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Humax FVP-4000T

Humax FVP-4000T review – Freeview Play is here

Humax FVP-4000T teaser
Our Rating :
£149.99 from
Price when reviewed : £200
inc VAT

The Humax FVP-4000T is a little slow and Freeview Play isn't as strong as rival catchup television approaches like YouView or Freetime


Tuners: 3x DVB-T2, Dimensions (WxDxH): 280x200x48mm, Networking: Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Internal disk capacity: 500GB, Warranty: One year RTB, Details:, Part code: FVP-4000T 

With a wide range of catch-up services from all of the terrestrial channels, watching live television simply isn’t as popular as it used to be. After all, when you can watch your favourite shows on your own schedule, why would you let someone else decide for you? Until recently, when it came to integrated catch-up services that worked directly through an EPG (electronic programme guide), your main two choices were Freetime via Freesat or YouView.

Confused by all this – read Freeview vs YouView vs Freesat vs Freeview Play

This has now changed, with Freeview launching its own integrated catch-up platform called Freeview Play. Like its rivals, this allows you to effectively go back in time through the conventional timeline-based EPG to find content you’ve missed. It’s meant to be a simpler approach to finding content than using individual catch-up apps such as BBC iPlayer. That’s not to say these independent apps aren’t available as, importantly, Demand 5 is currently not integrated into Freeview Play. To watch Channel 5 and its other related channels’ content you’ll still need to fire up the Demand 5 app.

Humax FVP-4000T top buttons

Humax is the first PVR manufacturer out of the blocks with its own Freeview Play PVR, the FVR-4000T. It’s available with either 500GB (£200) or 1TB of storage (£230) and in a choice of either “coffee inspired” Cappuccino (white) or Mocha (dark brown). It’s around the same size as Humax’s Freesat PVR, the HDR-1100S, with a very similar design that does away with a redundant SCART connection and front LCD panel. Ditching these has helped bring the size of the box down. The FVR-4000T has a slight design flourish with a faux-leather top, complete with stitching, unlike the plain glossy finish of the HDR-1100S. I think it looks a little kitsch, but it’s at least not something you’ll notice if the PVR box is slotted into your AV cabinet.

Humax FVP-4000T back

The top of the box also has volume and channel controls, although how often you’ll actually use these is debatable. Again, if the box is in a cabinet they might not even be easily reached. Most people, I suspect, will just use the remote control. The remote looks nice enough, with a metallic-like finish at the bottom contrasting against the black at the top. It has all the usual playback controls and a shortcut button to the On Demand services. The only annoyance is the clicky navigation buttons that are tightly packed, meaning you accidentally hit the wrong button when scrolling or entering text.

Humax FVP-4000T remote

On the back are HDMI and composite ports for connecting your television. There’s an aerial in for receiving the Freeview channels, which include 12 in HD. An RF out pass-through is also available. You can output audio over an optical S/PDIF jack. In order to use the catch-up services, you’ll need to connect the FVP-4000T to your home network, using  either the built-in Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable. Setting up the box is a simple affair with clear guidance.

Menu and EPG

Humax FVP-4000T menu

The main menu, available through the Home button on the remote control, is broken down into five sections: On Demand, TV Guide, My Recordings, Media Centre and Settings. I liked the way that menus and the EPG are overlayed over whatever programme you’re watching, so it’s not too disruptive when you’re searching for new content or changing settings, as you can just about keep up with whatever programme is on in the background.

Humax FVP-4000T EPG

The EPG is straightforward with a large, easily legible timeline and you can find content by scrolling forward so you can set up recordings. You can only see five channels at a time, however, and there’s no quick way of paging up and down. This means scrolling through all the channels can be very slow. Thumbnails for programmes don’t always load as well, which removes some of the gloss of the EPG. Quickly being able to jump to an HD-equivalent channel when initially switching to the SD version makes a welcome return from Humax’s other PVRs and is always useful. You can also hit the + button on the remote to view groups including the Radio channels or only the HD channels.

Freeview Play

It’s worth noting that Freeview Play is already integrated into certain Panasonic Viera televisions, and that Freeview has allowed manufacturers to create their own interfaces, so your Freeview Play experience could be slightly different dependent on what device you use. To access the Freeview Play content, you just need to go left in the EPG. This then lets you scroll back through seven days’ worth of scheduling. However, this is where Freeview Play’s shortcomings become apparent.

Humax FVP-4000T freeview play

Only content that has a small Play icon can actually be watched on-demand through the Freeview Play interface shortcut. Trying to select anything else just brings you up the programme details. The BBC channels are decently represented when it comes to watchable content, but the ITV and Channel 4-related channels are far sparser, meaning you can effectively scroll through several hours before you find anything. Scroll back 24 hours and things improve, but there are still plenty of holes in what’s available. If you’ve just missed a programme you want to watch, chances are it’s not going to be watchable through Freeview Play until later. Channel 5 isn’t available at all.

