Ofcom/DVD Recorders/Digital Switch Over

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by rogerh, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. rogerh

    rogerh
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    412
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Maidstone
    Ratings:
    +10
    On seeing the latest Ofcom consultation document on the Digital Switch-over timetable, it seems to me that they have completely overlooked the issue of DVD Recorders still being sold fitted with only Analogue Tuners.
    With some Areas having Analogue TV switched off in only about a year, the purchase of a DVD Recorder with an Analogue Tuner means that the machine has a life span of only about a year! (Unless you buy another set top box).
    Ofcom has issued a rule that manufacturers must fit cam slots to integrated Digital TVs so that they van be used as and when, but seems to have overlooked the current fast replacement of the VHS Recorder by the DVD Recorder.
    If the Government is to acheive its' timetable for the switch-over then surely
    Ofcom should assist in this by both ensuring that Manufacturers provide the receiving equipment and that the Consumer (YOU & ME) is not being sold built-in redundancy.
    I have e-mailed my comments to Ofcom, asking them to ensure manufacturers fit Digital Tuners into DVD Recorders.
    May I suggest that if other Forum Members were to do the same then Ofcom might take action to force manufacturers forward on fitting Digital Tuners. They are currently asking for views. :lease:
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,212
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,267
    Do OFCOM have any legal powers to 'force' producers to add Digital Tuners? Surely in a free market economy they can release what they want...

    But I agree it is very annoying that there is currently a lack of DVB equipped DVD recorders although they are hardly obsolete without them - many users here record from Sky or Cable.
     
  3. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    9,748
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Ratings:
    +270
    You have double-posted this on the Sky forum. I have replied to it there.
     
  4. rogerh

    rogerh
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    412
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Maidstone
    Ratings:
    +10
    Ofcom as the Government Regulator can indeed "Pursuade" manufacturers to abide by its' rulings. Hence the enforcment of the provsion of Cam slots in Integrated TVs which Ofcom ruled on etc.
     
  5. fordster

    fordster
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Messages:
    151
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +2
    I think part of the problem is that manufactures don't want to bear the costs of fitting a (at least currently) UK only specific digital tuner to a box that is designed for a European market. As Rasczak has said many people use Sky or Cable anyway so for some people the issue is not a problem. There aren't that many integrated digital TV's around either so a set top box is the most common route and this can be plugged into your TV, Video or DVD recorder so provides the most flexibility. I do agree though that it is disappointing that manufacturers don't add a digital tuner. Perhaps the goverment should provide tax incentives for adding a digital tuner (or a disincentive for not doing)?
     
  6. rogerh

    rogerh
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    412
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Maidstone
    Ratings:
    +10
    Sorry but whats' the point of fitting, a soon to be redundant, tuner into the DVD Recorder?
    We ARE going Digital and that is what the Consumer should be provided with.
    Manufacturers should NOT be given incentives (tax or otherwise) the Government is leading the change over and needs to ensure that the consumer is assisted in being able to continue to watch and record TV as it does with Analogue.
    If someone is going to be happy to connect a set-top box etc, then why should that person have to buy a (soon to be) useless tuner? It would make more sense not to include a tuner at all than to pretend the DVD recorder can record TV of its' own back wouldn't it?
     
  7. eddyad

    eddyad
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Messages:
    940
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +9
    I posted this comment in reply to a question about DVD/HDD with digital tuner.

    "The STB route isn't ideal and I went for DVD/HDD last year really because a VCR urgently needed replacing. Otherwise I'd still be waiting.

    It would be encouraging if the market for analogue-only DVD/HDDs now started to collapse - that goes for TVs too. Perhaps this forum should start discouraging the purchase of analogue-only machines by enquirers..."
     
  8. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,212
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,267
    1. It's cheap - a UK specific DVB would add to the cost (look at the GXD500!)
    2. It's not redundant yet
    3. It allows established technology (such as Teletext titling) to be used

    Do you have a link to this BTW?

    As far as I can see all OFCOM is allowed to 'force' is broadcasters - in this instance by issuing Digital Replacement Licences (DRLs) ordering them to convert by 2012. The only thing I've seen OFCOM/government do to encourage conversion is a new "Switch To Digital" logo with a purple tick in a box. Do you know the extent of their powers?
     
  9. hornydragon

    hornydragon
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    28,293
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Somewhere near the M4 most of the time......
    Ratings:
    +1,215
    What like the fact the told sky that had to offer a CAM for the media guard service.........like that has/will ever happened..........
     
  10. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,212
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,267
    But then the only machine to recommend would be the Sony GXD500! And that is hardly the best DVD recorder in the whole world! For recording Sky or Cable sources then getting bogged down in the presence (or not) of a Freeview tuner is surely unnecessary.
     
  11. GadgetObsessed

    GadgetObsessed
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,748
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Ratings:
    +620
    I totally disagree with the original message of this thread.

    Why should I be forced to pay extra for a DVD with a digital tuner that is useless to me? I already have Sky and where I live (Sevenoaks) I cannot get DVB anyway. I personally would be happy with a DVD recorder with no tuner.

    Using this argument everyone currently wanting a DVD recorder should be forced to buy a Sony 500. I don't see why, in a free country, a manufacturer shouldn't be able to sell a DVD recorder with whatever facilities (or lack of) they wish. People can then decide what they want to buy.

    As I understood it the analogue switch off isn't due to be complete for a least 5 years - so in many areas analogue would be around for far longer than the lifespan of a DVD recorder bought today.

    Surely everything electrical we buy has built in redundancy. Should anyone wanting to buy a current DVD recorder be warned that in a couple of years DH-DVD or BluRay will make current DVDs redundant? Should the sale of TVs without HDMI connections (required for HD TV) be made illegal?
     
