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HUMAX PVR-8000

We managed to get hold of this long anticipated device and have a look at its internals.

One of the companies at CSTB2003 raffled it off in a lottery during the last day of the exhibition. We"d like to thank Leonid Tomashevski, who won this device and was so kind to provide it to us for the autopsy.

We immediately took our "screwdriver and hammer" with firm intention to peep inside. We had only ten minutes at our disposal which left no time even to look at the menus, so what we have here is just the first impressions we get.

We see a neatly made device of the top price range. The quality of the case is perfect The flap cover has damper, like one in the Samsung DSR9500 reciever.

HUMAX PVR8000 front

The rear side looks usual. The reciever is supplied with the minimum set of connectors - composite Video, stereo Audio, SCART input and output, S/PDIF optic output, RF-modulation input and output, RS-232 port and - the most interesting thing - 3 (!) F-connectors. Receiver has two tuners, thus allowing to record one channel while viewing another. Hard to say why HUMAX decided not to provide loop through output on one of the tuners. Economy effort in devices of this price category always seems a bit strange.

PVR8000 rearview

LED display combined with navigation buttons is to the left on the front panel (here and below click on the pictures to look at enlarged image)

PVR8000 led and keys

When you open the flap cover, you see a very uncommon thing - a removable HDD. The reciever is provided with the tray, and the container with the HDD may be easily pulled of the receiver. Common Interface slots and USB port are also under the cover.

PVR8000 Front Open

HDD Container.

PVR8000 HDD

HDD connector is non-standard. If you have a close look at the following picture you will notice two unpleasant facts:

PVR8000 bay
  • The connector is held up on the board only by its pins. As a result soldered joints suffer greater load while extracting and installing a HDD.
  • This connector is definitely not hotswap-safe, i.e. it cannot provide grounding and power before other signals. As a result, both HDD and motherboard can be damaged if HDD is removed from the powered device.

It"s sad that HUMAX didn"t use standard tray format and hotswap connector, which are widely used for removable IDE HDDs on PCs.

HUMAX PVR8000 Inside

Internals look pretty typical. We think that packing of the HDD into two metal boxes is not a good idea, as it may lead both to louder HDD noise and overheating problems. From the other side, we didn"t make any tests, so we can"t say for certain. Anyway, the red label HOT! on the HDD case doesn"t add any optimism regarding HDD temperature condition.

PVR8000 Motherboard

Motherboard is nice and neatly made. (click the picture to get the huge (350K) view). Among other interesting things - custom CI controller, paired chips SDRAM and Flash and USB controller.

PVR8000 SMPS

Receiver features a modern SMPS power suply. According to the latest engeneering fashion, LNB control logic is moved here from the main board.

That"s all what we managed to notice during those ten minutes that we had a hold of the device. We hope to make a detailed review of this very interesing apparatus soon.

Posted by: Zuhos
17.02.2003

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