The tvtv logo is commonly found on the box of many tuner cards from the likes of Pinnacle and Terratec, where it's usually promoted as a premium recording add-on that works with the manufacturer's supplied software.

You don't, however, need to subscribe to tvtv if channel data is all you want, as this can be browsed online for free. But scheduling a recording requires a subscription.

Data is available for Freeview, TopUpTV and the most popular Sky channels (Movies, Sport, Sky One, and MTV included).

Information is presented in a vertical magazine-style fashion, broken down into colour-coded morning, afternoon, evening and night-time zones. You can skip week by week or day by day. Clicking on a channel name gives you a page showing day-by-day data for the selected channel only listed side by side.

Create your own EPG

You can also create and name your own EPG populated with channels of your choice, or you can pick out programme types (such as crime, nature or entertainment) and view a list of relevant shows from all channels showing on the selected day sortable by date, channel and category. You can also search the entire guide by typing keywords into a search box.

As the software is browser-based, recordings can be scheduled via the internet to a PC and the software will also work with PDA or WAP enabled mobile phones. Owners of Archos media players can also download a version that works in conjunction with Archos's TV docking station.

Using it with Pinnacle's TV Center software, picking out a show for recording from the tvtv guide brought up a corresponding entry in TV Center's recording list and recordings reliably started on time.

tvtv lacks some of the in-depth sorting options of Digiguide, but clear presentation and reliable recording functionality make it well worth subscribing to if you're a regular desktop TV recorder.