Help with DVD/HDD choice (and connections)


Novice Member
Hi there,

I would be extremely grateful if someone can help me in the purchase of a new DVD/HDD recorder. This is what we need in an all in one unit:

Twin freeview tuners
DVD (or Bluray but see below)
Scart output (but see below)

We have a Bang & Olufsen Beovision 3 CRT TV. We don't want to replace this as we have little need or interest in HD contect and basically couldn't really afford to replace it anyway. The Beovision 3 has three scart sockets but nothing else – which is partly where our problem comes in.

We are struggling to find the above specs in a recorder for less that ~£350. One model that does have all of this is the Panasonic BWT700. This would be fine but it's ~£370 and we'd be paying for a blu-ray drive that we wouldn't benefit from. The Samsung D8200M meets our requirements apart from the scart sockets and costs only ~£200. This leads me to one of my questions:

1. I know you can connect component video to scart and maintain RGB quality. However component video doesn't carry audio. As our TV only has three scarts (two of which I believe are RGB) and no seperate stereo audio inputs is there anyway to connect our TV to the D8200M using component video whilst retaining audio? Or would we have to use compositve video into a scart adaptor?

2. The BWT700 supports Veira Connect with the latest firmware update, is it still the case that iPlayer is unavailable for the system? (I've searched everywhere but can't find anything definitive).

3. The BWT700 has a USB socket for adding wireless. Will it work with any USB wireless card or only Panasonics expensive branded one?

Although we only have a standard definition TV it does have excellent picture quality for the resolution (and superb sound). I know that the television obviously can't display HD pictures at either 720 or 1080 but can it display an HD source at SD over a scart connection? e.g could be watch BBC HD or a blu-ray? If so would the picture get downsampled, but otherwise display OK?

Any advice would be gratefully received, and/or any suggestions of other models that fit our needs. I am quite technologically competant but am finding the myriad product names and confusing product websites, well, confusing! :D

Last edited:


Well-known Member
A cable like this can be used to input component video and stereo audio to a scart connection:


This will only work if the input device (your TV in this case) accepts component video over one of its scart connections. Standard A/V equipment doesn’t usually support this, so I’d be surprised if your TV does.

What you may actually need is an active signal converter that will convert the component signals to something that is compatible with your TV’s scart inputs (i.e RGB for best quality). A signal converter won’t exactly be cheap compared to a basic converter cable.

HD content will be downscaled automatically if you use any of the SD outputs on the player, and will play back fine on your TV. The component output is capable of outputting HD, but you’d just need to set the component output on the player to SD resolution.


Welcome to the forum.

I see no need to bother with component at all. [ Not present on the '700 in any case ]

These units will output a better than standard definition output from standard scart [ More accurately referred to as Mid-Definition ] ...when delivering from an HD source.

Despite the capability to display the full resolution there is still a lot of benefit benefit to be had as HD transmissions carry considerably more data and use a more efficient compression system.
There is a great deal more to picture quality than simple definition.

Colour definition and dynamic range is much improved on HD transmissions and the benefit of these can still be enjoyed on SD systems.

A DMR-XW380EB may be more fitting to your needs.
This is a twin HD tuner unit with an integrated DVD recorder deck.
It may be more in your price range.
Details here.

I cannot recommend the Samsung unit.
For one thing the disc section is a player only, not a recorder.

My current understanding is that iplayer is coming to the platform but is still undergoing BBC testing.

I'm afraid I don't know if the '700 works with other wireless units - but I would expect it to. An alternative is to use 'homeplug adaptors'.

Have a look at this sticky thread for some general background information about these machines.


Novice Member
Thanks very much to both of you for your helpful and quick replies.

I suspect we will go with the BWT700 as scart is much more convenient. Also currently it appears to be cheaper than the XW380.
Top Bottom