Goodbye to "record one channel while watching another"?

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by Bert Coules, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    One aspect of the general switch to digital broadcasting which has only just occurred to me is that, even if they invest in the necessary Freeview box, most households will presumably be saying goodbye to the ability to record one channel while watching another, since the tuners in their analogue VCRs will become useless.

    If I'm right, this is a change almost as major as the analogue switch-off itself, though it's been given (as far as I've seen) absolutely zero publicity. But am I right, or am I missing something fundamental?

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  2. GalacticaActual

    GalacticaActual
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    There may be some twin tuner free view boxs that come out, and also remember that sky plus allows you to do this as well.
     
  3. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    Dave,

    Thanks for the reply, and I take your point about Sky+: but what about the thousands of households which have a TV and a VCR and nothing else? And what about the users of those TVs and VCRs who know nothing of all this technical stuff and don't want to learn? Aren't they in for a bit of a shock, when something they've taken for granted for years gets denied to them without so much as a by-your-leave, let alone an apology?

    Bert
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  4. Starburst

    Starburst
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    With a solid timetable for analogue switch off I expect both the public to become more aware and therefore the manufacturers to embrace digital to a far greater degree than they do now.

    I can see a situation were far fewer analogue tuner only TV's are produced and a greater selection of DTT DVR's with twin tuners being offered and even twin tuner STB's to help to feed both a VCR and TV with digital signals.

    It's certainly an issue but not one that can not be solved:)
     
  5. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    Starburst,

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, it can be solved, at a price - or is the government planning on giving everyone the necessary gear when the time comes?

    What struck me was that the VCR-tuner problem has - at the moment at least - received so little publicity. Mind you, so has the fact that some people are going to need new aerials, and the small detail that the Freeview service doesn't cover anything like the whole country.

    I think it's easy for people like us, who frequent these forums and who are not only clued-up about this stuff but have the equipment racks to prove it, to forget that there are an awful lot of people out there to whom it's all a total mystery. Has it been announced yet just what provision the government is going to make for them?

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  6. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    It's a temporary problem which makes some stuff redundant a little before its time. All new stuff sold after (and maybe even during) the switch-over will have digital tuners inside, and with mass production the prices won't be that much different to analogue. Forget about external boxes - they'll soon be gone, and replaced with internal tuners.

    We're not losing much, after all, VHS recorders are no match for digital TV :)
     
  7. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    Nick, thanks for the reply, but I don't think I'm getting my point across here.

    I'm not talking about the people who read these forums and who routinely and almost automatically upgrade their equipment when there's some new development or other; I'm thinking of those - surely the majority - who've had the same TV and possibly the same VCR for donkey's years and who wouldn't dream of changing them if the analogue switch-off wasn't happening.

    Bert
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  8. GrahamC

    GrahamC
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    The estimate is a 40 billion pounds funding stream to the gov for switch off. Those that resist will be ignored, no doubt in my mind at all. :(
     
  9. Starburst

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    Which is one of the reasons why there will be a £300 million awareness campaign to educate the public leading to the first analogue closure in 3 years. Not to forget that the BBC will be spear heading a scheme to help out the most disadvantaged sections of the population both economically and technically but there has to come a time when the average household either embraces digital or stops watching telly altogether (thus saving them the cost of a license unless by that time you need one for the PC and mobile as well!).

    A bit of a cop out by the government who are going to make billions from selling off all this new capacity with only X amount being ear marked for broadcast telly.
     
  10. Starburst

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    Indeed.
    There has to be a cut off point were you finally stop offering incentives and aid for those who hold out just like SKY did when they switched to digital. I believe 100,000 subscribers/hold outs were simply wiped off the books even after digital hardware was being given away free if you signed a new contract.
     
  11. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Really, I can't see what all the fuss is about. TV's can me made to pick up Freeview with the addition of a £30 box, and VHS recorders (which are a dying medium) will lose some functionality. A few DVD recorders made in the last couple of years will be affected to a degree. It's not as if any equipment is going to be totally useless.
     
  12. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    I suppose it's all a matter of perspective, but it seems to me that the ability to record one channel while watching another is a touch more fundamental than simply being "some functionality".

    At the moment, of course, by no means all TVs can be made to receive Freeview. I presume that coverage will be improved, but is it really expected to have reached 100% by the time of the switch-off?

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  13. Starburst

    Starburst
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    The record one and watch another is at the heart thanks to having analogue tuners in both the TV and the recording device.
    We simply need to get DTT tuners into every single TV that is put on the market and hopefully advertising/promotion will encourage DVR's to supplant the VHS. I am surprised that the few remaining VHS brands have not looked to extend their market by offering digital/analogue tuner VCR's.

