23 January 2011

Humax HDR-Fox T2: Why does nothing just work out of the box?

I've finally given up on the PS3's PlayTV. It's lasted me a few good years, but when the firmware upgrade that gave us series link (how did it take that long????) also gave me hanging when launching PlayTV and not being able to play Blu-Ray discs, I decided that enough was enough.

I now have a Humax HDR-Fox T2 box sitting under my PS3, which not only gives me series link that seems to work without breaking everything else, but also gives me HD recording which PlayTV still doesn't.

BUT the joy of spending money on electronics, unwrapping and plugging it all in was shattered as soon as I tried to search for a programme. It hung. I couldn't go back. I couldn't put it into standby. I had to switch the power off at the back of the box and back on again. And this happened every time.

Now you could call me demanding, but I'd expect a Freeview box that says it has a search feature to be able to actually, you know, search. Isn't that what they'd call "fit for purpose"?

Fortunately, there is a solution - go to the Humax beta firmware page, download the latest firmware, unzip it, stick the .hdf file in the root of a USB stick, power down the Humax, bung the USB stick in the back, power it up, wait for it to install, power it down again (note - not hit the reset button as it tells you), remove the USB stick, then power back up again. And then it works. Apparently it's something to do with a change to the EPG data format transmitted for HD channels, but that started months ago.

But my point is that this took me quite a bit of digging around the intertubes to discover, and is not exactly something I'd expect the average TV user to be able to do.

Shouldn't these things just work out of the box?
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