Grundig GUFSAT01SD review

A simple budget option for newcomers to Freesat

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Our Verdict

Cheap, user-friendly and good pictures, there's plenty to endear this receiver to those wanting to try out Freesat

For

  • Very cheap
  • Simple to use
  • Good picture and sound

Against

  • Slow
  • No concessions to use outside of Freesat

The Grundig GUFSAT01SD Freesat box is as close to identical to the Bush BFSAT01SD as it's possible to be without being the same receiver.

It has a slightly differently shaped case but internally it's like the Bush. The front panel is curved and the chromed plastic strip across the middle is thinner and a whole lot classier.

The back panel has the same assortment of LNB input and loopthrough, two Scart sockets, digital and analogue audio, and the treats-to-come RS232 and Ethernet connectors. The setup process is also the same, with the same slow scan of the satellites to find the Freesat channels.

Awkward navigation

For a system meant for the UK masses, the channel navigation system is rather disappointing. You can select what to view through the Channel List or The Programme List (the EPG).

The channel list has the (so far) 75 TV channels, in the order specified by Freesat. The split into categories is not implemented in the channel list.

Browsing the list is the only way to find a channel; there is no means to rearrange the list, sort it alphabetically or even delete unwanted channels. You can also browse through the channels and what's on now and next with the info banner placed onscreen with the Info button.

List your favourites

A single Favourite Channels list can be populated with any channels you want (only in the order they're already in, in the main list) but this is accessed alongside the main channel list and you can't, say, step through the favourite channels in the same way as you can with a Sky Digibox and many other receivers.

It can all make finding the channel you want more difficult than it should be, and the problem will be all the greater when the promised 200-plus channels arrive later on.

However, the GUFSAT01SD does sport the Freesat-stipulated Swap button, which returns to the last channel selected (and back again ad infinitum) and is definitely useful in day-to-day use (and missing from the Sky remote).

Good value receiver

The GUFSAT01SD produces somewhat better RGB output pictures than the Bush receiver and, given that it is essentially the same machine, then either the Bush's failings or the Grundig's improvements must be down to the individual units.

The RGB picture is still a little harsh but the effect is less than with the Bush. What's more, the composite output picture is still very good for this supposedly inferior format.

At £50 the Grundig GUFSAT01SD is certainly something of a bargain Freesat receiver and will help to establish the Freesat network among those viewers who just want a good choice of digital TV when the analogue channels are phased out.