Recording FTA channels from idTV?

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by super7, Mar 20, 2002.

  1. super7

    super7
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    Hi all

    New(ish) to the forums as a reader, VERY new as a poster, so excuse me if these questions have been covered before...

    Made the mistake of buying a DVD player recently (Sony DVP-NS300), which has made me realise a 21" 4:3 TV is just not good enough any more, so am looking at a new widescreen TV.

    Original thoughts were for a Toshiba 28Z07B with Dolby ProLogic, but I just can't see an easy way of getting the rear surrounds connected without cables everywhere, so am going cold on that one.

    I was also going to buy one of the new Pace £100 boxes out at the end of the month for digital channels, but I'm now thinking of buying an idTV.

    The Sony KV-28DX40 has caught my eye - what do people think of it? I have some questions:

    It only has two SCARTs - is this an issue? Don't have a Playstation, just Video / DVD, so is this enough?

    How do I upgrade to pay channels if needed - the Sony site says it has a PCMCIA slot - how do plug in a smart card?

    Can you record the digital channels on the VCR? How?

    I want to go shopping this weekend, so early replies very much appreciated!
     
  2. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    Easy Scart 1 is RGB - on goes DVD player
    Scart 2 is In/Out So put vcr on it with easylink and you can record

    DX100 and NX100 are differently laid out Scart 3 is vcr, 2 is RGB DVD

    The DX20 and DX30 were 3 Scart
     
  3. super7

    super7
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    Thanks for the response.

    Looked at the set last night in the local retail park. Interestingly, not one of the stores had the set showing a digital channel, and only Currys had a remote control to try with the set.

    It seems to have three RF leads - what are they all for? Could it be that the aerial feed goes direct to the TV, then to the VCR and back. This would allow the VCR to be fed the digital channels from the TV tuner. Any thoughts?

    Also, I could not find the PCMCIA card slot - no front panel, and the side AV-in panel had no slot. Is the slot internally mounted? Can a user upgrade it, or does an engineer need to visit?

    All three stores had the set for aroung £950. Cheapest I've found on the web (an electrical shop in Edgware Road) was £799 - I'll try and see if John Lewis will price match this!
     
  4. PeteM

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    3 RF sockets: These will be

    In: From antenna, should be first device in line.
    Out: RF feed out so you can connect your VCR
    In: End of line, so you can connect your VCR back to the TV and use it via the analogue tuner. Also I suspect that the analogue tuner may get its feed via this socket.

    For the analogue tuner, providing you can get ITV Digital reception, you will not need it. I only use mine to occasionally access teletext, as there is still some more obscure information thats not available yet via Digitial teletext.

    Concerning recording programs from the TVs digital tuner, speaking as the owner of a DX20 I would say this can be very hit and miss due to Sony's poor quality software - perhaps things have improved with the DX40, but beware anyway.

    With my DX20, I can record a program when the TV is on without any problems, however if I try to use the built in timer, things get very hit and miss, and require the use of large guard bands around the program.

    If the program I want to timeshift is on the same day, then I can usually get it to record, any further in the future, or if I want to record programs from more than one channel than its very likely to fail.

    For example, program on SKY 1 at 7 - 8pm, before leaving for work in the morning I'd do the following:
    1. Program VCR to record from 7 - 8 from line in.
    2. Program the TV to output from now + 2 minutes to midnight on channel 26, and switch into standby.
    3. Using AV amp, ensure that I'm getting audio from the TV's digitial tuner.
    4. If step 3 fails, reprogram TV and try again!
    5. Leave safe in the knowledge that the program I want will now be taped.

    As you can see I do not trust the Sony timer (after many bad experiences)!!!

    A concern I have with the DX40 (and I probably would not purchase one due to this), is the lack of the 3rd scart socket. All 3 scarts on my DX20 are in use, and I'd find it very difficult to live with only 2.
     
  5. MartinImber

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    The DX20 was an excellent TV I think you will find that PeteM is happy with his as well.

    I use all 3 Scarts on mine, but here is a quick history on DX IDTVs

    DX20s were released in October or November 1999

    3 Scarts RF in/out, Internal RGB, CAM slot, modem port etc

    1-90 DVB-T, 91-0 PAL

    TVs were without Teletext, CAM support and sound wired backwards, my TV has had 2 upgrades!

    It was replaced by the DX30 with new case and O/S, didn't need so many upgrades

    Replaced again by DX40

    2 Scart RF in/out/in (so you can't daisy chain on - b*gg*r) CAM only works with OnDigital CAM, Might be Component rather than RGB, also don't know if channel selection similar to DX20/DX30 or if you have to swap tuners like DS60/NX100.

    BTW I think Sony may have over 50% of the IDTV market - anyone know for sure?
     
