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Goodmans GDB300HD
You can change the resolution on the fly, although it doesn't do SD very well


  • Good HD pictures
  • Easy initial setup


  • Awkward user interface
  • Poor SD performance

Goodmans has been a trusted budget British brand for yonks, so it was only a matter of time before it issued its first Freeview HD receiver. And for 'budget' read 'basic', although it's better specified than a number of Freeview HD boxes to hit the market of late.

The Goodmans GDB300HD is a nice looking unit – there's a central panel that features blue LEDs, and a fabulous-looking user interface carries on the neat design work.

Confusingly, although this Goodmans ships with a free HDMI cable, there are two Scarts on its rear – one for connecting it up to an VCR.

Connectivity is otherwise fair, with an all-important HDMI output joining a RF in and out, an Ethernet LAN for broadband TV in future, and a digital optical audio (SPDIF) output. The GDB300HD does boast Dolby Digital Plus compatibility, but for now that's simply a future-proofing feature.

Elsewhere there's also a USB slot, though sadly it's for software upgrades only and doesn't make any attempts with DivX, MP3 or JPEG files.

Also from Harvard International – owners of the Goodmans brand – is the near-identical Grundig GUD300HD. Similar in almost every regard, the Grundig has a slightly different look to both the front of the box and the user interface, though the chassis is exactly the same, with similar features to this Goodmans – an eight-day EPG and the same roster of ins and outs.