Linsar FHD1 review

Cracking hi-def pictures, but lacks versatility or extra features

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Switch-on the FHD1 and after choosing which resolution you want (720p for HD Ready TVs or 1080i for Full HD sets will suffice – no HD channel is broadcast in 1080p) the search is then conducted in a few minutes, with all channels tuning-in and being nicely laid-out in their correct order.

Linsar fhd1 installation

A 'menu' button on the FHD1's lightweight, though over-long remote control brings up a choice between a simple list of channels, or a seven-day EPG – though we'd rather there was a single button to call-up a list of channels.

Linsar fhd1 settings

The former is simple enough; it's possible to change the order of channels, rename them or delete them altogether from the list.

Linsar fhd1 epg

It's also a cinch to set-up a favourites list, lock the system using a password, or filter the channels.

channel list

That last feature is flawed since it's only possible to divide channels by A-Z, by number, between free and encrypted channels, and by HDTV/TV/radio channels – none of which seem necessary. A system that recognises genres of channels, such as sports, would be more useful.

Overall we liked the user interface; nicely coloured in shades of purple and red, the graphics are a touch too soft – we spotted some feathered edges and text that's not quite as sharp as it could be – but it's the EPG's responsiveness that's of most concern.

Some instructions from the remote take a few seconds to register on the on-screen menus, by which time we'd already pressed a few more buttons; cue overlapping commands and the occasional freeze-up.

With audio it's possible to set a delay (of as many seconds as you wish) on the FHD1's digital optical audio (SPDIF) output. That could be useful if you're planning to hook it up to a home cinema, though don't be persuaded by this receiver's skills with Dolby Digital Plus sound – it's not currently used on the Freeview HD platform.

You can also choose whether to send the audio from that SPDIF to an amp as a PCM or bitstream. Also in those settings are choices for parental settings, audio description, and auto sleep (from 10 minutes up to three hours – the latter is a default so must be switched-off in the menus).