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Goodmans GHD1621F2 review: Goodmans GHD1621F2

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The Good Attractive design; user friendly features; competitive price; decent picture and recording quality.

The Bad Unimaginative, cheap remote; typically limited connectivity; no CI card slot.

The Bottom Line Goodmans' latest PVR is attractively designed with easy to use features and decent performance for an affordable price -– good value for money

7.5 Overall

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Digital recorders or PVRs (personal video recorders) offer the most affordable and easiest way of recording television programmes -- think of a 21st century VCR that doesn't need tapes or a Masters degree to operate.

Goodmans GHD1621F2 features an attractive design that houses two integrated Freeview tuners, which means you can record one programme while you watch another or even record two digital programmes at the same time. There's a substantial 160GB hard drive that equates to around 80 hours of footage using a single recording quality mode and scheduling recordings couldn’t be simpler.

There are several Freeview Playback features that enhance recording functionality while image quality is impressive and subsequent recordings are extremely accurate to the original. And, with prices starting from around £100, it's great value for money.

Strengths
The GHD1621F2 is one of a new breed of PVRs that carries the Freeview Playback certification, which is basically a set of criteria that ensures the device supports an advanced range of features that enhance usability.

As well as standard recording there are several useful features that you won't find on every digital recorder including series recording, which records every episode of a chosen programme, and split recording, which recognises programme breaks -- for when ITV decides to run the news in the middle of a film.

The metal-cased design is more stylish than most of the typically uninspired boxes you'll find. The angled mirrored front panel is uncluttered by controls and features an attractive neon green display that appears suspended within the device.

Having twin tuners offers more versatility, especially if you want to record two programmes that share the same time slot. The 160GB hard drive offers enough storage space for even hardened telly addicts. There are the usual time slip functions such as pausing live TV and chasing play.

The GHD1621F2 is also one of the easiest PVRs to use that we've come across -- all you have to do is select a programme from the accompanying guide and let technology do the rest. There is a choice of two EPG displays and both of graphically presented with moving thumbnail images that allow you to search through schedules without missing programmes.

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