Sky+ is a great PVR for people who can afford to shell out monthly subscriptions, but if you want to cherry pick your favourite Freeview shows for pittance, a budget PVR is what you need. There are many basic, stripped-down models on the market – but few with as many features as Goodmans’ GDH8020.

Despite carrying the same price tag as a Sony PSP, this PVR sports twin Freeview tuners, Live Pause and simple one-touch recording via an EPG.

Detailed picture

Those tuners allow you to record two channels while playing back a third or watching an analogue signal. And there’s no need to sell your soul to Murdoch or Branson either.

This might be the cheapest Freeview recorder in its class, but picture quality is excellent, provided you have a roof-mounted aerial and a decent signal. Pictures are detailed, colours are balanced and motion is well-handled.

There might be a hint of softness to faces and some shimmering in background images, but nothing to spoil your enjoyment of Corrie. Audio outputs include both analogue and digital stereo.

Space: the final frontier

With build quality and design also good, there’s only one niggle: the 80GB hard-disk translates to just 35 hours of best-quality recording. Sagem’s similarly-specced DVR64250T offers four times the capacity for around £40 more.

But if you’re not intending to archive an entire week’s worth of TV, this Goodmans comes highly recommended.


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Fujitsu-Siemens GDH8020 review

If you’re OK with 80GB of disk space, this Freeview PVR is a budget marvel