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So how does it perform? Naturally we headed straight for the hi-def channels, and we were impressed by how the Metronic handles 1080i content via HDMI. Programmes on BBC HD are bursting with scalpel-sharp detail and deep, radiant colours, with minimal amounts of noise. There's obviously a big jump down in sharpness with SD channels but the results still look great, with convincing colour reproduction and tightly contained edges. There's a touch of MPEG noise here and there but not enough to hinder your enjoyment.
The quality dips further through the RGB SCART output, with smudgy colours and softer edges, but on the whole it's a decent performance. With the TV SCART set to RGB, you can only get composite from the 'VCR' SCART, which resulted in some pale, noisy recordings on our DVD/HDD recorder - although it's good to note that the HDMI and RGB SCARTs output simultaneously.
As for sound, the optical digital output produces crisp and lively Dolby Digital sound quality, while we could find no fault with sonics from the HDMI or SCART outputs - even with MP3 playback.
Its slick, friendly user interface, useful features and excellent picture quality (particularly with hi-def channels) make the SAT 100 HD a terrific Freesat proposition, which serves as a tantalising precursor to Metronic's forthcoming PVR version. The inclusion of a USB port and MP3/JPEG playback gives it a distinct advantage over its rivals without making you pay more for the privilege, a fact that makes this arguably the best Freesat receiver out there.
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