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.

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.

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.


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.

Humax PVR-9150T

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.

TVonics DTR-Z500HD

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.

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.

Toshiba HDR5010

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.

Goodmans GDB300HD

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.

Panasonic DMR-XW380

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.

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