The perennial integrated Freeview tuner issue

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Billilu, Nov 6, 2004.

  1. Billilu

    Billilu
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    My first post for about six months!

    I went to the What Hi-Fi Show yesterday, and harangued a few of the representatives of the major manufacturers about when we can expect a DVD Recorder/HDD with an integrated Freeview tuner. Sadly, the people they send to these events tend to be marketing people, who know the schtick but don't know much beyond. In fact, I got the impression with the Japanese firms that they deliberately keep their own people in the dark.

    Anyway, these are the potted results. The Toshiba guy seemed surprised by the question, and tried to make out there wasn't much call for it(!) The Pioneer chap thought that it would probably happen this time next year, but didn't know much beyond that. The Sony fellow said they'd withdrawn it from the Sony 500 because of a Channel 4 compatibility issue but pointed out Freeview was integrated into the DVD Recorder without the hard drive (not much use). Again he made out it would happen next year, but I don't think he knew. It was at this point, someone else joined in, saying that his Visa was ready the moment one became available, and that whoever came out with one first is set to make a killing.

    The most informative and in the loop guy was from Philips. He basically told me without telling me that they are going to bring one out in the next few months. He did point out though that the big thing in the next couple of years will be Hard Disk Recorders over DVD Recorders. He repeated what one or two others had said, which was that the sticking point is that in Europe only the UK and Germany have Freeview or an equivalent, and they had to make models that would work for the whole of Europe.

    He also told me that my Sky + box can effectively be integrated with one of their recorders, which can control the Sky + planner and record programmes from Sky straight onto the Philips hard drive. I haven't heard of this before - and apologies if I've missed hundreds of threads covering this - but I'd love to have this confirmed, as it's just what I've been waiting for. I thought I'd have to record programmes on Sky + and then transfer them over to the HDD/DVD Recorder, before editing them and transferring them to DVD, which would be a cumbersome method.
     
  2. burcac

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    Even the current solution, a freeview hdd like humax 8000t, has no connectivity to allow archiving, in fact the files are encrypted to discourage workarounds. So as well as technical challenges, manufacturers may be working through copyright protection issues before releasing lossless dvb > dvd recording.

    Another -ve factor is the picture quality of freeview is degrading rapidly as more channels come on air.
     
  3. LV426

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    I feel the same way as Billilu. Won't be parting with my Visa on a DVD recorder until they come with DVB-T tuners. The Government is missing a trick here, IMO. If they encouraged manufacturers to incorporate DVB-T tuners on all receiving equipment as a matter of course - TVs, DVDRs, VCRs, even (say, by means of tax adjustments - up for those without and/or down for those with) - then by a simple process of natural wastage, by default the majority of households will have acquired the means to receive digital terrestrial transmissions in time for the proposed switchoff of analogue. But no.....they just aren't that bright.
     
  4. rogerh

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    :lease: Can anybody out there find out what Philips are playing at?
    Since August their web site has featured a new DVD Recorder - the DVD745/05 which has an integrated Freeview Tuner and iLink, BUT no hard disc.
    At last I thought. They even refer to it as the first recorder onto the market with Freeview built in.
    I got hold of their new brochure, but it isn't in there.
    So I telephoned and e-mailed. No one knew anything. Finally I got an e-mail saying the machine was not going to issued after all :thumbsdow .
    Incidently it's still on the Philips website - I've just checked. (Just search under consumer products from the home page if you want to see the spec. and a picture.). So no one there has been told!
    As I really wanted a machine with a hard disc as well, I looked forward to Sony to deliver the goods - another disapointment (anybody seen the basic-no hard disc/iLink etc- model with Freeview yet?).
    SO - LET'S HOPE that even though their machines have been pretty poor on reliability, that at last a Major Company (Philips) is going to wake up and issue a DVD/Hard Disc machine with iLink and Freeview.
    Failing that I know that Rasczak has pointed to a Toshiba RDX34 machine due out perhaps next March.
    What a wonderful idea it would be if the Government did do something to promote Digital Terrestial TV and put pressure onto the manufacturers!
    In the meantime,I, like many other potential and eager customers will hold on to our cash and dream of a day when a manufacturer will get it's act together

    :boring:August
     
  5. burcac

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    Its a copyright issue. They don't want to enable every consumer to make exact digital copies of broadcasted material to a permanent medium. There must be copyright management strategy in place before they release these to the mass market.

