Other menus look after the audio and video outputs, and the organisation of channels. There are no fewer than 10 favourite channels lists, which are defined in the 'favorite edit' menu and can be cyclically accessed from the remotes 'fav' button. Channels can be PIN-locked.

The usual Freesat method of selecting channels is provided – you can choose from several 'genres' or a list of all channels. Oddly enough, there's currently no list for HD channels. Maybe this is because the choice is still embarrassingly small.

Talking of which, ITV HD is selected in the usual Freesat way. A 'red button' banner appears during standard-definition ITV reception, alerting you to its availability. A 'list' button shows all channels and they can be stepped through with a pair of up/down keys.

Freesat epg

Digital teletext and subtitles are supported but once the latter is engaged you can't turn them off – the only solution here is to change to another channel, then back again. There's also a button for switching between radio and TV modes.

The standard seven-day Freesat EPG is supported, together with a simple eight-event recording timer. However, if the HD100 is in standby it won't 'wake up' when a scheduled timer event is about to start. Under such circumstances your recorder will capture nothing more exciting than a blank screen.

The USB multimedia playback facilities, which benefit from a 'file' shortcut key, are basic. Despite the single USB port, no fewer than four devices are listed for some odd reason. However, only the first ('A') is active. JPEG images, MP3 audio and MPEG video are supported, but that's it. DivX and MKV content, for example, is ignored.

Multimedia

A series of transport controls are provided for navigation purposes. These include cue and review buttons – which allow you to work through a MP3 file but only select the next or previous file in MPEG playback mode. JPEG playback isn't full-screen – you get a window containing the picture plus an information panel. However, full-screen images are possible if the JPEG slideshow mode is selected.

Performance

A full scan of Freesat channels is quick, completing in 90 seconds or so. Channel selection and menu access are similarly responsive. We're also impressed with the system's sensitivity.

Despite the small dish, we were able to hold onto reception for longer than expected during some heavy rainfall.

Picture and sound quality are excellent, the HD 100 proving more than a match for more expensive Freesat hardware. Detail levels are impressive, and the upscaling of standard-def to hi-def is handled well.

We appreciate the many picture tweaking options, although the three steps of Digital Noise Reduction adjustment are best described as 'subtle' in their effectiveness.

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