After much delay, the YouView service and PVR made by Humax – the DTR-T1000 – have launched. Designed to combine regular Freeview HD content with catch-up TV services and additional content, all accessible from a single electronic programme guide (EPG), it’s the first PVR of its type.
Here we outline some of our findings but you can see the full in-depth YouView review on the Which? website.
What is YouView?
YouView is a new service that combines Freeview with the internet catch-up TV services from all the four main broadcasters (BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5) and makes them all accessible from one on-screen electronic programme guide.
Crucially, it’s a free service – there’s no contract and no subscription for accessing the Freeview and catch-up content, though additional services may charge. For example, it currently gives you access to Now TV from Sky, where you can watch films for between 99p to £3.49 per title or as many as you like for £15 per month.
While Humax makes the box, the software it runs is from YouView – a consortium made up of the major terrestrial TV broadcasters, BT and TalkTalk. It has a 500GB hard drive (good for around 250 hours of standard definition TV recordings) and two tuners, so you can record two programmes or watch one channel while watching another.
At £299 it’s a pricey box, though TalkTalk and BT offer the box for free on subscriptions to their broadband products.
A minimum broadband speed of 3Mbps is recommended. But beware if you have a data cap on your broadband contract – you’ll need to keep an eye on how much you’re downloading or you could be charged extra. Watching an hour of high-definition programming on BBC iPlayer can use up more than 1GB of your data allowance.
How does the YouView programme guide work?
YouView’s innovative programme guide lets you to scroll both backwards and forwards seven days in time. Scroll forward and it acts as a conventional PVR for recording future programs; scroll backwards and it shows those programmes that are available through the catch-up TV services. This only applies to channels from the four main broadcasters (BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5) and not every programme transmitted by these four is available. But compared to sometimes-tortuous navigation of smart TV apps, it’s a big improvement.
However, we do have some complaints which we outline in our full YouView review.
What else do I need to know?
There’s no wi-fi and no way to add it – Humax’s own dongle doesn’t work. This means you have to use a cable to your broadband router, or if it’s not close by, powerline adapters (which use you home’s electrical system) to connect the box to the internet – YouView sells them for £40 if bought at the same time as the box.
- YouView explained – see our full advice guide on YouView and what it offers
- Which? PVR reviews – see the full Which? reviews of YouView and other PVRs
- Phone, internet and TV packages – find the perfect combination to suit your needs