Do I need a PVR or can a TV do it all?

techpassesmeby

Novice Member
We have a SKY subscription so that we can continue to use the SKY box as a PVR.
We have a satellite dish, decent broadband but no terrestrial aerial. Not against getting an aerial but I'd prefer not to.
We have subscriptions to Prime, Netlix, Now, Disney+ and probably some other stuff and we access that through a Amazon Fire TV stick.

The plan is get a new 4k telly and ditch the sky subscription. I see some TVs offer recording functionality. Does this mean a PVR is not worthwhile?
If I get a TV do they all need an aerial or will I be ok with the combination of internet and sat dish?

Sorry - very new to all this and getting it in the neck to sort something out.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
TV recording functionality is fairly basic. If you use advanced features like recording multiple programs simultaneously then it likely won't cut it.

Every TV has a terrestrial tuner, only some have satellite tuners.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Not all TVs incorporate satellite tuners.
Those that do don't always include the freesat 7-day EPG that (like the $ky 7-day EPG) makes recording reservations simple/user friendly.

To record they require the purchase and use of an external USB hard disk drive; so factor in that cost. The disks/recordings are 'locked' so they can only be played on the TV they were recorded on.

Not all TVs include multiple satellite (or terrestrial for that matter) tuners. Thus when a recording is being made the tuner is often locked and you can't watch any other channel (but you can usually watch an external input, smart app, or a recoding. That can be very limiting; my TV doesn't even allow you to use the terrestrial tuner when the satellite is engaged in recording (and vice versa).

Higher end models often do have multiple tuners, so should be able to do more. However, the user interface for recording may not be as refined as a 'proper' PVR as the recording function seems often to be an afterthought.

I'd advise shortlisting a few TVs with the required tuners, freesat EPG and then auditioning them in person at a co-operative retailer (John Lewis, Richer Sounds etc.,. rather than the 'box shifters') that will allow a hdd to be connected to evaluate the recording / playback features.

There is only one currently made freesat PVR. There's a much wider choice of Freeview devices.
 

Xenomorph

Member
I agree with the comments that TV built-in recording facilities are basic, compared to what you'd get with a stand alone PVR. Plus you need to connect an external HDD.
If you want to record Freeview content, there's a fair choice of boxes. I have a Manhattan T3-R, which is UHD capable, can record multiple programs simultaneously, and has a decent UI. It's also very quick and responsive. Some of the boxes out there are a bit sluggish.
The T3-R has all the features you would expect in a dedicated PVR, and I don't think a TV would be as feature rich. It's worth the money IMO.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
We have a SKY subscription so that we can continue to use the SKY box as a PVR.
We have a satellite dish, decent broadband but no terrestrial aerial. Not against getting an aerial but I'd prefer not to.
We have subscriptions to Prime, Netlix, Now, Disney+ and probably some other stuff and we access that through a Amazon Fire TV stick.

The plan is get a new 4k telly and ditch the sky subscription. I see some TVs offer recording functionality. Does this mean a PVR is not worthwhile?
If I get a TV do they all need an aerial or will I be ok with the combination of internet and sat dish?

Sorry - very new to all this and getting it in the neck to sort something out.
If it a HD box, you can drop it further to just recording features. I do this occasionally to ensure I get the best prices however, I've not reinstated my subscription for their TV channels as I'm just sick of the adverts. So I pay just £10pm for the recording features and yes I know you can get a PVR for less however than the yearly cost, but like many, I feel the front end gooey is unbeatable and worth the payment
 

techpassesmeby

Novice Member
If it a HD box, you can drop it further to just recording features. I do this occasionally to ensure I get the best prices however, I've not reinstated my subscription for their TV channels as I'm just sick of the adverts. So I pay just £10pm for the recording features and yes I know you can get a PVR for less however than the yearly cost, but like many, I feel the front end gooey is unbeatable and worth the payment
We're on the cheapest subscription I think. Actually the UI is one of the niggling things, not knowing which channels we can watch and which we can record.
 

techpassesmeby

Novice Member
I agree with the comments that TV built-in recording facilities are basic, compared to what you'd get with a stand alone PVR. Plus you need to connect an external HDD.
If you want to record Freeview content, there's a fair choice of boxes. I have a Manhattan T3-R, which is UHD capable, can record multiple programs simultaneously, and has a decent UI. It's also very quick and responsive. Some of the boxes out there are a bit sluggish.
The T3-R has all the features you would expect in a dedicated PVR, and I don't think a TV would be as feature rich. It's worth the money IMO.
Is it maybe worth shelling out for a terrestrial aerial then and forgetting about the satellite dish?

