Humax HDR-FOX T2

Some minor niggles don't distract from a very fine product

Available with 500GB or 1TB drives, the HDR-Fox T2 has two tuners but you can record two SD or HD channels while you watch a third live channel if two are located on the same multiplex.

Build-wise, it’s the best on test, its TV-complementing shiny black fi nish topped off with an illuminated central power button and a row of operating buttons lurking on the right. The remote keeps up the good work, being classy in appearance and logically organised with good use of coloured buttons for menu navigation.

On the subject of which, appropriately for an HD box the menus have a pleasing hi-res feel about them and lots of options, especially in the EPG. You can view data for seven channels at a time as a timeline grid with synopses and the live selected channel shown at the top. Channels can be organised by genre and you can search for shows or information using a virtual keyboard or SMS-style with the remote. An iPlate info bar also shows seven-day data and both can be used to set recordings.

Recordings can be fast-forwarded or rewound at up to 32x normal speed and there are skip and replay options for which duration can be set, plus slow-mo and bookmarking options. Recordings can be exported to other drives but only played back on the receiver. You can play media including DivX fi les from USB or DLNA/uPnP networked storage, though you’ll need to attach a Humax WLAN stick (£29) to a USB port (there’s one up front and one on the rear) for WiFi. Files including recordings can be organised into nameable folders.

Humax recently added broadband-enabled ‘TV Portal’ functionality introducing iPlayer streaming (HD included), Flickr, Wikipedia and internet radio stations. The main interface appears basic (as does the Flickr app) and all feels a bit ‘homebrew’ at present, but iPlayer works well enough.

Picture quality is excellent with the ability to eff ectively upscale both of SD and HD video to 1080p and audio is crisp via the digital and analogue outputs (HE-AAC transcoding is supported).

It’s not perfect, but with TV Portal set to expand this remains one of the best recorders on the market.

■ Classy build quality
■ Reliable, fl exible recording
■ Plenty of multimedia extras
■ TV Portal needs work
■ Need to buy dongle for WiFi
■ No YouTube or Sky Player yet
Build ★★★★★★★★★
Setup ★★★★★★★★
Performance ★★★★★★★
Features ★★★★★★★★
Value ★★★★★★★★