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Best PVR and set-top box brands: which should you buy?

Sky TV PVRs and set-top boxes: Should you buy one?

By Lewis Skinner

Article 3 of 6

Sky TV set-top boxes and PVRs are available if you subscribe to one of the broadcaster’s pay-TV packages, or if you choose it's Freesat offering. 

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Sky TV set-top box and PVR ranges

Sky TV is well known as the UK’s main digital satellite television operator, but it is also one of the first companies in the country to produce PVRs. The original Sky+ box was launched back in 2002 and, since then, Sky has continued to develop and improve its products and services.

Sky only ever offers a small choice of set-top boxes and PVRs to its customers at any time. Currently, you'll get the standard Sky+HD box free of charge when you sign up to a Sky package, with the option of upgrading (for a fee) to the Sky+HD 2TB box.

SkyHD box

Sky TV is mainly thought of as a pay-TV service, but it also has a free-TV offering - Freesat from Sky. To get this service you'll need to pay a one-off fee of £175 to get a SkyHD box, a minidish, a viewing card and to cover installation. 

Once set up you'll be able to watch all the latest Freesat TV channels, including up to 11 in high-definition, provided you have an HD-ready TV. If you already have all the equipment you'll just need a viewing card, at a cost of £25.

Read all about it with our What is Freesat from Sky? guide.

Sky+HD box

This is Sky’s standard box, it combines all the latest features - including wi-fi connectivity and on-demand content, with a 500GB hard drive. Only 250GB is available for personal storage though, which means you can pause, rewind and record up to 185 hours of standard-definition TV. 

Although this box is free, you do have to pay a monthly fee to get Sky TV channels. Once your contract has expired, you can use the Sky+HD box to watch Freesat TV channels for free, however you will lose the ability to pause, rewind and record live TV.

Sky+HD 2TB box

If you record lots of TV then it might be worth investing in this box. Essentially, it's the same as the standard Sky+HD box but with a bigger hard drive. That means there is more room for storing recordings, in fact it can record up to 1,180 hours of TV in standard definition or up to 350 hours of high definition TV. Existing Sky TV customers can upgrade to this box from £49 and new Sky TV customers can buy it for £149.