I can see plenty of TVs support FreeSat but I guess that means we're going to be restricted on what we can watch if we're recording a satellite program and we can only record a single sat program at once if the PVR has no Sat tuner.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
We're on the cheapest subscription I think. Actually the UI is one of the niggling things, not knowing which channels we can watch and which we can record.
Place the ones you can get into your favourites. That's all I've done :smashin:
 

techpassesmeby

Novice Member
Not all TVs incorporate satellite tuners.
Those that do don't always include the freesat 7-day EPG that (like the $ky 7-day EPG) makes recording reservations simple/user friendly.

To record they require the purchase and use of an external USB hard disk drive; so factor in that cost. The disks/recordings are 'locked' so they can only be played on the TV they were recorded on.

Not all TVs include multiple satellite (or terrestrial for that matter) tuners. Thus when a recording is being made the tuner is often locked and you can't watch any other channel (but you can usually watch an external input, smart app, or a recoding. That can be very limiting; my TV doesn't even allow you to use the terrestrial tuner when the satellite is engaged in recording (and vice versa).

Higher end models often do have multiple tuners, so should be able to do more. However, the user interface for recording may not be as refined as a 'proper' PVR as the recording function seems often to be an afterthought.

I'd advise shortlisting a few TVs with the required tuners, freesat EPG and then auditioning them in person at a co-operative retailer (John Lewis, Richer Sounds etc.,. rather than the 'box shifters') that will allow a hdd to be connected to evaluate the recording / playback features.

There is only one currently made freesat PVR. There's a much wider choice of Freeview devices.
Hmm. Being able to record one or more things independently is a mandatory feature for us.
Wow. Just one freesat PVR - that's a bit limiting.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Hmm. Being able to record one or more things independently is a mandatory feature for us.
Wow. Just one freesat PVR - that's a bit limiting.
Same as only one $ky PVR ;)

Even before freesat took the box-design-maker-selection in house there were only a few makers (Humax, Panasonic for a time, and Manhattan did a STB). Small / niche market.

So you need multiple sat tuners and freesat in a TV. That is probably a fairly narrow market. Possibly just LG and Sony? Search results for “freesat” | John Lewis & Partners
 

dion 6

Well-known Member
Hmm. Being able to record one or more things independently is a mandatory feature for us.
Wow. Just one freesat PVR - that's a bit limiting.
I've got virgin cable and was looking to ditch them as I've got Netflix, Disney + and Amazon prime the conclusion I came to was a set top box with multiple tuners is the way to go recording from the tvs tuner was far to limited. So if I were you I would get a TV aerial installed to give you more options for a new TV and a set top box
 

techpassesmeby

Novice Member
Is it just me that thinks it's a bit strange that at terrestrial aerial is preferable to a sat dish. It feels like something's gone wrong there....or maybe very right depending on our view point.

Nevertheless I'm properly considering installing an aerial - tempted to buy one an try it in the attic and see how that goes
 

pastrybloke19

Active Member
Is it just me that thinks it's a bit strange that at terrestrial aerial is preferable to a sat dish. It feels like something's gone wrong there....or maybe very right depending on our view point.

Nevertheless I'm properly considering installing an aerial - tempted to buy one an try it in the attic and see how that goes
I use my TVs built in free view tuner, recording the occasional programme: it works, does ok(ish) but is far from smart or polished. If you want to get close to the Sky experience, then I would get a separate box.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Is it just me that thinks it's a bit strange that at terrestrial aerial is preferable to a sat dish. It feels like something's gone wrong there....or maybe very right depending on our view point.

