dvd recorder to replace sky?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by sadexpunk, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. sadexpunk

    sadexpunk
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    hello

    ive had a look in the FAQ but cant see a thread tailored to what im after

    basically, i think we're getting shafted by sky, so i want a dvd recorder thatll have its own freeview built in. im not really sure whether this is the same as a built in tuner or not.

    is a built in tuner just channels 1,2,3,4 and 5. and freeview a load of other digi channels too?

    and with that in mind, can someone recommend a good quality one? im not sure what things to look for. someone mentioned HDMI or something for good quality pics, but then i was told if i dont have a HD ready telly, then thats pointless.

    i dont, and am perfectly happy with my old CRT telly, but realise im going to have to catch up with all the technology sometime. so.........any recommendations?

    again, not sure if i need a hard disk one or just keep recording onto a disc.

    will there be much difference in price?

    what can i expect to pay for a decent hard disc recorder with freeview?

    and which one should i go for? mebbes in the 2-300 price bracket? or a bit chepaer if the qualitys still there?

    thanks a lot
     
  2. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    In built tuners in DVDR's will be either be analogue, which will pick up the five terrestrial channels - assuming your aerial is up to it, and that Channel 5 is broadcast in your area.... OR digital [ i.e. a Freeview tuner ] which, again assuming you are in a reception area [ suggest you check on that if you are not sure ] , will allow you to receive a total of about 30 TV channels [ including the main 5 ] and about 40 radio channels

    See channel list here:

    http://www.dtg.org.uk/retailer/dtt_channels.html

    There are also some DVDR's which have dual analogue / digital tuners, although these are about to become rare as the current models are phased out.


    You don't really need HDMI - but the model I would recommend has it anyway.

    I very strongly recommend having a hard disk included rather than simply a DVD recorder. It adds considerably to the convenience and flexibility of the machine.

    Check out the Panasonic EX75 which can be had for around the £270 mark.

    It is a popular and well liked machine.
     
  3. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
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    you can pick up Panasonic EX75's for around £260ish at the moment, 160Gb HDD and handles pretty much all discs if i remember correctly....

    also for SD quality pictures (ie anything broadcast bar the specialist HD channels on Sky/Cable) then a CRT is just fine.......if you want a bigger picture then obviously you have to go to LCD/Plasma, but if you only need up to 32inches, stick with CRT, pictures much better in my opinion....

    another option is Sony's 860 machine, that can be had for £300 i think and is pretty much the equal of the Panasonic, i believe both have a few minor niggles but nothing serious, usually just a case of having to press an extra button sometimes for something...

    edit: just to add, if you've been used to the pampering of Sky+ then definitely go for a HDD machine, its not the same but gets closer....otherwise if you Sky+ in freeview form then you need a PVR and a DVD-Recorder........Sky are not shafting you, you simply dont use what they give you for the money often enough......i have a full whack package barring HD with one multiroom, between me and my folks we get more than good value out of it......if you dont use it though, it is silly to keep paying, but they are not shafting you.....
     
  4. alnwrd

    alnwrd
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    I wonder if you actually need a dvd recorder at all. You could go for a pvr with twin freeview tuners which can record two channels at once whilst allowing you to watch something pre-recorded all at the same time. Since getting my Humax 9200T I do not watch live television apart from sport, and I fast forward through all the adverts and programme trailers. Picture and sound are broadcast quality.
     
  5. Richard46

    Richard46
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    If you are actually looking for a Freeview equivalent of Sky+ then I would agree with all the above post. You need a twin tuner Hard disk recorder (PVR). See the PVR Forum. Humax and Topfield are the top boxes.

    Richard
     
  6. sadexpunk

    sadexpunk
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    erm....just showing my ignorance here.....you may well be right in that i need a pvr then............but whats a pvr????????

    is it different to dvd recorder, and what criteria would you be wanting for either?

    and if it is indeed what im after, then any recommendations?

    FWIW, id be using it for recording stuff when we go to bed, or go out. and also recording the other side when theres 2 progs we want to watch. ive no real need to put anything onto dvd, but in that case why do people buy dvd recorders that are basically hard drives? whats the difference between a HDD recorder, and a pvr?

    hmmm........confused. help!!!!!!!!!!
     
