none. But as I alluded, and as everyone is no doubt aware, it does cost quite a chunk, depending on your package. The question is, for the saving that I am going to make, by going down the Freeview route, can I live with the Aura ....?

Absolutely YES!

It may not be perfect, and it's reliabilty is obviously unproven, but any imperfections, for me are very low key. It appears to be behaving itself - yes, I have a good antenna and I know that, because I put it up there! But having read the reviews, I was preparing to box it up, and send it back to Amazon, before I'd even taken it out of it's box - that's how little faith I had in it. I am not disputing that many have had a great deal of anguish with the Aura, and I have been there, with Humax's previous attempts at a PVR. But I can sincerely at this moment in time say, that I am more than a little impressed with what arrived today. Maybe my ambitions for it were, lets say, a little on the less expectant side. But today, for me my concerns have proved to be unfounded. Todays man in a white van bearing gifts offering, also brougnt an Amazon firestick 4K Max to the party. This is currently still sat in it's packaging, as the Humax has had all the attention. If all goes well with that (mainly for Netflix), then the world is a better entertainment place. That does bring up the one failing of the Aura for me, namely no Netflix. Is that a deal breaker? Absolutely not!

My contract with Sky comes to an end in early December. My plan is to see how it all pans out with this 'new' way of viewing TV, and whether any 'worts' show their ugly side. I have 30 days to make my mind up with the Aura - early indications are atleast positve.

Goodbye Sky (for now). It was nice while it lasted.
 
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MReed

Standard Member
Always good when someone is happy with the kit they have. I have an FVP500T and people say they are slow and not very good but I like it and it is a darn sight faster that my Penny.
 

Moviebuff

Well-known Member
Had a few days now with the Humax. Apart from a small niggle of not being able to control my TV's input selection from the Aura remote, so I can switch over to the Firestick, it really is everything I could have reasonably hoped it to be. If they can crack the Netflix situation, then it's a winner. Going to 'T' off the aerial, and buy a 2nd one, to replace the Sky Minibox in our upstairs bedroom.

It as of yet, hasnt crashed, no picture dropouts, works great with both my main audio setup on HDMI and the Sky Soundbox via optical, is uber responsive from the remote, and unlike the Android TV on my Sony, the latest version here is slick to use. I hammered it by recording 4 programs at the same time, and in a unlike Humax behaviour, it just does everything I want it to, in the way I want it. Also really like how the On demand services intergrate into the main guide, so you can 'go back in time'.

The way NOW TV is handled, could be improved, by use of a dedicated app - been using the Firestick for those duties instead of the Aura method.

As an aside, my old man received one yesterday, and apart from having to change his aerial to a hign gain model, his experience has been exactly the same.

Let's hope they stay reliable! Add Netflix, and it's a no brainer.



p.s - I don't work for Humax! 🙂
 
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Davemazo

Active Member
I wish my experience was as good as yours, mine lasted 5 minutes. I ordered mine at 3pm on a Thursday, it turned up at 9am the next day. So far so good.
I took it out of the box only to find something rattling around inside the Aura itself. Looking through the vents it seems the hard drive hasn't been fixed or has come loose. It went straight back in the box and is off to Humax as soon as for a refund.
I'll give Manhattan a try instead
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
I’ve just received a £50 voucher off an Aura if I order directly from Humax. I’m half tempted, but the on-going lack of native Netflix and NowTV apps. is a bit of a blocker. I’m also not sure that I need something so complex when I can get pretty much what else I need elsewhere. I do want to add another PVR though. My Manhattan is fine, but has thrown the odd hissy fit lately, so my gaze is currently casting toward the simpler Humax 5000T.
 

Pulse1

Well-known Member
The Mumax 5000 has Netflix but not Now TV
It doesn't have Prime Video either, personally i have both the Humax Aura and the Manhattan T3-r and in my opinion the Manhattan T3-r is the better box with a better sharper 1080i image over the Humax Aura.
 
