The differences between the remotes gives the Goodmans a distinct advantage right off the bat. It’s easier to cruise around the menus and you’re less likely to hit the wrong option.
As for the onscreen design, Goodmans has the edge once again. Hit the ‘Menu’ key and a small box appears in the middle of the screen, styled in a bold red and black colour scheme. Some may struggle to read the small text, but the instantly understandable icons that illustrate the six options are helpful. The setup menu is simply a column of grey boxes on a black background, but it’s clean and logical.
Metronic’s main menu appears in the top left of the screen, and the tabbed folder is pleasant to look at. But the setup menu’s layout is muddled, making it harder to find the right option than the Goodmans. But even more frustrating is the sluggish movement of the menu cursor, and the fact that you can’t skip back to the previous menu.
The Metronic’s 7-day EPG is the more rudimentary of the two, cramming the entire screen with the 10-channel programme grid, leaving room for a row of colour-coded options at the bottom. One of these is a Filter mode that lets you choose how the channels are listed (alphabetically, for example), plus you can search the listings by genre or by keying in a word.
Although Metronic’s EPG poses few problems, we much prefer Goodmans’ version, which only shows eight channels at once but uses a bolder, more attractive layout and plays live TV in a box at the top. The programme synopsis of the highlighted programme is also shown beside it.
However, the Goodmans’ onscreen programme banner is the real clincher. Hit the ‘i’ button and a box appears, giving details about the current and subsequent programme. But using the D-pad, you can scroll through the schedules a couple of days in advance on any channel and bring up the synopsis for any programme. This comes in useful when you’re looking for something to watch but don’t want to wade through the full EPG.
The Metronic’s onscreen banner offers no such flexibility. Its basic display only gives now and next info, and doesn’t even allow you to view a synopsis – for that you have to enter the full EPG.