World Cup: Freeview+ Offers Philips HD PVR

The first HD PVR dedicated to Freeview+ service in the United Kingdom is now available from Philips — and just in time for the start of the 2010 World Cup next month from South Africa.

The Philips STB supplied by Pace has a 500 GB hard drive that can capture about 125 hours of HD programming. The company says the product has been developed for "near silent" operation, avoiding the whirring sounds usually associated with recording devices. (The HD box also features a three-hour buffer for time-shifting programs.)

The high-end Philips STB (model HDT8520) was shipped by Pace to U.K. retailers (and online merchants) this week and costs as much as some smaller HD sets—about $430. A simpler model (DTR5520) will go for about $230. Pace is now the world's biggest supplier of set-top boxes, according to recent data released by IMS Research.

Other HD DVRs also are available for Freeview+, including units from Toshiba (HDR5010), and Sharp (TU-T2HR32).