Freeview Recording Problem

The Sweeper

Standard Member
My friends have bought a new TV with integrated Freeview. They are still using VHS to record and can record BBC1, ITV and the other regular channels but do not seem to be able to record the Freeview channels. Is this not possible or is there a solution?
 

961

Well-known Member
If they use the tuner in the VHS recorder when recording programmes then that tuner does not have the capability to record the freeview digital channels, only the analogue signals. When digital switchover arrives in the area and the analogue system is switched off the vhs recorder will lose all recording ability except, perhaps, direct from the tv via a scart cable

It is time for them to buy a dvd recorder which will be able to record freeview
 

The Sweeper

Standard Member
Thanks good people for your assistance.

A bit new to all this myself. As They are Senior Citizens perhaps a PVR might be best solution? The TV is a Toshiba Regza.

Any recommendations and are they difficult to install and use?
 

961

Well-known Member
Resist the temptation to buy unbranded or supermarket jobs

Stick to Panasonic, Sony and the like

Don't pay for the latest all singing/dancing job. Look for the offers on last years outgoing model. It'll do fine

A twin tuner recorder with a hard disk will do fine

Initial installation can be detailed to get it right. Get a friend who knows to do it

Once set up, there is usually a crib sheet of basic instructions that they can use until they get used to it

Do it now. It will only get more difficult if you put it off
 

mike7

Distinguished Member
Sony and Panasonic only make (slot in) disk recorders+Hard Drive combinations as far as I know. If your friends don't want the hassel/confusion of putting in disks etc then they would be better off with a straight PVR like a Humax or Sharp or similar. They probably have a DVD player anyway.

Just clicking on programmes in the Guide to initiate a recording, or series, will come as a revelation to them. No more setting clocks,channel numbers etc.

I have a 80+ friend who uses such a unit (actually she has two) daily and loves it. One thing you might like to check is how clear the programme menu is. For some people with less than perfect eyesight there are models which as not so easy to read as others.
 
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961

Well-known Member
Sony and Panasonic only make (slot in) disk recorders+Hard Drive combinations as far as I know. If your friends don't want the hassel/confusion of putting in disks etc then they would be better off with a straight PVR like a Humax or Sharp or similar. They probably have a DVD player anyway.

I must admit I concluded from the description given that there would not be a dvd player

While it would not be necessary to use the slot in disk facility at all, it would enable them to watch dvd movies etc which they probably can't do now

They probably have at least 50 lying round that have arrived with the weekend newspapers:hiya:
 

lbear

Well-known Member
I must admit I concluded from the description given that there would not be a dvd player

While it would not be necessary to use the slot in disk facility at all, it would enable them to watch dvd movies etc which they probably can't do now

They probably have at least 50 lying round that have arrived with the weekend newspapers:hiya:

Now might be the time as Sony are doing their £50 World Cup trade in and Richer Sounds have basic Freeview PVRs plus DVD recorder/players from £140 with the trade in. Any old VHS recorder will do I understand so if you have a spare one lying around or they just "time shift" on their VHS, it looks a good deal.

My experience is that people either use the same old VHS tape until it wears out or jams the machine or they use them once and store them "to view later". As discs work out about 20p a go if you buy a "hatbox" of 25 at your local big supermarket, they will be saving money as well as having less space needed to store. A nice accompanyment is a set of DVD marker pens an a little album so they can keep track of what's on the discs if they do transfer from the hard drive a lot or, say, have relatives abroad they can send the latest "Corrie" or "Eastenders" episodes to.

There is by the way a "cheap and cheerful" solution of buying a Freeview box. or using an old one they may already have, linked into the SCART socket on the VHS recorder.(I use this method to adapt an older non-Freeview DVD recorder) Also have a look at the TV manual as there is sometimes an output from a SCART on new sets you can use to record. It is a hassle because they would have to set the timer on the VHS to record from "AV" and also set the Freeview box or TV to switch to the programme at the right time. The big downside is they would be stuck with VHS "quality" and, using the TV tuner means they could not record and view a different programme at the same time.

A DVD recorder setting of 2 hours per disc is optimum in terms of the time/quality trade off and even the 6 hour settings available on some looks better than VHS to many (you get "digital artifacts" rather than "snow and blurr" as on VHS) Most people will not notice the difference between the hard driive recording, live off air or a DVD disc recorded with a 3 hour setting.
 
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961

Well-known Member
My experience is that people ..use the VHS tape .. once and store them "to view later"....

