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Best PVR and set-top box brands: which should you buy?

Humax PVRs and set-top boxes rated

By Callum Tennent

Article 3 of 9

Unlike Sky and Virgin Media, Humax set-top boxes and PVRs aren’t designed for subscription-based TV services. The company makes models for use with free-TV services instead.

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Compared to big names such as Panasonic, Samsung and Sony, the Humax brand isn't that well known. It's been on the digital TV scene for a while though, and its latest set-top boxes and PVRs are some of the most popular with our members.

Humax set-top boxes and PVRs are highly regarded and the brand is also one of the manufacturers selected by the YouView service to produce dedicated YouView boxes, used by the likes of BT and TalkTalk.

Humax offers a small, focused range of set-top boxes and PVRs to choose from. Aside from the models that Humax manufactures for the YouView service, the company’s range can be split into two main product lines: Freesat and Freeview.

Want to see other brands, too? Head over to our PVR and set-top box reviews.

While there are some cracking Humax boxes on the market, the brand name alone is no guarantee. Our thorough, impartial test uncovers duds as well as gems be sure you don't make the wrong choice. Not only that, though, but below you will see just how reliable they are.

Hundreds of Humax-owning Which? members have reported their experiences, so that you can discover how long one of these devices will last in your home.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you’re not yet
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Humax PVR and set-top box overview
Humax PVR and set-top box overview
Number tested in the past three years 11
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Loyalty score
Typical spend
Should I buy one?
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 25 August 2017) that are still available. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2017 of 2,531 PVR and set-top box owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 25 August 2017.


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How much do Humax PVRs and set-top boxes cost?

The big positive of buying a Humax box is that it will only cost you a one-time fee. They don't come with a subscription service, focusing on Freeview and Freesat instead, so the spending is over once you take one home from the shop.

The downside is that it's a touch pricier than other brands, on average. We've tested some that cost as much as £250 an unbelievable price for what is a functionally simple device. That said, there's also been some very high-scorers for as little as £90.

Choosing the best Humax PVR or set-top box

The first thing to watch out for is Humax's terrible naming conventions. You'll never confuse an Apple iPhone 6 with an iPhone 7 the difference is obvious. But who knows what distinguishes the Humax HB1000S from the Humax FVP-4000T?

In fact the Humax HB-1000S is actually newer than the Humax HB-1100S and be sure not to confuse either with the Humax HDR-1100S. Our reviews help demystify the choosing process for you, making the distinctions between each model clearer.

Humax also makes both PVRs and set-top boxes. Either will allow you to watch digital TV, but only PVRs will let you record shows. Make sure you get the one you want.