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Beginner's Questions - Freesat/Panasonic Viera.

Julian Brown

Active Member
I live on a small housing estate (37 dwellings) where we have a communal satellite dish set up and serviced by MDTV. For the past 5 years I have been watching the Sky version of Freesat using an old analogue tv, an eBay-sourced digibox and a £20 Sky card. I do not pay a subscription and I have no desire to do so as there's enough free channels to keep me going! I have had NO major problems with this setup. N.B. We cannot receive Freeview in my area.

I am now contemplating going over to the official BBC/ITV Freesat which has HD. My plan is to buy a Panasonic Viera HD-ready tv with a Freesat tuner built-in.

My questions are:

(1) Will the new Freesat work with my existing communal dish?
(2) Is the Panasonic Freesat tv a good choice?
(3) I plan on buying a 37" LCD version. Would I be better off getting a 42" Plasma?
(4) Is there a way to take a connection from the new tv which will be in the sitting room to my 19" HD ready tv in the bedroom and receive the Freesat signal on that as well?

Thank you in advance for your help.
 

Andy98765

Distinguished Member
(1) Will the new Freesat work with my existing communal dish? YES
(2) Is the Panasonic Freesat tv a good choice? Maybe, but you could get a cheaper just as good set and add a freesat HD box.
(3) I plan on buying a 37" LCD version. Would I be better off getting a 42" Plasma? Your call, but bigger is better everytime.
(4) Is there a way to take a connection from the new tv which will be in the sitting room to my 19" HD ready tv in the bedroom and receive the Freesat signal on that as well? If the TV you get allows AV out but that gets more complicated with video senders etc whereas with the SKY box you can use the magic eye.

For more info Join Freesat

P.S. Are you absolutely sure you can not get Freeview? Put your postcode into this http://www.wolfbane.com/cgi-bin/tvd.exe? and all the forum needs to know is (if you get a result) Miles to Transmitter and Aerial recomendations.
 

derek500

Well-known Member
Are you sure you want HD and not have the ability to record it? With HD scheduling all over the place you may find not that not being able to record it very inconvenient if not frustrating.

e.g. BBC3 on Monday showed Being Human, the HD version wasn't shown until midnight!!

What if you go out for the evening, it's a shame you'll only be able to watch your favourite HD programme in SD.

The reason I say this, is because I recently bought a Panasonic 42" 1080p plasma and I could have bought a Humax Freesat HD as well and paid LESS than the non-recording integrated equivalent.
 

Julian Brown

Active Member
Andy/Derek.

Thank you for your help.

I've checked for Freeview and the answer came up: "Nothing within "local" range of postcode".

Do you mean that a Panasonic tv with integral Freesat won't record programmes at all to my existing DVD recorder/player? Or do you mean that it won't record HD but will record standard digital?

Sorry for my ignorance on these matters but I'm not a "techy" person!
 

Julian Brown

Active Member
I have the 42LG3000 LG LCD and the HD picture is stunning. Cant recommend this TV enough.

I've looked at the LG sets in my local Currys superstore and I've been VERY impressed!

My usual practice is to look at the tvs in the flesh in a showroom, decide which one I want then scour the internet for the best deals.

Trouble is I hear conflicting views as to whether to go LCD or plasma, and, as a layman, I'm confused!
 

pdoherty76

Active Member
I've looked at the LG sets in my local Currys superstore and I've been VERY impressed!

My usual practice is to look at the tvs in the flesh in a showroom, decide which one I want then scour the internet for the best deals.

Trouble is I hear conflicting views as to whether to go LCD or plasma, and, as a layman, I'm confused!


Personally I prefer LCD. For viewing in a dark room Plasma are better. You really need to look at them side by side.
 

Geofbob

Well-known Member
I've looked at the LG sets in my local Currys superstore and I've been VERY impressed!

My usual practice is to look at the tvs in the flesh in a showroom, decide which one I want then scour the internet for the best deals.

