Digital TV Boxes

The big three TV providers all have their own flagship digital TV boxes – Sky have the Sky+HD Box, Virgin Media the V+ HD Box and BT Vision the Vision+ Box and although Sky and Virgin Media have different boxes available it is these three that will be compared here.

Compare Digital TV Boxes

Sky+HD Box

Sky+HD Box

  • 250GB hard drive *
  • 2 tuners
  • Watch one channel and record one other
  • HDMI HD output
  • 3D compatible
  • Record a whole series with one command
  • Control remotely by web or mobile phone

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Virgin V+HD Box

Virgin V+ Box

  • 160GB hard drive
  • 3 tuners
  • Watch one channel and record two others
  • HDMI HD output
  • 3D compatible
  • Record a whole series with one command
  • No web or mobile phone remote control

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BT Vision+ Box

BT Vision+ Box

  • 160GB hard drive
  • 2 tuners
  • Watch one channel and record one other
  • HDMI HD output
  • 3D compatible
  • Record a whole series with one command
  • No web or mobile phone remote control

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* The Sky+ HD Box has 500GB hard drive but only 250GB of that is available for you to record TV programmes.

TV Box Set Up Costs

The cost of the box with each provider varies according to the package you take – there are often special offers too – but here are the standard set-up fees with the main packages.

Sky Digital

The Sky+ and Sky+HD boxes are now free as standard but there is a set-up fee of £30 for Sky+ without the HD pack. When you take the HD pack (for £10.25 a month) the set-up is free.

Virgin Media

The Virgin V+HD box costs £49.95 with any of the Virgin TV packages, M+, L or XL. There is a £5 monthly charge for the V+ service unless you subscribe to the TV XL pack in which case it’s free. A standard engineer installation charge of £40 applies unless you take a triple bundle of TV, broadband and phone in which case it’s free.

BT Vision

The Vision+ box price depends on the package you take – there are 4 main TV bundles with BT which are TV, Broadband and Calls, TV, Entertainment, Broadband and Calls, More TV, Broadband and Calls and Unlimited TV, Broadband and Calls. The Vision+ box costs £60 with TV, Broadband and Calls but is free with the other 3 packages.

More Sky and Virgin TV Boxes

Sky also produce a 1TB version of their TV box. A terabyte is 1000GB and so can store up to 240 hours of high definition (HD) TV, four times more than the regular Sky+HD box. The 1TB box costs £249.

Virgin Media produce the V HD box which is HD and 3D ready but is not a PVR, so it has no storage or recording facility. The newest addition to the Virgin family is the Virgin TiVo box, which is at the cutting edge of web/TV convergence. The TiVo service expands your TV package by merging the content in the package with related programmes on the web (such as YouTube) – so you can search for content featuring your favourite actor, or by a director you love, and it will show you and record content from the web too. The box has its own built-in 10Mb broadband connection too so the downloading of TV programmes won’t slow your broadband down.

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Freeview TV Boxes

There is a large range of Freeview TV boxes on the market now, from the basic £20 no-frills receiver to boxes with features almost as advanced as those of the paid subscription providers above. Visit our pages about Freeview Plus and Freeview HD for more details. Another Freeview-based service is Top Up TV, where the Top Up TV box allows you to pause, rewind and record Freeview channels (like any other Freeview Plus box) and to add on other content like Sky Sports, ESPN or Picture Box movies for a monthly fee but no long contract.

Sky TV Starter Deal
Only £19.50 a month

Sky+ TV, broadband and calls £19.50 a month. Sky+ Box costs £49 with £30 set-up, up to 2MB broadband and free evening and weekend calls.

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Virgin Value Bundle
£20 a month

This great bundle has size ‘M+’ TV, that’s 65 channels, On Demand & Catch-Up, 10Mb Broadband plus Phone with unlimited weekend calls! £20 a month plus line rental.

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BT Vision Starter Deal
£18 a month

BT TV, Broadband and Calls

£10 line rental > £60 one-off Vision+ Box fee > Broadband Option 2 with 40GB usage > Freeview channels with Pay per View options > 24 month contract

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Top Up TV Favourites
£11.99 a month

Top Up TV TV Favourites

Library of popular TV – over 700 shows to choose from each month including Life on Mars, Little Britain, Lost and many more. Top Up box from £39.99 – £20 set-up.

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