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

Virgin Media PVRs and set-top boxes: Should you buy one?

By Lewis Skinner

Article 4 of 6

Virgin Media is a pay-TV provider that offers set-top boxes and PVRs, including the TiVo box, as part of a monthly, cable TV subscription.

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Virgin set-top box and PVR ranges

Virgin Media's set-top boxes and PVRs are tied directly to its own subscription services. Similar to Sky TV, Virgin Media offers a huge range of channels and packages can be purchased with - or without - a broadband subscription.

Unlike Sky TV, Virgin Media's content is delivered via the UK's fibre-optic cable network, rather than satellite. More than half the homes in the country can connect to cable but you will need to check whether or not Virgin Media’s services are available in your area.

Virgin Media V HD box

The V HD box comes free with your Virgin Media contract. It's a set-top box rather than a PVR, as it has no recording functionality. If you want to record TV, you're better off opting for one of the Virgin Media TiVo boxes. 

The V HD is pretty versatile, giving access to both standard and high-definition channels, as well as Virgin Media's on-demand content, plus it's 3D ready.

Virgin Media TiVo

Virgin Media's TiVo PVRs may incur an activation charge, as well as an increase to your on-going Virgin Media subscription fee, but it's worth the money if you want to be able to record live TV. The 500GB model is the cheaper of the two and provides enough storage to record around 250 hours of standard definition TV - it will set you back an extra £5 per month, though it's included in any Big Bundle. 

The 1TB model increases the recording time to around 500 hours, on-top of the £5 monthly fee, there's activation charge of £50, unless you're on the Big Daddy package where it is free. In addition to the abilities of the V HD box, TiVo PVRs learn the types of programmes you like so it can automatically record more of them for you.