There can be few more hotly contested areas in tech than the one that surrounds your humble TV.

On the one hand you have consumer tech giants like Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba all trying to persuade us to buy Blu-ray players, PVRs and, of course, new TVs.

On the other you have the PC fraternity, which for years have been desperate to escape the confines of the bedroom/study and invade the living room. It's not been pretty.

From Microsoft's Web TV to Apple TV, PC makers have tried, failed, tried again and then failed again to make any real impact on the mass market. DVD it isn't.

blobbox

CONNECTIONS: Sockets include an Ethernet connection and two USB ports, but no Wi-Fi, strangely

Entering this unpromising arena is TVBlob - a tech startup from Italy that reckons it has the magic formula that will finally persuade people to take PC-TV seriously:

"Our global TV platform approach means that any standard TV in the market can be turned into a communications terminal, able to interact with any other 'terminal' in the world. We aim to build a network of TV communities – be they special interest groups, businesses or towns – that address local needs, while connecting with other communities and individuals across the world."

Exciting stuff.

tvblobl sky+

SIZE: The BlobBox is quite a bit smaller than a Sky+ PVR - but it's also heavier too