DVR Reviews


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Editors' Choice


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

Virgin Media V+ HD

Virgin Media's TV service and V+ HD box offer plenty of entertainment potential if you get the top-end viewing package. The video-on-demand functionality is super, as are the catch-up TV services from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. The only problem is the lack of HD channels, with crucial fare like Sky Sports HD and Movies HD being unavailable. Nevertheless, Virgin's service is well worth considering

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

Humax HD-FOX T2

If high-definition viewing is a must for you, but you can't afford or don't want Sky+HD or Virgin HD, then the Humax HD-FOX T2 might be the piece of hardware you're looking for. HD pictures can look stunning given the right input, but there isn't much material out there at the moment, making the asking price of £180 quite steep. Still, the box itself can't really be faulted, apart from a few tiny bugs, and it gets our seal of approval for those who yearn for Freeview HD

TVonics DTR-HV250

As much as we like the TVonics DTR-HV250, the price is slightly too steep for a 250GB PVR. As long as you're happy to pay the asking price, though, we're more than happy to recommend it to you, and we certainly have nothing but good things to say about its picture and sound quality

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

Sagem DTR 67500T

The Sagem DTR 67500T works really well. We had no problem with any aspect of its operation, the electronic-programme-guide scheduling is easy and we like the picture quality. We're pleased Sagem has released a PVR with an HDMI connection, as we consider this essential to get the best possible picture quality. What we aren't so taken with is the cheap design and ugly menu system

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

Panasonic DMR-BS750

We've given this excellent machine a score of 9, but it comes with the obvious 'but', which is simply that it's far too expensive. £900 is more than enough to buy a £300 freesat PVR and a £200 Blu-ray player and still have pots of cash left over. Sure, the Blu-ray recording is unique, but is it really that valuable to you?

Sagem DTR 64160T

At around £100, the Sagem DTR 64160T is a very capable Freeview recorder. We aren't crazy about the design, and Sagem should be severely punished for the awful front-panel display, but, otherwise, it's a capable machine that will suit people looking for a quick and easy solution for recording Freeview

TVonics DTR-Z500

The TVonics DTR-Z500's generous 500GB of storage means you'll have plenty of space to store your recordings without needing to constantly delete things. Compared to its predecessor, the DVR-FP250, there hasn't been any great leap forward in terms of picture quality or performance, but this is still a great machine. We think, however, that the Humax PVR-9300T offers more for roughly the same price

Humax Foxsat-HDR

As the first freesat PVR on the market, the Humax Foxsat-HDR would have sold even if it was utter rubbish. Luckily, it's brilliant and anyone who buys one will have a sturdy, easy-to-use machine that looks fantastic under their TV and boasts impressive picture quality

Humax PVR-9300T

The 9300T is a worthy replacement for the 9200T, offering masses of storage space and superb recording quality. Unfortunately, the operating noise is ludicrous

Sony RDR-HXD995

Overall a good machine, but it has some problems, and we'd suggest you check the strength of the Freeview signal in your area before you invest. Otherwise its performance and value for money make it worthy of your time

Panasonic DMR-EX88

A sturdy performer that will do virtually everything you could ever want a DVD player, recorder and PVR to do. The DivX and XviD playback from disc or USB is a really nice addition that improves the machine over previous iterations

Philips DVDR5520H

Not a bad all-rounder. We like the picture and sound quality and there are enough features to justify the asking price, but we were annoyed by how the menu system operated at times