Big in 2006: Telewest TVDrive
Due: out now
£Free, then from £10 a month
Life, as that great philosopher Tom Hanks once said, is like a box of chocolates – you don’t know what you’re going to get. Unless you always buy Milk Tray.
Anyhow, our slowly constructed point is that it looked like high-definition telly was going to happen first in 2006 and here we are at Christmas with Telewest serving up a few HD shows to a select number of folks in south London.
The TVDrive records two channels at once (like Sky+) and performs live pause on a third (better than Sky+). Live, you can rewind 90 minutes of the channel you’ve been watching; planning ahead, you can browse the eight-day EPG, mark a whole series for recording, and automatically record any films with Keira Knightley in. The 160GB hard drive squeezes in some 80 hours of normal telly and 20 high-def.
In use, the TVDrive delivers pictures with eye-popping clarity. The launch line-up includes a few limited on-demand TV shows, but whatever happens in the future it should be ready – it can dispatch both 720p and 1080i, the two main flavours of high-def.
The other feature we love on Telewest’s new telly box is the inclusion of on-demand movies – set to grow to 600 soon – that start at the touch of a button. Prices range from £2.50 to £3.50 for a 24-hour rental. Telewest also kindly stores the previous week’s popular TV shows, such as Dr Who. And they don’t cost a penny.
Give Telewest a shout to see if the TVDrive is in your area yet – it should be popping up across the UK in the next few months.