With little (no) fanfare Freeview HD has officially launched, with the first receivers coming to market. First out the start blocks was a Set Top Box – STB – from Humax. Titled Humax Fox T-2. TVs with built in Freeview HD are arriving from Panasonic, Sony etc over the coming months.
Freeview HD currently offers ITV1HD & BBC HD, with Channel 4 HD to launch at Summer.
The receiver is, as you would expect from Humax, a superb quality piece of kit. Well built, with the familiar Humax menus and is very easy to use. Even the Remote is similar to other Humax units. The newest addition is a “TV Portal” button, which hints at the future options for connecting the Humax to the internet or a home network. Freeview Standard Def pictures are on par with other Humax receivers – picture quality varies dependant on the bit rate employed by the broadcaster.
Thats sadly where the review ends for us. Despite our best efforts – 7 different aerials across 5 different locations in & around Horsham, we were unable to receive Freeview HD Signals. Currently the HD Signal is broadcast at a much lower level from Crystal Palace, than other Digital Signals. We can get all ‘normal’ Freeview signals with only minor blocking, but just couldn’t get the Humax to lock & tune in the HD signal.
Humax has since confirmed the T-2 requires 100% Signal Quality, with Signal Strength at least 30%. Other users, even in Central London have reported failure to receive Freeview HD. As we expected Freeview HD may not be the answer some thought it would be.
If you would like HD TV now, with quality reception, no subcription & no contract, the best way forward is to install Freesat HD.