Review10Best compares the best set-top boxes in the UK and selects the one by Clarity as the best set-top box. In a set-top box buying guide, you can read more about the features of the different set-top boxes and see a recommendation on which set-top box to buy in the UK in 2022. By considering the top list of set-top boxes, you can find the best set-top boxes and save time shopping online.
Table of contents
- Read the ultimate set-top box buying guide
- View the set-top box picks and see how they rank in the top list
SEE THE TOP 10 LIST →
(skip buying guide)
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?
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 (May 2022)
The bestseller list compares brands and their set-top boxes. Which set-top box is the best?
- 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…
- New Remote Control, HDMI lead and Mains Lead.
- To enjoy the great on demand TV that Sky+ has to offer, including up to 60 Catch…
- Take charge of how you watch TV with the Sky+HD box - with built in Wi-Fi as standard,…
- Comes with 2 year warranty, UK plug and HDMI cable
- MAG524 w3 is Linux 4.9, Amlogic S905X2 chipset, IR remote control, 4K and HEVC support,…
- The MAG 524w3 has a 2T2R ac Wi-Fi module. It offers up to 100 Mbps in 2.4 GHz mode…
- The Product works also as a Media Player. You can watch movies or play music in…
- You can record in FULL HD Quality as instant or a time booked TV Program with a…
- NO MONTHLY FEES TO PAY , You can receive ALL HD and Standard TV channels with ANY…
- Less than 14.2W (Active), 9.5W (Active Standby), 0.6W (Passive Standby)
- Video modes: 16:9 anamorphic
- Video outputs: 720p and 1080p
- Comes with 3 pin UK plug
- Linux 4.9, Amlogic S905X2 chipset, IR remote control, 4K and HEVC support, 1 GB RAM,…
- With MAG520, operators can guarantee uninterrupted service. Infomir's API ensures…
- NOTE: latest version requires a wired active internet connection to get past the…
- No subscription necessary to access all standard features
- Integrated hard drive with 320GB capacity
- 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
* We participate in the Amazon Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. For the list of the best set-top boxes, we consider only products that are available on Amazon while the ranking is based on factors such as customer reviews, number of sales and keyword. It is not a set-top box test. Last Update: 2022/05/18.