    Anyway freeview quality is on the slide. You can get better recording from analogue-T on complex material
     
  6. eddyad

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    I wonder what the Ch 4 compatibility issue is? I know that Ch 4 is inclined to change picture formats 'frequently' - for example in a 4:3 film, the commercials will be in 16:9.
    This works fine on the Pioneer x20 HDD machines in LP mode, and the picture obligingly changes between the formats as playback progresses.
    But copying to DVD-R can be a minor problem, as putting the HDD source into a DVD Copy List results in a Title change for every format change, and thus multiple Titles in the Copy List.
    Depending on Frame Accurate setting, the 16:9 sections arrive as separate titles or not at all; if present they can be deleted from the Copy List. Both ways the contiguous 4:3 bits can be joined together into one title for transfer to the DVD. There are usually a few frames of the commercials in 4:3 which can be erased for continuity.
    OK - it's a bit fiddly - but could Sony have a format change problem within a single recording or be unable to copy them to DVD?
     
  7. Kevo

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    I think they'll milk it as far as they can with analogue tuners.
     
  8. eddyad

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    It's odd that Sony were one of the first with digital TVs and now take this view with DVD though.
     
  9. burcac

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    What about a freeview STB with 7 day epg recording reservation that can wake a DVD recorder into record mode - that would be a good stop gap
     
  10. simon1

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    I'm doing something similar. I have a Sony 32DX100 idtv connected to recently purchased Sony RDR-HX900. The dvd recorder and tv feature SMARTLINK, which means I only have to set the epg on the tv - the recorder does the rest.

    Here's the rub, though. Using SMARTLINK disables S-vid/RGB output from recorder AND the recorder won't stop at the end of the recording. If I set multiple programmes on the epg, the channel changes at the appropriate time - but it is recorded as one long title.

    To work round these issues, I have disabled SMARTLINK and have to program both the tv's epg & the recorder's timer. Not ideal, I know.
     
  11. MartinImber

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    A big opportunity missed

    Try a PC

    I think this may ne the answer for now

    One day I will try Twinrip
     
  12. burcac

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    Double programming, 4x the chance of making a mistake!
    Does smartlink not understand the concept of stop?!!!
    I wonder, if it behaves the same with the Sony freeview STB? :confused:
     
  13. Chyownster

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    Right, 1st post a little confused now :( im going to get the Panasonic DMRE85HEBS . I have a Pace Freeview box. Am i going to be able to record stuff from the Freeview onto the recorder.

    I have a concer with the scart leats and i hava switcher.

    i think i need some help lol
     
  14. burcac

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    Should be OK, but timer recording might be tricky.

    Using the EPG to make recording reservations is the big goal
     
  15. eddyad

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    I have a pioneer 420 with Auto Start which is identical to Panny External Link. The problem (with both. I gather) is that if you set the external box timer to control the recorder then switch the ext. box to Timer (ready to switch on) then if you switch it on manually the recorder will start recording.
    I thought the Pio/Panny idea was great before I used it. Now I find the effect annoying and have gone back to setting the Pioneer and the STB timers. This also lets me have a complete RGB set-up using the Pioneers scart pass through facilities. So I ignore the STB recorder-out and jsut leave it switched on.
     
  16. burcac

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    Looks like the integrated Freeview tuner is our only hope for an easier life!
     
  17. Logo Hater

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    It's already easy to record direct from a digital broadcast, I have a panny DVB TV and I can record whats selected on the DVB tuner straight to HDD or RAM on my DMR100, if I want. If I need to watch a different channel I can watch the analogue channels without affecting the recording, or even satellite.

    I don't understand how you can think copyright is a problem, when it isn't now.
     
  18. burcac

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    That's an RGB copy isn't it? Do you have to leave the TV on?!
     
