- Multi-room viewing when paired with PVR
- Easy setup
- Iffy remote control
- Very few apps
- Limited streaming services
Humax H3 Espresso Review: We slump into our sofa with Humax's new TV streamer, an £80 Amazon Fire TV rival that can deliver multi-room viewing when paired with the Humax FVP-4000T.
The Humax H3 Espresso is yet another dinky TV streaming device in an increasingly crowded market, but the Espresso offers multi-room live TV viewing if you already have Humax's FVP-4000T set-top box, as well as typical features like mobile phone mirroring and support for TVPlayer and Netflix. Here's our full Espresso review.
Humax H3 Espresso Review: Design and setup
The Espresso is roughly the same size and shape as the Apple TV, so takes up next to no room wherever you decide to shove it. You can happily velcro it to the back of your telly to keep it tidied away, although the wood grain effect covering the flat edge is actually quite attractive, in a retro way.
You get a basic range of ports, as you'd expect from such a dinky streamer. You have a single HDMI connection to hook up to your television, as well as a USB port for connecting digital storage, Ethernet to splice straight into your internet and SPDIF for your audio (if required).
Setup is as simple as it comes. Just plug into the mains and your TV, slap two AAA batteries into the bundled Humax H3 Espresso remote, and you're good to go. The first time you turn on your Espresso you'll be asked to enter your WiFi details, and then the box is ready for action.
However, the remote control is clearly of the cheap and cheerful variety. Buttons all function as expected, but the ropey d-pad is fiddly at best, and entering information on the virtual keyboard can be frustrating. Still, at least there are four coloured shortcut buttons that you can customise to open your favourite apps. There's also a dedicated Netflix button.
If you wish, you can also download the Humax app to your phone to use that as a remote control instead. So at least you have the option of ditching the physical remote if you don't get on with it.
Humax H3 Espresso Review: Features and apps
The main limitation of the Humax H3 Espresso is its meagre selection of apps and services. The apps store has well under 100 apps available right now, of which very few are of actual interest. In fact, Netflix, YouTube and TVPlayer are pretty much the only ones worth bothering with.
Streaming over WiFi works perfectly well, with a maximum 1080p resolution supported. You can also watch media plugged directly into the box, or mirror your smartphone or tablet's screen if you want to digest your content that way.
TVPlayer offers up a decent selection of free-to-view and premium channels, although you'll of course need to pay a monthly subscription fee to access the good stuff. You get two months of premium access for free with the H3 Espresso, by entering a code that flashes up on the screen.
Compared with rivals like the Fire TV and Roku, the Espresso is a bit bare-bones when it comes to content. However, its main benefit is the ability to team up with Humax's PVR to deliver multi-room viewing, sans aerial. You can get this box to stream live telly or recordings from the FVP-4000T, which is a great little feature - and something only just offered by the likes of Sky Q and Virgin Media's V6 service.
Humax H3 Espresso Review: Verdict
If you own Humax's PVR, then the H3 Espresso makes good sense for its multi-room viewing feature. However, at £80 it offers very few stand-alone streaming options and services compared with rivals.