You've all probably heard this one before, but . . .


Standard Member
I'm completely new to digital TV and I don't know what I'm doing!

We've bought a Sony KD-28DL10U (28" widescreen TV with built-in digital tuner), a Proline VN2300S VCR and a Proline 1051 DVD player. This was done on the basis that the VCR and the DVD were the cheapest available because as soon as the hard drive recording systems settle down and become affordable we'll be buying one of them. We haven't got a satellite dish, nor are we (yet) subscribers to any of the digital services - all we've got is the digital Freeview channels. I accept that the VCR is probably too cheap'n nasty to be compatible with Sony's Smartlink system, but neither does it work with Sony's Electronic Programme Guide, which is supposed to control the VCR, as far as I can see.

In the meanwhile we took other people's advice and bought the best quality SCART leads (Monster) we could find - they cost more than the VCR & DVD, but everyone said that the leads have the greatest effect on picture quality.

The DVD works fine - no problems at all.

The VCR is an absolute bitch. It was a bugger to set up and the picture quality was awful. I tried everything I could think of, with no improvement, so we had an engineer out to look at it. He tweaked one or two settings and said that it was as good as it was ever going to be! That means that all my Superbike & GP tapes recorded on the old TV are virtually unwatchable!

The problem is that I can only record the five basic analogue channels - the only way I can record any of the digital channels is to have that one displayed while I am recording - which rather defeats the purpose of having a VCR, I would have thought.

So the question is, do I have to accept this situation, or is there any gadget/system I can buy that will let me record digital channels without having to sit there and watch them at the same time? What about these Phantom PVRs for example - will they do the job, or are they just pretty programming devices?

Any suggestions (short of heaving the whole lot out of the window!) would be gratefully accepted.



Firstly, take the Proline VCR back under the sale of goods act (not suitable for the purpose it was designed) Buy a Sony VCR (they are cheap enough now)

The only way you, or anyone else, can watch one digital channel and record another is to have two digital tuners. The Sky+ has this feature as does the Pace Twin. The only thing you can therefore do is buy another digital terrestrial receiver and use that for recording.

Hope this helps



Originally posted by DaveP
The only thing you can therefore do is buy another digital terrestrial receiver and use that for recording.

When you buy a second Freeview box, you might want to get one from a different manufacturer. This should ensure that the remote control codes are different and you will be able to change channels on each box independently of the other. You'll need this if you intend to use one box for viewing and one for recording from.


Active Member
The Humax PVR8000T is apparently down to £149 from online sources. An absolute bargain, great Freeview box with a built in 40GB HDD. Take back your Proline VCR and replace it with this.:D

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