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

Manhattan PVRs and set-top boxes rated

By Callum Tennent

Article 9 of 9

In recent years British tech company Manhattan has scaled back its operations to focus solely on set-top boxes. Read on to see how we rate its new raison d'etre.

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We all like the idea of buying British, and it can be reassuring when a company specialises in the area you're looking to buy in. Herein lies the appeal of purchasing a Manhattan TV box.

In 2017 you won't find Manhattan products in any other aisle of your local electronics store, nor will you find a huge variety to choose from. It keeps things simple to both help take the stress out of the buying decision and to make sure what little it does make, it makes well.

Manhattan solely focuses on set-top boxes rather than PVRs nowadays, and you can find them in the majority of high street electronics stores as well as some supermarkets.

Want to see other brands, too? Head over to our PVR and set-top box reviews.

You may not be familiar with the Manhattan brand, though, and you may well be understandably hesitant about investing in one of its products. That's fair enough, and also why we've created the table below.

Within it you'll see not only what our PVR and set-top box testing lab has made of Manhattan products over the years, but also what Which? subscribers who actually own them make of them. Be sure to take a close look before making your mind up on your next purchase.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you’re not yet
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Manhattan PVR and set-top box overview
Manhattan PVR and set-top box overview
Number tested in the past three years 3
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Loyalty score
Typical spend
Should I buy one?
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 30 August 2017) that are still available. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2017 of 2,531 PVR and set-top box owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 30 August 2017.


Member Content

How much do Manhattan set-top boxes cost?

Not a lot at all. The two models currently on the market cost £50 and £35 respectively – and you might be able to get an even better price than that if you buy somewhere other than straight from the manufacturer.

Those numbers are explained by the fact that they're only set-top boxes, not PVRs. They're designed exclusively for watching TV through, so you can't record with them.

Choosing the best Manhattan set-top box

Right now there are only two models you need to choose between: the T1 and the Plaza HD-T2. Not only that, but there are only a couple of key differences you need to recognise.

The Plaza HD-T2 offers you the full range of Freeview channels, both those in standard definition and HD. It also has the BBC iPlayer and YouTube apps pre-installed for even more content.

The T1 is different because it doesn't have any apps, nor the ability to install any. It also has a mini jack AV output, meaning that it can connect to your TV via SCART or RCA if your set doesn't have an HDMI port.