If you haven't purchased a screen or home cinema kit with built-in Freeview, then KWorld's tidy-looking DVB-T 730 set-top box is one way to drag your viewing into the 21st century. Shame that socketry is in short supply. There's no RGB Scart output - some oversight for a UK set-top box. Composite video and S-video connections are all that's provided for hook-up to a TV screen, but a D-sub socket can provide a VGA signal to a computer monitor. There are also RF aerial in/outs and audio in/outs.
Additional digital TV channels are available via the Top-Up TV service, but there's no provision for a smart card, and you can't add subscription-based channels to the DVB-T 730. Nevertheless, the KWorld adds significantly to your viewing choice and gives the five analogue stations in their digital form along with additional channels such as BBC3, BBC4, ITV2, ITV3 as well as selected Sky channels. You also have access to DAB radio stations.
Setup is straightforward. The DVB-T 730 quickly tunes in and stores all the channels in your area. Simply plug in an external rooftop aerial and switch the unit on for the first time and the auto scan tuning mode puts all the channels in their place. A tabletop antenna is provided but it didn't manage to pick up all the Freeview stations available in our medium-strength reception area.
There's a reasonable onscreen menu system to set the box to your particular TV screen type, and the eight-day EPG lets you plan your viewing ahead. The 10-event programme reminder provides an onscreen prompt when your programme is about to start, but there's no facility for switching channels to make timed recordings to a VCR or PVR when you're out.
The well laid out remote makes light work navigating the informative EPG. There's a handy info button on the remote control that flashes up aerial signal power, signal quality and programme information, and, with good signal levels, programmes show off interference-free images.
There may be no RGB Scart output, but S-video and composite video signals give pleasing results. They aren't the best we've seen, but colours are bold and details look respectable, if a little lacking in contrast during darker sequences. Under closer scrutiny they can look blocky at times, and images tend to freeze if the aerial's signal level weakens (but this is an inherent problem with digital TV reception). Football footage looks a little fizzy around the edges of players, but studio shots look clean.
In the main, the DVB-T 730 is an effective way to access Freeview digital TV channels. Picture quality and ease of use are generally good, but the lack of an RGB Scart and no provision for adding pay channels means that the DVB-T 730 lacks the capabilities of more affordable models and seems overpriced given its mediocre specification.