There's the customary eight-day Electronic Programme Guide, which is clearly presented, though it's not immediately clear how you move ahead a day: click the blue button, signposted on the screen by a thin blue line and '+24'. Why not a big blue button-like graphic with 'Next Day' written in it, folks?
Full eight-day programme guide
The MFR-300 separates out TV and radio channels, maintaining them in two separate lists you can flip between using a button on the remote. The gadget doesn't let you create a list of favourite channels, but you can "hide" channels you don't want, which amounts to the same thing. Hidden channels don't appear when you cycle through the channels and they don't show up in the EPG.
Any or all of the channels can be PIN-locked to prevent junior getting an eyeful of Television X, if he's allowed to stay up that late.
Freeview's interactive content works well, but as there seems to be with so many digital TV boxes, there are quirks. Go to the BBC's News Multiscreen page, for instance, and change the volume - the picture vanishes for a moment.
'Hide' the channels you don't want to appear
So, no complaints about the box's functionality. The picture it puts out is another matter. Now of course running the signal through the aerial socket's not going to give as good a picture as running it through the Scart will, but even so we expected a better picture than we actually got. We saw a slight fuzziness to the picture, particularly on on-screen text.
"the original analogue channel groups will be used for digital"
That may well be, and will certainly be appreciated by many. However, it will be a gamble, buying digital gear on mere trust that it will receive. No wonder they are phasing the switch-over, so that the people the state generally doesn't care about as much get screwed over first.
Re: The price is wrong
"80% of old TV aerials"
Actually, in many regions, the original analogue channel groups will be used for digital after the switchoff. This coupled with a power boost means that no aerial upgrade will be necessary. In fact, many who've bought high gain aerials will probably see their picture disappear when the transmitter power goes up. Whilst the tech savy will realise they just need to fit an attenuator, I'm sure there will be a lot of aerial installers who suck air between their teeth and say, "you need a new aerial mate, give me 200 quid".
The price is wrong
Nice idea, but is it really worth £40 to keep a telly going, that's so old it doesn't have a SCART socket? My mum's telly is early 1990s, but does have SCART. I expect most folks will go out and buy a new Freeview-tuner TV, once they're widely available and analog TV in their area is about to be turned off. At £15 they'd sell a lot better.
BTW the hidden cost of digital TV that they are keeping quiet about, is that something like 80% of old TV aerials won't hack it. This will surprise and upset a lot of grannies.