Grundig GUFSDTR500HD Freesat+ HD Recorder - Grundig GUFSDTR500HD

By Danny Phillips



Our Score:


The setup menu is equally straightforward, using attractive icons and a logical structure, although the use of Fwd/Rev buttons to move across the submenus takes a little getting used to. Our only real grievance concerns the remote, which is uncluttered and ergonomically shaped, but the decision to put the channel change keys right at the bottom is a curious one. Every time you want to flick through channels it involves an awkward repositioning of your fingers. The EPG and Library buttons could do with being a bit higher too, but on a positive note, the menu and playback controls are comfortable to use.

We tried carrying out a variety of tasks with two channels recording simultaneously and the Grundig doesn’t lock them out like some PVRs do – you can delete recordings, browse the EPG and pretty much anything else. Elsewhere, it’s a little slow to change channels but most other tasks are carried out instantly, such as one-touch recording, hard-disk playback and fast forward/rewinding.

Through its HDMI port the Grundig delivers picture quality that’s as good as, if not better than, the Humax. We had a sample of the Humax to hand and after comparing like for like (using Deal Or No Deal on Channel 4 and some epilepsy-inducing kids’ programmes on BBC One) we found that there were fewer artefacts on the Grundig, although we’re talking marginal amounts.

In general the Grundig’s images are crisp and bursting with vivid colour, plus motion is free from judder. It also sidesteps the hazy stepping effect that can also plague some Freeview boxes with 1080i upscaling. Recorded programmes show no sign of deterioration compared with the live broadcast, which is pretty much all you can ask of a digital TV recorder.

High-definition material is even more impressive. A variety of shows on BBC HD from, Doctors to Gigglebiz, looked mesmerising – bright colours are reproduced with satisfying depth and vibrancy, while the picture looks sharp as a box of tacks. And sonically we can’t fault the Grundig either, as every channel we tried is clear and dynamic through any of the outputs.


Behind the attractive exterior, the GUFSDTR500HD is a fairly basic Freesat+ PVR – it doesn’t go beyond the call of duty like the Humax, which includes USB functionality among its impressive roster of features, and it’s cheaper to boot. But the Grundig does carry out its core duties very smoothly – we’re big fans of the onscreen design in particular – while the large hard-disk capacity should suffice for most telly addicts. Grundig could do with re-jigging the remote on the next version though.

Overall Score



January 8, 2010, 7:29 pm

This is good news for the consumer market, as you say competition is always good for us as it tends to push prices down. However, I don't think Humax are sitting on their laurels though. I know they are due to be launching two second generation Freesat HD+ recorders, one with USB 2.O connection to enable a hook up to an external HDD and the other with an internal 500 GB HDD this year along with another model for Freeview ( I digress slightly!). What I'm a little confused about though is whether the new Humax mobels will all come with 1080P line input? I'm aware the Freeview model is supposed to be but not sure as yet about the Freesat one? I'm hoping that as long as the new model performs as well as the original Foxsat HDR including the later software upgrade to sort out it's teething problems, I think Grunding are definately going to get some severe competition from Humax, especially if the Freesat+ comes with 1080P!I would definately love to see companies, the likes of Sony start pushing something like this as well as a Blue Ray recorder!


January 9, 2010, 3:38 pm

@TR/Danny Excellent Review.

More Freesat product reviews please. As a current Sky HD customer I'm very interested in any real alternative to Sky's very user friendly interface/platform.

justin steggles

January 9, 2010, 4:45 pm

Yes, more of the same please. I know alot of people looking for an alternative to the Sky HD box, which seems to be very unreliable. Everyone I know needs to reset there box at least once a week and failed recordings etc.

Roll on Freesat.


January 10, 2010, 3:45 pm

@justin steggles, that's interesting your comments about Sky boxes being unreliable and giving failed recordings. I have a Grundig Sky box under their freesat alternative to a subscription service. I find this box as with others I've tried from Sky, to be excatly that too! My box either freezes up so I can't change channels etc or it sometimes fails to switch on for a 'autoview' programme. Has anyone heard of similar occurrences on the Humam foxsat HDR ? ( Freesat +) recorder?


January 10, 2010, 8:37 pm

@Justin, your not alone, Thanks to SKY HD, I've missed my chance to watch Heroes series 4 episodes 1 & 2! When you rely on Sky to record a series and find it's failed to record one of x in a series of episodes you begin to look else where. My Sky box couldn't find a signal, despite watching MOTD at the time! This is not the first time either. My current frustrating issue is the audio dropping every so often (though the usual trick of turn it off and on again does the trick) . My other SKY box (not HD) is fine and has never experienced anywhere near the level of problems I've had with my HD box. Considering I'm paying for a premium for the service, I'll be weighing my options up once more tech' is available or reviewed whether it be FreeSat or Freeview HD boxes. Bye bye SKY!


January 11, 2010, 2:57 am

It's still overpriced compared to a Freeview PVR and I can't see why.


November 20, 2010, 7:44 pm

I have had this machine for 3 weeks in Spain. Got it from Cosco £200.00. Picture and sound just superb. Menus brilliantly clear but use of remote abit cumbersome and not so user friendly but quite manageable. It could do with the ability to sort recordings into files for those you want to keep. e.g. Films.

The fan is very noisy and it probaby better to take it off auto standby. I have a Humax Freeview PVR and this runs rings round it. It could do with FIND function and the worst feature is when deleting. There is no option to reconsider.

Otherwise it is superb and great value. I am going to get another and replace my Humax PVR which often starts late and very often finishes recording early so you miss the last minute ot two of the program. The Grundig behaves perfectly in this respect.I give it 4.875 stars.


December 12, 2010, 4:55 pm

I've been trying to connect the Grundig to a Hava Titanium HD Wifi to view Freesat on my PC via the internet. The Hava has Component, Composite and S-Video inputs but no HDMI so I have to use the Scart on the Grundig. So far I've tried using a Scart to Composite adaptor but got no picture or sound. Can anyone offer any guidance about what the Grundig Scart can provide and correspondingly, which input to use on the Hava.

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