Digital Tuner


Ex Member
Not sure if this is the right place for this question, maybe a mod can move it if wrong?

Digital tuner

I had pretty much decided on the TV (Panasonic PX70 or PX700) and then started thinking about digital tuners. I am in Spain so I am limited to what people can recommend but can someone clear something up for me?

Where is the best place to have the digital tuner?

In the TV, in the DVD or in a dedicated TV tuner?

I ask because I can get the Panasonic TV (PV70) without the tuner but would I want to? And I am in the market for a new DVD player and should I be considering ones with built in tuners?



Distinguished Member
The best place for a digital tuner is built in to the TV and DVD/HD recorders. The reason is that there will be no conversions. Example a stand alone Freeview box (Digital) has to convert to analogue, go via SCART to the TV (LCD/Plasma) to be converted back to Digital before displaying. Now if the conversions can be cut out the result should be a much sharper and more accurately displayed picture.


Ex Member
Thanks for that Andy but do you mean in the TV AND the DVD player or one or the other? With the TV being considerably cheaper without the tuner, it makes sense to go for that if the tuner in the DVD player does the job.



Distinguished Member
In both cases both have it built in. If you think about he cost difference this way.
Quality Freeview box = £50
Quality SCART lead = £15 - £30
Total = £80 difference and overall loss of quality.

So where is the saving in buying a TV without Freeview.


Ex Member

You have already said that the best place for the tuner is in the TV & DVD so I will discard the option of a quality Freeview (or TDT here) box.

I can get the Panasonic TH 42 PV 70 for 1249€ (without tuner) or the TH 42 PX 70 for 1399€ (with tuner).

I was reading this site yesterday for reviews of DVD players and read up on the Sony RDR-HXD860 & the Panasonic DMR-EX85EB-S, both of which come with built-in Freeview digital tuners. Freeview is no good to me in Spain so I will have to look for the European equivalent but this was what started me thinking about the tuners. If I only need one tuner, first I wanted to find out where was the best place for it to be and then combine that with the cost savings.

If I can save 150€ by leaving the tuner out of the TV, I’m sure the same may be true for the DVD player? BUT I am more interested in getting the best picture quality so if the DVD player gives better results I will look for DVD players with integrated tuners and go for the PV70 but if the TV gives better results, I will look for DVD players without integrated tuners (which should save me some money) and go for the PX70.

Hope this makes what I was trying to say a bit clearer.
PS I already have some quality Squart cables.


Not really answering your question, but I myself live in Gibraltar and bought the Sony RDR-HXD 860, thinking it would solve all my timer recording problems. Great DVD player and features, but - as you say - it is no good to me in the Freeview sense and am therefore thinking of dishing it and replacing it with the new 2007 models which have an analogue tuner (Contacted Sony Spain and they don't know yet what the European versions will be). I have to hook the recorder to either a set-top box or VCR (or both), and get the channels off these.


Prominent Member
The Panasonics, unlike the Sony, have an integrated tuner in the EX75 and EX85 but word has it that the new models due out shortly will ONLY have digital tuners. So - if you need analogue - it would be wise to purchase now.


Prominent Member

So do you get better picture quality from digital tuners on board the DVD player or the TV?

There is no simple answer.

Technically, as already answered, an internal tuner in the TV should in theory be better as it connects digitally. This makes the assumption that converting digital to analogue and back again degrades the signal a lot. However it doesn't, you can see this by comparing computer TFT monitors that are running at much higher resolutions with a DVI and VGA connections with the VGA picture being as good as the digital and I can't tell the difference on my 2 monitor setup at work.

The second assumption is that the internal tuner will be connected digitally anyway and is just as likely to be connected to the main TV circuit via analogue S-Video, as that's only 2 wires which is easier than routing the digital signal that is 10 or more wires. Same applies to DVD Recorders, for example the Pioneer models only use S-Video internally, including the signal from the tuner, no digital connection.

I've found external Freeview boxes on my TV ranging from the same as the TV's internal Freeview tuner to looking much better.

The biggest advantage with an internal tuner is less clutter and wires and in the case of a DVD Recorder much more reliable to program timer recordings as it will turn the internal tuner to the correct channel.

If you are only interested in time-shift recording a PVR, such as the Humax 9200T with twin tuners really changes the way you watch TV. What's more, unlike a DVD Recorder than decodes then recompresses the Freeview signal, a PVR records the transmitted data completely unchanged, so when you watch it back it is identical to the broadcast.




Well said Phil.


Ex Member
Thank you Phil for your comprehensive answer, although, if you found you got a better picture from an external Freeview box than the internal tuners of the TV and the DVD and Andy98765 suggests the best place for the tuner to be is in the TV and the DVD player, I am now right back where I started. :(

I was hoping there would have been a clear consensus of opinion on this one but never mind, you have brought me on to my next thing.

I download a lot of kid’s films and programs for my two kids and I was thinking that I will need some form of PC to play them straight to the TV. A DVD recorder with HDD and a PVR are halfway towards being a PC and I was trying to decide which would be the better way to go. Yesterday I saw a Sony RDR-HX 1025S DVD that had a USB input and I’m thinking that this might be an easy way to transfer files via USB stick (Again, have yet to check out the spec of this to see what you can do with this USB input)

If I stick with the tuner in the TV that has got that one out of the way, it is just whether it would be best to transfer files from my laptop to a DVD/PVR for displaying on the TV or have a dedicated HTPC or MCE (I haven’t found out what the difference between these two is yet but I’ll have a scout around this site and hopefully find the answer).

This may be going of topic and maybe I should take these questions to a different section of the forum but any help you could give as to which way you think I should go would be appreciated. :thumbsup:



Distinguished Member
to be honest i'm not sure which section of the forums would be more useful to you......if you had thoughts on using a PC for this task then i could move this thread to the Entertainment & Media PC section.....however I dont think our Freeview forum will be of much help.......dont see the TV sections being much good either as they really tend to concentrate more on the panel than the tuner.....

give it another day or two in here if you like (ie are not in a hurry) and if you'd rather I move it, look down the list of forum sections, have a look in those you think might be worth trying to see if anyone else talks about what you are considering and then post back here and i will move your thread to that section, I can retitle it as well at the same time if you want to etc....


Ex Member
To answer my own original question, I've realised I was being a bit dumb as I was thinking I only needed one tuner. By having two I can watch one channel and record another, this completely slipped my mind and I'm sure some of you were thinking it but chose not to point out my stupidity. :D

With regard to the transfer of files, the simple option would seem to be to copy what I want to DVD-R and then play that on an "all-singing-and-dancing" DVD player that can play pretty much anything I throw at it. I would have preferred to have transferred the files to the HDD of the DVD player and just play them from there but this doesn't seem possible with today's DVD players (unless you know better?).

The only way to play the downloaded files straight to the TV is to connect the laptop up to it or to introduce another computer into the Home Cinema set. With the TV screens now being bundled with HDD it won't be long before the entire PC will be built into it and through a wireless internet connection you would be able to download and store files direct to the HDD for instant playback. Anyone know if any of the manufactures in Japan are working on this?

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