Humax HDR-1100S review

An old favourite keeps up to date with new features, including wireless capability Tested at £190

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Our Verdict

Humax is continuing to dictate this area of the market; you won’t find a more entertaining satellite experience without a subscription

For

  • Clear picture
  • Expressive sound
  • Easy to use
  • Flexibility with app

Against

  • Doesn’t work with hi-res audio

You know when there’s something different about someone, but you can’t tell exactly what? That’s the kind of makeover Humax’s satellite recording box has undergone.

Just a little sprucing up, really; enough to tell you there’s something new.

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Features

What the HDR-1100S has over its predecessor, the Award-winning HDR1000S, is built-in wi-fi. That means on-demand content is more accessible for those without an Ethernet connection near their TV but, more importantly it means you can connect to and stream from an external server.

The rest of the stuff from the HDR1000S is still there, of course: 500GB, 1TB or 2TB of hard-disk space to store up to 1200 hours of standard-definition recordings, two satellite tuners, two USB ports and HDMI (through which you may attain 5.1 surround sound), line-level and optical outputs.

From basic set-up, through which the Humax holds your hand, to the electronic telly guide, this box is a breeze to use. Menus are colourful but remain simple and easily navigated, and the Showcase section advertises what you ought not to miss in the near future.

That is especially helpful for Freesat, where you’ve more than 200 channels from which to choose.

Performance

We needn’t scroll that far because Bargain Hunt is on BBC One. We get a crisp and clear picture in HD and a colour pallette that fully shows off those gaudy red and blue fleeces the contestants are forced to wear almost certainly against their will.

Movement, as the teams weave between antique stalls, is tracked smoothly and naturally without let up in detail or sharpness. Even standard definition, which is so often a let down when you switch from an HD channel, has plenty of colour and life and steers clear of all fuzziness. We have no complaints about what we see.

The same is true when using catch-up services. You have the usual access to BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4 and Demand 5, plus YouTube, movies on demand from Curzon Home Cinema and Hopster, as well as the ability to scroll back through the last seven days of shows on the EPG.

Programmes such as the BBC’s documentary series Music for Misfits: The Story of Indie, which opens with Joy Division’s Disorder, highlight the Humax as a conduit for quality sound as well.

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Setting a recording (you can record two shows at a time, or record one channel while watching another) is as simple as clicking on the show you want to watch and scrolling up through the options, but it can be even easier.

The Freesat App – available on iOS, Android and Amazon Fire – turns your tablet or smartphone into a remote (the buttons on the one supplied click a tad gratingly, so we like this function), but it also allows you to set recordings wherever you are outside your living room. A simple idea, as the best so often are.

The only difficulty we come across is that the Humax doesn’t stream the high-resolution audio files on our XiVa musicm8 server, so you’ll have to convert files if you don’t have mp3 and want to play music through this box, but we wouldn’t go as far as to say that works against it.

In terms of connecting with the server, unsurprisingly, it is as speedy and easy as the rest of the box’s functions. You’ll probably find the app useful here, too, so as to avoid having to scroll through your music library using a television remote.

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Verdict

In January 2013, we said the HDR-1000S was the best Freesat box we’d tested. With wi-fi now on board, making it truly a genuine wireless entertainment hub, our admiration of the HDR-1100S has only grown stronger.

Short of a subscription service, we can’t imagine why you’d want for anything else.

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Specifications

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Audio

Audio DecodingStereo
Audio FormatsMP3, WMA, AAC
Sound SystemDolby Digital

Technical Information

Number of Tuners2
FeaturesVideo on Demand (VOD), Pre-installed Apps, Electronic Program Guide, USB Recording, Built-in Modem, Web Content Access, Parental Control, Subtitle Decoding
HD RecordingYes
Maximum Recording Time250 Hour
TV Tuner SupportedFree-To-Air TV

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
USB StandardUSB 2.0
SCARTNo
USBYes
Composite VideoYes

Network and Communication

EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet

Video

Digital TunerDVB-T2, DVB-S2
Video Signal StandardHDTV
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Video SystemDVB-S2
Analog TunerPAL

General Information

Product NameHumax HDR-1100S
Product ModelHDR-1100S
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.humaxdigital.com
Brand NameHumax
Product TypeSatellite Receiver
ManufacturerHumax Corporation, Ltd
Manufacturer Part NumberHDR-1100S

Physical Characteristics

Weight Approximate1.02 kg
Width28 cm
Depth19 cm
Height4.5 cm
ColourWhite
Dimensions4.5 cm (H): 28 cm (W): 19 cm (D)

Miscellaneous

Environmentally FriendlyYes
Certifications and StandardsCE
Package Contents
  • HDR-1100S Digital Video Recorder
  • Quick Start Guide
  • User Manual
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • HDMI Cable (1.5m)
Environmental CertificationWEEE

Power Description

Input Voltage120 V AC, 230 V AC
Standby Power Consumption500 mW

Service Information

Service TypeAll 4, BBC iPlayer, DEMAND 5, ITV Player, Netflix, YouTube, BBC Sport, BBC News, Curzon Home Cinema, Hopster

Memory

Flash Memory Capacity256 MB

Storage

Hard Drive Capacity500 GB

Warranty

Limited Warranty2 Year