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

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

By Lewis Skinner

Article 6 of 6

YouView seamlessly integrate all the functions of a standard Freeview set-top box or PVR with catch-up TV services, such as BBC iPlayer and 4oD.

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YouView set-top box and PVR ranges

YouView doesn't actually manufacture its own set-top boxes or PVRs. The current non-subscription models are custom-built by Humax, which also makes its own well-received digital TV boxes. Huawei is another manufacturer that provides the hardware for YouView.

Free-TV YouView

The other option is buy a YouView set-top box or PVR outright from a retailer, in which case a broadband subscription is required to make use of the on-demand features. Other than the broadband, there are no on-going subscription fees. Expect to pay anything from £150 to £250 for a YouView box.

Often, these YouView boxes are the same as the models offered by pay-TV services but with different branding. It's also worth bearing in mind that YouView set-top boxes let you pause and rewind live TV, whereas YouView+ PVRs also have the ability to record TV shows and films. The amount of content you can store will depend on the capacity of the hard drive.

Pay-TV YouView

You can get a free or discounted YouView set-top box or YouView+ PVR as part of a subscription package with a relevant pay-TV service, including BT TV and TalkTalk. There is an ongoing cost with these packages, but you do get additional on-demand content.