  12. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,212
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,267
    Exactly. Inbuilt DVB tuners are going to be nice to have - but the all or nothing statement in the first post is just too extreme.
     
  13. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,512
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Bath, England
    Ratings:
    +621
    We are approaching a transition point.

    Firstly, while I understand the argument from a Sky only user of not wanting to pay for any tuner at all, we have always had, with any recorder (VCR, now DVD) a built in tuner, for the free terrestrial TV, as standard.

    When we get to the point where the analogue is switched off, I would expect most recorders to have a digital tuner built in. Though I don’t think manufacturers should be forced to; if there is a market for a recorder without any tuner, then they should be able to sell them!

    In this transition time, it isn’t so clear. Today, an analogue tuner will work virtually anywhere in the UK (per OFCOM, a total core analogue coverage of 98.5 per cent.) According to OFCOM, digital terrestrial signals reach 73% of all UK households today. If I’m in an area with no Freeview today, and going to have analogue for another 5 years or so, then maybe an analogue tuner is still better?

    The original post talked about some areas being switched off in about a year; actually the first phase is 3 years from now (2008). London not until 2011. And this is just a proposal, if anything the dates could slip out.

    For me, as a Freeview user, I would love a recorder (DVD+HDD) with a built in Freeview tuner. And it is only a matter of time. But I can’t see how the government can mandate this.

    Mark
     
  14. eddyad

    eddyad
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Messages:
    940
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +9
    As the GXD500 has no HDD, there is currently no digital DVD/HDD at all.
    For DVD only people will use their judgement about buying a Sony or constantly askiing other manufacturers when a digital machine will be available.

    Regarding the total omission of a tuner, that would put us in the realms of total component video, rather like component hi-fi.

    This is fine for video enthusiasts, as is component hi-fi for audio. The mass market wants one-box solutions. Perhaps a user plug-in tuner module, which integrates with the main box timer, power, display mode etc. would be a solution, without the hassle of separate boxes, power leads, timer problems, multiple remotes and box clutter.
     
  15. kenfowler3966

    kenfowler3966
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    leeds UK
    Ratings:
    +14
    THe vast majority of the population will not understand the impact of this decision until the extra tv's in bedrooms and kitchens stop working and they can no longer record the soaps on the vcr/dvd recorder. The argument that the switchover will be accepted when a certain high percentage of the homes have digital access ignores the fact that this will generally only be to the one main set and not all the others.

    Personally I think there will be political carnage to the party that presides over the turning off of analogue, and when the first region does this it will become clear to all.

    To take my house, we have a digibox connected to the main tv, buty there are also tvs in the kitchen, two kids bedrooms and my computer has a tv card. there are also 3 video recorders in use and one dvd/hdd recorder. To get the flexibility we have now to allow others to watch what they want from analogue if they doin't like what is being watched on the main tv will require 7 additional freeview boxes at huge cost.

    I also think there are a lot of older people out there who can manage a tv remote but will get thoroughly confused with having to use 2 to get a viewable channel.
     
  16. rogerh

    rogerh
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    412
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Maidstone
    Ratings:
    +10
    I agree about giving the consumer the choice - at the moment the consumer does not have a choice. There is no Hard Disc/Removable Disc DVD recorder available fitted with a Digital Tuner with which you can benefit from Digital Broadcasts.
    Manufacturers will always soak the consumer for as much as they can get - it's the manufacturers aim to make profit.
    It has often been the case where consumer pressure has led to market change and the
    current Digital Switch-over is a case where the consumer needs to ensure (via Government Watchdog if necessary) that the manufacturers are not allowed to exploit
    the change over unfairly.
    As to the switch-off timetable, I have seen various reports that some repeater transmitters in Wales are to be switched to Digital only this year. The idea being that in resonably limited areas of coverage (such as a Welsh valley) it provides for a gentle lead-in.
    The SKY (Satellite) transmissions are an alternative (Digital Only!) delivery method and surely the topic here is about the Consumer being able to properly receive and record Digital Terrestial Transmissions which are in the process of replacing the Analogue Terrestial Transmissions.
    There are gaps in coverage which cannot be filled without the power of Digital Transmissions being increased and although transmitters have recently had some power increases, the possibility of interference to Analogue Transmissions restricts
    achievement of full coverage by transmitters until Analogue switch-off.
    This is another reason why consumers should be able to purchase DVD recorders fitted
    with Digital Tuners so that they are not suddenly left without the recording facikities they are used to.
     
  17. Steve.J.Davies

    Steve.J.Davies
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,995
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings:
    +201
    Exactamundo !
    A huge hole in the market place for a single box solution.
    A well configured HTPC with a decent interface could sell in the bucket loads - but it has to be very 'onable and offable' and not require PC know how to keep it going.
    Would also be cheaper than having all those boxes.
    The hardware is there - just needs the software to be a bit smarter/smoother. Better support in linux for some of the cards out there and Knoppix/Mythtv may just get real popular.

    Of course the traditional box manufacturers would sooner we bought lots of boxes and then had to replace them in a couple of years with a whole load of new stuff. There is no way they will release an 'end point' solution to this yet. Buying this kit will be a minefield for a while - trouble is I am on the cusp and have to refresh my stuff now. I won't go more than mid range for anything though - if that. Have to view the boxes (apart from the TV, I figure DLP for that as disposable so just try to pick the right ones that won't make my cry if I have to replace some of them in a couple of years.
    After HD/digital/SED has settled a bit then can make the TV a second set and get into something more stable (if it ever stabilises or failing that more of a known quantity).
    Buying the latest stuff always attracts a premium - I try to make sure that I get value from it of I do that. Better still I avoid it if I can.
     

Share This Page

Loading...