  19. eddyad

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    All recordings are 'copies' of some sort. As far as I know there are no domestic recorders which copy the TV bitstream. They just encode to the DVD or HDD from the input provided - composite, s-video, RGB or component.
    I believe that copy protection is carried in all these streams one way or another.
     
  20. rogerh

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    Afternoon All.
    I take it that everyone has given up on the Sony with the Freeview then? Is that because it doesn't have a hard disc or is it because no one can find it????
    Also no one seems to know anymore about the Philips comments at the What Hi-Fi Show or their mysterious DVD 745/05 (is it a figment of their website's imagination?) then?
    It's all getting very "SPOOKY" :devil:
     
  21. eddyad

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    I can't answer definitively, but I believe that both the Sony and Philips have some limitations copying from HD to DVD - for example no bitrate change or copylist editing. I suspect that digital programs with embedded format changes (4:3 <--> 16:9) could give copy problems.

    Elsewhere in this forum you will find all sorts of stuff about building copy lists.
    For example. Pioneers setting a copylist from a single mixed format LP HDD recording (like one of the old Columbos in the afternoon) with Frame Accurate off, will drop the 16:9 material (the ads.) and the remaining 4:3 stuff appears as separate 'titles'. These can be 'joined' on the Pioneer as a single 4:3 title without the ads.
    The same process with Frame Accurate on makes a copylist with each format section as a separate title. No joining is possible between adjacent section in different formats (but you can remove the 16:9 sections from the copylist).
    I think Panasonics also deal with Frame Accurate settings in different ways. No idea about Toshibas.
    So any recorder with an integrated digital tuner must be able to cope with this sort of transmission and make sense to the user. It may well be that one of Pioneer, Panasonic, Toshiba turns up with a Freeview tuner first.
     
  22. Logo Hater

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    I am assuming that your question was to my previous post. Yes it is RGB and Yes the TV does need to be switched on.
     
  23. MartinImber

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    This is confusing however all the FV PVRS bitstream record - which is what a DVD recorder will need
     
  24. burcac

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    Yes, but the data stays in the box, safe from further copying. The only method I know is a niche product like the nebula :devil:
     
  25. MartinImber

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    Or use TwinRIP :devil:
     
  26. burcac

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    But I think that way involves physically removing the hard drive. I'd buy one if it used a hard drive caddy...
     
  27. ed_h

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    I was told at the Panasonic shop in Sheffield that their qlink system would control the panasonic freeview box from their DVD recorder

    I'm trying to confirm this as that's what I'm planning to buy!

    Has anyone got this set up & working?
     
  28. eddyad

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    It may be the other way round - the freeview box controls the recorder using External Link. Ask to see the manual before you buy.
    Panasonic recorders can definitely be turned on and off form many Freeview boxes using External Link.
    A search of this forum for External Link may produce some useful info for you.
     
  29. ed_h

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    Ah - I see
    thanks very much :)

    my current freeview box is a nokia 221T - it has a timer but no external link capability according to the manual

    looks like I'd need another freeview box - the panasonic stb manual says it will work

    but does this mean the Tosh is an option as well? - I don't trust the IR feature
     
  30. eddyad

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    Don't switch the STB for to get External Link. I have the Pioneer DVD/HDD equivalent and it works but it's annoying in practice:
    Set the STB timer, turn it to standby, put the DVD machine into Extrernal Link (called Auto Start on Pioneer) and it all happens (with Grundig STB).
    But then if you don't turn off the External Link on the DVD before you want to turn on the STB e.g. to watch a program, the DVD will start recording when you turn the STB on.
    I gave up and now use the two timers - like I did with Freeview and a VCR.

    Some on some DVDs (Philips???) you can actually select a sat. channel to have ilink (?) or similar work, but I don't know about freeview.
    I think the Tosh relies on the DVD timer and an IR transmitter - but it has to be compatible with the STB 'cos it has to turn it on and select the channel. The Nokia has a 'prolonged' press of the On/Off key to turn on and off (a neighbour has one) and the Tosh may not cope.
     

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