Humax's DLNA-enabled PVR offers another TV catchup and recording option for Australian homes, but with PVR takeup rates being rather low, will anyone care? Humax isn't a brand with much penetration in the Australian market outside the satellite dish market, but it's revealed its PVR plans today, and it's certainly looking aggressive. The key product for launch today is the HDR-7500T, a $449 (500GB) or $549 (1TB) PVR with integrated DLNA and a smattering of apps available at launch. To start with, it's only offering iView, Youtube, [email protected] and Picasa. It's not freeview branded, which means you're free to ad skip in 30, 60, 120 or 240 second increments. Ethernet's the primary net connection for updates (which are checked daily at 4am), but it's Wi-Fi capable via a $49 USB dongle; Humax representatives stated that the Wi-Fi dongle may be bundled with the unit by selected retailers. At launch you can buy it through ICETV and apparently at selected Retravision stores in Western Australia.
The base Humax PVR is just a reskin of the existing FTA EPG guides, which are never terribly reliable, but it's also ICETV compatible as well. A three-month trial version of ICETV is bundled; after that it'll cost $49 a year or $99 for a lifetime subscription. Files recorded on the Humax can be shifted off the unit, but only for storage; company representatives stated that they'll only play back on the PVR itself.
The HDR-7500T is just the start point; Humax showed off a roadmap that included four tuner one and two terabyte models due before the end of the year. That's an awful lot of pre-recorded I Dream Of Jeannie.
The PVR market in Australia's an interesting one; as part of the presentation it was stated that while digital television penetration in Australia had reached 82 per cent of Australian homes, PVRs had only been adopted by 28 per cent of us -- although it wasn't clear if they included Foxtel's IQ PVR in those figures.