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SKY+ but not (LOL)

  1.8 Civic EX
ok so I'm getting a bit left behind when it comes to all the sky+ and V+ mallarky.

Is there such a thing as just the "box" that you can buy that does basically the same thing as a sky+ box or V+ where all you have to do is plug it in so it doesn't have the monthly subscription etc

Already have some sort of virgin media package but no one is willing to pay the extra subscription for the + service

any help would be good as I know diddly-squat about all this stuff lol
My other halfs sister has a Sony box that can pause and rewind and record live TV if thats the kind of thing you are talking about?!
  1.8 Civic EX
it's more the record thing I'm after rather than pasuing and rewinding. Would want it connected via the virgin box so I can record from any of the channels I have with them whilest watching other channels at the same time..

hopefully that makes sense...

tried freeview boxes before, shite for me cos I live in the bottom of a valley and get dick all reception..

any links to some product that will do this so I can take a look? (I don't even know what to put in google to search lol)
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  clio 182 + cup packs
sony do some add on for your ps3 if you have one, that game guy who,s on radio 1 was talking about it the other week
  330Ci (Fail)Sport
If its just recording, then get a PVR. I've got a pioneer from a couple of years ago and it records onto the harddrive or onto a dvd-r. It has a IR transmitter that you put infront of your Virgin/Sky box and it can change the channel of the box when you record a Virgin/Sky channel. You'll need to set it up and it should work fine. They all come with freeview tuners inbuilt but not 100% sure if they all come with an IR transmitter so check the specs. Sony have made the best for the last few years straight.

TBH we never use this feature, Sky+ is a doddle, far easier, no set up, no problems of missing programmes if the IR transmitter has moved, and can record 2 Sky programmes whereas you'd only be able to record one Sky/Virgin programme and a freeview programme at the same time.