Fox HDR T2 Initial Thoughts
Recently got one of these and thought I'd provide my thoughts in case anyone else is considering one.
After moving my SD Sagem PVR into the the lounge, I initially thought in the main lounge / cinema room I could do without a dual tuner and got a HD Fox T2 to use with an existing 3.5" hard drive in an enclosure, but the drive didn't prove very reliable or quiet for recording, plus needed external power, and so to be on all the time for scheduled recordings, so I decided it was better to go for the HDR than spend on another external disk.
The picture on this is great, and even upscaling SD content it is a visible notch over what my 26" Samsung C450 achieves via it's own SD tuner. Also, HD channels are great, and the extra detail can be noticed even at 3 metres on the 26 incher. One thing is there doesn't seem to be a passthrough resolution setting, so you always have to have the HDR Fox scaling to some specific resolution. This is not an issue as the scaling is good, but I would like to have the facility to get a HD output when the channel is HD, but allow an external device to upscale otherwise. On the projector HD TV looks great, and even upscaled is a good step above the Sagem upscaling and looks good. (BTW all this also is the same IMO for the HD FOX T2).
Feeling a bit foolish saying this, but I somehow mixed up connecters initially, (both the aerial lead and lead to the TV are male, but one has a female adapter, and I must have got it mixed up), so had the TV supplying the input, and the aerial at the output. Incredibly the FOX still managed to prduce tune and produce a picture, even good HD ones, maybe just due to the proximity of the aerial lead to the input. It must have very sensitive tuners. Only the intermittent blocking and drop-outs in the recent bad weather tipped me off, and after some investigation I got the leads the right way round!
Recording has been fine, the box is quiet, and the sound is very good through TV and AV receiver, (I feel maybe with my DVD rips perhaps slightly better than through my BluRay player, a bit more energy and perhaps detail), and it plays the DVD VOB rips to a noticeably better atandard then XBMC running on a Raspeberry Pi, (much more detail), and seems similar if not better quality to doing it via my BluRay player. It has played AVIs fine as well. Downside is for VOBs, the facilities like rewind and fast forward are a bit eccentric, and there is no cover art, library, and search typwe facilities. Again, all this applies to the HD FOx T2 as well.
I didn't bother with the £299 new Humax YouView box as my Raspberry Pi offers all the catchup and I just don't feel I really need it integrated into a backward looking EPG, (BTW the HDR FOX T2 has a retrospective EPG, though no integration with catchup TV, but does have iPlayer separately), and wanted more storage. The YouView box also has no media playing facilities, or other network functionality the HDR FOX T2 can have, (FTP, DLNA server, web recording scheduling, etc), and reportedly is somewhet noisy.
Hope this helps. I think it's a great box, and now at £240 for the 1TB I think it's a good buy.