Harder, better, faster, stronger could summarise the Humax DTR-T2000.
Rather than doing something entirely new, Humax has sprinkled tiny improvements all over its YouView box. After all, why throw out something that works?
This year’s DTR-T2000 is not very different from last year’s Award-winning DTR-T1010 - but it’s certainly better.
For the uninitiated, YouView is like Freeview on steroids. It’s a free service with access to more than 70 TV and radio channels, but that’s where similarities end.
There’s all manner of web-based services on tap, too. The box accesses your broadband to get content from the major catch-up services. These are integrated with the electronic programme guide (EPG), which allows you scroll back seven days.
Simply browse the listings, pick something you missed and the corresponding catch-up service will load. The Great British Bake-Off, for instance, will bring up the BBC iPlayer app.
There’s also the ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5. Other apps include Sky’s Now TV (subscription film and TV streaming), Sky Store (pay-as-you-go films), Milkshake! (for kids), S4C (in Wales), STV (in Scotland), and UKTV (Dave, Really and Yesterday).
It’s fine if you don’t want to play catch-up: scroll forward up to seven days and set the box to record upcoming attractions.
Build and design
The T2000 looks very similar to the T1010, but there are a few changes. It’s smaller. The power supply is now an external block, keeping the device cooler, which means no noisy fan – and it’s also primarily made of metal rather than plastic.
Sadly there’s no display to show info on what you’re watching or recording.
But you do get a flap hiding a USB port, which isn’t for end-user use. Instead you need to use the internal hard drive, with 500GB storage, which allows you to record around 300 hours in standard-def or 125 in HD.
There’s no 1TB model, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that appeared. The back of the machine offers standard connections: aerial pass-through, HDMI out (plus scart and RCA just in case), digital optical out, another USB port and ethernet in.
Wi-fi is still missing, though.
Set-up is easy. Plug in the bundled HDMI and LAN cables, add your own RF lead, and power it up. On-screen instructions take care of the rest.
We’ve always been fans of the YouView interface. It’s neat and nice to look at, with a welcoming blue tint.
Press the ‘YouView’ button on the well-designed remote and you’re presented with settings, apps, recordings and search.
The search function is universal. Just type in the name of the programme you want and you’ll be told the service that offers it.
There’s a good amount of info for programmes, and it’s nice to see related broadcasts in case you need advice. Start-up times vary because of the power-saving ‘Eco Mode’.
Have it set high and the box will go into a deep sleep on standby. Set it to low and it will spring to life in 10-15 seconds (slightly better than its predecessor).
There’s little lag when it comes to flicking through menus. Button presses respond well.
Video quality depends on the strength and stability of your signal, but if you get good TV reception normally then you’ll be fine.
The tuners do a solid job: standard and HD pictures are clean and detailed, with decent motion-handling and sharply drawn edges. You can record one channel and watch another, or record two channels at once while you watch on-demand content.
On-demand quality is also dependant on connections, but whichever service we used pictures were clear and judder-free.
The Humax DTR-T2000 box is better than its predecessor in nearly every way.
Things may have moved on in the last year, with many more TVs getting some catch-up features of their own - along with Facebook and Spotify.
But when it comes to the pure simplicity of enhancing your TV-viewing experience for little outlay, there’s nothing quite like YouView.