Humax DTR-T1000 review

Best Digital HD recorder, Awards 2012. YouView is here, and this Humax box nails it out of the stalls Tested at £300

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Best Digital HD recorder, Awards 2012. This long-awaited box is a mighty fine PVR, and a hassle-free introduction to the world of catch-up and on-demand TV


  • +

    Intuitive menus

  • +

    easy to find on-demand content

  • +

    good picture and sound quality


  • -

    A little pricey

  • -

    no built-in wi-fi

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

UPDATE: The Humax DTR-T1000 is now the BT YouView box.

YouView has finally arrived. The internet TV service backed by the likes of the BBC, ITV, BT, TalkTalk and Lord “You’re fired” Sugar has been designed to bring key (not to mention free) catch-up and on-demand streaming services – BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5 – all under one easily accessible roof.

Say hello to YouView
The Humax DTR-T1000 is the first piece of hardware to deliver this service. And as you’d expect from Humax, it’s also a PVR with twin DVB T2 HD tuners and a 500GB hard drive.

There’s an HDMI output on the back, but it’s disappointing that the T1000 uses ethernet and not wi-fi. This is arguably the most stable way to stream video, though, and works well via a powerline system if your router is in a different room.

Humax’s set-top boxes have always been easy to use, and the DTR-T1000 is a brilliant example of how it should be done. The new-look YouView menus look fresh and inviting, and the re-styled Humax remote does the job with large, finger-friendly buttons. A blue ‘Y’ button takes you to the main home page from where you can access live TV and on-demand content.

The beauty of this particular guide is that it shows seven days ahead, and also seven days back. If shows are available through any of the catch-up TV services, you’ll see a little play button icon.

Select it and you’ll be taken to the corresponding catch-up service where you can start playback. You can also use the search function to go straight to a series, or a particular episode of a programme you’d like to catch up on.

You can still carry out basic PVR functions too, such as recording one digital HD channel while watching another and recording two digital HD channels while watching on-demand content.

We tried everything from a high-def EastEnders rerun using the BBC iPlayer to a standard-def stream of The Hotel Inspector via Demand 5, and the picture was stable with only a hint of judder and noise. Detail levels are good and the overall picture is punchy, colourful and bright.

Switch to the digital HD tuners and quality goes up a notch, especially with the BBC’s HD channels. Olympic footage looks excellent, boasting detail, edge definition and good motion handling. Standard-def brings a drop in quality, but the basic strengths of the Humax remain.

Don’t be worried about getting confused by the services on offer – the Humax is painless to use. It’s pricey next to other PVRs, though, and we’d like a few more content providers, such as YouTube and maybe one of the movie-streaming services, (although Sky’s pay-per-view Now TV service should arrive on the platform soon).

But there’s a definite appeal to YouView and the way it’s accessible in this Humax box makes it highly recommendable.

MORE: Humax DTR-T1010 review

See all our Freeview set-top box reviews

Follow on Twitter

Join on Facebook

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test