    Analogue coverage is not 100% and DTT coverage will not be 100% of analogue coverage but it will be very very close and for those areas that have analogue issues there is always Dsat and in the next three years perhaps all 4 main broadcasters will be FTA on Dsat.

    Analogue switch off takes place over 4 years beginning in 2008, this gradual switch over should allow any early niggles to be ironed out and the process to be as smooth as possible for the majority of the population
     
  14. wormvortex

    wormvortex
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    dude, u scared me then thought u were talking about sky+
     
  15. Richard46

    Richard46
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    Bert
    I think you are absolutely correct. I suspect that many people who have been happily using a VCR for years do not even realise that watch one/ record another is only possible because there VCR has a tuner. i.e. it is a second TV without a screen. Indeed I suspect many do not differentiate between a TV and a TV tuner.
    To continue to get the same functionality that most people have become used to after analogue turn off they will need a minimum of a TV with a digital tuner and a DVD or hard drive recorder with at least one digital tuner. Either that or they will need a recording STB with two tuners. I suspect a lot of people will not have acquired this kit by turn off. A lot will probably not even understand why they need it.

    Regards Richard
     
  16. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    From what I can see it has added this - with Freeview PVrs we are laughing
     
  17. Fordy

    Fordy
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    I think the attitude is, how many people will still have a VCR by the time the switch off is all done?
     
  18. Starburst

    Starburst
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    You could be right.
    VCR manufacturing has shrunk over recent years and now I think only 10 companies supply the global market (models rebadged) and Dixons annonuced the end of their sale of the units last year.
    Alas I can still see those happy with the VCR continuing to buy them even the day before their analogue is shutdown without a very effective awarness campaign and manufacturing/retail support.

    Interesting titbit, Dixons first VCR sold for £798.75, kinds puts into perspective the cost of some the latest digital hardware:)
     
  19. MartinImber

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    Anyone with a Sanyo Beta deck - they are indestructable - I have a 20 year old hifi deck sitting next to the PC for capturing tapes.

    (And a 16 Y/O SOny Super deck under the TV - only VCR connected!)
     
  20. Fordy

    Fordy
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    if sky "give away" Sky+, that will be the final nail. Also, by the end of next year I reckon dual freeview PVRs will be as common as muck and as cheap as an average VCR. I'll probably get one even with sky.
     
  21. GrahamC

    GrahamC
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    A lot of people will be affected soon, first region switch off is only 21/2 years away.
     
  22. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    If you're right, then that attitude strikes me as absolutely appalling. Although I don't have actual figures, it seems to me that the vast majority of people are not technophiles and simply do not chop and change and upgrade their AV equipment the way that, for example, the people who read these forums do.

    These people have had their TV for a very long time, and their VCR for almost as long. They have no particularly clear understanding of how they work and they probably don't care. And they are in for a very rude awakening indeed.

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  23. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    Richard, thank you. I was beginning to think I was bashing my head against a brick wall.

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  24. Fordy

    Fordy
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    Dont expect the government to educate people about this, they can barely teach children right from wrong. Expect, Sony or Daewoo to do something (dont ask me why I said them, they just popped into my head), I reckon they'll front a giveaway program using refurbed boxes or something.
     
  25. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    Fordy,

    I hope that's true. Someone earlier mentioned a BBC awareness campaign, too; I hadn't heard about that.

    As to the government barely being able to teach children right from wrong, that's not the government's job; it's the children's parents'.

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  26. GrahamC

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    There is also more than a few people waiting for a free hand out as well. :)
     
  27. Fordy

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    Don't get me started on the parents Bert, :D

    I think it should be a freebee come the time. Not everyone is like us and adopts technology. Its going to be hard enough teaching them to use the stuff, never mind buy it.
     
  28. pakeen

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    Being one of the "wrinklies" who,I assume,you technos are concerned about,perhaps I should point out that we've seen it all before e.g.Intro of ITV,405 to 625,Colour-you name we've seen it! Don't worry-we'll just muddle through as usual! Thanks for your concern,anyway.
    PS What about all those who still can't set a VCR recorder anyway?
    PPS I think "Fordy's" last comment just a bit patronising. Never mind,we're used to it!
     
  29. Fordy

    Fordy
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    No, I was thinking more of my Gran and friend who is 70 and keeps phoning me everytime they cant change the bloody channel cos the thing isnt switched on.
     
  30. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    Pakeen,

    The 405 - 625 line changeover is a good parallel; thanks for mentioning that. I don't think age (or complexion) has much to do with it: some people are AV-savvy at ninety and some can't cope at nineteen - though I agree that growing up with electronics as an everyday fact of life must surely make things easier to grasp for some.

    Bert
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