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Humax 2Tune not getting all channels. What next?

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Posted (edited)
My recent experience with two different units suggests the Humax 2Tune seems to have problem picking up channels. Are there alternate recorders that are likely to fare better? Or what else can I try?

Longer version:

Bought my elderly mother a Humax 2Tune from IceTV to replace her TiVo.

I initially tried setting the unit up at my house. I pulled the antenna cable which runs from the wall out of my TV and stuck it into the Humax. During setup the only channel it automatically detected was Channel 31. After trying a second automatic scan I rang the Humax support line, and reset to factory settings, but still got same result. For background context I can’t remember the last time my TV (~8yo Panasonic P50V20 plasma) has had an issue with signal strength. I live in North Melbourne, right near Royal Melbourne Hospital, and about 8 years ago a new 16 storey building at Melbourne Uni got constructed between my house and the Dandenongs. This caused havoc with my reception, but after doing some research on the forums I replaced the existing aerial with a digital-specific unit and since then have had almost no issues.
With my fingers crossed I took the unit out to my mum’s in Eltham. Again, I pulled her antenna cable out of the back of her 1yo Samsung LCD and plugged it into the Humax. This time when I did the setup the unit automatically detected most digital channels, but none of the ABC channels. I did an automatic rescan, and this time it did detect the ABC stations. But reception was spotty on the ABC stations. Over ten minutes of teaching my mum the basics of using the remote the image regularly stuttered for a split second, and at one time we got no image at all, just an error message. Again, my mum has apparently not had any issues with reception using her current TV, or her older TiVo unit which the Humax is belatedly replacing, or the older TV she had before getting the TiVo.
So I contacted Humax again, explained all of the above, and they sent out a second unit.

Again I tried to set it up at my house first. Again all it picked up was Channel 31.

So it seems fair to conclude that the problem is not restricted to a dud unit.

Where to from here? Is there another PVR that has a better reputation for picking up channels in possibly less than ideal (but far from terrible – every other device seems to go okay) situations ? 
Edited by puffmoike

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Does the Humax have an option to apply a 5V boost to the signal? I know some PVR’s do.

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Does the Humax have an option to apply a 5V boost to the signal? I know some PVR’s do.

Nothing in the manual to suggest that’s possible.

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IceTV are talking about a refund.

Saying I could try a Beyondwiz (more expensive, features I don’t need).

Any other suggestions? Are there any brands that have a reputation for working well with less than ideal signal strength? (Keeping in mind that the unit is for a 75yo woman, so easy to use is key)

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