freeview box can I connect to aerial input of recorder


Standard Member
I have a spare tv with freeview box which gets sound and pics via scart, (only one to tv).
I have connected freeview box to aerial input of dvd recorder, assuming it would work like the tv set up.
I get picture ok but sound is a problem, do I need to connect seperate audio leads to get sound.
If I can solve this problem I will then need to include video recorder and other old equipment via multi cart connectors like Quintro and Holdan, which I have.
Many thanks Brin.


Novice Member
Not quite uderstanding. Does dvd recorder have a digital tuner. Does freeviewbox transmit its picture via its rf (ariel) output (many modern ones do not)


Distinguished Member
What Freeview Box (does it have a modulator in it). What tuner(s) does the DVD recorder have (Analogue only, Digital Only or both).

Wht dont you connect the freeview box by scart to the DVDR and record from that ?


Standard Member
Not quite uderstanding. Does dvd recorder have a digital tuner. Does freeviewbox transmit its picture via its rf (ariel) output (many modern ones do not)
Dear Bow thanks for reply. Dvd recorder only has analogue tuner hence connecting freeview box to recorder direct ( instead of to the tv)ie aerial that would have been plugged into tv is plugged into dvd recorder aerial input.
The result is that I get a picture recorded of the relevant freeview channel but not the sound even though the scart is also connected.


Novice Member
If you are getting picture you should be getting sound. Lead may not be quite in. Try an alternative lead and alternative scart holes if you have more than one.


Novice Member
If your recorder has only an analogue tuner and once your area has undergone DSO the aerial lead should go to your Freeview box and then to your TV if it has a digital tuner. If your sole digital tuner is in your Freeview box, you do not have to do this aerial "daisychain'. Remove all the other aerial leads as analogue-only tuners in either TV and recorder will be redundant. During the setup below, you may want to retain the RF lead between the recorder and TV in case you need to reverse a setting causing problems but after that, remove it.

Assuming you only have SCART connections/outputs on your equipment, you should only need two fully wired SCART leads. Turn everything off, then use one SCART lead to connect the socket on your Freeview box marked 'TV' (not the one marked "Recorder" if there are two) to the input SCART on your DVD recorder. If it is not marked 'Input', it is probably the one marked 'AV1' but you may wish to confirm this with your recorder's manual if these instructions do not work. Use the other SCART lead to link the recorder's 'TV' or AV2 socket to the SCART socket marked 'AV1' on back of the TV if this has more than one. Your single SCART input on your TV may not be identified in this way.

Switch the TV, recorder and Freeview box on in that order. With luck, the autoswitching feature in SCART will mean you will see a Freeview channel or the Freeview box's menu. If not, you should first check that the recorder is properly connected to the TV by setting the TV to AV1 (or the designation used for the single SCART socket) and playing a recorded disc.

Next check the Freeview box is properly connected to the recorder by switching THE RECORDER to AV1 input. On many you can find this quickly by scrolling down the programme list from 1. (Some DVD recorders require a recorded disc to be removed or replaced by a blank one to show the AV input,) The reason for using fhe AV1 input in both cases is that this is often the only one that will accept an RGB (red/green/blue, the primary colours used to make up the picture) signal. This will give you the best quality recordings and playback on your TV. Not all recorders may output RGB from the AV2 SCART to the television but it is preferable to use the best connection for recording even if subsequent links are poorer. Usually the defaults set by the factory are the lower quality composite signals so once you have checked everything works on this default, change the settings on your units.

Your three units should have menu options to change the signals used to RGB. First change your Freeview box. Its TV SCART socket is almost certainly the only output to have this option so look in the box's 'TV setup' menu (The box's output should also be set to 16;9 even if your TV is not widescreen; use the output options on the recorder if you have a 'square' set) The picture may go black but you should still have sound.
Next change the AV1 input setting on the recorder to RGB. You should now see an improved picture.

If you can change the AV2 output from the recorder to RGB or S-Video and your TV is compatible, do so. S-Video will provide a better picture than composite but it is not quite as good as RGB. Not all older TVs can display these higher quality signals so check the TV's menu for the option first. As a last resort you can use the recorder's RF output and the TV analogue tuner to view the recorder's menu even if the SCART connection goes blank. Reverting the recorder's output to "composite" will correct the problem. Other equipment using SCART may not output RGB and you may need to consider this in deciding to go for the best possible picture. Composite over SCART will still be very significantly better than via the RF output your post suggests you have been using.

Some SCART leads do not have the RGB or s-video connections wired up. If you have sound but not a picture once both the two linked units are set to RGB, check the plugs are firmly home. If that does not work, try another lead. If the lead is faulty or the plug not fully home, you may get a picture with a strong colour cast because one of the three colour signals is not connecting. Usually firmly re-seating the plugs corrects most SCART connection problems. A fully wired SCART lead will carry (among others) the signals for left and right stereo sound, composite video and the red, green and blue components of the RGB. An interruption to one or more of these may cause loss of sound (as you have discovered) or picture loss or colour cast.

