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Humax HD-FOX T2 review

First Freeview HD box brings free high definition TV to the masses

Our Verdict

For

  • Free HD programming
  • Good network streaming
  • Good SD and HD pictures

Against

  • No PVR function yet
  • Can't read HD movie files
  • No Wi-Fi

So, the first Freeview HD box is here in the form of the Humax HD-FOX T2.

It's hard to put a finger on why it's taken so long for Freeview to dip its toe in the sparkly, glistening waters of high definition.

After all, the BBC successfully trialled over-the-air digital HD broadcasts a couple of years ago.

But specification squabbles, bitrate and bandwidth issues, chipset shortages and, even, the de rigueur scapegoat in the form of the global recession, have all gotten in the way of the launch of Freeview HD.

Surely, though, with an exciting new technology, it's better to be late than never?

It could even be argued that, as the first to market, Humax, with its launch of the HD-Fox T2, isn't late at all.

The set-top-box specialist is, relatively-speaking, ground-breakingly early. It managed to rush its first DVB-T2 receiver onto the market a considerable while before the competition - a move that could see it gain a significant foothold in living rooms before the similarly spec'd hoards roll over the hills.

humax hd-fox t2 freeview hd

Admittedly, the manufacturer, like all others, missed the all important Christmas market, and that's a bone of contention for some.

But let's get things into perspective; there are three HD channels at the moment, BBC HD and simulcast versions of ITV HD and Channel 4 HD.

The compatible DVB-T2, MPEG-4 signal is currently being rolled out within the digital switchover plan, and by June about 50 per cent of us will be able to receive HD channels.

As of 8 April 2010, London Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Bradford, Birmingham, Manchester and the West (Mendip) are already able to receive the transmissions. Other regions are going HD all the time - check the Freeview website to see if and when HD is coming to your area.

humax hd-fox t2 freeview hd
IN THE BOX: You get the T2, user guide, remote control with batteries, Scart cable and an HDMI cable

Freeview HD may only be a mere acorn at the moment, but it is to grow into a massive, World Cup-shaped oak tree rapidly.

It will be the only way to enjoy England's stuttering progress in South Africa in full hi-def (well, er, 1080i) over a simple rooftop aerial and for absolutely free.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSatellite Receiver
Scan Format1080i
EthernetYes
USBYes
HDMIYes
SCARTYes
Aspect Ratio Supported16:9
Sound SystemDolby Digital
Channel Coverage50
Brand NameHumax
FeaturesParental Control, Electronic Program Guide, Subtitle Decoding, Auto Program
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Display Screen TypeLED
Analog TunerPAL
Number of SCART Interfaces2
Composite VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Height45 mm
Width280 mm
Depth200 mm
Audio DecodingStereo
ManufacturerHumax Corporation, Ltd
Product ModelHD-FOX T2
Product NameHD-FOX T2 DirecTV Receiver
Video FormatsMPEG-2, MPEG-4
Input Voltage110 V AC, 220 V AC
Manufacturer Part NumberHDFOXT2
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.humaxusa.com
Weight (Approximate)1.42 kg