As for digital text performance, the BBC’s service appears almost instantly after pressing the button and subsequent pages load up with equal speed. ITV’s text service is very sluggish however, to the point where we gave up waiting. Audio Description is a useful feature for the blind or partially sighted and it can be set to low, medium or high volumes in the setup menu.
If you’re worried about the unit’s energy consumption, don’t be – it uses 1.5W in standby and 3.9W in operation, plus an auto standby mode kicks in every night at 3.30am to stop you leaving it on accidentally. There’s also a manually selectable screen saver mode that stops your TV getting screen burn.
Channel changing is lighting quick and the unit’s robust tuner ensured strong, stable pictures throughout our test (conducted near Exeter, which has already switched over to digital). Picture quality is extremely pleasing through the RGB SCART, particularly when watching BBC channels. They boast bold yet natural colours, tightly-contained edges and smooth movement. Detail reproduction is solid, and although mosquito and MPEG block noise often rear their ugly heads, it’s just an unfortunate bugbear of Freeview broadcasting and not something that’ll greatly affect your enjoyment.
It may not be much to look at and the feature list is basic, but the MDR-240 is still an affordable, reliable and easy-to-use Freeview receiver that will impress experienced users and novices alike. It carries out its tasks without fuss and the excellent operating system makes it a joy to use – you can’t really ask for much more from a Freeview box.
Score in detail