High design and hi-def, but this budget box struggles with standard Freeview fare
This 500GB Freesat+ HD PVR comes from the same stable as Grundig's equivalent. Is there much to choose between them?
Whatever's going on inside the Goodmans GDB9, it's not great on the outside. The silver and black styling gives it a dated faux-high-tech look, and the illuminated channel controls in the centre are designed to be a focal point, but end up making it look tacky. It also feels a little plasticky, but it is slim enough to slot into your system without much hassle. The Grundig wins the cosmetic clash hands down.
Hot on the heels of Humax's ﬁrst Freesat receiver comes this identically-priced Goodmans model. For the cost of the box and installation (around £80) you can enjoy a wide selection of subscription-free standard-deﬁnition TV and radio stations, plus hi-def material from the BBC and ITV.
For what is a ‘budget’ Freeview Playback PVR, the GHD2521F2 looks surprisingly upmarket, with its mirror-finish, sensible array of front-panel controls and green LED channel display.
They've really pushed the design department boat out on this one – it's a complete change in looks from the Goodmans standard-definition model – a switch from grey to black for the front panel.
The external design shares relatively little with the other two – a grey plastic front panel has a 'cluster' of control keys at the right-hand end (rather than the line of buttons), and there's no chromed stripe across this model. But that's about it. Inside, the story is just the same and functionally the GFSAT100SD is just the same.
Aimed squarely at the bedroom or kitchen, this one-stop entertainment system is remarkably well connected for something so apparently self-contained, with HDMI, component and Scart providing more than enough socketry to make it a viable stand-in TV for the main room, and a USB and card reader handling your multimedia needs
Few people in their right mind are going to invest in Sky HD, a Blu-ray player, or an HD DVD machine unless they're planning to hook their kit up to a screen that's capable of offering a good impression of the high definition experience. Maybe we're wrong.