Pure Avalon 300R Connect
Despite its modern menus and integrated Wi-Fi, the Pure Avalon 300R’s paltry support for catch-up TV services and lack of catch-up integration in its EPG make it feel like a new riff on old technology. Unfortunately it's not quite in step with the likes of YouView’s set-top box, which signalled a new dawn for Freeview HD recorders.
Typical price: £350.00
Freesat+ HD with free time
The Humax HDR-1000S Freesat+ HD box with free time impresses with its easy-to-use interface and strong recording features. The backwards-in-time EPG works well but the on-demand services are not as tightly integrated as on YouView. It needs more service providers to come on board and I'd like to see the EPG populate faster and playback of on-demand programmes to start up quicker.
Typical price: £280.00
It's taken an age to arrive, but the Humax DTR-T1000 shows that YouView was worth the wait. Its excellent user interface seamlessly combines on-demand and broadcast TV, while digital TV recording features are first class. It's pricey and is missing a few bells and whistles that would make it perfect, but it's still easy to recommend.
Typical price: £300.00
The Humax PVR-9150T is a no-frills, standard-definition Freeview recorder for those still enslaved by Scart. It's dull, but it's quiet and it does what it says on the tin.
Typical price: £120.00
The TVonics DTR-Z500HD is a fast and funky Freeview HD digital recorder. Supremely easy to use, it's an ideal choice if you're upgrading from analogue TV. While there are some standard-definition recording-quality issues, its hi-def performance is terrific.
Typical price: £225.00
Virgin Media TiVo
TiVo is a must-have upgrade if you currently get your TV through Virgin Media and want to continue doing so, or if you want the most powerful PVR on the market. For everyone else, there's still much work to be done on the software before we can recommend it as a reason to switch TV providers.
Typical price: £100.00
Sharp's TUT2HR32 Freeview+HD recorder ticks the right boxes, with twin HD tuners, a 320GB hard drive and bright, colourful interface. Unfortunately, it also generates more fan noise than a Take That concert.
Typical price: £235.00
Toshiba's HDR5010 does everything a Freeview HD digital TV recorder should do, without fuss or fanfare. It's intuitive to use, has a generous hard drive and is well priced at around £200. It's just the ticket if you want a box to record dramas, not create them.
Typical price: £190.00
The Goodmans GDB300HD is a good Freeview HD box that does the job for a pretty small sum of money. At around £70, we think it represents a great deal.
Typical price: £70.00
The Panasonic DMR-XW380 is a sleek PVR, and one that we think everyone will enjoy using. The problem is the hard drive is too small, it's too expensive and you can't save HD recordings to DVD.
Typical price: £400.00