Sky + HD 2TB
Awards 2012 Product of the Year - Set-top boxes. It's a premium recording option, but high-def TV enthusiasts will still love itWrite your own review
- Excellent performance
- channel choice
- loads of space
- neat app
- Sound can be limited
Sky has been the TV provider with the most HD content for years now, and that shows no sign of stopping. Every time a rival adds a couple of new HD channels, Sky adds a load more. And now it's doubled the size of the hard drive to 2TB, this new model replacing the previous 1TB version.
As well as a 2TB hard disk onboard, the new model also has a more compact and premium-looking chassis. The box costs from £49, depending on which Sky package you subscribe to.
1.5TB of space is entirely free for you to use for recordings, while 400GB is used for On Demand content and the remainder contains the operating system.
What's 1.5TB in recording terms? A whopping 350 hours of HD or 1180 hours of standard-def content, that's what. With that sort of space, your days of deleting shows in order to make space for the next episode of Mad Men will be over. Now you can have your HD cake and save it as long as you like before eating it.
Sky+ HD 2TB: More high definition
The On Demand (formerly Anytime) service is in on the game, too. The quantity of content has leaped – and even more of it is now in hi-def.
And that monstrous amount of content is too little for you, you can connect your 2TB to your broadband network to download even more TV shows and movies.
Admittedly these are just standard-def with stereo sound, but for sheer quantity it makes the Sky service simply unbeatable.
There are a couple of other neat touches, too. The new Sky+ app (for iOS and Android) makes viewing, recording, scheduling and time-shifting even more painless, plus it's a clear, legible, good-looking remote-control app too.
Sky+ HD 2TB: Sound and picture quality
Game-changing? Certainly not, but thoughtful, none-the-less. Picture and sound quality are as good as ever: the 1080i HD pictures are crisp and vibrant, while standard-definition content is generally very clean and stable.
Compatible broadcasts are accompanied by 5.1 sound which, while very decent, is delivered, disappointingly, via optical cable, rather than down the same HDMI cable as the picture.
Overall, though, it's a great step forward without any sacrifices. Except, that is, where price is concerned. A standard Sky+HD box is now free to new subscribers, whereas the 2TB model will set you back £250.
Dedicated tweakers might point out that a 2TB hard disk drive costs considerably less than that now, but for us the convenience of getting all that extra HD content with the Sky+HD 2TB box makes it more than worth the extra cash.