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What set-top box will I get?

Will you get a YouView or Sky Q? Does it hold 1TB or 2TB? Can you record live TV? Here’s your guide to what set-top box you'll get with each provider.
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Will you get a YouView or Sky Q? Does it hold 1TB or 2TB? Can you record live TV or just pause and rewind? Here’s your guide to what set-top box providers offer and what you can expect out of each one.

Although some features — like catch-up and on-demand TV — are standard nowadays, every TV provider offers a different set-top box, and each of those boxes does different things.

Depending on who your provider is, you might be able to watch Netflix through your set-top box, or you might need an extra device. Some boxes let you record live TV, while others only let you pause and rewind.

Here's a breakdown of each provider's set-top boxes, so you can know exactly what you'll be getting.

Sky set-top boxes

Sky launched its Sky Q box in early 2016. Within that same year, the company officially discontinued its Sky+ HD box, meaning all new subscribers receive the Sky Q and the only decision you’ll have to make is whether you want the 1TB or the 2TB box.

To help you in your decision, we've got a full Sky Q set-top box review of the 2TB version.

Sky Q 1TB

The Sky Q 1TB box has — as its name suggests — 1TB of space for you to store up to 500 hours of standard definition TV. It can record three shows at once while letting you watch a fourth live.

Depending on your Sky TV bundle, you can watch HD programming using the 1TB set-top box. You can navigate the Sky Q 1TB box using a standard, easy-to-use Sky Q remote.

If you also pick up a Sky Q Mini box, which gives you multiscreen capabilities, you’ll be able to watch Sky TV in two rooms at the same time. Or you can use Sky Go to stream live, on-demand or recorded shows on your tablet.

Sky Q 1TB set-top box features:

  • Recording up to 3 shows and watching a fourth live

  • Access apps like Netflix, YouTube, Disney Plus and Spotify

  • Up to 500 hours of SD recordings storage

  • Watch films and TV shows in HD

  • Watch and record live TV

  • Access all your content on one Sky Q Mini box

Sky Q 1TB UHD box

In addition to all the features listed above, the Sky Q 1TB UHD set-top box allows you to watch TV and movies in stunning Ultra-HD. For this, you'll need a 4K TV, the Sky HD and UHD add-ons, AND a good broadband connection. To stream Ultra-HD you'll need a speed of at least 25Mbps.

Sky Q 2TB

image of both the main sky q box and the smaller sky q box

In addition to having double the storage space of the 1TB box, the 2TB version of the Sky Q box has some added features.

With the 2TB box, you can record six shows while watching a seventh live, and you can get an additional Sky Q Mini box that allows you to watch Sky TV in three rooms at the same time.

Sky Go usability is also improved for subscribers with the 2TB box: up to two compatible devices — not just tablets — can stream live, on-demand and recorded shows through the app.

The Sky Q 2TB box comes with a revolutionary Sky Q touch remote, which uses haptic feedback and gestures instead of regular buttons. The remote is Bluetooth-powered, so if you ever lose it, you can find it by pressing a button on the set-top box. Additionally, you can use voice commands to search for content, too.

The last bonus feature on the 2TB box is its ability to handle UHD or 4K quality programming in addition to HD.

Sky Q 2TB set-top box features:

  • Record 6 shows and watch a 7th live

  • Get access to apps like Netflix, YouTube, Disney Plus and Spotify

  • Up to 1000 hours of SD recordings storage

  • Watch films and TV shows in 4K Ultra HD

  • Watch Sky content on two Sky Q Mini boxes simultaneously

Our best Sky TV deals

Want a bigger and better TV package? Check out the latest Sky TV deals on Uswitch.

BT’s set-top boxes for EE TV

All new TV packages are sold under BT's consumer-facing product, EE BT, which gives you access to NOW Entertainment, NOW Cinema, NOW Sports, TNT Sports, Netflix and Eurosport, as well as Discovery+ included with every package.

BT TV and TNT Sports deals

Browse our latest BT TV and TNT Sports deals.

EE TV offers three recordable set-top boxes and two non-recordable set-top boxes, each with its own set of features for you to choose from.

EE TV Box Pro

EE TV box pro

The EE TV Box Pro replaces the BT TV Box Pro from a few years ago. Its main focus is on viewing live TV, compared to other streaming devices like Apple TV or the Amazon Fire Stick.

