Is there a PVR thats as good as SKY +


Novice Member
Title says it all really......

I currently have SKY+, and despite the fact that I have to pay £10 extra in order to use the record facilities, I find it a very easy and reliable PVR. My wife knows how to record her programmes, and we are all happy.....

Except for the above mentioned fact that I have to pay SKY to use the PVR facilities.

I would like to get rid of SKY altogether and use Freeview, which I have built into my TV, but I need to replace it with a PVR that is as easy to use as SKY+.

The Humax's and Topfields are talked about a lot on these forums, and both have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages. They have also been around for quite a while.

Does anyone know if there are any new PVRs due out soon?

I know SKY isnt perfect, but its easy to use, and easy on the eye. I was toying with the idea on getting a Toppy and adding TAPs to give me the same functionality of SKY now, but ideally, I dont want to mess about with all that. I would prefer to just get a PVR that does everything SKY does, but without the expense. I have seen a few cheaper PVRs set up and I am not impressed. The epg's are messy and confusing and the functions are very basic- why have a PVR with only one tuner. Whats the point?


Has anybody heard on the grapevine of new PVRs hitting the shelves soon?:)


Standard Member
Same as you I decided SKY+ was getting too expensive, so I have just bought a Humax PVR-9200T from Currys online for a little under £190. I am still getting used to it, but here are my early thoughts:

1. Picture quality is generally better than my old V1 Sky+ which has always looked a bit soft.

2. Recordings can be scheduled via the guide or manually, but playback isn't quite as simple as Sky+

3. Only allows 20 scheduled recordings.

4. Better radio recording facility, and also shows radio schedules and program information.

5. Useful, find program by Genre, News, Sport etc.

6. USB port for dumping recordings to a PC and uploading pictures to the box, not tried this yet.

7. Watch two channels at the same time with Picture-in-Picture facility.

8. You can watch a third program while recording two others, as long as the third program is on the same multiplex as a one of the programs being recorded.

9. 160Gb drive lets you keep up to 100 hours of recordings.

I have to say I am really pleased with this box, it does everything Sky+ does but slightly differently. I am sure I will get used to it.

Another alternative is the Topfield TF5800T it's about £50 more expensive though, but does have a user configurable interface.

The Humax seems to come top in almost all reviews I have read.

The only thing I'll really miss when I cancel Sky is EuroSport, but I might get a Top Up TV CAM and card, the monthly subs are only £9.

Hope this helps.


Novice Member
Thanks Mike,

I have been umming and arring over whether to go for a Humax of Topfield, but am a bit worried that I will get one of these boxes and then something will appear in the shops thats a bit better - I realise thats the game with all electronic stuff, but surely theres demand out there for manufacturers to produce new PVR's to supersede the likes of the toppy and humax. Im not knocking either machine in any way, but they have been out for a while so I thought by now, another manufacturer would have come up with something new.


Novice Member
Currently I have both a Sky+ and a Topfield and was planning what to do the same as you. I still have the Sky+ as Sky made me an offer I could not refuse (50 pct discount).

The Toppy can hold 70 timer events IIRC and with a 160 or 250 Gb disc far more recordings. As to ease of use there is not a lot to chose between them but they are different. Out of the box The Toppy will work but it can do far more if you want and will put some effort in.

What makes Sky+ a breeze is the epg. The default Freeview epg is much more sparse. The Toppy can be configured to take the EPG from internet sites like digiguide or from Radio Times which gives more information for longer. You have to load software onto the Toppy (TAPS) and every week or so run the download and transfer a data file from a PC to the PVR. Not difficult if the two are nearby I have a permanent USB connection set up.

Using the MyStuff TAP I can configure the PVR to find a progame by name on one or more channels and at a specific time or range of times (no serial link as such). As it has huge capacity I tend to record more and not worry about watching it all.

Regarding picture quality the results seem similar some channels better some worse but I did have to spend money to upgrade the aerial to reliably receive Freeview (wierd geography where I live). I use the Toppy the family still use the Sky+ go figure


Novice Member
People are starting to comment over on digital spy about the new access devices twin tuner available at Currys under the Matusi brand. Currently costs £150.00


Novice Member
davidcotton said:
People are starting to comment over on digital spy about the new access devices twin tuner available at Currys under the Matusi brand. Currently costs £150.00
From the supposed pdf it seems to have similar range of functions of other boxes but does look cheap.

One point worth thinking about is that the firmware of most PVRs in the past have required a number of releases to become stable. Chosing a brand that stands by its products and releases fixes to problems can be quite important.


Novice Member
dodgydaz said:
Im not knocking either machine in any way, but they have been out for a while so I thought by now, another manufacturer would have come up with something new.
daz, in terms of something new there is the new 160Gb Matsui PVR thats about £150, there will be a new Fusion and Thomson both with 160Gb hard disks. The new Inverto with 160gb hard disk will be exctly the same as the current Inverto but with a metallic case. Unfortunately I have been asked to keep details of the new Fusion of the boards for the time being (damn) but it should incorpoarate some changes to address current gripes with the unit. Whats nice about Beko the new owners of digifusion is I find they are much more receptive to discussions about issues and talking about improvements they think they can look at.

There is a new Humax PVR that will be making an appearance at an industry show taking place in the near future. I will try and find out what/where that is and more details. But from what I have been told so far it probably wont be in the current mainstream PVR price bracket. Its got two freeview tuners as you would expect but be able to record from external sources too - unless they change the spec before launching it.

The PVR-9200t looks set to continue in the current £180-£199 price bracket. Especially as it seems that even the new PVRs being released from the rest of the year will be probably not be as highly spec'd as the hummy, or the toppy for that matter. From the work the engineers are doing on the 9200t with the EPG, unsability enhancements, number of timers etc, I think they see the 9200t as their mainstream high street offering for a long while.

Then there is the TUTV Anytime PVR due out sometime in Autumn. But there doesnt seem to be a lot of information about and those who do know a bit more are not allowed to give more info on forums yet.


Novice Member
Cheers marc.

Have been on digital spy and read some posts on the matsui branded pvr and a few others.
Well, I have waited this long for a pvr so my gut instinct is to wait a while longer and see whats coming out for chrimbo...


Standard Member
its got to be the topfeild ive had one for 6 months and no probs what so ever adding just a couple of taps (very simple to do) has made this into a very good piece of kit picture is great.and my wife finds it simple to use (and thats saying something)
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