  6. super7

    super7
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    Thanks both for your replies.

    Well, I've decided to go for it, and have ordered from John Lewis. None of the John Lewis stores I tried (Solihull, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes) actually had any stock, as they only keep TVs up to 25" in store stock, but Milton Keynes could get one for me on sunday (the warehouse is also in MK), so I'll grab it then.

    Only having two SCARTs shouldn't be an issue for me (famous last words?!) - Only have VCR and DVD, don't want Sky or Playstation. If (when) I go for surround, I can feed direct from the DVD player. Can't think what else I might need to hook up.

    I'll let you know what I think when I get it.

    Roll on sunday!!
     
  7. PeteM

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    Make sure you get a price match when buying from John Lewis!

    When I made the girlfriend buy an IDTV last year, we got them to pricematch against Hi Spek - we chose Hi Spek, as they are reasonably cheap, offered free deliver, had the set in stock, and are a real shop (i.e. not internet only) - which are things John Lewis check for.

    Oh incidently the HiSpek price + their optional 5 year warrenty in this instance was approximately the same as JL with their free 5b year warrenty, so we weren't too concerned as to whether they said yes or not - in this case they said yes and about £200 were saved!

    As a Sony IDTV owner, would I buy another?? The answer is yes, they have a few software bugs but compared to the competition its really the only viable option!
     
  8. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    You will like it - watching BBC1 in Anamorphic Widescreen is so good

    Don't use Live - use personal - take the Brightness down to 40 - 60% and set contrast a bit higher - these should work
     
  9. super7

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    Managed to pick up the TV yesterday afternoon (once John Lewis tracked it down in the collections area!).

    First impressions are a mixture of good and bad (or good and frustrating).

    The set looks excellent, and has fantastic picture quality on DVD (Sony DVP-NS300) via RGB SCART - Watched A.I. last night in widescreen for the first time - much better than out old Mitsubishi 21" 4:3!

    Sound quality is pretty good. Not sure what 'Virtual Dolby' really adds to the equation, though. I'll probably upgrade to an AV amp in the next few months to get Dolby Digital / DTS (Just need to fine a way to hide the rear surround cables)

    Digital TV picture quality is excellent, but.... I can't get any BBC channels. These are all on multiplex 1 (according to www.dtg.org.uk/retailer/dtt_channels.htm ), but I don't get any of them. I use the Oxford transmitter, which definitely broadcasts this, but no joy as yet.

    Went to our local Currys this morning and they receive it no problem. Spent a frustrating afternoon trying to improve things by adjusting the aerial amp / changing leads etc. but no improvement. Signal strength according to the TV is about 90%, so I presume it must be our aerial to blame. Looking at some new houses in our village, they have much bigger aerials (with yellow plastic around the reflectors for some reason!) so I'll call a local firm tomorrow to get a quote. Any thoughts anyone before I shell out? How much should I be paying? What brands are best?

    Another question for anyone else with a KD-28DX40 (or possibly other Sony idTV) - what software version do you have ? Mine has r0.31, with 'loader' v1.01 (what does the loader do?). How often do Sony send over the air updates?

    As always, grateful for any replies.

    PS How much is the stand for the TV worth? - probably won't ever use it...
     
  10. MartinImber

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    Sounds like you need a new aerial.
     
  11. DaveP

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    I live in Banbury and if I were you I'd be careful of picking any local installers.

    I had the special Digital aerial installed and the bloke didn't even use a signal strength metre, just pointed it in the same direction as the other aerials nearby!

    You may be better off contacting ITV Digital and arranging an aerial upgrade through them, it's a fixed price £40 I believe.

    DaveP
     
  12. super7

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    Tried all the local suppliers this morning, and none of them could come out today. Eventually, tried Action Aerials (www.actionaerials.co.uk) from Yellow Pages and they came this afternoon as promised.

    Got a new 18-element aerial (left the old one in place on the other side of the house for the other TVs / FM through amplifier) and a single cable run direct through the wall to the TV. Very good service, and pricing identical to local quotes. Highly recommended.

    Now, I get more than 99 channels (The TV stopped searching when it reached 99, but was only about 75% through the search!). Actually had to manually tune some of the channels like ITV to get the correct local news, as it was pulling in signals from Reading and other transmitters!

    Perfect picture now, and MUCH happier!

    It does show that all the advice is correct - get the best aerial you can and don't amplify digital, as it gives no improvement.

    Thanks for all the advice - great help and a great site!
     
  13. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    Great another happy IDTV owner.

    Did you watch Holiday on BBC 1?
     
  14. super7

    super7
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    Martin

    Sorry for not replying. Didn't see Holiday - been on holiday my self - what did I miss?
     
  15. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    Lots of bright colours

    One of the best demo programmes for DTTV!
     

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