Youview versus Humax & Panasonic offerings

Tim CTim C Posts: 439Member ✭✭

I've been looking to see if what would be the best replacement for one of my BT Youview boxes as I'm finding them increasingly unreliable (failed recordings/missing schedules etc), along with too much software tinkering for things that of no use to me.

So far I bought a Humax FVP-4000 and a Panasonic HWT-150 Freeview recorder , both used and off of ebay thinking that if I don't like them I won't lose much on reselling.

What I've written here is a comparison between them and Youview based admittedly on short term usage which I thought might useful.

Humax FVP-4000 (running the same software as the FVP-5000)

What's better than Youview.

. I think that what you buy is what you get, there doesn't seem to be any tinkering and dribble feeding of updates.

. When you turn on it goes straight to normal TV viewing.

. The latest remote has a recordings button taking you straight to your recordings, just like MyTV was supposed to do!

. Recordings in list or grid format. Although the list form is nowhere near as good as OldGen

. Scheduled programs in list form , no grid option. This looks very good.

. Built in WIFI.

. Padding. Automatic or manually adjustable.

. Set a manual recording.

. Manually tuning a Freeview channel, This can be useful for channels 55 & 56 which are the Com7/8 ones as the power output from these is very low & not always found. Not as simple to use as the Panasonic.

. 3 Tuners , potentially 4 recordings at once.

. When tuning the channels the progress is displayed in % form along with the channel progress , the number of channels found (TV & Radio) and the details of the last broadcast channels  found.

. Ability to properly hide channels.

. The guide wraps round.

. Can create a Favourites group of channels , although not defaulted onto that when entering the guide.

. The guide doesn't have the expanding info box.

 . Software not automatically updated but manually initiated.

. Adjustable forward skipping, unlike the set 1 minute for Youview.

. Recordings can be shared to other devices and off-loaded to a PC etc.

. Playing other media files from USB or Media server.

 . Can change the remote’s IR channel to enable multiple similar devices to be in close proximity.

. The remote is ergonomically better than the BT remote. To add I think the TalkTalk one is probably better than the BT version as well.

 

What's not as good as Youview.

. Remote has no info button, although pressing OK in the guide will give you detailed info for the programme.

. The volume button controls the FVP’s volume not the TV’s. Can be very confusing.

. Recordings in list format shows no date of recording & no way of seeing any info about it as there is no info button on the remote. I hate to say it but for this unit grid format is better.

. No subscription channels.

. I don't think the UI is very slick overall and slightly inconsistent. When pressing the Home/Freeview Play button the menu options are displayed at the top of the screen but when you go into , say, Recordings they're down the left side taking some 40% of the screen so limiting the recording info that can be displayed. Would be far better to have the options along the top.

Mobile Apps

There are 2 apps available , one only working when on the same network as the FVP and the FVP is ON. The other works regardless and allows remote setting (& cancelling) of recordings. Can't see what's been recorded though.

 

Panasonic HWT-150 FreeviewPlay recorder.

What's better than Youview.

. What up buy is what you get. Updates are few and far between as the software has obviously been thoroughly tested and it’s not necessary to continually tweak it to fix bugs.

. When you turn on it goes straight to normal TV viewing.

. Recordings & schedule in list format.

. Built in WIFI.

. Padding. Manually adjustable – as in manually setting the start & end times but still based on the guide.

. Set a manual recording.

. Manually tuning a Freeview channel. This can be useful for channels 55 & 56 which are the Com7/8 ones as the power output from these is very low & not always found.

. When tuning the channels the progress is displayed in % form along with the channel progress , the number of channels found (TV & Radio) and the details of the last broadcast channels  found.

. Ability to properly hide channels.

. Guide will wrap around.

. Can set up 4 favourites lists.

. Channels can be re-numbered  and/or moved around.

. The guide doesn't have the expanding info box.

. The guide can give alternate times/channels for a programme to be recorded. EG sd->hd or +1, albeit a bit cumbersome.

. Ability to turn off automatic updates.

. When checking the tuner’s signal quality, once in that option you can just use the channel button to go to the next channel.

. One button access to recordings or recording schedule.

. Can be used as a media client (playing other media files from USB or Media server) or as a media server. Plays video, photos or music.