Trouble is I hear conflicting views as to whether to go LCD or plasma, and, as a layman, I'm confused!

Sorry, Julian, but I can see you might have a problem. You say you have a communal satellite dish. Such communal systems hardly ever permit the dual feed needed for a Humax Foxsat receiver/recorder. In which case, until there is an HD recorder which will take an external source (& there's little on the horizon), you probably won't be able to record in HD anyway. Therefore your original idea of a Freesat TV is probably OK - though personally I would go for a standard HD TV and separate Freesat receiver.
 

Julian Brown

Active Member
Sorry, Julian, but I can see you might have a problem. You say you have a communal satellite dish. Such communal systems hardly ever permit the dual feed needed for a Humax Foxsat receiver/recorder. In which case, until there is an HD recorder which will take an external source (& there's little on the horizon), you probably won't be able to record in HD anyway. Therefore your original idea of a Freesat TV is probably OK - though personally I would go for a standard HD TV and separate Freesat receiver.

But I could still record "normal" tv couldn't I?

As long as I can record something I'm happy just to watch "live" HD!
 

derek500

Well-known Member
you probably won't be able to record in HD anyway. Therefore your original idea of a Freesat TV is probably OK

You can record, pause live TV, watch a recorded programme whilst recording another, with one feed. What you can't do is record two channels simultaneously, or watch one channel and record another. Of course you'll be OK for that if you have Freeview signal.

Do you ever go out, or go on holiday? Go separate. You'll regret it otherwise.
 

logiciel

Moderator
until there is an HD recorder which will take an external source
Looking at it the other way there are several HD/SD digital satellite receivers that record in HD (or SD) to an external hard drive.
 

Geofbob

Well-known Member
Looking at it the other way there are several HD/SD digital satellite receivers that record in HD (or SD) to an external hard drive.

Sorry to display my ignorance, but I'm not quite sure what you mean. I was under the impression that the only High Definition DVR or PVR was the Humax Foxsat PVR.
 

Geofbob

Well-known Member
That's the only 'Freesat' badged PVR. I believe any others won't get the Freesat EPG.

That's beside the point - I was asking what recorder (other than a Humax Foxsat) can be used to record Freesat HD programmes in HD. Clearly the Freesat box through which the programmes are received will get the EPG.
 

usenetz

Active Member
P.S. Which is best - LCD or Plasma?
Oh Julian! What a PS!

This is a much debated topic and one where you will find views supporting both sides of the argument.

Google will point you to many of these debates and some make interesting reading.

LCD TV Buying Guide is not a bad place to start.

I went the plasma route because (a) I watch a lot of fast moving sports and plasma handles this type of picture better than LCD, (b) I enjoy watching dramas and movies with lots of black and plasma handles black levels better, (c) I have a long living room where people could be sitting at quite an angle when friends are visiting, and plasma displays' are better for handling viewing angles, and (d) I looked at both plasma and LCD side by side and preferred the more natural, to my eye anyway, look of the plasma.

So, it really depends on what you watch how and where you watch it, and what your personal preferences are.

So, in summary GET A PLASMA! :D

HTH

john
 

Julian Brown

Active Member
Now I'm getting REALLY confused at what I can and can't have in order to get Freesat HD via my communal satellite dish!

At the weekend I went to a Currys superstore and browsed the tvs. I was drawn to the LG 37LG6000.

If I buy that, bearing in mind that my satellite dish is a communal one, what do I need to:

(a) receive Freesat HD?
(b) record tv programmes either to a hard drive or to dvd?

Why are things so complicated?
 

davieg1

Active Member
can you not buy and install you`re own satellite dish?

I think you can buy a non-SKY satellite dish for all free to air programmes
 

Geofbob

Well-known Member
Now I'm getting REALLY confused at what I can and can't have in order to get Freesat HD via my communal satellite dish!

At the weekend I went to a Currys superstore and browsed the tvs. I was drawn to the LG 37LG6000.

