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PVR and DVR reviews

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Last updated: 24 February 2020


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

A PVR (personal video recorder, also known as DVR or digital video recorder) lets you pause, rewind, replay and record your "can't miss" TV shows without having to pay for a Netflix or Stan subscription. Our expert testers give every PVR a thorough workout to help find the models that:

  • are the easiest to use
  • are best at full series recording
  • have the best EPG (electronic program guide)
  • offer the biggest hard disk capacity
  • support streaming services for music and TV shows
  • cost the least to run.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which models have a dedicated Netflix button, which support 4K or Ultra HD, and which let you record to external storage. 

Our Recommended list will help you see quickly which models come out on top.


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List of brands we tested in this review.


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    The prices shown are recommended retail however you should be able to find most of these models for a lower price if you shop around. The Foxtel IQ3 and 4 are subscription based with different monthly payments based on the viewing package you choose.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 999

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    4K resolution

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    Ultra-high Definition (also called 4K) could be the next 3D in the sense that there's a lot of hype, but virtually no content available yet. UHD TVs have a lot more pixels than an HD TV, but they also cost a lot more. This is one of those features that may turn out to be a nice feature to have, but shouldn't be a factor in your purchasing decision.

      Freeview plus

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      FreeviewPlus features include the ability to display of all TV networks' programs without the need to change channels, a search function and the ability to enjoy catch-up TV channels such as iView, 9Now and SBS On Demand.

        Record directly to external storage

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        Programs can be recorded directly to an external hard drive. However due to copyright protection the PVR may format the drive in such a way as you can only use it on that PVR and not connect it to any other device.

          Hard disk capacity (GB)

          enter value/s in increments of i between 500 and 4000

          Included in this review

          Members-only access
          • Overall score
          • CHOICE buy
          • Ease of use score
          • EPG score
          • EPG accuracy score
          • Remote score
          • Series recording
          • Timer recording score
          • Standby energy score
          • Standby power (Wh)
          • In use power (Wh)
          • Good points
          • Bad points
          • Price
          • Availability
          • Brand
          • Model
          • Annual running cost
          • Recordings can be copied for viewing elsewhere
          • Record directly to external storage
          • Wi-Fi direct
          • Bluetooth
          • Smartphone mobile scheduling app available
          • Dedicated Netflix button
          • Optical disc player
          • 4K resolution
          • Freeview plus
          • IceTV support
          • HbbTV
          • USB 3.0 port
          • Hard disk capacity (GB)
          • USB ports
          • Ethernet port
          • Memory card reader
          • Composite video RCA output
          • Component video RCA output
          • Stereo audio RCA output
          • HDMI output
          • Digital RCA output
          • Toslink output
          • Wireless LAN adaptor
          • Stream video to app
          • Favourite channels
          • Supports standard epg
          • Auto padding
          • Ad skipping
          • Timeshift time limit (hours)
          • Number of digital tuners
          • Dimensions (cm, h x w x d)
          • Weight (kg)
          • Country of origin
          • Contact


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