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Smart TV vs PVR


Standard Member
I'm considering upgrading my 32" 720p TV to a 40"+ 1080p and also my PVR to take advantage of Freeview HD. I'm intrigued by Smart TVs. In theory its seems I could not bother with a PVR and take advantage of Smart TVs' built in PVR function (I guess I'm talking Samsung here). Trouble is I haven't seen any positive comments about this feature.

I've been using a PVR since 2005 so would so am well used to the features they provide. If I have to buy a new PVR (I'm keeping an eye on Youview) I might as well not bother with a Smart TV and look for something more basic instead as the latest PVRs appear to provide similar features.

I would appreciate your thoughts....



Well-known Member
TVs can have basic PVR functionality without necessarily being 'smart', so you shouldn't presume that the two go hand-in-hand. 'Smart' tends to refer to the online capabilities such as internet browsing, iPlayer, YouTube etc.

If you're used to using a twin tuner PVR, then it's probably worth pointing out that a TV will only let you record one channel at once, so it's only useful for recording what you're watching or recording while you're out - you can't record one channel and watch another. For this reason alone, a TV with a HDD recording capability is not a suitable substitute for a PVR.

You're right in what you're saying about not needing both a TV and PVR to be 'smart' though as many features will be duplicated, however it is possible that one device will perform better than the other or it could just boil down to convenience. iPlayer on my Panasonic GT30, for example, works well and saves me having to boot up my PS3.

If you're in the market for a decent mid to high-end TV, then you'll probably find they all come with 'smart' features by default.


What is the "PVR" that you have now?:confused:
TVs have a "PVR function" only to the extent that they can record, with those limitations, on an external hard drive or USB stick.
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Standard Member
I have a Toppy which, after a few initial glitches, has been a very reliable and feature rich PVR. Only problem is that it can't receive HD. Sounds like the inbuilt PVR function of TVs would be a step backwards in terms of features.

If the Youview box isn't well received I'll probably go for a Humax Fox T2.


That PVR function isn't meant to be the same sort of thing as the PVR that you have, or as any of the current terrestrial or satellite PVRs - they're not on the same path so no steps are involved.:)
It can be convenient for instant recordings or pause-and-rewind but if you want anything like what you've been used to then you need the real thing, a separate machine and of course one with a HD tuner.
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Standard Member
The recording functionality of a smart tv has left me somewhat disappointed really.

I got my Ue40es5500 a couple of weeks ago and the recording is very basic in comparison to a proper PVR. Controls are clunky, sluggish and awkward with lots of technical limitations (some quite bizzare i.e. Viewing the Guide cancels timeshift).

I'm only really using the record function for timeshifting and hoping that the catchup apps for ITV, 4 and 5 aren't years from release.


Active Member
Sorry to high jack your blog but I have just bought a smart TV LG. As I already had a humax standard PVR I use this to record through the humax while I watch TV on the new set, obviously it doesn't record in HD. Not too satisfactory so I would like to be able to record from the tv direct to a hard drive, it says 40gb min. Will i be able to play those recorded programs from the external hard drive, compared with a usb flash drive the price is very compedative and storage is superior.

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