The Grundig delivers all of the basic features you’d expect, such as digital text, subtitles Audio Description, and channel list (which lets you rename and delete channels), favourite channels and automatic over-the-air upgrades. But there are a couple of other more interesting (if not exactly useful) features, such as the Pause function (not to be confused with pause live TV) which freezes the picture then jumps back to live TV when you exit, making us wonder what the point is. The P.Size mode is a bit more useful, toggling through the different picture display options (vertical cut, full frame and pillar box).
There’s also a 7-day EPG, which eschews the common timeline layout, instead displaying each channel individually and listing six programmes at a time. The programme synopsis is displayed in the corner, and scrolls automatically so you can read it all. This unusual design works fine, and it’s easy to change to different channels or jump forward 24 hours, but showing one channel at a time isn’t ideal – we prefer being able to see a few channels at a time as you can with other Freeview EPGs.
Naturally the unit is easy to install, and digital newbies will appreciate the initial setup screen, which guides you through the aspect ratio settings and tunes the channels automatically – a process that doesn’t take very long to complete, but it did take three attempts to find all of the channels. Once that’s done, you can delve into the tidy setup menu and make all the relevant changes (such as video output and aspect ratio) with minimal fuss, thanks to the responsive on-board software. Also pleasing is the speed at which the unit calls up digital text and changes from one channel to another.
As for the remote, it’s hardly at the cutting-edge of handset technology but does an OK job. The compact shape allows it to fit snugly into your hand but the buttons are a bit too fiddly for comfort, particularly the ones towards the bottom. On the plus side, the separate buttons to control the favourite channels list are a nice touch and the menu controls in the middle are well-placed.