Grundig Freeview HD Set Top Box
Grundig Freeview High Definition Set Top Box review: A digital TV set-top box with a simple menu and good program guide
- Quick operation
- Intuitive menu layout and program guide
- A little expensive considering its basic features and lack of hard drive
The Grundig Freeview High Definition Set Top Box is a simple product; it's a digital TV receiver with Freeview's excellent electronic program guide. We think it's a little expensive at its recommended retail price considering the lack of any recording ability, but if you can find it discounted it would make a great way to future-proof an old analog television.
Price$ 159.00 (AUD)
The Grundig Freeview High Definition Set Top Box works quickly and is easy to use even for digital TV newcomers. It's simple and doesn't have any recording abilities since there's no USB host port or internal hard drive, so we think it's a little expensive. However, it's a foolproof way to upgrade your old TV to receive digital television now and in the future.
Grundig Freeview HD set-top box: Design and setup
The Grundig Freeview High Definition Set Top Box is very basic — on its front, you'll find a power button and that's it. All channel-changing and menu-surfing must be done with the bundled remote control, so if you lose it you're in trouble.
Around the back of the set-top box are the all-important audio and video outputs. We used HDMI for our setup, but there's also component video and composite, as well as coaxial digital audio for connecting a home theatre system. The Ethernet network port and USB are used for updating the set-top box's software.
Setting up the Grundig Freeview High Definition Set Top Box was a breeze: After plugging in the power, the antenna connector, and a video output to your TV, then you're ready to go. The initial on-screen setup only took a few minutes, with a channel scan that found all our Sydney metropolitan stations in under two minutes.
There is no internal hard drive in the set-top box, so there's no way to record the show you're watching. We would have liked to see the option to plug in a USB flash drive and record to it, but this is a feature usually restricted to more expensive products. The Freeview electronic program guide is excellent — it's clearly laid out and provides plenty of info on the program you're watching.
Grundig Freeview HD set-top box: Performance
In our tests — using the set top box over a couple of days, changing channels, viewing the guide, setting reminders and changing menu settings — we never experienced any slow-down or pauses of more than two seconds. The set-top box changes channels quickly, generally taking under a second to switch.
The Freeview over-the-air guide data is pulled in almost instantly after a channel is selected, with a full seven days' data for all the channels we looked at. You can set reminders for when a show is starting using the guide — we ran through and set a couple of days' worth of reminders with no problems, with reminders occurring in line with the guide's approximation of program start times.
Grundig Freeview HD set-top box: Conclusion
Grundig's Freeview High Definition Set Top Box works just as you'd expect — it's simple to operate and its small range of features are easy to understand and control. The lack of a hard drive for recording makes it a bit expensive for its basic feature-set — we'd suggest that if you can find it on sale, it would be a good purchase to reinvigorate an old analog TV.
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