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Sony RDR-HX900 won't record from digital TV channels using timer

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Mughie, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. Mughie

    Mughie
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    :lease: :rolleyes: I'm a raw newbie to this forum and seriously struggling with my 6 month-ish old home entertainment system. I do soooo....hope some kind soul may be able to help me with this - it's driving me mad!
    I have a Sony KDL-L32MRX1 TV which receives all the digital channels via a Sony Media Box MDB-MRX1. However the TV does not enable any of the interactive stuff we are supposed to be able to do these days using the Red button, and more importantly, I am unable to perform timed recording from any of the digital channels onto my HDD DVD recorder (Sony RDR-HX900) - for some reason the DVD only recognises the analogue channels.
    I contacted Sony - Europe by email and got a response which instructed me how to perform instant direct recording, with the desired channel playing on the TV and that worked, but my main reason for having a recorder is to record when I'm not there.
    The TV has the EPG facility, but if I try to use that it only offers the options of recording to a Memory card, or a VCR. My VCR (yes...Sony..!!) isn't even connected at the moment as I'm trying to simplify things. Who wants to record a whole movie etc to a Memory Card? And I was under the impression that VCR's were old hat (but I still want one for all my old VHS recordings/tapes) and DVD was the way to go, so does anyone know why I am not offered the DVD as an option for recording using EPG to?
    I find the manuals unbelievably complicated and simply get lost when they keep telling me to refer back to previous sections - I just lose the plot.
    All the components I have mentioned above are SmartLink enabled but that does not seem to be worth anything at the moment.
    I can live without the interactive ability (though why should I - I'm supposed to be able to use that?) but the DVD recording limitations as they are at present is driving me nuts!
    I'd be eternally grateful if there is any member here who can fathom out what lies at the bottom of this problem and tell me how to fix it - if it's fixable!
    Maybe some part of my set-up is dud - I don't even know how I would find that out?
    Sorry this was so long - ans sorry if it should have been posted elsewhere - I'm new, see!

    Mughie :blush:
     
  2. eddyad

    eddyad
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    I don't think the 900 has a digital tuner - only analogue, so it has to get a digital feed from an external source (Freeview tuner / Set Top Box).

    Your Media Box may have the same capability as a standard STB like the Sony VTX-D800U, but I doubt it as it is primarily part of the TV.

    With an STB you connect its recorder-out to the AV input scart of the 900, set the timer of the STB, and set the 900 to Auto-Start (assuming it has it - I don't know the details). Then when the timer event starts on the STB it will turn on the 900, and off at the end.
    If the 900 has no Auto-start you set the its timer too, specifying the AV input (usually L1) as the input rather than the Freeview channel number. The channel number is set on the STB's timer.

    When the TV says record to VCR it means any external recorder. There are limitations to this - you will not be able to record one channel while watcging another. Without a multi event timer you will only be able to record from the channel the TV is set to, the TV may have to be left in stand-by while the recording takes place.

    To record like you did with a VCR you really need a DVD/HDD machine with a digital tuner - not many around yet. Otherwise you are stuck with the 2 box set up.

    The most 'elegant' 2 box solution so far seems to be the Pioneer 530/630 DVD/HDD machines (still no digital tuner) where they receive the EPG to set the timer and use it to control an external (compatible) STB with an infra-red link device.

    Freeview is not interactive like Sky. Sometimes the Red Button will put you into Freeview teletext equivalent or multi-screen channels like BBCi (try 701). There is no interaction like the Sky system because there is no path FROM you TO the broadcaster. Sometimes there is limited interaction using the 7xx channels and the number keys of the remote, but this is done by preloading the STB with a basic selection system. ITV's Millionaire used to do this (may still do - try pressing Red).
     
  3. Mughie

    Mughie
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    :oops: Thank you very much, eddyad, for your patient explanation. It would appear that I have wasted my hard-earned money on something that does not do the job I assumed it would (well...you know what they say about 'assume' - it makes an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'
    We are so far down the line in even buying a digital TV that I never imagined the recording technology for digital was not also in place. Part of me feels like I've been de-frauded, but then I do have to take the responsibility for not doing thorough enough research. I'm disappointed in Sony, though - I thought they could have done better!
    Your explanation of the interactive ability has made sense too - as we do only have Freeview (which comes in the Media Box supplied with the TV) and where I have seen it in action, the people have Sky. Again, I assumed wrong!
    In future I will be watching this forum with great interest and won't buy a thing until I've read plenty about it here.
    My grateful thanks to you....

    Mughie
     
  4. eddyad

    eddyad
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    I don't think you have wasted your money. You have a good TV with a digital tuner, you also have a separate recording facility, much as you had with an analogue TV and a VCR. After all, analogue TVs never had any sort of recording facility. The VCRs were entirely self contained.

    You are thus 'ahead of the game' in preparing for the analogue TV switch off which starts in two or three years. You don't say where you live and you could be in an area due for early switch off (Borders). There is also no reason why your TV shouldn't last well into the changeover period. I had a Sony TV for 18 years and only replaced it when the picture was beyond tweaking to be acceptable.

    Like your previous (analogue) TV, your recording facility is now analogue-only without a messy and limiting hook up to use the TV's tuner. For around £40 you can easily upgrade to digital recording with a Freeview STB just for use with the 900 recorder. A little care in choosing could give you the Auto-start facility I mentioned, or be suiatable for use with the Pioneer facility which other makers may introduce.

    In due course the 900 will be due for replacement, and by then digital DVD/HDD recorders will be available (Sony 710 is imminent http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo-1.cfm/Product_ID/2284 ) or you can take the route I described with the Pioneer machines. One advantage of their approach is that the DVD/HDD machine will also control satellite boxes from a downloaded EPG.
    This facility is called Guide Plus and you can read about it on the site at http://www.europe.guideplus.com/ This is not directly related to the EPG on your TV as it is designed to be used in linked equipment set-ups.
     

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