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Richardxx

Well-known Member
I’ve just received a £50 voucher off an Aura if I order directly from Humax. I’m half tempted, but the on-going lack of native Netflix and NowTV apps. is a bit of a blocker. I’m also not sure that I need something so complex when I can get pretty much what else I need elsewhere. I do want to add another PVR though. My Manhattan is fine, but has thrown the odd hissy fit lately, so my gaze is currently casting toward the simpler Humax 5000T.
Don't do it you will hate the interface after using a Manhatten.

Iwas relieved when mine lasted less than 2 years.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Interesting. I took a look at the Aura manual, and the interface didn’t seem that endearing. Great minds …
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
Still using my old Humax freesat 1000s 500gb with the digital display on the front, works a treat still, not sure about these newer boxes or freeview recorders as they seem to have a few ch's missing that you get on freesat. I tried an fvp4000, never again, went back to my trusty 1000s.
 

Moviebuff

Well-known Member
Interesting. I took a look at the Aura manual, and the interface didn’t seem that endearing. Great minds …
My expectations of it were not great, having read the poor reviews. So I guess that I was pleasantly surprised by what my experience of it has panned out to be. It's far better IMHO, than Humax's previous offerings, which I thought were bordering on shambolic.

Having said that, the way NowTv has been implemented, definately needs to be addressed. And Netflix ........ well, that speaks for itself!
 

Richardxx

Well-known Member
My expectations of it were not great, having read the poor reviews. So I guess that I was pleasantly surprised by what my experience of it has panned out to be. It's far better IMHO, than Humax's previous offerings, which I thought were bordering on shambolic.
Just to clarify my comments above were in reply to Clem when he mentioned getting the 5000T and about that model not the Aura.

I only had an Aura for one day, (it had sound but no picture at all). From what little I did with it the interface did seem Ok certainly faster than the sluggish 5000T with its weird time skip implementation.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
I’ve just grabbed a 5000T from JL, which I’ll be setting up over the weekend. It will be interesting to see how it compares to my Humax Freesat box. Annoyingly, my Manhattan T3-R is starting to misbehave, disappointing after so few months of ownership, so whilst I try and get to the bottom of the issues, which I suspect are hardware related, I thought it prudent to try a Humax box. I don’t need all the bells and whistles of the Aura, but if the 5000T turns out to be the dog that some claim it to be, the Aura will be my next step.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Well, as much as I like the 5000T, it just doesn’t play in my system! Whether I route the HDMI connection via my Yamaha sound bar or directly to my LG TV, the result is the same: it breaks the HDMI ARC connection between my TV and soundbar, the bar just doesn’t work at all! Only when I disconnect the Humax box do things then work as expected.

This is a first for me. The Humax box is clearly chucking out something that the Yamaha doesn’t like. Things were a bit off from the off. I connected the 5000T to the soundbar to begin with, and on powering-up the PVR it killed audio from the Yamaha, even though it was still powered-up. A quick power cycle of the TV seemed to clear that problem, and I set the box up, ready to go. I put everything into standby and, a couple of hours later, when I woke up the TV, the soundbar didn’t power-up.

If I power the TV and bar up first, then power-up the 5000T, everything is fine.

After a lot of messing about, it’s clear that wherever the 5000T is connected in my system, it kills the ARC connection completely. It could be the age of my soundbar, but I’ve never had any other interface issues like this before.

I’m not sure if I’m going to try another, or go for an Aura. I actually like the box, not too shabby or slow.

I hate technology!
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
More testing, and it’s definitely something to do with the Humax CEC implementation. If I power-up my kit, then power-up the 5000T within 10 minutes or so the ARC connection between my TV and soundbar fails. I don’t know if this is just a duff sample, or down to Humax’s HDMI-CEC implementation, which historically has always been iffy. Let’s see what JL technical have to say, and possibly Humax, if I can be bothered to speak to them on Monday.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Well, the 5000T will be winging its way back to JL for a refund later this week. I did (try) and speak to someone at Humax today, a very abrasive guy with a Northern Irish accent. He just wouldn't listen to what I was trying to tell him, and insisted that I turn my kit on to fiddle with settings, which if he'd listened to what I was saying, I'd told him that I'd already tried.

