The Top 5 PVRs in time for the World Cup

The sad truth of World Cup football is that it only comes around every four years and yet it's just all too easy to miss. However, if you intended on capturing every second of the show piece event in South Africa, then you might want to consider picking up one of these - the top 5 PVRs available to do the job in time and in style too. Now all you need to make sure is that you don't let anyone tell you the results before you get home.

Humax HDR-FOX T2

Features
Freeview HD, USB, Ethernet

Storage
500GB

Price
£349

Unfortunately, the July release date for the Humax HDR-FOX T2 means that you'll only be able to catch the latter stages of the World Cup on it but at least you will be able to do so in HD with it doubling as a Freeview tuner. It has an excellent 8-day EPG and will store 125 hours of HD footage as well as playback videos, photos and MP3s via the Ethernet or USB ports around the back. There is an HDMI present as well as an optical connection for your amp and, as a non-subscription hero, it's just rather a shame it's not arriving a couple of weeks sooner.

 

 

3View

Features
DLNA, Freeview HD, Sky Player, Social networking, Catch up TV, USB, Ethernet

Storage
500GB

Price
£299


Out in just a few days time is the hugely anticipated 3View PVR and it's more a case of what it doesn't do than what it does. Again, it's a 500GB box with twin Freeview HD tuners but this time has 2 x USB ports for music, videos and photos playback, Ethernet connectivity and access to a whole host of IPTV options. These include YouTube, Sky Player and very soon BBC iPlayer to add to the party too. You can even add a mouse and keyboard to it, if you really must, and start doing your e-mails.

It's DLNA enabled for wireless media transferal, you can access Facebook and Twitter and there's also a few widgets for a bit of shopping if you want to get onto eBay and Amazon. Some of these functions might not be what you're after for a set top box but the core features cover one hell of a lot of bases.

 

Sky+HD 1TB Limited Edition

Features
Sky, 240 hours recording

Storage
1TB

Price
£249


It's not going to do you a lot of good without a subscription or a carbuncle of a dish on your pebble dash but it's hard to deny this limited edition 1TB Sky+ HD box a place on this list. It's got a massive amount of storage - enough for the entire World Cup at least two times over including extra time, penalties and variable punditry - it'll give you access to more HD channels than any other platform and it's pure I love football through and though. What's more the Sky EPG is basically the best in the business. Just a bit of a bummer that they still don't offer the HD audio over HDMI. Still, there's always the optical slot.

 

 

Philips HDT8520

Features
Freeview HD

Storage
500GB

Price
£299


The Philips HDT8520 isn't particularly packed with features - at least not yet. Constructed by Pace, it contains twin Freeview HD tuners and will record up to 125 hours of HD footage. At the moment, that's largely it. It does have Ethernet and USB ports but neither will do anything beyond firmware updates but the company hopes to be adding catch up TV and video codec playback shortly. The reason this comparatively pedestrian box makes it into the list is because it looks good. It's small at just 1.75kg and measuring 240 x 65 x 210 mm, it's got a solid utility modern looking design and it also happens to have a snazzy light running round the top.

 

 

Virgin Media V+ HD (Samsung SMT-H3110)

Features
USB, Catch-up TV, Virgin

Storage
160GB

Price
a subscription


Let's get the problems with the Samsung V+ HD box out the way first. It's got a titchy amount of storage compared to the others with just 20 hours of HD recording space on offer or 80 hours if you'd rather go standard definition. It's also not particularly attractive and nor is the EPG that goes with it. However, content is king in the modern world and what you get with the service is not only a decent fistful of HD channels - including the all important BBC and ITV varieties - but it'll also feature 4OD, iPlayer and ITV player on your big screen as well. With the full matches available on catch-up services for 7 days after, who needs to worry about storage?

 

If you enjoyed this article, then head over to our World Cup Week homepage where you'll find a collection of features getting ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.



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