Recording TV- what are my options?

Discussion in 'Video Streaming Boxes & Services' started by FlyingPete, Jan 11, 2017.

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  1. FlyingPete

    FlyingPete
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    Looking for advice on the best way to record TV with my current setup. Ideally I'd like to be able to keep stuff permanently (films etc) as well as have a 'temporary' storage of things recorded to watch later- such as the NFL highlights which are broadcast at night.

    My current hardware is this:
    • Freeview-capable TV. This has a timer feature which will output a specific channel via the SCART socket. The screen will stay off.
    • Sky HD box. No subscription but the Sky+ function works. Freesat From Sky gives a slightly different set of channels to freeview.
    • A VCR. Bit of a relic but it still works.
    • A PC with a DVB-T tuner card. Also with composite input which is what I bought it for- the current setup allows copying of recordings from either the sky box or VCR.
    • A second TV upstairs. Receives the Sky and VCR modulated RF channels as well as the normal aerial connection.
    The simplest method of recording seems to be to use the Sky+ box, and when I had a subscription this is what I did. But now there are some channels which I can get via freeview but not through sky.

    For temporary storage of e.g overnight recordings, I'm actually quite content to use the VCR. It's a bit last-century but convenient enough. With its modulator I can watch stuff upstairs if the main telly is in use. Back in the day this is how everyone would do it, but it's not particularly space-efficient for longer-term. A couple of tapes is fine though.

    For longer-term storage, I've previously used the PC. I'd use the Sky box's "copy" function to queue up a load of stuff overnight, record it via composite and then edit it down to individual shows. Likewise, I can archive VHS material onto the PC.

    Is there any better means of doing what I want? I know there are freeview PVRs available but that's another box to find a home for which I'd rather avoid.
     
  2. JonMace

    JonMace
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    Short term use the Sky+. Long term use the Freeview tuner on the PC. The reason of using the PC and freeview is that nothing is encoded so you can record it back it up and play on other devices like tablets and phones
     
  3. FlyingPete

    FlyingPete
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    Dug out some blank VHS tapes. Haven't recorded anything with a VCR for at least 10 years, so did a couple of tests, both to check the interaction between the TV timer and the VCR timer, and to see what the quality is like. The recording seems good enough for short term "record and watch later" sort of use, so this might be the way to go. With this method I do need to remember to set the record switch on my Scart box to the right setting though. I'll compare with recording using the PC as a PVR and see which I prefer.

    One of the tapes I found has Glastonbury 2003 recorded on it, and another has a recording of Thunderbolt (1995 film) - Wikipedia on it which I might watch before I tape over it.... any good?
     
  4. logiciel

    logiciel
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    You have no Sky subscription but do have FreeSatFromSky?!
     
  5. FlyingPete

    FlyingPete
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    That's correct. I used to have a Sky TV package, but cancelled that since I wasn't watching enough of the non-free to view channels to justify paying for it.

    When I phoned to cancel, the person I spoke to said that it would actually work out cheaper to pay the few £ a month to retain the Sky+ recording function, since then technically I was be taking phone, internet and TV from sky and thus got a discount on the phone and internet. It worked out at about £2 a month cheaper compared to just having phone and internet.

    There are a few channels that you don't get on freesat from Sky but which are on freeview, hence the need for some other recording device. The VCR seems to work well enough for overnight recordings using the TV's timer function, and would also work well enough if you were to have freesat from Sky without Sky+. The limitation is that you can't watch one programme while recording another.
     
  6. logiciel

    logiciel
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    You're paying a few (10?) pounds a month.
     
  7. FlyingPete

    FlyingPete
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    Technically, yes. Though for some reason, it worked out marginally cheaper than cancelling sky TV outright and keeping just the phone/internet from Sky.
     
  8. logiciel

    logiciel
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    OK - just to be clear what you meant.:)
     

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