I recently had the opportunity to evaluate the new Humax HMS-1000T (4Tune) which comes at a great time as I want to retire my HTPC after almost 10 years. I also have my trusty Tivo and a Topfield 7100 HD pvrt looking at retirement soonish
My main requirements are the ability to record at minimum 4 programs at once, Streaming movies and TV series from my NAS and easy to use, I will say upfront i have been spoilt with the HTPC as far as feature go.
When I first heard about the 4Tune I thought this should the answer all my prayers but after seeing a couple of pics my first thoughts were “Champagne coloured front?” “How ethnic looking” “Wife will hate it”
When the unit arrived and I pulled it out of the box (please do not worry I am not going to review the box that it came in) I was shocked it’s a nice looking unit and feels like quality, all my appliances are black but the misses passed this one with flying colours.
The remote control is pretty much your standard quality remote that looks a little nicer to me but others may not agree.
After making room for the 4 tune and plugging her it, I ran setup wizard and it was like bango bingo it was done I could not believe how fast and easy this was to setup. I cannot see anyone getting into trouble setting this up, Humax had everyone in mind when coding the setup wizard.
Firing up the 4Tune for the first time and running though the menu system I was thinking it’s pretty well laid out and I could not see to many people fumbling around not knowing what to do. I did notice the menu was more targeted towards a novice user and not a power user (hopefully more features\control to come).
I had some dramas setting up the network side of things initially, My NAS,HTPC or any of my 4 desktops and 2 laptops would not appear as available to the 4Tune
A very very long story short, it came down to an incompatibility with the switches being used and the 4Tune, The 4 Tune does not play nice Dlink DES 1008D or TPlink TL-SG1008D. All changed to HP Pro curves now all ok
Upon jumping into the guide I noticed it pretty well laid out and the pictures\clips of the show airing was a nice touch giving your TV guide a movie centre feeling. The first screen you are giving is the current time line which is about 1 to 2 hours’ worth of data but moving to the right gives 3 hours’ worth of data.
Using the arrow key on the remote and shifting all the way to the left gives you catch up TV great feature seriously. Although only SBS catch up programs are available at the moment its works really well, I tried three programs and it worked without a hitch.
Please keep in mind that you are using your internet download allowance for Catch up TV.
When you first setup and the tuners have been scanned you will get a whole heap of double ups and so on as expected. You can remove the double up and or put you Fav channels into a Fav category. What you cannot do at this stage is manipulate how the channels appear in the guide. E.g
Idea for me 188.8.131.52,90.99,10,11,one, how it will appear is One,7,9,10,11,72.73,90,99
This has been reported to Humax and is on the items to consider list
Flicking though the guide while watching TV is easy as you would expect but there is one little gripe I do have with the 4 Tune, when selecting a channel to watch from the guide you have hit the Ok button twice. By selecting the channel and hitting the Ok button once will change the channel in the background and only close the guide when hitting it a second time.
Recording Programs from guide
As we know the 4Tune is a 4 tuner PVR so I wanted to make sure it would deliver on each one of those tuners. From within the guide I selected 4 programs from 4 different networks and let it do its stuff, all recorded ok
I jumped back into the guide and tried selecting 5 programs so they would overlap and was given a conflict warning, beauty
Setting up series records pretty much works on time slot and you don’t get a lot of control e.g individual padding for each series, don’t record repeats
A lot of this will be solved if and when IceTv becomes available
Logging into MyHumax you can schedule recording that will replicate to your PVR on a set schedule that you choose in the PVR setup, initially I had it set to 15 minutes
I setup 10 different recording on-line and made sure they replicated to the PVR , replication came thought and showed up on the guide, all programs recorded ok.
Over a couple of days I scheduled probably 60 shows on-line and off-line and all recorded fine except for 2 which I will explain below
My only grips with the on-line recording is you can only select a single show there is no provision to select series as yet, you also are limited to the settings e.g. you cannot select individual padding times or change any other parameters.
The other gripe is that upon signing into My Humax the server should do a replication of the PVR’s schedule to make sure you have the latest information on-line when using it,
This has been suggested to Humax
Out of the 60 add recordings I scheduled on the Humax 2 failed to record for no apparent reason, they were done as part of the very first recordings this was reported to Humax and is under investigation.
There were also a couple of other issues with some recordings.
One recording when playing back would play for 20 odd minutes then skip back about 10 minutes by itself and 15 or so minutes later do the same thing. The wife and I thought we were going nuts it was like a bad Van Dam movie where it kept repeating itself.
Another recording would play and then stop for no reason, it did this three times
One other recording would start off ok and forward itself about 15-20 minutes for no reason
All of the above have been reported to Humax and they are working on them
Playing back and Deleting recorded shows
The playing back of recorded shows was great except for the few shows mentioned earlier; via the remote you get the usual FF and also allows you to skip forward 2 or 3 minutes at a time.
I did have an issue with deleting programs, when deleting a program I would select delete this program and hit the ok button and the screen would freeze the cursor would not move until I hit the home button then it would release.
I would then try another and the same thing would happen, then another but this time another screen would come up with an option to close the screen but it was frozen and would only release when I hit the home button.
I reported this on the Friday then while talking to Humax again on the Monday I tried it again and it was working perfectly. I am not sure what happened but I did have to power cycle the PVR over the weekend via the power switch on the back, so that could have solved the issue.
Media Play back
The 4tunes built in Media player worked well with only one real issue, There is currently no resume playback, you hit stop you then start again you start from the beginning.
During the 7 days I played back a few movies and heaps of TV series and the only one file gave me an issue that was a VOB, files played XVID, AVI, MP4, and MKV all ok
I expected to have more to say about the media player but I don’t, it’s a no frills player that does the job it’s no Plex but does the Job, I have requested Plex be added to the list of wishes.
I had a quick play around with Humax Tv Live app, I was thinking to myself I would never use this but I was wrong.
I jump on the treadmill on Monday and I would usually stream a TV series or something like that to keep me from getting bored, my NAS was doing an update so I tried the TV Live instead. It works really well, there is a long syncing period at the start but it works well.
I also gave the Media app a try and it was pretty good, streaming recorded shows from the 4Tune works well
HbbTvis about to be released not sure on time frame and i think it will be a firmware update to enable
ICETV, Ice and Humax are in talks
Multiple recordings per tuner, being looked at
Allow series record remotely, being looked at
During these 7 days I have been dealing with Yvonne from Humax, she has been outstanding and has vowed to keep me updated on the issues that have been raised.
I will be taking a look at the Beyonwiz T3 and decide from there
I was asked to rate the 4Tune out of 10 and as i said in my opinion in its current form it’s a solid 7 but add HbbTV, Ice and multiple recordings per tuner I would say 9
Just my 2 cents worth