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Virgin Media TiVo cable TV DVR

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If you’re in a Virgin Media cable area, then its TiVo box is a must. It has three tuners, all with buffers, so you can watch one programme while recording two more, flick to a recording, then back to the live TV and rewind it to watch the bit you missed. You can’t do that with Sky+. Press record, and it will include the buffered video in the recording. It will also learn from your viewing habits, as well as taking note when you press the ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ buttons, and suggest programmes for you to record or watch.

Virgin Tivo
Price £199 (1TB) or £50 (500GB) plus installation, activation and subs fee
More Info Virgin Media

Neato XV-15 robot vacuum cleaner

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For those of us who watched Tomorrow’s World in the 1980s, the fact that we still don’t have robots doing household chores for us is a serious disappointment. The launch of the Roomba a few years ago proved something of a false dawn, but Neato has got it just right with the XV-15. Plug its base station into a power socket and then watch as it springs into action at regular intervals. A laser-based Room Positioning System stops it bumping into walls or falling downstairs. And if you leave the door open, it will even vacuum the next room. ®

Neato Robotics XV-15 vacuum cleaner
Price £400
More Info Neato

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