Tom Insam

Humax PVR 8000T

Again, in the 'new shiny things' category, I have got myself a Humax PVR 8000T - it's a Freeview box with an 80gig PVR built-into it, and was recommended by a friend of mine who knows about these things. I think I quite like it. Going from 5-channel terrestrial to lots-of-channels plus time-shifting plus an EPG plus scheduled programme recording is great. Not that I watch a lot of telly, but the little I do watch is now more interesting and more convenient.

Of course, after amazingly little time, the annoying things start to grate. Not that any of these are onerous - in every respect my experience is better now than it was, but still.. for instance, I can't look at the EPG when the telly is paused. Tiny, because I can push play, look at the EPG, drop out of the EPG and rewind back to where I was. Much more annoying is the fact that I can't convert time-shifted TV into a recorded programme - although you can either press 'record' to start recording into a named slot on the box, or you can rewind the current programme to any point since you last changed the channel, you can't rewind the TV to a point in the past and start recording to a named slot from that point - you can only record from 'now'. That's annoying.

On the bright side, if I ever need to upgrade the harddisk in it, it's trivially easy. And another thing that I consider to be a good thing, although others might disagree, there's nowhere on the box for a top-up (danger - ugly) slot, so I can't talk myself into paying a monthly subscription for things (something I insist I don't let myself do - I don't watch enough telly to make it worth it, and neither do I want to).

Conclusion - it's a good box. I'd refer a TiVo, of course, but then I also want a pony. And a Jacuzzi.

— Later —

Argh, more annoyances. It's only got one tuner, so you can't watch something and record something else. Fair enough. But you also can't record something and watch a recorded programme, which must be within the capability of the technology. Grr.

Random side note - half of these links are just the top Google hit or a straight wikipedia lookup for the words in the link text. I want a shortcut key to do that for me, or maye a markup method that'll link to the 'I'm feeling lucky' page for it.