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Humax FVP-5000T Review: Modern TV box, classically simplified

The Good

  • Simple to use
  • Large capacity
  • Affordable
  • Multi-room support
  • Intuitive interface

The Bad

  • Network streaming of videos
  • Occasionally slow
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We test out the Humax FVP-5000T set-top TV box, which packs loads of great features for couch potatoes to enjoy. All for a price that won’t have you reaching down the back of the sofa for stray change.

The world of set-top boxes has evolved rapidly in recent times and the go-to name for TV streaming has just upgraded to stay ahead of the rest. Yet Humax’s goal is still to offer simplicity and general ease of use, with modern features such as integrated catch-up TV, media viewing and app support all included.

So does the Humax FVP-5000T set-top box manage to push the limits of tech without leaving users scratching their heads with the remote? We spent time with the new telly streamer to find out.

Check out our other Humax TV box reviews:

Humax HB-1100S Freesat Smart Box review

Humax FVP-4000T Freeview Play Box review

Humax H3 Espresson Box review

Humax FVP-5000T: Design and build

For owners of previous generation Humax boxes, the new model’s looks will immediately stand out as a major upgrade. Right away you notice the black glossy finish with that carbon fibre designed top. It looks like this thing should have an engine and wheels and blow your hair back, which would be appropriate as it’s faster and more efficient than previous boxes too.

The top edge of the FVP-5000T features controls for channels, volume and power, ideal for when you inevitably misplace the remote. In the back you’ll find a selection of ports for all occasions. There’s an RF in and out for your aerial, with a spare cable included in the box, as well as an HDMI output for a Full HD 1080p connection to your television, plus video and audio outs. Ethernet connectivity is accepted for a wired connection while the box also has 2.4Ghz and 5GHz dual band Wi-Fi built-in too. Finally there’s a USB port for playing stored videos, photos and music from a drive.

Humax’s remote control is large enough to avoid getting lost too often, yet small enough for comfortable one-handed use. Buttons are large, clear and colourful with a rubberised and solid feel. You also get dedicated Freeview Play, On Demand and Netflix buttons, for quick access to all the shows on offer.

Humax FVP-5000T: Setup and installation

Setup couldn’t be easier. Plug the aerial in, power in and HDMI to your TV and everything is set to go. Then you just follow a simple on-screen guide, which automatically searches for TV channels over your aerial connection and lets you connect to your local Wi-Fi network. That’s it. The whole process took no more than five minutes for us, with no techy knowledge necessary.

If you want Netflix you’ll need to get signed in there too, which of course requires payment for a monthly subscription. But to watch live TV, that initial setup is all you need (as well as a telly license of course) and we found over 200 channels in our area just outside of London. Plenty of those were in HD too.

Humax FVP-5000T: Live TV, on demand and apps

If you know all your TV channel numbers off by heart, good for you; although perhaps that’s a sign that you need to get out more. For those of us without the memory of Rain Man, there is a handy Guide button to see the Electronic Program Guide (EPG) on screen. This lays out the live TV on offer in an easy-to-see format, with what’s on now, what’s coming up and – if you tap left – what you’ve missed.

This brilliantly blends live TV with catch-up, seamlessly. So you can watch live TV over the aerial or select a show you’ve missed and have it downloaded via an app, like BBC iPlayer, over your internet connection. A perfect blend of classic simplicity combined with modern content access, to make the wide selection out there now seem far easier to navigate and enjoy.

If you prefer to dive right into catch-up TV – which works for up to seven days gone by – then the On Demand button on the remote takes you to a menu for that too. This lays out content either by channel, app, recommendation of Freeview Play, or you can search by category like Comedy or Drama. This includes recommendations for shows on live at that moment too.

If nothing grabs your fancy, it’s a simple right tap to get to your recordings, to catch up on anything you’ve downloaded or recorded. More on that below. This isn’t tailored to the user right now but Humax says it is looking into smart learning, to make recommendations specifically for your tastes.

All of this is simplified even further. If you know what you want to watch, there is a search icon you can select to type in your show. This then takes you into all the options for that show – so you can set recordings, reminders or download and watch shows via catch up. It’s like a hub of content dedicated to whatever show you want to watch.

Humax FVP-5000T: Recordings

Recording TV shows is as simple as you may have come to expect from Humax.

Simply navigate to a show in the EPG, select it and you’re then given the option to either record the show, record the entire series or set a reminder. Since the box comes with options of a hefty 500GB, 1TB or 2TB of storage, you’ll probably end up setting everything to record, just in case. That said, so much is available on demand that you can always watch that way if you forget to set a recording.

This recording function works for shows up to eight days in advance, since that’s around when the EPG runs up until. Since you can set an entire series to record you don’t generally need to see beyond a week anyway. But, again, setting lots to record isn’t really something you need to consider, since the three-tuner-toting box can record up to three channels at the same time while you’re watching another. So you may find yourself hitting record more often than you used to. It really is addictively easy.

Humax FVP-5000T: Multi-room and beyond

If the thought of buying one of these boxes for every room in your house makes your wallet ache, fear not. The FVP-5000T will work with more affordable repeater boxes like the Humax H3. That means you can have one of these boxes in another room and enjoy TV as if you were watching on a dedicated box.

Since the Humax FVP-5000T can record three shows at once while playing another live, you can enjoy multi-room viewing in two rooms at once, minus the fight for the remote.

If you don’t want to splash out on another box, or don’t need one then the app can help. The Humax Live TV app lets you watch content via your box. This uses the aerial to feed the signal into the box then sends it to your connected device on the same network via Wi-Fi. A pretty seamless way to watch shows on another device. When out of the house this same app is a handy way to access your box to set recordings, but be warned it won’t let you watch live.

If you’ve also got a Humax Eye HD Cloud Camera its feed can be viewed via the Humax FVP-5000T. So you could set the camera up at the front door, for example, and see who’s there without leaving the comfort of your couch – ideal for a mid-movie pizza order.

Humax FVP-5000T: Price and release date

The Humax FVP-5000T is available from the second week of October, staring at £229 here in the UK for the 500GB model. You can bump this asking price up to £259 for the 1TB unit and £299 for the 2TB box. While the Humax Live TV app is available at launch for Android, the iOS release date is December 2017.

Humax FVP-5000T: Verdict

For the money, you get a lot of features to boost your evening of telly viewing. Plus, considering the complexity of those features, Humax has somehow delivered a really simple system to use. The FVP-5000T offers a great blend of good looks, ease of navigation, breadth of content and modern accessibility.

The one possible issue for some could be the lack of local network streaming for video and photos, although that could always be added with a software update in the future.

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