• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Recording freeview onto video



We have recently changed over to Freeview and have a tv with built-in freeview in the bedroom connected to a video recorder. We can play tapes as these come on automatically, but we cannot record from Freeview. We have contacted the Freeview helpline who confirm that you can record from Freeview, you just need to put your video to line 1 or AV channel and it should be there automatically without the need to retune the video. Our TV is an Hitachi which has an AV channel as well as scart channel. The video plays through the scart channel, but when on whatever setting on the tv we cannot see the picture from the video on any channel (line 1, line 2 or line 3). The connections from the TV to the video are in line with the instructions for the TV, ie TV aerial to the VCR, rf lead between TV and VCR. We have tried different scart leads to ensure there is nothing wrong with the scart. The main TV downstairs that also has built in freeview and is connected to sky as well as the video - we still can't see freeview through the VCR and cannot therefore record, although we can view. We have spent hours trying to get to the bottom of this. A neighbour has an old portable tv, old VCR and set top box and hers works perfectly. Can anyone help?


Distinguished Member
TV's with built in freeview "Sometimes" allow you to output via one of the Scart sockets the Freeview video and audio via one of the Scart sockets (See your manual). The main issue is that you have to have the TV switched on and record what ever you are watching.
I think it is about time you dumped Video and moved with the times to a PVR or HD-DVD recorder both with built in freeview.


Distinguished Member
Just to amplify what Andy says:

Firstly, most, but not all, Freeview TVs output the signal to a SCART and/or HDMI connection. Check the manual to see whether or not it does this. If it has more than one SCART, then it might output to one only or to all. The most usual setup is 2 SCARTS, called AV1 and AV2, with AV2 being used for output. Similarly, identify which of the VCR’s SCARTs is suitable for recording from (this is usually both, if it has 2). Having identified this, connect the SCART, which might mean ignoring the advice in the manual, which probably says connect the VCR to AV1. If you haven’t got the manuals, then you’ll have to try all combinations by trial and error.

To record from the TV, tune it to the correct channel, set the recorder’s source to AV1 (or whatever), and start recording. Note that in general you’ll have to do all this manually, as the VCR’s timer won’t switch on the TV. Some TVs can switch on the VCR, and some will still record whilst in standby, which saves power and annoyance. If you want to record whilst you’re out, you may have to leave the TV switched on and the VCR’s timer set. TBH, it’s all a bit messy.

The vast majority (if not all) digital TVs also have an analogue tuner. You can probably set it to output to the SCART: (a) the digital always; (b) the analogue always; or (c) whatever you happen to be viewing at the time. In my experience the most useful is (a). As Andy says, you can’t watch one channel on the TV and record another off the same tuner, but you CAN watch an analogue channel whilst recording a digital one, or vice versa.

Your neighbour’s setup is quite different. She’s recording from the set top box, and possibly has 2 SCARTs, one to the VCR and one to the TV.

To repeat Andy's point: keep the VCR by all means if you need it, but you really ought to think about a Freeview PVR or DVD recorder. When you've used one of those for a while, you'll wonder how you ever did without it.

The latest video from AVForums

Spielberg, Shyamalan, Aronofsky, Chazelle, Eddie Murphy and Mel Gibson - all the latest movies
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom