Freeview PVR UK - Personal Video Recorders Review

The good old VHS video recorder is facing retirement. We were never big fans anyway, because most of ours had the habit of chewing up our favourite video tapes. The video recorder is being superseded by the Personal Video Recorder or PVR, which is another step in the convergence of television and personal computer technology. Below we answer FAQs about Personal Video Recorders and give some recommended sites for you to buy the best PVR.

What is a Personal Video Recorder?

A personal video recorder (or PVR) is a device containing a computer hard drive which allows you to record TV programmes without the need for a video cassette.

Why is it called a Personal Video Recorder? The idea behind this name is that PVRs allow personalisation of the TV viewing experience. With the more sophisticated recording technology they offer you should be able to watch more of what you want to watch, when you want to watch it.

Topfield TF5800PVR - Around £280
- Can connect to a PC or Mac via USB 2.0 allowing you to transfer digital TV recordings to your computer.
- Twin tuners (record one Freeview channel whilst watching another, or record two Freeview channels simultaneously)
- EPG.
- Twin Scart sockets.
- Slot for Top Up TV card.

Useful Topfield site:

Date Added: 3 Nov 2005
Humax PVR 9200T Duovisio Humax PVR 9200T Duovisio - Around £230
Humax impresses with this fully featured twin digital tuner Freeview box and hard drive recorder.
Digifusion FVRT200 PVR Digifusion FVRT200 PVR - Around £180
Twin digital tuners so you can watch one Freeview channel whilst recording another. This PVR has an 80GB internal hard drive and can record up to 80 hours of digital TV.
Panasonic TUCTH100 Freeview PVR - Around £235
Twin digital TV tuners, 80GB hard drive, Panasonic quality.


Humax Freeview PVR 8000T-80 Humax PVR 8000T-80 PVR - Around £170
80GB hard drive for 40 hours recording, single digital tuner.

PVRs also bring additional benefits, as detailed below:

What are the features/benefits of PVRs?

A PVR allows you to pause live TV. No more missing East Enders when Aunty decides to phone.

A PVR usually provides an Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) which gives details of upcoming TV schedules (usually for seven days in advance).

A PVR doesn't need a video cassette to record a programme, because it stores the recorded programme on its internal hard drive.

What types of PVR are available?

PVRs for your TV

You can get standalone PVR set top boxes that connect to your TV.

Freeview PVRs - also function as digital TV receivers so you can watch and record Freeview broadcasts. Examples are the Humax PVR-8000T and Digifusion FVRT100. It is best to buy a Freeview PVR that has twin digital TV tuners, so that you can watch one digital TV channel whilst recording another.

Well known manufacturers of Freeview PVRs are Pace, Humax and Digifusion.

Sky+ box - allows you to receive and record digital satellite TV from Sky.

PVRs for your Computer

If you are a bit more tech savvy, it is also possible to buy PVRs for your computer. These are either PCI cards that connect internally or external devices that connect to the computer via USB. Bear in mind that many of the PVRs available for computers do not incorporate digital TV tuners yet, they only receive the existing analogue TV signal.

This type of PVR will come with software for managing the recording process and for providing an Electronic Programme Guide.

An advantage of buying a PVR for your computer is that you may have more hard disk capacity on your computer - for standalone PVRs, the hard drive is the one of the most expensive components, so they tend to be relatively small (20 or 40GB) when compared to the storage capacity available on desktop computers.

Another advantage with computer PVRs is that some have the necessary connectors to allow you to record from analogue sources such as a VCR or an older camcorder, which is useful for transferring your old video tapes onto your computer for storage purposes.


Where to buy a PVR
Tribal UK
Sound and Vision
Digital Direct
John Lewis
Amazon UK

Best Freeview box sites UK
Freeview Box Catalogue
Tribal UK
Amazon UK
John Lewis
Freeview DVD Recorders
See also our best Freeview box page
Other useful links:
TV Cables specialist store
Amazon UK for TV cables and Scart Leads
Scart lead results from our database
Guide to Integrated Digital TVs
Home Cinema Guide
Plasma TVs


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Other Personal Video Recorder Links

PVR guide from RadioandTelly

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