The EE TV Box Pro merges live and on-demand services seamlessly, allowing you to navigate between traditional broadcast TV channels, catch-up services, and streaming services. You'll be able to watch all the top-end TV content via services like NOW and Discovery+, home of TNT Sports – previously known as BT Sport.

EE TV Box Pro features:

  • Connect wirelessly to your broadband hub

  • Watch your favourite free-to-air content without the need for an aerial

  • Listen in Dolby Atmos

  • Watch in 4K HDR content on TNT Sports Ultimate (subscription required)

  • Record up to 600 hours of TV on the 1TB hard drive, across up to four channels at once when watching in aerial mode and up to two channels at once when watching in internet mode

  • Use the Bluetooth remote from wherever you are in the room

  • Browse content across all apps and the TV guide in one place with universal search

  • Catch-up on TV and schedule recordings ahead of time using our 15 TV guide

  • Record, pause and rewind live TV for up to two hours

  • Record remotely with the EE TV App

  • Watch Free-to-air channels including in HD

  • Watch Entertainment, Cinema, Sports, Kids, HD, and 4K HDR on Extra channels (subscription required)

  • Access to VOD (Video on Demand) across NOW, Netflix, Prime Video and Britbox (subscription required) 

  • Easily upgrade/change your TV package directly from your EE TV Box

EE TV Recordable Box G4

image of a ee tv recordable box g4

In addition to pausing and rewinding live TV, with the BT TV Recordable Box G4 you can record up to 300 hours of TV on its 500GB hard drive. You'll also be able to access all the same subscription and on-demand services from BT TV, Freeview, BBC iPlayer, All 4, BT Player and more.

EE TV Recordable Box G4 features

  • Record, pause and rewind live TV for up to two hours

  • Record up to 300 hours of TV on the 500GB hard drive

  • Record remotely with the EE TV app

  • Watch Free-to-air channels, including HD

  • Watch Sports, Kids, Movies, HD and Extra channels (subscription only)

  • Access to On Demand players (BBC iPlayer, All 4, BT Player and more)

  • Catch up TV with seven-day scroll back

  • Search for a show

  • Easily upgrade/change your TV package directly from your EE TV Box

EE TV 4K Recordable Box G5

The BT TV 4k Recordable Box G5 has all the same features as the G4 but allows you to watch and record TV content in 4K/Ultra-HD. For this, you'll also need an Ultra-HD subscription like the Total Entertainment or Max package.

EE TV Box Z4

image of a bt tv box z4

The BT TV Box Z4 lets you pause and rewind live TV for up to 30 minutes but doesn't let you record TV shows or movies. You can watch Freeview channels, access on-demand players like BBC iPlayer, All 4 and BT Player and watch subscription services from BT TV.

TalkTalk’s set-top box


TalkTalk TV is delivered via the TalkTalk 4K TV Box. A simple and streamlined device that lets you pause and rewind up to 30 minutes of live TV, but you can’t record any programmes on this box.

Browse deals from TalkTalk

See our range of TalkTalk broadband deals on Uswitch.

Virgin’s set-top boxes

Virgin has two different set-top boxes — TiVo’s 500GB box or the Virgin V6 set-top box. While some customers may still have a TiVo, all new customers will get Virgin's V6 set-top box when signing up for any package.

Virgin V6

virgin v6 set top box

The V6 has 1TB or storage space, so you can pause, rewind and record up to 500 hours of TV. It also lets you record up to a record-breaking six shows at once. You can have up to three V6s in your home for multiscreen viewing, which gives you a total of 18 simultaneous recordings.

If you do have multiple V6 boxes, they can also link to one another — or to another TiVo box — wirelessly or through a Powerline adaptor so you can view recordings from other boxes.

The V6 lets you view 4K or UHD programming, and it’s future-proofed to handle upcoming HDR TV, as long as your TV can display it.

Browse our best deals from Virgin Media

Choose from a range of internet speeds depending on what you need.

Although it’s not a touchpad remote like Sky Q’s, the V6’s remote is also Bluetooth-operated and has a location feature that links it to your set-top box, too.

It comes with all the same features as the TiVo, of course, including Series Link+, which works a bit faster on the V6 due to the updated hardware.

Get a better idea of what pay-TV services are available near you with our TV postcode checker, then browse through to find the best TV deal and equipment for you.


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