What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Tue, 6 Dec 2005, 2:00pm

Ferguson FD1 PRISM

Tested at £50
80100
4

Pleases in the performance stakes, but it’s not quite enough to earn it five stars

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For

  • Unusual shape
  • good picture quality for the money

Against

  • Unconventional DIN-to-Scart connection
  • some motion blurring

This is one of the more unusual-looking set-top boxes we've seen, and to our eyes not exactly unattractive. Mind you, we might be tempted by the very similar TVonics Prism, which can be bought in pine, blue, pink and denim finishes for the same money!

We've tested the Prism before, and it still delivers solid performance for the money, even though it has one quirk: instead of a conventional Scart socket, it has a multipin miniature DIN connection, through which it can output either composite or RGB video via a DIN-to-Scart cable supplied. In other words it outputs ‘proper' RGB, and merely lacks the familiar-looking 21-pin connector on the back panel.

Picture quality is pretty good, if not quite the best we've seen. We watched a spot of tennis, and were able to keep track of the ball easily, while the Sky Sports News ticker was dealt with easily. There's a touch of on-screen noise and mild motion blurring, but both of these are kept to a minimum.

Almost the perfect solution
In fact, the only thing missing for complete home cinema appeal is a digital audio output. That aside, this fine-performing, well-designed unit will look extremely smart in any home, and works well with a wide range of screens.

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