Panasonic’s Freeview Play integration removes a lot of this needless scrolling through unavailable content by only showing you what you can watch on a per-channel basis, helping to mask the holes. The problem isn’t helped by the fact that scrolling can be a tad slow, especially when you’re scrolling vertically between channels. It makes the experience laborious and tedious.

Compared to YouView, too, Freeview Play comes up short. YouView has Channel 5’s channels in its integrated catchup, as well as a few extra channels beyond the terrestrial providers. The Freetime experience through Freesat also feels a lot less disjointed. My complaints, beyond the responsiveness issues with the FVP-4000T’s interface, are more aimed towards Freeview Play but the platform certainly feels like it needs refinements and improvements. I’m hoping these will be forthcoming.

Humax FVP-4000T on demand

If you don’t want to deal with the Freeview Play integrated EPG, you can always just use the On Demand interface. Here you have all of the usual terrestrial catch-up services as well as a few extras but the only real notable one is YouTube. I’m confident not many people will care about the Finance Markets app. Staying true to its promise at launch, Humax has updated the FVP-4000T box with support for Netflix streaming. This is available as an over the air update for existing owners.

Recording and Apps

There are three tuners inside the FVP-4000T so you can record up to four channels while watching a previously recorded programme. Usefully, if somehow you manage to max out the tuners, the FVP-4000T will let you know if a particular show is being repeated at another time. You can then choose to either record it at a later time or cancel one of your existing recordings.

Humax FVP-4000T recordings

Your recordings are then available from the My Recordings menu and you’re provided lots of ways of sorting your recordings for when you build up a large collection. With the 500GB model, you can expect about 300 hours of SD recording or 125 hours in HD. Handily, the FVP-4000T remembers where you left off when watching your recordings. As well as playing back recordings you’ve made, there’s also the Media Centre section of the interface. Like Humax’s other boxes, this lets you access content either on USB flash drives or on a NAS on your network, including images, music and video.

Humax FVP-4000T media centre

The numerous apps for iOS and Android devices include a remote control, Live TV and a media player app. The remote control app, as you would expect, lets you control the FVP-4000T using your smartphone or tablet, using either the simple or full remote interface. It also lets you use your device’s onscreen keyboard, rather than attempting to input text using the FVP-4000T’s slow and cumbersome keyboard.

Humax FVP-4000T remote app

Even this isn’t perfect, though. There’s a Search button for conducting a programme search from the remote app but you still need to then hit OK after as if you were using the physical remote control to begin text entry. Then you need to hit the keyboard button in the app to bring up the keyboard to begin typing your search. After that, you need to use the navigation buttons to highlight the text entry box back on your television so that you can hit OK again to complete the search. This is because ‘A’ is still highlighted, so hitting OK without moving to the text box will just add lots of extra characters to the end of your search. It’s far too many steps and removes the convenience. When using the app-based keyboard, searches don’t seem to be based on a per-character basis, either. Using the physical remote control and television interface, you can often find the content you want after only entering the first few characters.

Humax FVP-4000T live tv app

The Live TV app is much better. It lets you watch live television from your mobile device, with content streamed from the FVP-4000T. You can also swap between channels on your mobile device and then have that content sent to your television. Similarly, you can hit the ‘Bring In’ button to resume watching whatever is on your television on your tablet. Useful if anyone ever wants to commandeer the television. There is a few seconds of delay compared to live TV, but aside from that, it all works flawlessly and a lot like the EE TV. It’s also a much faster way to flick through the hundreds of channels rather than using the slow television-based interface or even the Remote app.


After being massively impressed by Humax’s Freesat boxes, it’s difficult not to come away disappointed with its fledgling Freeview Play PVR. Some of the complaints can be levelled at Freeview Play itself, but the performance of the box is also poor. It lacks the refinement of Humax’s other boxes and it at times feels slow and unwieldy. Jumping through channels, the most basic of tasks, is cumbersome. The stable mobile apps are useful, and I was particularly fond of being able to watch streamed television and content from the box, but aside from this, the FVP-4000T is a bit of a let-down. Buy Now from Amazon

Tuners3x DVB-T2
Accessories providedRemote control
Dimensions (WxDxH)280x200x48mm
Audio outputs1x optical S/PDIF, RCA
Video outputs1x HDMI 1.4
Video inputsNone
NetworkingEthernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi
USB ports2x USB
Memory card readerNone
Video playback formatsH.264, MKV, MOV, MPEG4, Xvid HD
Image viewing formatsJPEG
Audio playback formatsMP3
Smart TV appsBBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All4, Demand 5
Recording mediaHard disk
Internal disk capacity500GB
Hours of recording on internal media125h (high-quality HD), 300h (high-quality SD)
Simultanous channel recordingUp to 4
Buying information
Price including VAT£200
WarrantyOne year RTB
Part codeFVP-4000T

Read more

Humax FVP-4000T teaser
Humax FVP-4000T review - Freeview Play is here

The Humax FVP-4000T is a little slow and Freeview Play isn't as strong as rival catchup television approaches like YouView or Freetime

£200 inc VAT