Advice for TV to handle Freesat, recording, on-demand services, preferably without extra boxes?

daldred

Novice Member
Hi - new to the forums, done a bit of searching around, and ended up posting for advice...

I currently have an (ageing) fairly ordinary TV, an even more aged DVD/VHS player (and quite a few DVDs), a Freesat dish with two cables, a Humax 500GB freesat box, and no rooftop aerial.

I'd like to renew the TV - looking at around 40" - and ideally simplify the boxes and the mess of wires.

Key functionality:
  • watching TV (Freesat),
  • recording for later playback (we tend to get round to watching things ratehr later than iPlayer etc retain them!)
    • I'm happy to attach a USB HDD, ideally in such a way that it's tucked in behind the screen
  • iPlayer and equivalents for ITV, C4 etc,
  • Netflix, Youtube and so on. Britbox probably soon.
  • A browser would be nice but isn't essential
  • extra HDMI inputs to attach a laptop and a chromecast
If possible, I'd take the Freesat box out of the equation. The VHS/DVD player has SCART output, so as that remains something we'd use occasionally a SCART input or a way of achieving that would be useful.

Is there anything which will meet the ideal of having all this (except the DVD/VHS) in one box?

I dropped into Currys earlier, and they told me there was absolutely nothing in the market which would even handle Freesat EPG and recording properly. From looking at the forum, I suspect they lied!
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
I'd suggest LGs 43" UM7 series. The higher tier models come with 4 instead of 3 HDMI ports. I believe the UM7600 is sold at Currys.
LG_TV-LineUp_chart_2019.jpg (JPEG Image, 2478 × 1765 pixels) - Scaled (53%)

Reasoning;
  1. Budget TV with 4 HDMI ports is rare, the 43UM76xx models come with extra ports. The lower tier ones still have 3 if you want to save money.
  2. Freesat integrated. Although you'll only be able to record one program since its not a dual tuner.
  3. All the apps are available. The best smart platform. Even has a web browser.
  4. Legacy composite/component dual connector is available, since you can't get good TVs with SCART connection now (most TVs don't have any legacy connections) you will need to use a Female SCART>Composite adaptor or use a composite cable for your player.
Currys tend too give bad advice, so I would take anything they say with a pinch of salt.

What I will say though is whilst recording is possible, its not going to be as functional as a designated Personal Video Recorder box. The main reason is that smaller TVs, including the LGs I recommend only come with a single tuner, it means you can only record what you are watching, or record one program when the TV is turned off. By comparison designated PVR boxes come with multiple tuners allowing the recording of at least two programmes at the same time, or another program whilst you watch.

The second reason is the TV has to be left outside of its low-power state mode all the time when recording is enabled. That means instead of sitting in standby and consuming very little energy, it will consume more. Usually more than leaving a designated PVR.

The last reason is perhaps the worst, compared to designated PVR boxes TVs software isn't very well optimised. It means crucial recording features such as series link may be missing and the general browsing/epg/recording experience from an ease of use perspective may be harder.

So really my suggestion would be if you do buy a TV with recording in mind to check with the store you buy it from that you can return it if you aren't satisfied...although If I'm being honest if you aren't satisfied with recording on the LG, your other options are likely not going to be any better.
 

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