Grundig GSTB3111BR set top box with Blu-ray player
This cheap set top box has an integrated Blu-ray player and is simple to operate
- It's cheap, it's perfectly acceptable at playing back Blu-ray video and free-to-air digital TV
- The remote control isn't intuitive or slick, the interface is Spartan
The Grundig GSTB3111BR set top box combines a digital TV receiver with a Blu-ray disc player that supports Full HD 1080p playback. It's a simple product, but that doesn't mean it's bad -- it does an entirely acceptable job when it comes to playing both digital TV and Blu-ray video. Its interface isn't especially good looking and the remote control is a little basic, but if you're prepared to put up with this then there's little reason to buy a more expensive Blu-ray player or set top box unless you need a PVR or Web access.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
The Grundig GSTB3111BR set top box is a competent digital TV receiver that also incorporates a Blu-ray disc player and a USB-based media player. It's reasonably cheap but doesn't have any significant flaws we could find — for watching digital TV, playing Blu-ray movies and viewing the occasional photo or playing back a song it works just as advertised.
Looking for a fully-featured personal video recorder? Check out our PVR comparison.
Design, interface and remote control
Grundig seemingly didn't have the same large design budget for the GSTB3111BR as Samsung did for its Series 9 or Pioneer for its BDP-LX54 — style takes a back seat to functionality and ease of use. That's not to say the GSTB3111BR is ugly — it just looks plain.
The remote control is a slight disappointment. With set top boxes generally aimed at older buyers looking to revitalise their aging TV without having to buy a new plasma or LCD, we were surprised the buttons weren't a little more individualised and more clearly labelled; the text under each button is small, and some buttons aren't given the clearest possible identification.
The on-screen interface of the Grundig is basic. Again, it's not ugly or hard to use, but it doesn't exude the same sense of refinement that you find on more expensive PVRs or Blu-ray players like the Samsung BD-C8900 or Sony BDP-S470. Thankfully all the major set top box options like tuning and setting up favourite channel lists are easy to access. If on-screen style is a major consideration, we'd suggest you look elsewhere.
Setup, performance, and features
Setting up the Grundig GSTB3111BR is very simple, so you shouldn't need any assistance. All we had to do was plug it in to our test Panasonic TH-L32S25A LCD TV with an HDMI cable (although you can also use composite A/V), connect the antenna cable and switch it on. A first-time setup menu prompts an automatic scan for digital and analog TV channels, and once that's complete, the set top box is ready to use.
The Grundig performed acceptably for both digital TV and Blu-ray playback. It takes a few seconds to start up, but changing channels takes under two seconds — our limit for bearable channel switching speed. Our suite of Blu-ray movies consistently took under 15 seconds to load, which is satisfactory, but not blazingly fast performance.
You can connect the Grundig GSTB3111BR to your home network to access the Internet features of BD-Live Blu-ray discs, although you'll need to plug in a USB stick for this to work. The USB port also allows the playback of MP3, WMA and JPG files, and while this feature is very simple, it's possible to have an impromptu slideshow or play a folder of music files.
The Grundig GSTB3111BR is a perfectly competent digital TV set top box and Blu-ray disc player. It's simple and the on-screen interface doesn't hide any flashy surprises, but this might make it more attractive to tech-shy potential buyers. If you're looking to buy an all-in-one digital TV receiver and disc player, but don't want to spring for an $800 PVR, this is a device worth considering.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 3 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 4 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 5 MSI GS70 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Plex embraces Kodi as Plex Media Player becomes available to all
- 'Google Cast' is being phased out in favor of Chromecast for connected TVs and speakers
- PlayStation Vue is now available on Apple TV
- Apple's new TV app puts all the shows and movies you want to watch in one spot
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCNetwork Support EngineerNSW
- CCTest Manager (HP Quality Centre / Kronos)ACT
- FTEnterprise ArchitectACT
- FTSenior / Lead UX DesignerNSW
- FTMotor Claims ConsultantNSW
- FTProduct OwnerVIC
- FTSystems AdministratorVIC
- CCAPI DeveloperOther
- CCSolution Designer - MulesoftVIC
- CCAd Optimisation ManagerNSW
- TPSenior Business Analyst - HRISQLD
- CCSenior Front End Wed DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Web Content AuthorACT
- FTNetwork Engineer / Systems Engineer (January 2017 Start)QLD
- CCWeb Optimisation AnalystWA
- CCAEM DeveloperVIC
- CCSEM / PPC SpecialistNSW
- CCService Desk OfficerSA
- CCSenior Front End DeveloperQLD
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Security AnalystACT
- TPAEM Developer (frontend)NSW
- CCNetwork Solution Designer/Architect - Finance - Contract - SydneyNSW
- CCService SupportACT
- FTIT Systems AnalystVIC