TODO alt text

Goodmans GDB300HD review

High design and Freeview HD, but this budget box still struggles

Jump to Section:

goodmans

A slight case of Emperor's new clothes? The GDB300HD boasts a good-looking interface and delivers good clarity from the three hi-def channels, but its struggle with standard-def is a letdown – as is its predilection for making its on-screen menus tricky to wander through on first use.

We liked:

It's great to see an Ethernet LAN on the GDB300HD's rear, which will extend the useful life of this well designed box, while a pleasing design to both the hardware and software make this an initially stunning attempt at Freeview HD.

We also liked the one-touch opportunity to swap between 720p, 1080i and 1080p. That's only really going to matter if you plan to move the GDB300HD between TVs, but it could be useful during the World Cup if you plan to use a projector for some games.

We disliked:

Standard definition channels aren't treated all that well, which puts a question mark over the GDB300HD's versatility – an impression that's boosted still further by its lack of Common Interface slots and digital media-savvy USB connectivity.

Verdict:

There's no getting away from the fact that the GDB300HD is yet another slightly overpriced Freeview HD set-top box. The glossy interface and oh-so-simple setup – as well as HD channels – may look the part, but there's enough oddities within to put serious question marks over its price.

A strong attempt that should sell well, though it's destined, we feel, to be a post-World Cup bargain.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview