In terms of picture quality, we can't fault the Foxsat-HDR. HD material from a good source looked exceptional. Of course, it's the original source that defines how good the image quality will be. BBC HD is nothing short of brilliant, and 90 per cent of the shows it airs are of a very high technical quality. We did note that, on ITV HD, some football matches looked fairly poor quality. This is something that we'd expect to improve with time, but don't expect every show that calls itself HD to be perfect.
SD pictures also looked good. The HDR will upscale programmes to 1080i if you choose to allow it. The advantage of using it in this mode is that it can generate menus in HD, which makes everything look much prettier and improves the usability too.
You'll also get access to Dolby Digital audio, as long as you've got something that can decode surround sound. Most HD programmes come with 5.1-channel surround sound, which is simply brilliant for movies and sport.
In terms of storage, the 320GB hard drive is ample for SD recordings. When you start to record shows in HD, however, it's not very long before you find yourself running out of space. With moderate use, we stuffed our hard drive to nearly full in under a month.
There's absolutely nothing about the Humax Foxsat-HDR that would put us off recommending it. There are a few minor complaints, but the majority of them are to do with broadcasters and copyright rules, not the hardware. If you're seeking a freesat personal video recorder, your options are quite limited at the moment, but the Foxsat-HDR is likely to remain the best machine on the market for some time to come.
Edited by Charles Kloet