SUPER-Easy DVD-R with Terrestrial Analogue & Terrestrial Freeview Tuners - HELP!?!

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by fchorley, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. fchorley

    fchorley
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    Dear Sirs,

    I have a possibly unique usability problem and would appreciate any suggestions.

    My Mum watches BBC1, 2, ITV, C4, five and the Spanish channel TVEi via Sky. Her telly's analogue but C5 reception where she lives is rubbish. As she is rather elderly, partially disabled and cannot get to grips with ANY sort of technology, this gets slightly tricky - saying 'hit the AV button' does not work.

    I tuned her telly such that Channels 1 -> 4 are normal, 5 is a freeview box (which only ever watches five) and 6 is a Sky digibox (which is only ever set to TVEi), hid the remotes and now she's happy. A bit of a waste I know but....

    I now need to replace her vcr. I'd rather get a DVD or HDD Recorder but this is where I get a headache -

    If I get an analogue tuner one, I can keep the Channel 1 -> 6 arrangement but I'd prefer not to as analogue will go eventually and I'd like to tidy the boxes up a bit;

    If I get a freeview one, I can get rid of one box but the Channel 6 solution would go;

    I did originally get a Sky+ subscription for her but she couldn't cope with the strange channel numbering (and favourites didn't help);

    What I'm ideally looking for is a DVD-recorder (or HDD recorder) with both freeview and analogue tuners, that will let me reassign the channel numbering. The closest I've come is the Panasonic DVD range where both tuners are integrated but the analogue channels are from 901 onwards - this would be confusing again for her!

    Any recorder suggestions? As it happens, she also has a telly in another room that needs to be replaced, so I'd like a to find an lcd or plasma that could cope with this channel renumbering also!

    Help - :lease:

    Apologies for the no doubt daft question, and thanks.
     
  2. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    Welcome to the forum fchorley

    This is certainly a tricky one.

    I am not aware of any units that permit channel assignments ... which does not mean there aren't any of course.

    The best easy-use suggestion I can come up with would be to use, say, a Panasonic DVDR as you suggested, which has a freeview tuner.

    That would give her the digital channels 1 to 5 as you say... but if she were prepared to use the channel up/down buttons to change channels , rather than numbers [ which may be even easier ] , she could also access Sky by going backwards down the channels... There is no need to push an AV button.

    When one goes backwards through the channels: 5,4,3,2,1, the next 'channels' are the AV inputs.
    Unfortunately there would be a few dead ones for her to go through.

    Typically , Sky would be connected to AV2... [ shortened to A2 for display purposes ] and I think the sequence going back from Channel 1 is: DV, A4, A3, A2, A1 ... then the analogue channels in the 900's.

    Perhaps you could contrive to connect Sky via AV4, so there would only be one 'dead' space.
     
  3. jrturbo

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    Hi there

    No easy answer, and your mum isnt the only one in this position, my girlfriend can use the my pioneer DVR 545HX tò play DVD films, but dont ask her to record anything and you do make a very valid point in my view, In my opinion manufacturers should make an effort to make their equipment easier to use and understand, all the extra features are no good if you cant figure out how to use them, this will become an extra selling point when everyone offer units with similare facilities, and if you dont believe me, think about Nokia mobile phones, they have become thew largest phone manufacturers and one the main reasons was that their phones where easier to use than the competition.

    You can teach elderly people to use technology but it takes for ever for them to learn and then you have to make them practice and practice using the units, otherwise you walk out the door, come back tomorrow and they have forgotten.

    I would suggest you go to a large retailer and look at all the different units on the market and figure out which is the easiest to use, something you will not find out from reading any reviews in Home cinema magazine or what hifi.

    One thing I can say is that my pioneer dvr 545 is not the most intuitive piece of equipment and the remote ergonomics are crap.

    something else, I doubt you will find any TV or DVD recorder where you asign the chanels in the order you want when they have have both analogue and digital tuners, as they force you to change tuners much in the same way as you change AV inputs.

    Regards

    Joe Rubido
     
  4. fchorley

    fchorley
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    Hello,

    Thanks for the replies - I'm glad I'm not entirely stupid or alone.

    I spent a while looking through the support sites of various manufacturers to go through manuals. I couldn't find anything any better than the Panasonic solution so picked one up - I think trying to 'hide' the gaps in the tuning sequence is probably as good as it's going to get.


    I did also think of trying to have a play with various so went to my local largest shops, Comets and Currys. The selection was fair but none were plugged in - disappointing but not a great surprise. I thought I'd have nothing to lose by asking for some advice and was again disappointed but not surprised to learn that the salesmen aren't better than I thought. In both shops I was told that it was absolutely impossible, DVD recorders with freeview tuners and analogue tuners do not exist. The second guy actually got a little insulting when he suggested that I do not understand what I'm talking about so I showed him the back of a Pioneer recorder with separate rf connections for the tuners, clearly labelled. He still wouldn't believe it ('no, it's for that, they're both digital tuners') so I showed him the manual for a Panasonic one which even stated clearly that it has both - 'no, the manual's wrong, it can't have both'.

    Many thanks again.
     
  5. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
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    just a thought, but how about getting whatever boxes are necessary, then splash out on a decent simple to use harmony remote (or similar).....

    then you can have it set up with 6 options on the remote, channel 1, channel 2, channel 3, channel 4, channel 5, channel 6 (spanish channel on sky)......

    she only needs to know 6 channel buttons essentially.......presumably same as she does now?

    try the remote section here on the forum for more information on this....basically you can program these remotes so only certain things work etc far as i remember.....

    probably talking around £80+ possibly £150 depending on just how easy you need it to look, but for the sake of a happy mum, its always worth it ;)
     
  6. fchorley

    fchorley
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    Hi,

    Thanks for that - good idea. I must admit, I did think of that briefly but dismissed it as I thought it might be a bit complex to always ensure it switches to the right AV input - for example if she hits the button for channel 6 (which would actually be change to an av input) twice, it might switch to AV2 rather than AV1, then she'd see nothing and get seriously confused.

    Now I think about it though, that sounds like a really good idea and I have a slightly absurd but possibly feasible workaround - have the sky signal on ALL the av inputs via multiple wireless distribution receivers... Umm, this is all sounding very expensive...

    Thanks again.
     
  7. fraser33

    fraser33
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    Just a thought: my own tv defaults to starting up in analogue mode, and I have to hit the AV button on the remote to get into either a DVD or freeview channel viewing situation. Your Mum may have a similar problem. Maybe it's just my tv or how it's connected, but I suspect it might be fairly common.
     
  8. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
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    with the programmable remotes it doesnt matter it defaults to when you switch to AV, the remote will automatically make it switch to the right AV input...

    basically the remotes display will only show 6 buttons, 1-5 for channels 1-5, then channel 6 is a macro button that makes sure she gets the correct AV channel, Sky switched on and on the correct channel....

    ask this question under the remote control forum section, tell them what you need it to do, i'm sure someone there can recommend a model that you will find easy to set up and she wont have any problems using ;)
     

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