Call me a glutton for punishment, but I'm going to try an older Humax 1800T model from my local Argos later this week. It's only got two tuners, which is a bit of a bummer, but as it's an older model I'm hoping that it won't suffer with the same problems. I actually did have one of these a while back, and it seemed to be OK from the HDMI perspective, but did have an annoying habit of interrupting the loop through aerial feed when it was woken up. Not an issue this time round -- I can get round that. All I need the box to to is to time shift stuff. I don't need any fancy bells or whistles.

How difficult can it be to buy something and actually have it work straight out of the box without issues? For me, it usually takes a couple of goes ... :(:(:(
 

uk1

Member
Hi Clem,

As a replacement for your Aura and for around the same total price a possible solution might be two BT Pros from ebay. Two possible downside considerations. No quarantee and that it is Youview. I happen to prefer Youview.

If you put them one on top of each other and have one off and the other on then when you hit the power on the RC it will switch one off and one on. So it feels like you're using a single 2 TB and 8 tuners box if you tend to sometimes want to record everything. Using two boxes, previously the BT UHD ones has been my approach for some time now and it works for me.
 

crockett

Active Member
I have seen posts where users experiencing CEC issues with Humax equipment have solved them with a blocker, so thought it might be worth a try, if it does not work you could always return it. Maybe for those where it did not work had the faulty (or possibly clone) adapters!
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
As my wife pointed out, it shouldn't be necessary to mess around with buying adapters just to have something work properly, and I agree with her. I certainly was tempted to try a Lindy CEC blocker, but I read somewhere that there's another pin that also needs to be blocked in addition to the CEC line for Humax boxes. I don't why Humax struggle with this as much as they do. I suspect that this all comes down to manufacturer interpretation of CEC, but the fact that on the 5000T, with CEC enabled or disabled I hit exactly the same issue, HDMI-ARC breaking between my TV and bar if the 5000T was connected and powered (even in standby), suggests that the Lindy adapter would not have helped.

I'm going to stick with plan 'b' and try a Humax 1800T and see what happens with that. I don't need all of the bells and whistles that the 5000T sports, but the extra tuner would have been useful.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Well, I grabbed an 1800T from my local Argos yesterday and set it up, including a firmware update earlier today. Thus far, no HDMI-CEC issues have surfaced (not surprising, given that it doesn't have the capability) but it needs a good test. First impressions for a basic box are good, but the PQ could be a little better on HD. Still, as a cheap time-shifting lump, all good so far ... fingers crossed!
 

A1944

Well-known Member
Clem Dye:

All very well suggesting the 1800T, but not much good if you cannot get an Ethernet connection to it.

Anyway, most of the three threads that you are dominating relate to boxes other than Humax, so your comments about the 5000T and 1800T are rather unhelpful.
 
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Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
@A1944: This thread was/is about the Humax Aura and like a lot of threads, the content can diverge, so those people who might be considering an Aura may welcome a discussion of viable alternatives. The Humax 1800T works perfectly well without an Ethernet connection if you don't need access to the limited streaming services offered. As for the Aura, I'm adopting a watching brief and so I find comments from other users of the hardware here (and elsewhere) about the PVR and possible alternatives very useful. I'm still considering an Aura box if the 1800T doesn't pan out. As for my 'dominating' the threads in this forum, perhaps if you contributed something to the discussion other than sniping at rather people we'd all gain from it.
 
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Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Well, I spoke too soon about the 1800T. If it’s timer recording and I wake my TV up from standby my soundbar doesn’t power-up, so in a similar way to the 5000T this box also breaks HDMI-ARC in my set-up, just not as badly. There is clearly something amiss between Humax kit and my Yamaha soundbar. Could any Aura owners shed light on the box when it comes to CEC? Does it behave ‘normally’ or does it also have the same quirks as the older Humax hardware?

I suspect that the age of my soundbar may well be part of the puzzle here, but it plays well with all other kit, including a Humax 1100S Freesat PVR. At present, I strongly suspect that the Aura will give the same problems, but who knows, third time lucky?
 

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