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DVD /HD Recorder with Freeview, and Ability to PLay Divx from an external hard drive


Standard Member
Dear All,

Apologies if this is a stupid question but having done research I simply cannot get a straight answer on this question and wondered if there might be someone out there who can help.

I want to buy a machine that has the following features:

  • Plays and can record onto DVDs
  • Freeview Tuner (+EPG and recording)
  • HDMI Output
  • Upscaling
  • Can play DIXV files from a portable harddrive via a usb cable
  • Can transfer files onto the harddrive for watching on my laptop
Finding a straight answer about which machine can do the last two of these is proving very difficult (and not, I don't want to use a USB key, I want to use a harddrive and therefore would need a machine that could nagivate through folder structures etc.)

Again, apologies if I'm posting the wrong place / am an idiot / didn;t search properly etc etc.

Thanks in advance,



the vast majority of dvdr recorders wont allow the last 2 items in your list , thats why you wont find much about them

the rest is pretty standard on most dvd/hdd dvdr recorders


The problem here is that the manufacturers only provide such facilities very grudgingly as it does not suit their interests... so they pay lip service to supporting some of these features, but effectively cripple them so as to make them no use.

So you will find some makers will permit DivX to be played from a USB device but it seems to be a complete lottery whether a HDD will be recognised when connected by USB.. even when it meets all the parameters for the mass storage specification.

Typically those makers will not permit the transfer to the unit's HDD.

Others strategies exist. Some makers will permit you to move DivX to the HDD... but will not allow you to watch them via USB... but have made the transfer speed so slow it would almost as quick to watch it in real time.

Suffice to say, it is not worth looking to this class of machines as a solution to this kind of problem.

There may be more hope in streamers.. but frankly they seem as crippled.


Thanks Ramjet. When you say "the vast majority" are there some that do that you know of?



no I dont know of any

I only said the vast majority because if I had said all of them some bright spark would come up with the one exception just to prove me wrong

never say never , but IMHO you wont get what you seek and so can only get most of what you ask

that is unless some bright spark actually names a make and model that fulfils your every requirement in post 1 :)

but I doubt it as I said earlier


Active Member
Doesn't the Pioneer 560HX fulfil those last two requirements for you? (I don't actually know for certain but was under the impression it did).


Active Member
Yes, the pioneer lx61 may also do this... BUT! I would like to ask...

WHY do you not use a solution like this??? it is dedicated for purpose, looks great below your TV, and YES it has TWO DIGITAL TUNERS!! :):):)


Updated link!
dabs.com - Sony VAIO TP3Z/B C2D T8100 2GB 500G - All round entertainment centre in a unique design (VGXTP3Z/B.CEK)
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...and YES it has TWO DIGITAL TUNERS!!

Not according to the information I have seen.

It is the old standard analogue / digital hybrid tuner = 1 tuner.


Have a look at the Philips 5520/5570 . The only thing it doesn't do is allow you to watch mpg files from the external drive, xvid/divx only..also recordings can only be archived off via recording to a DVD, not xfr to an external Hard disk. The USB port on it is USb2.0 ... Its nearly there but not quite

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