New Humax Aura with some issues

ed3303

Novice Member
Hi all - new to the forum but I read a few threads here in recent days before deciding whether to get a Humax Aura. It's a pity that it's not without its flaws, because a Freeview recorder running Android TV should in theory be a no-brainer. But it appeared to me that it has worked OK for most people (more than half anyway) and the convenience of a built-in Chromecast tipped the scale for me, so I took a chance, reasoning that most retailers would as a bare minimum be happy to give me a Manhattan T3-R and some store credit if it didn't work out.

First impressions are OK-ish, but I'm having some minor issues and I wonder if anyone with experience of the box can tell me if any of them are resolvable.
  1. Screen cuts to black for a second or two, 3-4 seconds after switching from live TV to in-app video, or vice versa. I can see this getting increasingly annoying over time.
  2. Apart from the five main channels (101 - 105), I'm not getting anything else in HD. No great loss in most cases but I would like BBC Four HD. I can of course just green-button switch to iPlayer for this but it rather defeats the purpose of having a box for OTA TV. I'm in a block of flats so I don't have control over the aerial installation. But the signal quality on the channels I do have seems excellent, and the Freeview postcode checker says I should be able to get all HD channels. I'm in inner northeast London, if that is relevant.
  3. This one is highly subjective, and I may be imagining it. I'm not an AV nerd by any means so I may struggle to describe it, but I think the box might be giving me very slight motion sickness? Camera movements seem like they are smoothed too much maybe. If relevant, I'm using a 10+ year old basic Sharp 1080p LCD TV, with which I've never had similar issues.
  4. I can't find any customisation options for series links. I'm coming from a Virgin Media V6 box, where I could specify how many episodes to hold on to, whether or not to record repeats, whether to record from all channels or a single channel, whether to record a single series of a programme or all series broadcast. I hope I'm missing something obvious because if none of this is available, that seems very poor to me.
I'm not sure whether these are dealbreakers - number 3 certainly has the potential to be but I need more time to make sure it's not my imagination. Would be grateful to hear of others' experiences.

Thank you.
 

mikej

Well-known Member
Apart from the five main channels (101 - 105), I'm not getting anything else in HD. No great loss in most cases but I would like BBC Four HD. I can of course just green-button switch to iPlayer for this but it rather defeats the purpose of having a box for OTA TV. I'm in a block of flats so I don't have control over the aerial installation. But the signal quality on the channels I do have seems excellent, and the Freeview postcode checker says I should be able to get all HD channels. I'm in inner northeast London, if that is relevant.
Your missing HD channels are on the (often problematic) COM7 mux and transmitted on UHF 55, which is outside the range of some types of TV aerial, can suffer from interference in certain weather conditions and is transmitted at a lower power than the other muxes.

Stick your postcode and house number into the checker on this site and see what the predicted reception is for your transmitter (if you know it). The predicted reception for all the muxes from my transmitter (Winter Hill), for example, are 'good' apart from COM7, which is 'variable'.

Can you pick these missing channels up on any other TVs in the flat ? If you have an option to check signal strengths (often called 'signal condition') in the tuning menus on either your TV or the Aura, than see what it says for UHF channel 55.

It's worth noting that COM7 is due to close by June this year at the latest so those channels will either be relocated to a mux you probably can pick up or will be lost by that date anyway.
 

winston2010

Well-known Member
Hate to say this but you may be able to get COM7 with an indoor aerial. Try a cheap one and never get one with a built in amplifier.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Most likely the flats communal aerial and distribution amplifiers were not upgraded when COM7/8 were launched.
Or when they were relocated to 55/56 frequencies and moved outwith a group A aerial for Crystal Palace. Up til then they were in band.
Equally likely is an alternative transmitter is used by the block, without those temporary frquencies.
Alexandra Palace?
 

ed3303

Novice Member
Hi all. Thanks for your replies, and apologies for not replying myself for a couple of weeks. A few updates for the record, in case anyone is considering buying this box.

  1. The flicker to black is something that has continued, and that I've just learned to live with.
  2. This appears to be an issue with my building aerial, as stated above. Because this mux will soon be no more (as mikej points out) I'm just going to leave it be.
  3. I think the motion issues were imagined.
  4. The series link options are poor to nonexistent, and this is a real shame. If you've come from a Sky+ or TiVo box it's a real downgrade, and I hadn't really seen this mentioned in reviews. Of course PVRs are on the decline anyway, but if you shell out £280 you'd hope for better.
 

mikej

Well-known Member
4. The series link options are poor to nonexistent, and this is a real shame. If you've come from a Sky+ or TiVo box it's a real downgrade, and I hadn't really seen this mentioned in reviews. Of course PVRs are on the decline anyway, but if you shell out £280 you'd hope for better.
FWIW, the series link option on my (older) Humax PVR is similarly basic, with no way of tweaking it in the way you mention. Custom firmware is available for it that might make that possible, but I can't see any evidence of any custom firmware being available for the Aura yet,
 

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