Been there. Done that. Still got drawers full of the things

Only trouble is, there ain't been a VHS unit in this joint for 3 years!

:confused:
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Thanks good people for your assistance.

A bit new to all this myself. As They are Senior Citizens perhaps a PVR might be best solution? The TV is a Toshiba Regza.

Any recommendations and are they difficult to install and use?

PVR's are unquestionably easier to use than DVDR's, and are more suited to the elderly for that reason.
DVDR's are only required if they wish to archive permanently or have a need to play discs.

Setup with most modern machines is straightforward.

Help can always be obtained here if any problems are encountered.
The type of TV they have is largely irrelevant.

I'll leave it to others to recommend specific machines but will mention that the consumers association best scoring machine for a Freeview PVR is the Humax PVR9300T
 

The Sweeper

Standard Member
Again, thanks for the further feedback. My ignorance comes out a little further:

1 The TV has Freeview built in so do they need a PVR with Freeview as well or do they all come with it incorporated?

2 I thought I'd read that Freeview is going HD? Is it best then to get a PVR with Freeview HD as standard?
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Again, thanks for the further feedback. My ignorance comes out a little further:

1 The TV has Freeview built in so do they need a PVR with Freeview as well or do they all come with it incorporated?

A recorder should have the tuner incorporated so that it can work independently of any TV.
In any case, PVR's are not capable of recording from external sources so would not be capable of recording anything from a TV's tuner.

PVR's come with tuners according to the 'platform ' they support. So they can have Freeview, Freesat , Satellite, or cable tuners.
2 I thought I'd read that Freeview is going HD? Is it best then to get a PVR with Freeview HD as standard?

Freeview is already HD and some models are already available, but I do not recommend that route for someone coming from a VCR domain.

Freeview HD is very young, undeveloped , not available everywhere, there is a hardware shortage, and machines using it have an otherwise unnecessary premium price at the moment.

Also, the models that exist have been severely rushed to market in time for the World Cup and are suffering very significant use problems for all concerned. It is not recommended for novices.
 

nvingo

Distinguished Member
Generally-available PVRs come with one of three types of tuner: cable (via Virgin Media); satellite (eg Sky+ or Freesat); terrestrial (aka Freeview).
Since cable requires a service connection; satellite requires a dish installed, naturally you would choose a terrestrial PVR with its own tuners to record via an aerial.

There is life in the SD standard yet. for the foreseeable future, a few programmes will be (typically simultaneously) broadcast in HD in addition to SD. Consider whether persons with ageing eyesight would benefit from the £100+ premium of an HD recorder.
 

mike7

Distinguished Member
Again, thanks for the further feedback. My ignorance comes out a little further:

1 The TV has Freeview built in so do they need a PVR with Freeview as well or do they all come with it incorporated?

As has been said they operate independantly from their own tuner, or in some cases tuners. This has the advantage that you can can watch one channel on the TV whilst recording something else at the same time on the PVR. To persons of a certain age this is nothing short of a miracle!
 

lbear

Well-known Member
There is life in the SD standard yet. for the foreseeable future, a few programmes will be (typically simultaneously) broadcast in HD in addition to SD. Consider whether persons with ageing eyesight would benefit from the £100+ premium of an HD recorder.

That is the second ageist comment in this thread. First of all the assumption is that they are gaga because they are pensioners (tell that to silver surfers) and secondly they are rapidly going blind. Age related myopia can be simply corrected by getting the proper glasses and the other main cause of sight problems in the elderly, cataracts, are increasing being treated even at advanced ages.

There is actually a very good reason to get an Freeview HD PVR sometime soon and using the temporary fix I suggested in the meantime. With supermarket own brand PVRs now at £200, this will come down to around £150 by Christmas sales times and continue to fall as the demand for HD units to enable all those "HD ready" sets picks up. We will probably see the ordinary Freeview box go the way of VHS by 2012.

The functionality of them is much the same as ordinary Freeview + standard definition ones. The typical pensioner is also far less likely to change TV sets and videol equipment as often as the general population so a move directly to a DVB-T2 tuner enabled PVR would avoid the inevitable obsolescence of the current "Freeview +" models. Quite frankly, I will be very surprised if conversion of the other Muxes (that's transmitters for the benefit of the The Sweeper) does not start in 2013 with completion by 2020.