. Can change the remote’s IR channel to enable multiple similar devices to be in close proximity.

. The remote is ergonomically better than the BT remote.

. Remote recording – works instantly.

. Best user manual.

. Most robust system – typical Panasonic quality (hardware/software)

What’s not as good as Youview

. Obviously no ISP’s subscription channels.

. Remote has no mute button.

. Whilst the guide does allow you to find alternate recording of program, eg HD, +1 etc it’s not as slick as the Youview mobile app. Note that the Youview box’s guide doesn’t give any alternate times/channels!

Mobile Apps

. Overall quite useful. You can set recordings (either from the guide or manually), delete a scheduled recording or delete a recording or playback a recording.

The only downside to setting recordings is that doesn’t pick up a programme’s series link, just sets same time slot but gives the option of what days. In general you’d want to set recordings by the guide but when you’re away from the unit the app does work within it’s limited parameters. Even when out recording is instant.

. Can be used for multiple compatible Panasonic devices.

 

My Overall Verdict

On the Panasonic & the Humax the FreeviewPlay guide can be slow to load as it is on my Panasonic TV.

Both these units require you to create an online account to which the units & the mobile apps are linked to. Not an issue.

The Humax FVP’s UI is poor overall and for me it has nothing over the Panasonic other than more tuners.

The HWT-150 is typical Panasonic quality and the interface & remote are pretty consistent across their range of devices. And it does lists for recordings & programme schedule very well and I do like my lists.

If you want the ISP’s subscription channels like BT Sport there’s only 1 choice and I will be keeping my T4000 for BT Sport.

However, for me the Panasonic is the best option and the Humax FVP-4000 is already on ebay and once the T2100’s current recordings  have been viewed that will follow the FVP-4000.






Comments

  • GoodbyeGoodbye Posts: 336Time out
    Youview desperately need a new box, Whoever designed the BT youview remotes deserves a special mention as it truly is awful.
    To me though it looks like BT have lost interest in the platform' it's never advertised and rarely promoted, the youview name is now also conspicuously absent from the box. Both the Panasonic and the Humax you mentioned have wifi which is a given these days on streaming device's.
  • John LJohn L Posts: 306Member
    Hi Tim C,
    Love your detailed review. Well worth reading. I own the Panasonic HWT-120 model, which has fairly similar interface plus also a big feature: built in music jukebox, enabling you to copy your CDs onto it and play/stream music. 
    Does the HWT-150 or Humax 4000 have a Search Genre function? I know the HWT-120 doesn't or the 7 day backwards function. It's limited on this feature. I think Youview is a lot better and faster on operation, but lacks the alternative suggestion that was included in the original Youview design. Hopefully Youview will include more developments as time goes on (nearly 3 years now!) To include with Discover menu, plus hopefully will be included on all Youview models. Just seems unfair that only the T2000 and the Talk Talk models currently have discover feature. We have 2 BT 2100 models that are very lacking in features. Be interested to know more about the HWT-150 search, as I might purchase one! John L
  • Tim CTim C Posts: 439Member ✭✭
    Glad you like my reviwe John L.
    I can't say about the Humax FVP-4000 at the moment but the Panasonic has no search facility I'm afraid.
    It does obviously have all the catch-up that your 120 lacks. As for the music streaming I guess on the 150 you could always rip CD's on a PC to MP3 and pop them on a USB drive & play music from that.

  • fusemunkfusemunk Posts: 35Member
    I have had the Humax Youview box for many years running under Talktalk subscription.  I feel the integration of Sky Channels (incl Sky sports) into the EPG, plus the integrated Apps Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky on Demand and various Players is a major difference.  The integrated channels blend in very well, using one remote interface - watch Netflix then bringing up the EPG to select a programme to record, then straight back to playing the Netflix (or any other) prog. I guess I can have the BT sports channels as well (just can't justify cost).
    The new skipping forward quicker on recordings is nice feature and expect more from the basic Alexa integration.  The TT multiroom package works well for me having all offerings running in three rooms.  Also find the TT package costs (incl. phone and internet and after discounts for Sky channels) are very good value for money.
    Overall the Youview integration caters for new Apps and makes it a one stop interface for the future - no separate dongles or changing input channels.
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