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The 10 best set-top boxes to buy in the UK

Picture of a set-top box

The best set-top boxes are versatile multimedia devices that let you watch all kinds of content on your television. Most come with an array of features including the ability to watch live television and streaming platforms like Netflix, so it’s a great addition to your home media setup, especially if you don’t want to commit to a cable or satellite television subscription. However, finding the best set-top box is not always easy. The popularity of the device means there is a lot to choose from, some good and others bad, so it helps to know a few things before you buy to ensure you find something suitable.

Check out the buying guide below to find the right set-top box for your needs:

What are set-top boxes?

Set-top boxes refer to a range of devices with that connect to a television to display various types of content. The devices are commonly used to connect to satellite or cable television, although newer set-top boxes also provide connections to terrestrial television, streaming platforms, and all kinds of digital content without requiring a cable or satellite subscription.

Why should you buy a good set-top box?

If you want to watch satellite or cable television then you need a good set-top box, although most providers will give you this when you sign up. Free TV set-top boxes don’t require any subscriptions, offering access to live television and catch up TV, along with various applications like catch Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video etc. This means you can enjoy a wider selection of media without needing to commit to any paid TV subscription service. Some can even be used to live pause and record your favourite content.

How to choose the right set-top box in 2024?

Another picture of a set-top box

Choosing the best set-top box can be confusing if you don’t know what you need. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:

  • Channel Resolution: Not all set-top boxes provide channels in high definition, so make sure to check what is included. Most do include some HD channels, with newer devices usually offering more variety of 1080 HD content. Remember, most televisions are HD, so you’ll want to enjoy a few channels with this quality.
  • Connectivity: The best set-top boxes come with ethernet cables, allowing you to connect to the internet and watch all kinds of additional content. For example, if you want to watch Netflix, YouTube, or Amazon Prime Video then make sure the set-top box can connect online. Some come with Wi-Fi connectivity and built-in apps, making it even easier to watch more stuff online.
  • Hard Drive: If the set-top box comes with a large built-in hard drive it means you can record and pause live TV. These also come with catch up TV so are well worth the additional cost as it gives access to even more content. Remember, the more content you plan on recording the bigger the hard drive needs to be.

What is the best kind of set-top box in the UK?

Here are the most popular types of set-top boxes available to buy:

  • Pay-TV Set-Top Boxes: These set-top boxes provide access to paid television subscriptions, providing access to hundreds of different channels, live recording, pausing, and rewinding, along with catch up television.
  • Free TV Set-Top Boxes: This type of set-top box does not provide access to satellite or cable television, instead offering around 100 free television channels, often using services like Freeview or Freesat, and a range of digital radio stations. Newer models often come with IPTV function, enabling online access for apps and other digital content.
  • PVR Set-Top Boxes: This is essentially a set-top box with a hard drive, allowing it to record live television and use catch up TV features. It comes will all the features of a free TV set-top box but with some nice extras.

Top 10 list of set-top boxes in the UK (2024)

The bestseller list compares brands and their set-top boxes. Which set-top box is the best?
Best choice TOP 1
Image of Clarity CSTBHD1 set-top box
Clarity CSTBHD1 - Freeview Set Top Box 1080P with HDMI and Scart,…
  • Other Features: Fully featured infra-red remote control, 27 timer event settings,…
  • Multiple connections – HDMI Output: For the Highest sound quality and picture…
  • Pause, Rewind, Fast Forward, Time shift and Record live TV – Scheduled a recording…
BUY NOW
Offer TOP 2
Image of UK-DIGITAL MSD7818 set-top box
NEW Freeview HD Digital TV Receiver Tuner Set Top HD Digi Box Terrestrial…
  • Product Type :Satellite Receiver
  • Brand: Uk Digital
  • New Freeview Hd Digital Tv Receiver Tuner Set Top Hd Digi Box Terrestrial Usb Port…
BUY NOW
TOP 3
Image of iView HD HD29117 set-top box
NEW FULL HD 1080P Freeview HD Receiver & HD USB Recorder DIGITAL…
  • “WiFi Software Ready” : Simply Optional Purchase of a USB WiFi Stick…
  • Records Unlimited TV programs by Easy 3-step 7days Advanced Booking on to USB Memory…
  • The Latest Dual Cipset processor technology inside , Pause
BUY NOW
TOP 4
Image of August DVB415 set-top box
Freeview Set Top Box Recorder - August DVB415 - 1080P Freeview HD…
  • MULTIMEDIA PLAYER - Share your own photos, videos and music via USB stick directly…
  • DIGITAL TIMESHIFT - Pause, Rewind, and Catch Up all in real time from the remote.…
  • SET TOP BOX WITH 7 DAY EPG - The updated DVB415 has a full EPG interface showing…
BUY NOW
TOP 5
Image of Generic HD set-top box
FULL HD Built in WiFi Freeview Set Top Box Receiver Digi Box Digital…
  • Receives ALL FULL HD Channels with any TV by SCART or HDMI Connections Choice, Just…
  • ENJOY watching 200 Regular Digital TV Freeview Channels including FULL HD 1080p High…
BUY NOW
TOP 6
Image of August DVB482-UK set-top box
Freeview Set Top Box Recorder - August DVB482 - Watch and Record Live…
  • SCHEDULE RECORDINGS - Access the full week of broadcasting in an easy-to-use Electronic…
  • PAUSE AND REWIND TV - Easily pause, rewind, and record live TV from the remote. Pause…
  • MULTIMEDIA PLAYER - Watch your own files from a USB or External HDD on the DVB482.…
BUY NOW
TOP 7
Image of Manhattan sx hd set-top box
Manhattan SX Freesat HD Box, Black
  • The Manhattan SX is designed for use with a universal or hybrid LNB and is NOT compatible…
  • Buy with confidence thanks to the 2-year and in-house UK Technical support (register…
  • Set reminders for your favourite shows in one tap and create your own list of favourite…
BUY NOW
TOP 8
Image of BT DTR-T2100 set-top box
BT Youview+ Set Top Box with Twin HD Freeview and 7 Day Catch Up TV,…
  • NOTE: Requires internet access to setup. WiFi NOT supported, Network Cable is included…
  • Record up to 300 hours of TV (500 GB)
  • Suitable On Demand library of TV and films.Extra quiet operation
BUY NOW
TOP 9
Image of August DVB400 set-top box
Freeview HD TV Set Top Box Recorder - August DVB400 - Watch Live,…
  • TRULY FREE TV - Standard Coaxial Aerial Input ensures your current TV home or Rooftop…
  • DIGITAL TIMSHIFT - Pause, Rewind, and Catch Up all in real time from the remote.…
  • FULL TV FUNCTIONALITY - The DVB400 has an EPG interface showing the next week of…
BUY NOW
TOP 10
Image of Teknikal HD DVB-T2 set-top box
Teknikal HD Freeview Set Top Box Receiver Plus Recorder for Digital…
  • Teknikal
  • Electronics and Photo Home Cinema TV and Video SetTop Boxes
  • Teknikal HD Freeview Set Top Box Receiver Plus Recorder for Digital TV Channels Tuner…
BUY NOW
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