Maplin and Liteon PVR rivals go head to head

If you haven't already done so, it's a good time to hop on the digital recorder gravy train and revel in the riches of two new 250GB hard drive and MP

If you haven't already done so, it's a good time to hop on the digital recorder gravy train and revel in the riches of two new 250GB hard drive and MP4-playing DVD recorders.

First up: Liteon's glinting, DivX-playing LVW-5055GDL (bottom). Where Sky+ has video listings on screen, Liteon's number has a Video Plus-style feature called ShowView - a timer programming system to cut out the faff of setting the time and date of your favourite telly programmes.

Maplin's offering, the A12FK (top), has also caught our beady eye. It's MPEG4 compatible so, just like Liteon's DivX setup, you can download a digital tonne of video and watch in on your big living room TV rather than a teeny bedroom monitor.

Both products are good little recorders, letting you either write to the hard drives or dual layer DVD+Rs for maximum storage. And they each have Firewire sockets for capturing your home videos in glorious, digital quality.

So, with so much in common, which is it to be? The A12FK will set you back £300 from Maplin stores across the UK and online from www.maplin.co.uk.

Liteon's LVW-5055GDL wins on price, costing a mere £217. If you're short of cash though, check out Liteon's DVD recording and DivX-playing LVW-5115GHC – it comes in at a bargain basement £100.

Update

The above price for Liteon's LVW-5055GDL is distribution only. The actual retail price is £270. You can pick one up at ebuyer.co.uk.