Best set-top boxes 2020: The best affordable and reward PVRs


It used to be that a set-top box sat underneath your TV and fed we channels that we couldn’t get from human TV. Now set-top boxes are getter smarter and evolving, charity some-more functionality, facilities and calm in one neat and neat box.

They offer formation with video and audio streaming apps such as Netflix and Spotify, along with 4K UHD content, HDR support and multi-room functionality if we buy some-more than one box. They’re also versatile when it comes to storage options with some charity adult to 2TB of space for anyone looking to keep lane of and record their favourite content.

With several ‘free’ options and subscription-based methods, set-top boxes offer a change between those who wish premium, content-rich options and reduction costly boxes with support for catch-up TV options. For some of a boxes on this list, their intelligent facilities make them a decent choice for upgrading a non-smart TV’s facilities if you’re not looking to squeeze a new TV.

Here are a best set-top boxes available:

  • Best 4K: Sky Q
  • Best Freeview: Manhattan T3-R
  • Best affordable satellite: Freesat 4K TV recorder
  • Best sports: BT TV
  • Best HDR: Virgin V6
  • Best cheapest box: TalkTalk TV

Sky Q Sky Store

Sky Q

The best set-top box for on-demand and live content


  • Watch most all anywhere
  • Powerful interface
  • Brilliant Netflix integration
  • Lots of Ultra HD content


  • Not cheap
  • No HDR

The Sky Q height is a best set-top box for those with satellite installation. It is an impossibly absolute complement that integrates calm from several services such as iPlayer, Netflix, Spotify and (later this year) Disney+.

The Sky Q and smaller Q Mini boxes offer well-spoken multi-room functionality and Sky Go continues a knowledge on your mobile devices. It isn’t a cheapest, yet for this quality, you’re profitable a reward cost for a reward service. It doesn’t support HDR, that stops it from being a feature-complete box it aims to be.

  • Read a full Sky Q review

Manhattan T3-R

Manhattan T3-R Freeview Play 4K Smart Recorder

Slick and well-made


  • Easy to use
  • Great pattern when recording HD TV channels
  • Quiet HDD operation
  • Personal Watchlist for on-demand content


  • Limited coexisting channel recording
  • No Netflix or Amazon Prime Video
  • Wi-Fi accepting can be flakey

This Freeview Play intelligent recorder is one of a best set-top boxes for those who wish a versatile box, yet don’t wish to compensate a prices of Sky and BT.

It has support for HLG and HDR, and usability is strong, with an interface that’s easy to use even for tech luddites. Freeview Play formation is seamless, yet watch out for SD peculiarity on bigger TVs as a miss of clarity will be exposed.

Otherwise, audio-visual peculiarity is good, with teenager niggles being a miss of Netflix, Prime Video and singular channel recording.

  • Read a full Manhattan T3-R Freeview Play review

Freesat 4K TV Recorder Hero

Freesat 4K TV Recorder

A future-proofed set-top box


  • Record adult to 4 shows
  • Simple interface
  • Supports HDR and Ultra HD


  • Channel 4 not in HD
  • No Amazon Prime Video
  • No Dolby Vision

The Freesat 4K TV Recorder is Freesat’s latest try to take on Sky, ditching a Humax boxes and entrance adult with a pattern and interface that’s all a own.

It’s concordant with Ultra HD content, yet a usually approach to now get 4K calm by a set-top box is around Netflix or YouTube. Features are strong with a ability to record adult to 4 shows during once, and a interface is simple, blending live-TV with on-demand content.

If we cite to get your satellite TV for free, this box is a good approach to get it.

  • Read a full Freesat 4K TV Recorder review


A good choice for many


  • Good value
  • Next-gen YouView interface is great
  • Good operation of singular content


  • No TV preview window
  • You can’t get all Sky Sports channels

BT TV is a good choice for many with a reduction of a possess singular content, BT Sport UHD and reward operation of channels.

Sporting a Next-Gen YouView interface (which was new behind in 2017), it’s a stronger, some-more visually driven interface that blends Live-TV and on-demand well. YouView is powered by Freeview, and it comes with all a calm accessible on that use as good as a choice of paid-for On Demand films and programmes.

Picture peculiarity is excellent, as prolonged as we have a bandwidth for it, with Sky Q a usually other choice that’s softened in this regard.

  • Read a full BT TV review

Virgin V6

Virgin V6

A intelligent ascent to a TiVo


  • Vastly softened performance
  • Clever multi-room choice HDR and 4K support


  • Interface looks dated
  • Not most 4K calm during a moment

For existent Virgin customers, a V6 is a estimable ascent to a TiVo. It’s some-more compact, offers faster opening and only an all-round softened performer.

An softened interface would have been good deliberation how stodgy it is, and a intelligent multi-room functionality means comparison TiVo and V6 boxes can be used to boost a series of tuners.

With Virgin’s flourishing library of 4K HDR content, a V6 offers glorious value.

  • Read a full Virgin V6 review

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