16th OctTivo or Sky+ HD
If you have read of the earlier blog's from the compare shop you will know how much we love television and all of the amazing technology that is now in service to astound and amaze us all. We have spent a lot of time comparing Lcd TV models but we have neglected to look at the technology that produces all the entertainment, until now. So today we will be focusing on the subscription services of Virgin Media and Sky, more specifically we will be looking at the Tivo Box from Virgin and the Sky + HD box from Sky.The Looks
Both boxes have a similar architecture in that they are based on the typical set top box design. The Tivo is black and comes in a sort of sandwich design with a wider top and bottom panel with a slimmer middle panel which houses the activity lights. The top panel contains the manual activation buttons at the front where you can turn the unit on and change channels. The Sky+ HD box is black and silver with the main body of the box in black and the side and front panel in silver. The front of the unit houses the information lights and the top has a circular set of activation buttons.
We give the Tivo box a 7/10 and the Sky + HD Box an 8/10
There are two main options for both boxes the choice comes between memory sizes. The Tivo box comes with a 500 GB and 1 TB option and the Sky + HD box has a 250GB and 1TB option. Obviously the lower end Tivo box provides much more storage than the Sky box but unless you are recording huge amounts of data or you don't refresh the box once you have watched something box boxes should be sufficient for everyday use.
Recording Multiple Channels Can Stop Arguments
With the Tivo you can record three channels at the same time and watch one programme you have already recorded which allows a massive amount of flexibility. The Sky + HD box allows 2 channel simultaneous recording which is still impressive. When thinking about your requirements in this department you need to think about how many times the situation arises when conflict over channel selection comes around. Obviously if you have children this situation will arise more often than a household without children.
The Tivo box has a really good programme selection function which the Sky + HD box does not. This function allows you to search the programme database by title, actor or even director. We found this a really useful tool, currently there are hundreds of channels available on both boxes and sometimes it's hard to find something to watch. So when you can't initially find something you can have a quick search for something that may take your fancy.
Both boxes allow you to pause, rewind and reply live television. Initially we thought this was a great tool you will find that you only use the pause and replay function when the phone rings or someone comes to the front door. Both boxes also allow integration with you mobile phone so you can remotely set the box to record (just in case you forget!).
The Tivo box allows you to download apps as you can with an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy mobile phone. You can download You Tube, Twitter and services like BBC iPlayer. Whilst this is a nice little addition most people won't download the social networking applications as you will use your home computer for this purpose.
Pause or Rewind Live Programmes and Never Miss Top Action
All in all both boxes really do give a great set of functions. We therefore rate the Tivo box 8/10 and the Sky Plus box 7/10. When choosing the service you want you also have to take into account service coverage. With Sky this won't be an issue as the signal is received via a dish on the side of the house. With Virgin however the national coverage is much less than Sky so making a quick call to the virgin sales team is well worth it.