NB: one caveat about your DVD recorder - putting it into standby or turning it off may mean the SCART pass through is blocked so you have to have the recorder on to watch the Freeview box. Alternatively, use a second Freeview box or wire a second SCART output on the Freeview box (if it has one) to a SCART switch box.

A word about some changes in the picture quality you may notice. Assuming you have a reasonable aerial signal going into the Freeview box, if you use a recording setting of 2 hours or less per disc, you should get virtually DVD quality recordings using RGB to record from the main five channels. With my DVD recorder, the two hour setting was not visibly different to watching off air. Cramming more recording time onto a disc or recording from some of the low video quality channels (like the Ideal World shopping channels or BBC Parliament) will produce less good recordings. You will not get "snow", dropout or fuzziness caused by slight ghosting or double images in the same way as using an imperfect analogue aerial signal or VHS tape so other effects become more apparent. On the longer recording settings, you will now more easily notice "digital artifacts" like "blockiness" or slight patterning in large areas of a single colour. The reason is quite simple, if the broadcaster or you save money by allocating less data (either broadcast "bandwidth" or space on your disc to record to), the final picture is less good than, say, if Channel 4 buy the proper amount of bandwidth or you record at the best setting. Also with digital, fast moving images need a lot more data than static ones (hence BBC Parliament can look quite good) so on the minor channels or long recordings, the blockiness and consequent loss of detail is far more apparent than on the main channels or best quality recordings.

Also remember: When you set up a timed recording, you will have to book the programme you want to record using the Freeview box's EPG then manually set the recorder to record from AV1 and set the start and finish times. If it is a single programme while you are out, you may want to also reserve the programmes either side on the EPG and "pad out" the start and finishing times of the recording by a few minutes. This will avoid you loosing part if it starts early or late. Your analogue tuner in the recorder may have slightly changed the times in response to a signal from the broadcasters and, of course, this will no longer be available.

Longer term you may well save money - and space - by replacing writable DVDs with a hard disc recorder, AKA a Freeview+ box or PVR. These have two tuners so you can watch and record different channels at the same time and many will also adjust the start and finishing times in response to the channel's schedule changes. Setting up a recording will be much simpler as you will only have to select the programme from the EPG without worrying about manually setting your DVD recorder. You could still archive the recordings to DVD to keep permanently or send to relatives using your existing recorder if you wish. I worked out that even at £10 per 100, DVD-Rs cost quite a bit if you do a lot of recording and long term a PVR saved money, can be left to record many hours at top quality and you do not have to find room to store scores of DVDs (Plus in my case be forever trying to find a recording I wanted to watch because I forgot to label the DVD properly!)

Post DSO, if your TV is analogue only; you will not be able to watch an another channel while recording unless you invest in a second Freeview box. In that case, 'daisychain' your aerial RF input from your Freeview box RF out to the aerial input on the new one. Use a second SCART input on your TV or, as you only have one, invest in a switch box which will enable you to have multiple inputs without having to plug and unplug constantly.

If you do use two Freeview boxes note that some do not 'pass through' the aerial signal in standby mode so you may have to swap the aerial leads round so it goes to the box dedicated to the recorder second (or remember to keep both turned on). Also label the switches carefully so you watch the right box during recordings!

Sorry if the instructions to set up the RGB connections look complicated, following them will however ensure you get the best picture and recordings. I have also tried to cover every pitfall you may encounter so do not be put off, you can probably do the set up quickly once you have the leads in place. Do not be tempted to use the RF output on the recorder to feed your television's analogue tuner (or any RF output from the freeview box to record from). This is the very worst quality connection and in future you may get interference from new services.

If you have a flat screen television, it may have an HDMI input, Some DVD recorders and standard definition Freeview boxes have these outputs and they are a lot simpler to use than SCART. A flat screen TV with one is almost certainly at least HD Ready so you could get a Freeview HD box for usual viewing. Although you could connect this to your DVD recorder too using SCART and you may get improved pictures when recording from the HD channels, they will not be HD recordings.

Unfortunately it looks like Tesco have finally sold out of their refurbished STBHDIS2010 boxes they were selling for 20 quid on Ebay. It would have been ideal even for second SD box purposes as it also has RCA outputs which the description of your TV suggests you also have available as an alternative input. Even so, an ordinary box with a SCART output can be used with the correct lead to provide this link if you do not want to get a switch box to use a second Freeview box.

Try to use the best quality signal your units can output or accept/display to connect. In descending order these are;

Digital using HDMI


S-Video using SCART (some TVs may have the actual s-video connection but you are unlikely to find a Freeview box with one and few, if any output this signal)
Composite using SCART or RCA plugs
RF (radio frequency) using a modulator built into the recorder to feed the TV's analogue tuner. Avoid unless absolutely no alternative.

(Freeview boxes with RF outputs are rare, they usually only output via SCART or, less commonly HDMI as well. No Freeview HD boxes output RF and HD is only via HDMI)
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