Humax box suffers Olympics channels recording glitch

Freesat webpage Freesat's webpage apologises for a "technical bug" affecting Humax boxes' ability to record the Games

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Humax has acknowledged that a problem meant owners of its Freesat digital TV box could not use it to record any of the BBC's temporary Olympic channels.

The 24 live action streams cover every session of every sport across the duration of the Games.

Freesat - a subscription-free high definition digital TV service - said other manufacturers' equipment was not suffering the same fault.

Freesat's marketing materials heavily promote the "summer of sport".

Humax only sells one digital satellite set-top box recorder in the UK: the Foxsat-HDR. The South Korean firm said it believed it was the bestselling model in the UK.

The firms' UK service manager told the BBC the company was making efforts to resolve the fault.

"Humax were made aware of the issue when the problem was identified on Tuesday," said Michael Caughey.

"Unfortunately nothing could be done at the broadcast encoder end to resolve the issue so on Thursday we started working on the fix and are hopeful that it is imminent.

"However, we will not rush it out until we are sure it will not cause more issues and problems as customers will still be able to view all 24 channels - although they can't record them - and will be able to record the Olympic coverage shown on BBC 1 HD, BBC HD and the other standard definition channels as normal."

He added that a software update was unlikely to be broadcast to the equipment before "early next week".

Encoding confusion

Bob Hannent, senior technology manager at Humax, provided more detail on the MyHumax site.

"The problem exists because in the way that the stream is being encoded the box cannot build the required PVR [personal video recorder indexing correctly]," he wrote.

"This causes it to get confused and believe the recording is zero in time. Other devices use other indexing mechanisms. The problem is now understood."

"Releasing software too quickly is a risk to the consumers, we could easily accidentally break something else in the process."

'Huge disappointment'
Humax box

Freesat posted messages to Twitter after users complained about the issue.

"We've tried really hard with Humax to sort out... all other Freesat+ boxes can record 24 streams," it said.

The organisation added: "It's been an Olympic feat in itself to get the 24 streams working and we really hope this doesn't stop you enjoying London 2012."

Messages on JoinFreesat, an internet forum, suggested users of another make of Freesat equipment had also experienced problems. However, Freesat's site only acknowledges a problem with Humax and a spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

Robert Wilson, a Sheffield-based IT worker who contacted the BBC, said he had bought two Humax boxes with a view to being able to record several of the streams at once.

"I'll be working and attending the Games myself and had wanted to record the channels while I am out of the house," he said.

"It's a huge disappointment because I will not be able to see some of the events I had wanted - events which have been advertised as being available for months."

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