  7. sadexpunk

    sadexpunk
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    oh and a bit more info. i believe to watch something and record something different you need 2 tuners?

    well as ill be cancelling sky subs, will my dish act as a freeview box now? so a pvr or dvd recorder would act as my second tuner?

    ta
     
  8. sadexpunk

    sadexpunk
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    think i might be being a bit thick actually. i obviously want to PLAY dvds from blockbuster etc etc, so i take it i would actually need a dvd recorder anyway? or do pvr's play dvd's?

    thanks
     
  9. Richard46

    Richard46
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    Ok if you dont want to record DVDs then you do not need a DVD recorder which are quite expensive. All you need is a standalone DVD player. You can get them for about £30.
    If (like me) you just use a recorder to record while you are out and watch something once in the next week or month and delete it then you need a Freeview PVR. These are Hard Drive recorders with 2 tuners.
    With the better ones like the Humax and the Topfield we have already mentioned you can record one Freeview Channel while watching another. You can record two at the same time while watching another recording. In fact you can do more than that but I will not complicate things at this point.
    They work in a similar way to Sky+ except with the Freeview channel line up.
    Like Sky+ Freeview PVRs do not have DVDs that is why you will need a separate player for your rental DVDs.
    Hope that helps
    Richard

    See this forum http://www.avforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=47
     
  10. Richard46

    Richard46
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    By the way you will of course need an aerial to receive Freeview (not a dish) and you will need to check you are in an area that can get a Freeview signal.
    Richard
     
  11. sadexpunk

    sadexpunk
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    thanks for that. understand it a bit better now. already got a cheapo dvd player, but its a bit hit and miss sometimes, and stop/starts a lot. so i thought a dvd recorder would 'tidy things up a bit'.

    do you get more channels on a freeview tuner than a 'non-subscription sky dish'? can the sky dish be used as a tuner in this set-up?

    ive never had sky+, so dont really understand everything that a pvr would do, but in general, would you say theyre more versatile than a dvd recorder?

    and how do they compare in price for the same sort of versatility?

    thanks
     
  12. sadexpunk

    sadexpunk
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    right, just been surfing a little and starting to fine-tune what i want a bit more :)

    pvr will record 2 seperate stations. fine, but i cant ever see me needing to do that, only ever record 1 station while watching another. so i would have thought a dvd recorder adequate there. but with only 1 tuner, can i even watch a different freeview channel whilst recording, or would i just have to gamble on recording freeview and watching an analogue 1,2,3,4 or 5 from the telly?

    dvd recorder with HDD. if you record to hard disc, then what exactly is the dvd recorder bit for? editing, or saving 'fawlty towers' to dvd for example?

    the pvr's that have been recommended here look to be around £250ish yes? so basically the same as the ex75 then. so the only reason i would choose pvr is for the 2 tuners am i right?

    thanks for sticking with me here, but believe me its helping, and i WILL get there eventually :)
     
  13. Richard46

    Richard46
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    If you need a better DVD player I would suggest you get just that a better player. A DVD recorder will not be a better player. In fact for less than the price of even a cheap DVD recorder you should be able to get a very good DVD player indeed (see the DVD player forum for advice).

    Check the Freeview site for what you can get on Freeview. Sky non sub is not something I know much about but no doubt someone else will provide info.

    Your old sky box can be used to get the free satellite channels I believe.

    Sorry as you started by asking about a recorder to replace Sky I was assuming you where trying to replace Skys recorder - the Sky+ box
    PVRs are much better for recording; watching once and deleting than DVDRs. They can record two things at once etc. They are however no good for storing recordings from TV permanently; you will just eventually clog up the HDD. But then you appear not to want to make permanent recordings.

    You can of course get recorders as Gavtech mentioned above that have DVD recorders and hard drives and a Freeview tuner. These can be quite expensive; often more expensive than the top of the range PVRs. You will be paying extra for the DVD Recorder which you do not need. Also none of them have 2 freeview tuners so you will need another digital tuner somewhere to record one while you watch something else. That tuner could be your existing Sky box on non-sub channels of course. The choice is yours :)

    Hope that helps
    Richard
     
  14. Richard46

    Richard46
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    Yes :D Many people want to do that.

