Freeview with HD or DVDRec with HD


Standard Member
I am going to be buying a new freeview box with twin tuners, and do not know if it is better to have the recording capability in the freeview box, or as part of a combo box, including a DVD recorder, HD, and VCR, which I still need. For the items I want to transfer from the HD to DVD, is it easier from the combo box, or just as easy to do it from the freeview box to a separate DVD recorder?
I am pretty knowledgeable about audio and computers, but am way behind on video, and at 63, I probably pick it up a bit slower, so any help will be appreciated.
As a second question, I have forgotten the procedure for properly adjusting a CRT, ie, contrast, brightness, colour levels, etc. A pointer to a tutorial would be appreciated.


Active Member
Unless you have found something I have missed the only twin Freeview tuners boxes come with a Hard Disk Drive. I dont think there are any that are not HDD recorders. Similarly I know of none with 2 Freeview tuners; and a DVDR with or without HDD.
There may be some very expensive customisable boxes or something in the pipe line. I hope someone can correct me but AFAIK that is the limit on current mainstream one box options.
There are no doubt computer based solutions but they are not something I am familiar with.
I recently got some very good info on specific TV settings by searching the TV forums on here.


Staff member
A dedicated Freeview PVR (that is a twin tuner HDD recorder - such as the Topfield TF5800) can record two different things at the same time while allowing you to either
a) play back a previous recording or
b) watch either of the programmes being recorded or
c) with some limitations watch a third live TV programme.

It's a fairly easy matter to copy material recorded on such a box onto another device - a DVD recorder for example. In the case of the Topfield, you can also transfer recorded material onto a PC via USB which will allow you to archive it and/or edit it.

In contrast, no standalone DVD recorder (with or without a Hard Drive) can record two things at once - regardless of how many set top boxes you have, and none of them have two tuners. Hence your flexibility is more limited.

anna the dub

Active Member
I have both. A Topfield PVR and a Pioneer HDD DVD Recorder. I record off cable onto the Pioneer, and off Freeview onto the PVR. Occasionally, I record from the PVR to the DVD recorder, for archiving purposes. If I were you (and didn't have cable) I would buy the twin tuner PVR and a cheap DVD recorder without a hard disc so as to enable you to burn to a disc anything you wanted to keep permanently. If you do have cable or satellite, I would buy the PVR and a HDD Recorder. I would rather have too many options than be limited in what I can record or burn.


Standard Member
Thanks for the replies. I will probably buy a Topfield, and then a DVD recorder/VCR later. At present I have a Panasonic VCR and a Cambridge Audio DVD player that is region free, and has progressive scan. In trying to keep down the number of boxes, I will probably go for a combo unit, that is region free, records DVD+ and -, and with a VCR, and move the other units to another room.
Thanks again.

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