If I buy that, bearing in mind that my satellite dish is a communal one, what do I need to:

(a) receive Freesat HD?
(b) record tv programmes either to a hard drive or to dvd?

Why are things so complicated?


First, my previous comment was that communal dishes usually only have one feed, which would not permit you to have a Humax Foxsat recorder. But you should perhaps check this before making a final decision. But if there is only one feed, and you don't want to erect your own dish, then the answers to your questions are:

(a) An HD Freesat box (ie just a Freesat receiver, not the Humax Foxsat recorder);

(b) Any HDD/DVD recorder.

(I'm not going to attempt to answer your final question!)
 

Julian Brown

Active Member
First, my previous comment was that communal dishes usually only have one feed, which would not permit you to have a Humax Foxsat recorder. But you should perhaps check this before making a final decision. But if there is only one feed, and you don't want to erect your own dish, then the answers to your questions are:

(a) An HD Freesat box (ie just a Freesat receiver, not the Humax Foxsat recorder);

(b) Any HDD/DVD recorder.

(I'm not going to attempt to answer your final question!)

How do I tell if my communal dish installation has one or more feeds? I'm not at home at present but if I remember correctly there's a box on the wall with 2 outlets, one for digital tv from the communal dish and one from a communal aerial.

The installation was put in about 3 years ago by a company called MDTV.

We are not permitted to erect individual dishes hence the communal one!
 

Geofbob

Well-known Member
How do I tell if my communal dish installation has one or more feeds? I'm not at home at present but if I remember correctly there's a box on the wall with 2 outlets, one for digital tv from the communal dish and one from a communal aerial.

The installation was put in about 3 years ago by a company called MDTV.

We are not permitted to erect individual dishes hence the communal one!

It very much sounds as though you have the usual communal set up (like mine, in fact) with only one feed from the dish. But to make sure, you could ask the managing agent or a neighbour. Or perhaps get onto MDTV, who should have a record of the installation - Metro Digital Television : SKY TV Installer & Communal Digital TV systems....

Incidentally, don't forget that with the communal terrestrial aerial you should be able to get Freeview. So if you get a TV with inbuilt Freeview tuner, this will give you even more flexibility in receiving/recording TV. (Or - from another point of view - complicate things even further!!)

You could of course just use the aerial & Freeview, and forget about Freesat - but of course there's no HD on Freeview.
 

Julian Brown

Active Member
It very much sounds as though you have the usual communal set up (like mine, in fact) with only one feed from the dish. But to make sure, you could ask the managing agent or a neighbour. Or perhaps get onto MDTV, who should have a record of the installation - Metro Digital Television : SKY TV Installer & Communal Digital TV systems....

Incidentally, don't forget that with the communal terrestrial aerial you should be able to get Freeview. So if you get a TV with inbuilt Freeview tuner, this will give you even more flexibility in receiving/recording TV. (Or - from another point of view - complicate things even further!!)

You could of course just use the aerial & Freeview, and forget about Freesat - but of course there's no HD on Freeview.

Thanks Geofbob. Extremely useful.

Problem with Freeview is that, at present, we can't get it in my neck of the woods.

Presumably, as our digital switchover is 2010 we MUST have it by then.
 

Geofbob

Well-known Member
Thanks Geofbob. Extremely useful.

Problem with Freeview is that, at present, we can't get it in my neck of the woods.

Presumably, as our digital switchover is 2010 we MUST have it by then.

Re your final comment, I'm afraid the answer is "not necessarily". What you refer to as the "switchover" is, I think, officially the "switch off" (of analogue). The digital signal will then be strengthened, which should improve reception in the vast majority of locations where Freeview is currently weak. However, even so, there will still be a few parts of the UK that will be outside the range of Freeview.

Indeed, one of the reasons the Freesat service has been established is for those locations that will be unable to access Freeview after analogue switch-off.
 

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