Nevertheless I'm properly considering installing an aerial - tempted to buy one an try it in the attic and see how that goes
Yes ;)

The vast majority of TVs in the UK - especially 2nd/3rd sets in kitchens and bedrooms - use terrestrial signals as they are simpler to distribute and all TVs have the tuners built in. Far fewer TVs have satellite inputs.

If considering fitting an aerial (and the associated cabling) then it's worth reading up the stuff on Home Page - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials (Consider buying from them as a donation to the freely given information). NB I have no connection to the company, just appreciate the effort made by the owner, Jason.

NB the transmitter network is based on the use of external, directional aerial 10 metres above the ground. Masthead amplifiers may be required towards the edge of the transmitter service area.

Loft aerials are covered by Justin... State your approximate location if you want advice on aerial selection and likelihood of it working in the loft. We can then use the prediction tools with a fair confidence level. A postcode of church/pub/school /shop or similar within 100m of your home could allow greater accuracy.
 

gibbletts

Active Member
Is it just me that thinks it's a bit strange that at terrestrial aerial is preferable to a sat dish. It feels like something's gone wrong there....or maybe very right depending on our view point.

Nevertheless I'm properly considering installing an aerial - tempted to buy one an try it in the attic and see how that goes
If you look at enigma 2 based sat boxes there are loads of options, requires a bit of set up but it's fairly straightforward I have a Sony tv that has twin sat inputs and freesat epg but since I got rid of sky I have recorded nothing there's literally nothing on the free channels that I watch I get everything from streaming services.
 

techpassesmeby

Novice Member
Yes ;)

The vast majority of TVs in the UK - especially 2nd/3rd sets in kitchens and bedrooms - use terrestrial signals as they are simpler to distribute and all TVs have the tuners built in. Far fewer TVs have satellite inputs.

If considering fitting an aerial (and the associated cabling) then it's worth reading up the stuff on Home Page - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials (Consider buying from them as a donation to the freely given information). NB I have no connection to the company, just appreciate the effort made by the owner, Jason.

NB the transmitter network is based on the use of external, directional aerial 10 metres above the ground. Masthead amplifiers may be required towards the edge of the transmitter service area.

Loft aerials are covered by Justin... State your approximate location if you want advice on aerial selection and likelihood of it working in the loft. We can then use the prediction tools with a fair confidence level. A postcode of church/pub/school /shop or similar within 100m of your home could allow greater accuracy.
Thanks @Rodders53 ....can't see any harm in giving my real postcode since I'm not likely to make any enemies on a TV forum :)
It's HP18 0ZP. Which I think means I need to point an aerial at Oxford on 255.61 degrees. Advice on aerial would be good please. I guess one I can use outside on a pole if inside doesn't work.
I need to check where 255.61 degrees is - I have a horrible feeling that's not through the tiles but through the wall - and the neighbors wall etc.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Oxford is the best prediction for least interference from other transmitters (most reliable reception) in your newly-built bit of Aylesbury. 8 miles, 23 km, and 254-258 degrees from the prediction tools. 270 being due West so a tad south of that West-SouthWest.

Sadly not line of sight so signals are diffracted off a ridge around 1.3-1.4 miles away. 61-58dBuV/m estimated field is fair but you could be pushed to work well inside a loft. Especially if passing through end and party walls. More so if they are cavity walls filled with foil-backed insulation.

I've been in a location where a row of terraced houses had loft aerials pointing through the party and gable end walls and had no usable reception - despite the transmitter being visible and under a km away. A simple grid aerial propped up on the ground gave perfect reception. (Solution for residents was to fix small aerials at gutter level to see the transmitter).

I'll not repeat what Justin has written Loft aerials - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials a Log 36 or Yagi 18K would go externally with a suitable pole and brackets (Poles and masts - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials).

Cable use all-copper WF100, PF100 or similar not slightly cheaper stuff.
 

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