The Humax FVP-5000T, once a popular choice among Freeview recorders, has been officially discontinued.
This news may come as a blow to consumers who have relied on the device for its robust features and reliable performance over the years.
However, the discontinuation was somewhat expected at this stage, given that the device lost support for ITV Hub in 2022 and never supported ITV’s new streaming service, ITVX.
This, however, does not fare well for the Freeview recorders market in the UK – especially when one of Humax’s main competitors, the Manhattan T3-R, has also been discontinued this year, and we’re still waiting for its successor, the Manhattan T4-R.
Meanwhile, Humax’s only remaining Freeview recorder – the Humax Aura – is having stock issues, with customers having trouble finding it – but we do have some good news on that front (see more below).
Humax FVP-5000T: A Brief History
Launched in 2017, the Humax FVP-5000t quickly gained popularity for its user-friendly interface and feature-rich capabilities.
It was one of the top Freeview Play recorders for a long time and was recommended by various review sites, including Cord Busters.
The Humax FVP-5000T was well-regarded for its triple tuners, a feature that set it apart from some competitors by allowing users to record up to four programs while watching a fifth.
This was complemented by its generous storage options, which ranged from 500GB to 2TB, providing ample space for a variety of recording needs.
The device was also an early adopter of Freeview Play, seamlessly integrating live TV with catch-up and on-demand services.
Users could easily scroll back through the TV guide to catch up on missed shows, a feature that was highly user-friendly.
The device’s Electronic Program Guide (EPG) was intuitive, offering a 7-day forward and backward view, and even came with a dedicated mobile app for remote recording.
In terms of connectivity, the FVP-5000T was well-equipped, featuring HDMI, Ethernet, and USB ports, along with built-in Wi-Fi, which was not a given in all Freeview devices at the time.
This combination of features made the FVP-5000T a robust and versatile choice for those looking to enhance their Freeview experience – even though, in my review, I noted how its interface was never as swift as one expects from streaming devices these days.
The ITV Hub And ITVX Saga
In 2022, ITV announced that its streaming app, ITV Hub, would no longer be supported on the Humax FVP-5000T.
This was part of ITV’s move to upgrade its content protection technology ahead of the launch of its new streaming service, ITVX. The new service was incompatible with many older devices, including the FVP-5000T.
This left many users in a lurch, especially those who had recently purchased the device, unaware that they would lose access to a major broadcaster’s streaming app.
In fact, right up until its discontinuation, the FVP-5000t was sold as new without a clear indication that one of the UK’s major broadcasters won’t have an app on it, as ITVX support will never be added.
But now, Humax officially confirmed to us that the FVP-5000T has been discontinued (although you may still find older stock with some retailers).
Is The Freeview Recorder Market In Trouble?
The Manhattan T3-R, another popular Freeview recorder, was also discontinued earlier this year.
However, unlike the FVP-5000t, the T3-R did eventually receive ITVX support.
The discontinuation of both these devices leaves a significant gap in the market for Freeview recorders.
However, Manhattan is planning to launch two new Freeview boxes soon, the T4 and T4-R, although their release has been delayed.
With the discontinuation of both the Humax FVP-5000t and the Manhattan T3-R, the Freeview recorder market is currently sparse.
Consumers looking for reasonably-priced Freeview recorders have limited options (at least until the T4-R is finally released) – with the single new recorder still available, at this point in time, being the Humax Aura.
The Humax Aura
The Humax Aura (see my review), which Humax launched in 2020, is a unique device that merges the capabilities of a Freeview Play recorder with an Android TV streaming platform.
It offers up to 1,000 hours of television recording, supports 4K streaming, and comes equipped with Google Chromecast and Assistant. While it hosts a variety of UK streaming services, it currently lacks popular platforms like Netflix.
It’s worth noting, however, that the Aura is currently hard to find due to low stock levels.
However, Humax has assured us that the device should be more widely available again in approximately two weeks.
The discontinuation of the Humax FVP-5000T marks the end of an era for a device that was once a go-to choice for Freeview recording.
While it had its shortcomings, particularly in its later years with the loss of ITV services, it leaves behind a legacy of being one of the most feature-rich and user-friendly Freeview recorders of its time.
By looking back at the history and features of the Humax FVP-5000T, it’s clear that its discontinuation leaves a gap in the market, one that consumers hope will be filled by future devices that can match or exceed its capabilities.
Then again – with streaming fast becoming so dominant, is there still room for Freeview recorders with built-in hard drives? Only time will tell.
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