So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
TEAC Australia SDB450
- Small, lightweight, very easy to use, great value
- Lacks any distinguishing or advanced features
The TEAC SDB450 is a great product for anyone looking for an affordable, simple and easy way to access digital TV.
Price$ 79.00 (AUD)
The TEAC SDB450 is a standard-definition set-top box. With a smallish form factor, and minimal interface, it's incredibly easy to use and a great way to make a simple upgrade to digital television. Its low RRP also makes it fantastic value and a lot more affordable than some of the other set-top boxes on the market.
The initial channel scan was quite fast, and finished in less than five minutes, picking up all local channels. From there it was a simple process of selecting our favourite channels before we got straight to channel surfing. Reception was clear in our tests, with all standard-definition channels being displayed without interference. Although the unit is incapable of decoding high-definition channels, we were able to filter these out easily enough through the favourites option.
The interface is simple and well laid out without omitting any important options. Configuring the unit is a breeze, thanks to an intuitive channel guide and favourites menu. A handy separation of TV channels and radio channels also works well to cut down on the time needed to cycle through channels, and allows users to find what they're looking for faster.
Standard features such as configuring teletext, audio and aspect ratio are available, as well as a couple of extras. The image can be "frozen", while the audio continues, in a pseudo-pause feature, although when resumed the image will automatically jump back to real-time. Also available are a handful of basic games, which can be played picture-in-picture with whatever you're watching.
The SDB450's design is quite handy; being smaller than most set-top boxes means that it's easier to fit into what may already be a crowded home entertainment cabinet. All the necessary ports are included on the rear, while the front panel houses basic control buttons. The remote is small, lightweight and intuitively laid out.
Although the SDB450 may lack a lot of features that other units sport, such as high-definition reception, dual tuners, or PVR functionality, its simplicity, price and ease of use are hard to beat. For those looking for an unobtrusive, simple way to upgrade to digital TV, the SDB450 is well worth checking out.
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