3 tips to record digital television
By Evelyn Garcia 2019-06-15 228 0
Many DVD recorders no longer receive TV programmes and can therefore no longer record programmes. If you want to continue doing this, you have three options: with the old DVD recorder plus an upstream receiver, with a new hard disk receiver or DVD recorder, or with a TV set including a recording function. Click here to find out how the variants work.
Record Digital Television with DVD Recorder
In order to remain in service, an old DVD recorder (or VHS recorder) needs an input device for the digital programmes. Such digital receivers or DVB receivers are available for the reception paths antenna, satellite and cable (DVB-C). DVB-C receivers cost around 30 euros or more in retail stores, and many cable network operators also offer low-cost models. Important when making a purchase decision: So that the receiver can be easily connected to a recorder, it should have a Scart output; this is the old-fashioned looking, large and rectangular connection with 21 poles.
Connecting the devices
In order for the recorder to record the digital programmes from the receiver and play back the recordings on the television, you must connect the DVD recorder and the DVB receiver correctly. This is the easiest way to do it:
● DVB receiver: Connect the receiver to the DVD recorder using a Scart cable. The connection to the TV is then simply made via HDMI. Set the outputs in the menu to RGB output to optimize the picture quality.
● DVD recorder: The Scart socket "AV2", "EXT2" or for Sony "Line 3" is intended for the DVB receiver. Attention: The recorders cannot be controlled by the receiver via other connections.
The following also applies to the connections on the recorder: If possible, set the TV and receiver connections to RGB. If the input for the receiver does not accept RGB signals, set it to "FBAS" or "CVBS". In the "S-Video" setting, you will only see a black and white picture, as hardly any DVB receiver outputs this video format.
Some DVB receivers can control appropriately equipped DVD recorders. The receiver then switches on the correct channel punctually for the desired programme and starts recording on the recorder. There are two types of remote control:
● Via Scart cable: The receiver sends control commands to the recorder via the Scart cable. But only a few receivers (e.g. from Radix) and recorders (e.g. from Panasonic) can handle these commands for remote recording.
● By synchronous recording: It is simpler if the DVD recorder is "on the lookout": The recorders from Panasonic, Philips and Sony automatically record from this position as soon as the connected receiver switches on for the programmed programme and delivers a picture signal.
Note: The receiver must first be switched to "Stand-by"! You cannot watch a TV programme while the recorder is in recording standby mode. An exception is the Radix twin receiver, which has one receiver for watching TV and a second for recording. The second remains on standby until the timer turns it on for a recording.
Some DVD recorders can control digital TV receivers. The recorders use small infrared transmitters to switch the receiver on and to the desired programme in time for a programmed recording. To ensure that the recorder gives the correct remote control commands, select your receiver from a list in the recorder menu during installation.
Programming a recording via EPG
It is quite easy to program recordings with the electronic program overviews (EPG) of the DVD recorder on the screen. By pressing a button on the remote control, an overview of the upcoming programmes appears. Select the desired programme and mark it for recording with a button on the remote control. Disadvantage: The EPGs show the programme at most one week in advance - too little to record programmes during your holiday of several weeks. The widespread "Guide+"-EPG of DVD recorders can often be used if a digital receiver is connected instead of the recorder receiver. Other EPGs only work if the recorders receive the TV programme via their built-in receiver. Many DVB receivers also have electronic program guides in which you can program recordings. The same advantages and disadvantages apply here as with recorder EPGs. However, the EPGs of the receivers are often clearer. Programming in the receiver EPG and controlling the recorder with the receiver is therefore usually the simplest solution.
Note: Receivers do not output HD programmes via their Scart connection, private HD channels are usually locked against recordings anyway and DVD recorders are not suitable for HD recordings. DVD recorders therefore restrict recordings to conventional SD programs.
Record Television with Hard Disk Receiver
Another - and less cumbersome - method is to switch from a recorder to a hard disk receiver; this also makes HD recording possible. Hard disk receivers have their own cable connection (optional for antenna and satellite). Often there is also an antenna output so that the cable signal can be looped through to the TV. To play back recordings, connect the receiver to the TV via HDMI. Hard disk receivers are available from cable network operators or from specialist retailers with a built-in hard drive from around 200 euros. Sky customers also receive the 4K-capable Sky-Q receiver with a 1 terabyte hard disk as a subscription. The Blu-ray recorders from Panasonic are a versatile alternative. The Panasonic DMR-UBC70, for example, is available for around 450 euros. The advantage of Panasonic recorders: Thanks to double receiver units, you can record one TV programme while watching another - if the TV does not have a built-in digital receiver. You can also play DVDs, Blu-rays and UHD Blu-rays thanks to the built-in drive.
Recording Digital Television with the TV Set
The third option is a television with a recording function. The cheapest TV sets with this feature are available from well-known brands such as LG, Panasonic, Sony, Philips or Grundig from around 300 euros; Samsung models with USB recording tend to be more expensive. Before buying, make sure that the television is "PVR ready", i.e. can record TV programmes on a connected USB hard drive. In the lower price regions, however, it is not possible to watch one programme and record another at the same time. If you dig a little deeper into your pocket, you will get the function ("Twin Tuner") depending on the manufacturer and model from around 600 euros. Televisions with integrated hard drives and enough space for recordings are really exotic: Metz and Loewe have such sets in their range, for example the Loewe Picture 5.
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