Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Legend Performance Technology LHD3 HD Digital Receiver
- Easy to use, price, good range of outputs
- Interface, aesthetics.
It may have uninspiring looks but the LHD3 performs to a good standard.
Price$ 349.00 (AUD)
Legend's LHD3 is a High Definition digital set top box. At the lower cost end of the market, it's plain, simple and easy to use but lacking in a few areas.
As seems to be the case with most cheap set top boxes, Legend hasn't put a great deal of effort into the styling of the LHD3. It is silver, made of plastic and has a largely unhelpful monochrome LCD which can display only four characters at once. The remote looks decent enough, but isn't very responsive. However at this price, you aren't paying for stunning design. Luckily, beneath the uninspiring aesthetics, Legend has come up with a decent product. Picture quality, probably the most important aspect of any set top box, is fairly good. There were a few compression artefacts and some colour stepping, but it was no worse than average.
Set up is simple as the LHD3 tunes in all the channels automatically. One nice feature of the LHD3 is the way it groups channels. Rather than displaying them all from one to one hundred in numerical order, it groups them alphabetically, meaning all the similar channels are close together. This list can be filtered should you dislike the listing method. Unfortunately, due to the limited size of the LCD on the front of the unit, the channel name is not displayed, only its number.
Aside from its design, the unit's interface was the other area that left us a little disappointed. If you left a thousand monkeys for a thousand years working with Microsoft Paint, you could probably expect something similar to what Legend has come up with. The theme of garish, clashing primary colours is something of an eyesore, and is exacerbated by unhelpful icons, counter-intuitive labelling and a lack of on-screen information. The EPG function didn't display all the necessary information and sometimes it wouldn't even display the name of the program we were watching. We thought perhaps this was a problem with the channel, but then it happened to roughly half the channels we had programmed in at the time.
The on-screen interface gives access to most of the setup features, which includes the supported resolutions of 576i, 576p, 720p and 1080i. Turning the unit around reveals the range of outputs, and Legend has provided pretty much everything anyone could want with composite, component, S-Video, optical, coaxial, VGA and HDMI. This is one of the unit's big selling points, especially at this price point.
Overall, the LHD3 is about as good as we would expect from a budget set top box. Picture quality is about average for a high definition receiver, and it's really only in the looks department that the system stumbles. If you can live with the on-screen graphics and the design, the LHD3 is ideal.
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