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Sony DVD Recorder Digital Tuner?


Standard Member

I have just purcased a Sony 20" tv with built in freeview. I am now looking at purchasing a Sony RDR-GX350 DVD Recorder to go with it but have read that this particular dvd recorder does not have a digital tuner. Will this be a problem if the television has built in Freeview?
Not sure how these things work !
Any info would be much appreciated.


The ideal is to have a digital tuner in both units.

This allows you to record one channel [ using the DVDR's tuner ] and watch another channel simultaneously [ using the TV's tuner ]

A DVDR with only an analogue tuner will quickly be obsolete as the analogue signal is to be switched off before too long.

Although you can use the recorder to record Freeview from the TV, provided it supplies an output, [ they nearly always do but it cannot be guaranteed, ] it is a very unsatisfactory way of recording as the TV has to be ON and it ties you to watching that channel... so you have to be present ... which means timer recordings cannot be usefully done... above a single programme... and the programming of the timers is more complex because you have no internal EPG in the DVDR.

I strongly recommend against an analogue only DVDR for those reasons.


I would also recommend not getting it for the same reasons

no freeview tuner and no HDD either

the sony 770 would be a better buy as it has both types of tuner and also an internal HDD as well


Distinguished Member
I hate to court controversy here, but will people stop saying that a DVD recorder (or a video recorder) without a digital tuner will become obsolete once analogue TV is switched off. No it won't.

All DVD recorders and all VCRs have at least one scart input. I haven't recorded anything to DVD or to video from a built-in tuner (analogue or digital) in over ten years. I have external boxes which provide digital TV (satellite boxes, Freeview boxes, PVRs, Freeview televisions). They all support scart out. I lived in a house for three years that didn't even have a TV aerial. I didn't feel I was missing out on anything because my DVD recorder didn't have a digital tuner in it - as there was no aerial to plug into the damn thing anyway.

An analogue only DVD recorder will only become obsolete if you have no other source of digital television except the DVD recorder. And seeing as STBs cost less than a tenner, Sky are giving their satellite boxes away, Virgin are doing the same with their cable boxes, all new televisions now contain a digital tuner, and Freesat boxes and PVRs are becoming cheaper and more widely available on an almost daily basis, there aren't going to be many households where the only source of digital television is the bloody DVD recorder.

Owning an analogue only DVDR does not make it obsolete. It simply means that you feed it a digital signal from elsewhere - like the majority of DVD recorder owners in this country already do. And if you are feeding it from a PVR or a Sky+ box or a Sky HD box or a Virgin Media box, even better. Cos you can edit out the adverts properly when sending it to your DVD recorder. Which recording directly from the built-in digital tuner will only let you do if you sit there with your hand positioned over the pause button while watching something on commercial television.


you are right in what you are saying here m8 , in principle

I too have been adding freeview boxes , satellite boxes etc to my dvd recorders and vcr recorders over the years , setting the timers to record from the external source and setting that source to the correct channel

I still use the sky program planner , and sky autoview for my sky pace box and set my sony x70 recorders to record from that source , say sky 1 for instance , so no the equipment wont become obsolete , but will require an external source and not everyone has got cable or sky or freesat or some other box to deliver the programmes

the ease of use and hdd in the sony 700 or x70 models makes it ideal for all the above purposes no matter what the source and frees up the tv for alternative viewing , and the tv doesnt have to be switched on and remain on the same channel you are recording which is sometimes required too

so yes it can be done from many tv,s down the scart lead , but isnt ideal and the more boxes you have the more ppl get confused as I know from family and friends

I bought a sony 870b last week from e bay , £105 delivered to my door by the previous owner , and I would rather have that than my sony vx410 combi dvd/vcr recorder that cost me about the same , or the sony 350 which would cost almost as much , especially if you added a freeview box and it still would not have a hdd for recording and editing

so I do agree none of these tv,s and videos and dvd recorders will become obsolete ( but all mine have already ) , as you can easily add a source using scart or even by analogue rf channel like from a sky box from the internal modulator

but I still would not recommend anyone buy a new recorder like the sony 350 , as opposed to say a sony 770 which can be bought for not much more , has more features , easy to use , two tuners and an internal hdd

hope that explains my position on this

but in principle you are 100% correct in what you say , and not everyone uses an aerial tv feed anyway , so then it would not matter what tuner was inside

so my advice is buy a dvd recorder with internal hdd , but if using an aerial like the OP then try to get one with freeview like he did with his new tv , or with dual tuners , so I will always recommend the sony 770 as it ticks all the boxes :)

ps:- its also worth noting this is actually a follow up thread to his previous question we answered here

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Active Member
I hate to court controversy here, but will people stop saying that a DVD recorder (or a video recorder) without a digital tuner will become obsolete once analogue TV is switched off. No it won't.

Of course it won't. But it is preached so often by the sales staff in Electrical retailers that unfortunately people believe it.....


I hate to court controversy here, but will people stop saying that a DVD recorder (or a video recorder) without a digital tuner will become obsolete once analogue TV is switched off. No it won't.

Hi Broadz

OK. I'll take this one on the chin... as it is usually me saying such things... and I don't have any commercial interest of the kind that Hal_Loe alludes to explain why I say it.

So let me explain why I say it.

You and I both know that the alternative methods of use can be adopted with these 'obsolete' machines, but we're tech-savvy.

Many, if not most, of the users, who come here seeking advice are not, and for them they are best steered in the direction where things are as easy as possible for them.

For those who have incomplete understandings of the functions of the various machines they possess, a recording device which can record internally from an extremely easily programmed EPG is a godsend.

Above all other considerations that is the one feature that becomes either impossible, difficult , or unreliable once you start having to involve external machines and external sources.

Your points are completely correct of course...but I consider the above to be so fundamental to the basic functioning that I consider, if a machine cannot do this, when an alternative that WILL do it is available to those who are making purchasing decisions, then it is justifiable to refer to that machine 'obsolete.'

... and ... you know me... I don't hold such a view just to be controversial :)

If we can agree on a more fitting term, I'll happily use it in future.

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