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DVR Reviews

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Sky SkyQ

The UK broadcaster has debuted a 4K-ready upgrade to its set-top box, which also sports a new interface and the power to watch recorded TV on your tablet.

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.

YouView

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.

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.

Sharp TUT2HR32

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.

TVonics DTR-HD500

The TVonics DTR-HD500 is a great little Freeview PVR with a decent amount of features and, most crucially, impressive picture quality.

Sky 3D

Bin your preconceptions -- Sky 3D really does usher in a whole new way of enjoying TV. Consumed in small doses, Sky's 3D channel is fun, fresh and frighteningly addictive.

Sky+HD 1TB

The Sky+HD 1TB satellite box is a peach of a PVR. A huge hard drive means you no longer have to ration your recordings and the interface is slick and easy to use. With 3D compatibility and Sky's Anytime+ video-on-demand service just around the corner, it's a must-have upgrade for any self-respecting hi-def obsessive.

IP Vision FetchTV SmartBox 8000

The IP Vision FetchTV SmartBox 8000 is a good idea, but it has two massive problems in the credit card registration process and Freeview picture quality. While it has some impressive features, we simply can't recommend you spend your money on this Freeview PVR.

TechniSat HDFV

The TechniSat HDFV is a decent piece of kit with superb picture quality and the advantage of being able to record to USB. We'd like to see its Wi-Fi abilities improved somewhat to allow more exciting features.

Humax HDR-FOX T2

The Humax HDR-FOX T2 is a very good Freeview HD PVR that we have no problem recommending. The only issues we have are with its low storage capacity and high price. It's a capable machine, though, that works very well indeed.

Editors' Choice

Virgin Media V HD

The Virgin Media V HD box would make a super second, or even a main, receiver for people who appreciate that the PVR is on its way out, in these days of IPTV

Editors' Choice

Sky+HD

If you love TV, then it's quite likely that getting a Sky+HD box will be the best decision of your life. Sports fans will find more than they could ever watch while holding down a job, and movie lovers are pretty well catered for too. The hardware is also easy to use and rarely breaks down. There are dozens of useful extra services too, like remote-recording capability. Even if you just take into account the core TV channels, though, Sky is the market leader, offering a very compelling service

Panasonic DMR-EX83

The Panasonic DMR-EX83 is technically a very competent machine, but the price seems too high given that it has only a 250GB hard drive. We like the way this machine works though, and its picture quality is second to none

Toshiba SD-490

With its great picture quality and impressive upscaling performance, the Toshiba SD-490 is a stylish option for those who aren't interested in making the move to Blu-ray just yet

Panasonic DMR-EX89

The Panasonic DMR-EX89 is a sturdy machine that's a pleasure to use. It's expensive, though, and only offers a single Freeview tuner. That said, if you're happy to splash out for it, we doubt you'll be disappointed

Panasonic DMR-EX79

The Panasonic DMR-EX79 is a good, sturdy machine that's a pleasure to use. It is, however, let down by its relatively high price and the fact that it offers only a single Freeview tuner. Due to its good performance, though, we're more than happy to recommend it as a worthy purchase if you're happy with the asking price

Digital Vision GiGo

The Digital Vision GiGo has some great things going for it, although it's not without its downsides. Fortunately, the positives far outweigh the negatives. If you want to record Freeview to a USB memory stick, this machine is very convenient and does the job perfectly. If you don't know what a USB memory stick is, we'd advise you to get a more traditional personal video recorder