Provided you set the Scart output to RGB, the Dion VSTBAW10 delivers passable picture quality, although we’ve seen better. The image is quite smeary and flecked with mosquito noise, which squirms uncomfortably when objects move too quickly.
The colour balance is also suspect. Skin tones have a waxy, reddish hue and stops them looking natural. Diagonal lines also suffer from stepping. Its pictures are watchable, and you probably won’t notice these artefacts on small TVs in the kitchen or bedroom, but if you really care about picture quality then invest in a more expensive receiver.
On the plus side, the overall image is vibrant and movement looks smooth, plus you can make out a fair amount of detail. We watched BBC One’s coverage of Wimbledon, and found the green grass of the court to look nice and bright, while we never lost sight of the ball.
On the sonic side, speech is clear and everyday TV soundtracks come through the speakers without any distortion. It also loads digital text and interactive services in a flash.
If you’re looking for a cheap way to add Freeview to an ageing TV, then the Dion VSTBAW10 might be worth chucking in your trolley. It’s easy to use despite its basic onscreen design, and the addition of Channel Zero gives it the edge over Freeview boxes from bigger-name brands. Don’t expect high-class picture quality though, with noise and poor colour reproduction betraying its peanuts price tag.
Score in detail
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