Saturday, October 26, 2013

PVRs: Humax v Strong

PVRS: Humax 7500T (top), and Strong SRT 6500.

PVRS: Humax 7500T (top), and Strong SRT 6500.

Personal video recorders make it easier to catch your favourite shows each week, but they can go about it in different ways.

Both of these PVRs let you record two digital channels at once while watching a third – as long as the third channel is from the same network as one of the channels you're recording. The Strong is also a Blu-ray player, making it a tempting all-in-one option.

When it comes to recording television, the Humax relies on a $99-per-year IceTV subscription to keep track of the TV schedule. You can schedule recordings from your computer, smartphone or tablet even when you're away from home. The Strong relies on the program details embedded in the broadcast signal. Both PVRs let you create a season pass for automatically recording your favourite shows, but the Humax's use of IceTV makes it more reliable. The Strong can miss episodes if the network slightly alters the name of the show – something they're fond of doing.

Reliance on IceTV means the Humax requires broadband internet access. If you can't run an Ethernet cable to your lounge room you'll need to pay an extra $49 for the Humax Wi-Fi adaptor, while the Strong has built-in Ethernet and Wi-Fi. Once you're connected to the internet, the Humax lets you watch YouTube, Quickflix, ABC iView and SBS On Demand but you don't get these on the Strong.

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Both PVRs are DLNA servers, streaming TV recordings to other devices around your home, while the Humax is also a DLNA player. Meanwhile, the Strong lets you watch live TV on your handheld devices, although the results are hit and miss.

The verdict

The Humax's reliance on broadband will be a deal-breaker for some people, but IceTV support means it's more likely than the Strong to catch your favourite shows each week

Humax 7500T
$449 500GB, $549 1TB
humaxdigital.com/au

Strong SRT 6500
$379 500GB
strong.com.au


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