Humax AURA combines 4K HDR, Android and Freeview Play

Mike Wheatley

Set-top box maker Humax has launched what it says is the first model of its kind to combine Android TV with Freeview Play and 4K HDR compatibility.


Called AURA, the new box brings access to more than 70 subscription-free channels thanks to its association with Freeview Play, along with the ability to record four live TV programmes simultaneously while watching a fifth at the same time. Together with the 70-odd channels, users will also be able to access catch up TV services such as the BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play, CBC Catchup Channels UK, Horror Bites, STV Player and the recently added BBC Sounds app.

All of that on-demand content adds up to more than 20,000 hours with more than 700 box sets of classic UK TV series to choose from. With so much content, many users will no doubt require plenty of storage space too, so it’s good to know that there’s a 2TB box available that can save up to 1,000 hours of recording, in addition to the regular 1TB box.

The Humax AURA can access even more content too, as it provides access to apps for paid streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BT Sport and Google Play Movies, for example. Strangely there’s no mention of Netflix in Humax’s press release, so we’re guessing that particular service won’t be available, at least not yet. Still, there are hundreds of other apps and games to download via the Google Play Store.

For those who like to watch their favourite TV shows on the go, the AURA has them covered too. Simply download the Humax AURA app on Android or iOS and you’ll be able to stream shows to your mobile device or download them and watch them at your leisure. The app can also access the TV at home to schedule recordings and set reminders etc.

Set up is easy too, as all you need to do is log in to your Google account and gain instant access to all of your downloaded apps, YouTube settings, music downloads and Google Home connectivity, Humax said.


Of course the box can be controlled by the user’s voice too, thanks to the built-in Google Assistant, which makes it possible to ask about the weather and news as well as controlling the telly itself. And because it’s an Android device, the AURA box has Chromecast built in as well, making it possible to stream photos, music and videos from your phone to the TV.

There’s an accompanying remote control too that provides several shortcut buttons for Freeview Play, Android Home, the Humax Kids’ Zone, Amazon Prime Video and your “Top Picks”, which is a list of recommended content for each user. Google Assistant also gets its own button, so all you need to do is tap it and start talking if you’re too lazy to do anything else.

“AURA is designed to sit at the heart of a family’s home entertainment experience,” said Humax Director Rob Peacock. “The very first Freeview Play Recorder to be built on the Android TV platform, it provides a fully integrated environment that reflects the preferences and favourite content of the individual or family.”

Humax said the AURA 4K HDR Freeview Play box will go on sale in November at Argos, Amazon, Currys, Richer Sounds, Euronics, and from Humax, priced at £249 for the 1TB model and £279 for the 2TB version.