When it comes to picture quality, the GHD2521F2 really delivers the goods. Live Freeview TV pictures are sharp and vivid with smooth motion and a low amount of pixel noise. We watched a football match from Euro 2008 and the Goodmans easily keeps pace with the fast movement of the players and the ball without lapsing into a mess of blocks. Edges are clean and bleed-free, keeping the bright blue of the Italian team's shirts tightly contained, while the discernable figures in the crowd reveal some decent detail reproduction.
The good news is that recorded picture quality looks exactly the same as the live broadcast, and because there's only one recording quality setting, you don't have to worry about changing the recording mode - everything is recorded in the best possible quality. Provided your Freeview reception is strong, the robust tuner locks into the signal and doesn't fall foul of any break-up or flickering (as we found occasionally on the 160GB version).
Sonically the unit does a solid job, piping clean and audio stereo sound down the SCART cable to our TV. Using the coaxial digital audio output in conjunction with a good Pro Logic II amplifier injects even more excitement into the proceedings, with the pseudo surround effect giving the Euro 2008 football coverage a greater atmosphere.
Just like its 160GB counterpart, the GHD2521F2 is an attractive, easy to use and nicely priced hard-disk recorder that offers tremendous live and recorded picture quality. It's a little less flexible than pricier PVRs from the likes of Topfield and Humax, but considering the price it would be churlish to complain. The most important thing is that it offers a hassle-free means of watching and recording free digital TV, with all the benefits of Freeview Playback thrown in - and you can't ask for much more than that.