(Again to fill in information for The Sweeper, Freeview HD uses the new DVB-T2 standard on one frequency. This currently has space for 4 HD channels - ITV1 HD, Channel4 HD and BBC HD. BBC1 HD will start in the Autumn. From 2012 another can be slotted in as the power of the transmitters increase. Already E4 and Five have HD versions on Sky and these are likely candidates for the "fifth slot". To get more HD channels, more frequencies will have to change to DVB-T2 but these can also carry SD channels giving better quality than Freeview currently has)
 
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961

Well-known Member
That is the second ageist comment in this thread. First of all the assumption is that they are gaga because they are pensioners (tell that to silver surfers) and secondly they are rapidly going blind. Age related myopia can be simply corrected by getting the proper glasses and the other main cause of sight problems in the elderly, cataracts, are increasing being treated even at advanced ages.

Forgive me, I don't think it's ageist at all and I can't see any indication in any post (including my own) that all pensioners are gaga

Many folk are resistant to change, which is entirely different, and find the complexity of modern equipment difficult to come to terms with. As a silver surfer rapidly approaching a free tv licence I find new mobile phones impossible yet I can build a computer from the bits I have selected and ordered over the net or sort a sky box/dish if the thing stops working

Equally no one suggested they are rapidly going blind. That's miles away from the fact that eyesight deteriorates with age and, even discounting that, unless you have a very large screen tv and good recording equipment the difference in freeview results has much more to do with the poor bit rates that the BBC and others are presently using
 

The Sweeper

Standard Member
Calm down chaps. don't want an argument. This is my first post on the site and the feedback and assistance has been fantastic, and has been greatly appreciated. My knowledge of these matters has now increased dramatically and I'll leave the decision as to HD PVR or not to my friends (cost may be an influential factor).
Thanks all once again if if I need further assist, I know where to come.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
That is the second ageist comment in this thread.

...and I hope your last pointlessly inflammatory comment in it.

Please stick to presenting the points you think may be relevant to the OP's needs.

The OP can look at the information and arguments presented and determine themselves what is appropriate for their needs and circumstances.
 

mike7

Distinguished Member
I try not to be 'ageist'. First of all I am an old age pensioner ! I have advised people who are somewhat older than myself about technical matters. I have had the advantage of growing up with technology having worked at one time in the electronics industry myself. To a much older agegroup and those less conversant with new technology the changes we all accept are quite confusing and worrying.

I only mentioned the clarity of EPGs because a friend commented on it. One model highlights programme selections with a light grey background which is not easy for some people to see even with glasses. My experience comes from listening to the difficulties that older people have had with new equipment.

Anyone who follows the Forums regularly will know that even younger people have difficulty following the advance of technology. For those who have been quite happily using 4/5 analogue channels for years it is quite a shock to find they are no longer there.

People want staightforward easy to control equipment operated by single button presses if possible. That goes for any age. A lot fiddly buttons on a remote control is not going to make life easy for many older people. Manufacturers do not seem to realise this.

Finally never jump to conclusions.
 
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Gavtech

Administrator
First of all I am an old age pensioner ! I have advised people who are somewhat older than myself about technical matters. I have had the advantage of growing up with technology having worked at one time in the electronics industry myself. To a much older agegroup and those less conversant with new technology the changes we all accept are quite confusing and worrying.

I only mentioned the clarity of EPGs because a friend commented on it. One model highlights programme selections with a light grey background which is not easy for some people to see even with glasses.

People want staightforward easy to control equipment operated by single button presses if possible. That goes for any age. A lot fiddly buttons on a remote control is not going to make life easy for many older people. Manufacturers do not seem to realise this.

Finally never jump to conclusions.

I think you have misunderstood my point Mike if you are addressing your comments to me.. rather than to lbear ???

You have no need to justify the points you made at all nor should you be made to feel the need to.

It was exactly this sort of waste of everyone's time that such needless provocative remarks [ as quoted by me] will tend create , that I was trying to avoid.
 

nvingo

Distinguished Member
The typical pensioner is also far less likely to change TV sets and videol equipment as often as the general population so a move directly to a DVB-T2 tuner enabled PVR would avoid the inevitable obsolescence of the current "Freeview +" models.
I'm not at argument with your post or opinion, whilst I agree the younger generation are used to frequently binning old equipment to make room for the latest incarnation, unfortunately that has bred the manufacture of gadgets with a short design life. Therefore spending an additional £100 on a PVR in case UK suddenly changes to DVB-T2, when that item may not outlive DVB-T broadcasts, could be money wasted.
 

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