    Dont know where you are looking but the top 2 PVRs are the
    Humax 9200T about £170 for 160GB.
    Topfield 5800 you can get the 160Gb version of that for £210 (Empire Direct)

    160Gb gives you about 80 hours recording time BTW.
    About £250 will get you a 250GB Topfield which is the most expensive one out there as far as I know.

    Richard
     
  15. sadexpunk

    sadexpunk
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    thanks a lot for that little lot

    think i need to have a good sit down and work out exactly what my priorities are then. pvr + good dvd player mebbes looks favourite tho now, so thanks for the advice. yes, its nice to think i could just plop fawlty towers etc onto a disc straight from uk gold or something, but i bet if i had that capability id never use it :)

    cheers
     
  16. Richard46

    Richard46
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    I suspect you would not be the only one there :D
     
  17. sadexpunk

    sadexpunk
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    just to confuse things a teeny bit, if i DID decide to go pvr, then i see those 2 are the highly recommended ones.

    just to save me trawling through the posts on the other forum (which ill probably do anyway :), is there any differences between the 2 in a nutshell?

    the humax seems a bit cheaper, but is there a reason for that?

    or would both do exactly the same thing and i wouldnt notice any difference?

    oh, and i take it i just ask for a digital aerial from currys or something for freeview? and stick it on the roof? or can digi aerials be put anywhere in the house?

    thanks again (and sorry for going off at a tangent :)
     
  18. Richard46

    Richard46
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    Morning:
    Probably better to ask these questions on the respective forums.

    http://www.dtg.org.uk/retailer/coverage.html

    You can check your reception with that post code checker but probably more useful to find out if and how your neighbours get Freeview. You will probably need a roof aerial for solid reception.
    The Topfield is the more flexible box because it can be tweaked with extra software but the Humax is recommended by most of its users. I think Dixons are doing a good offer on the Humax at the moment.
    Richard
     
  19. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    A new Which report just came out this morning, rating the Humax and Topfield as best buys... but surprisingly both were beaten by the Logic LPV 2250 [ which I had never heard of] and which is also known as the TVonics DVR-250

    It's a vertical black machine. 125 hours recording.[ More than any other available ] Twin tuners and an 8 day EPG.

    I note it is not Edit capable... which the Humax and Topfield are.

    Available from Currys. £180
     
  20. Richard46

    Richard46
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    It also shares with the cheapest machines the inability to use both tuners for simulataneous recording. It is just watch one and record another. I believe TVonics have also stated this model will never be updated to make use of Freeview Playback features. (series links etc).
    Its price is usually about the same as the Humax (may currently be more) so looking a tad expensive*. It is I think UK built.

    Richard

    *Edit I was a bit unfair there the TVonics 160GB is £150 at tescos so a bit cheaper than a 160 Gb Humax.
     
  21. sadexpunk

    sadexpunk
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    thanks for that. nearly bought the humax today. went into town to get it as richard advised about the deal there. got into town to find the dixons shop taken over by currys and no dixons any more :-(

    so will order it online now :)

    went on the link you gave for coverage and it seems we're fine, so need to source an aerial from somewhere. i spose theyre all much of a muchness are they? just get a bog standard one from currys/comet?

    thanks
     
  22. Richard46

    Richard46
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    That checker is based on you having a properly installed rooftop aerial. You may or may not get a signal at all with an indoor aerial or even with a wrongly installed roof top aerial.

    Richard
     
  23. Ahod

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    Er, Currys Digital IS Dixons. Dixons took over Currys about 20 years ago. They've just rebranded all the High Street Dixons shops, that's all. They've kept the Dixons brand for online for some reason.
     
  24. sadexpunk

    sadexpunk
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    yeah? oh right :-/

    still doesnt alter the fact he wouldnt price match with the dixons humax pvr online :-(
     
  25. gilburton

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    If your area is not very good for freeview try Virgins new freeview down your phone line?
     

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