Subscription-free access to BBC HD, ITV 1 HD and Channel 4 in England/S4C Clirlan in Wales – as well as the other 50 or so standard-def Freeview channels – is the primary aim, and skill, of the FHD1.
Programme information for ITV 1 HD reveals which programmes are in native HD and which are in upscaled SD, though the FHD1 is reasonably talented at upscaling – to 1080p, no less – all by itself.
If the interface is generally user-friendly, the pictures are something of a love-in. It's not just HD channels that impress – standard-def programmes are upscaled well, with little blocking or feathered edges. The BBC HD channel, meanwhile, is pin-sharp with enticing smooth motion and comfortable camera pans.
A run-through of Jools Holland on BBC HD shows-up some lusciously bright and bold colours with barely a flicker or smudge when the camera rushes across the stage. Spotlights, shadows and tiny details such as hair are superbly rendered. We spotted just a little picture noise in backgrounds.