The GFSAT200HD offers a comprehensive range of digital TV features, including a 7-day programme guide, digital text, interactive access and programme information banners that can be called up as you’re watching TV. The unit also supports Audio Description and subtitles, plus you can create Favourite channel lists and set programme reminders.
Goodmans always puts a strong emphasis on ease of use and this is apparent with the GFSAT200HD. When you first power it up, it jumps straight to an initial setup screen where you enter your postcode in order to receive the correct regional channel variations, although this didn’t work during our test – we were stuck with ITV Central in the South West region. Otherwise it’s incredibly easy to make other initial changes in the main setup menu, such as aspect ratio and HDMI output settings.
Although we’re generally impressed by the presentation and responsiveness of the logically structured user interface, it’s nowhere near as attractive or pleasant to use as the Humax receiver. The Goodmans’ onscreen banners are more basic than those found on the Humax, lacking its rival’s informative icons and snazzy presentation, but in action the box is every bit as fast and responsive when it comes to changing channels or moving around the menus.
Press the Guide button on the remote and the unit offers a choice of genres (a Freesat requirement), and once selected the programmes are listed in a logical timeline arrangement that allows you to skip forward or back 24 hours using the remote’s colour-coded keys.
Goodmans has also done a superb job with the remote, arranging the buttons in a sensible, uncluttered fashion and labelling each one with big obvious text – it’s just a shame they couldn’t have made it prettier to look at.
Something that may disappoint some users is the lack of manual tuning as found on the Humax receiver. That means you can’t search for non-Freesat channels found on the same satellites, including the hi-def Luxe TV channel and many more. There were rumours of a service code that allows you to scan the non-Freesat channels but we couldn’t find a way in.