PVR machine and HD TVs

  ukthesis 11:49 08 Jan 2011

This should be easy.

I have a PVR machine, that records Freeview channels directly from the television. But it isn't geared up for HD.

However, can I still use it to record programmes using a HD television? Will the recording be non-HD, but otherwise perfectly okay? What about "HD ready" televisions? The same?

So when I play it back on this PVR machine, the images are fine but not in HD.

I'm thinking of buying a HD or "HD ready" television, but I want to keep the PVR machine.

  dms_05 12:06 08 Jan 2011

PVR's don't record anything from the TV, they have their own built=in tuner(s). So do you have a true PVR that records whilst the TV is off and will record up to 2 programmes at the same time as well as allowing you to watch a third that was previously recorded?

If it's a true PVR then it's only SD (as opposed to HD) and will record only SD channels. It won't even tune into the HD channels as they use a different transmission method.

So the TV that's attached to the PVR doesn't have any effect on what you are recording. Therefore you can use an HDTV without a problem but it will only show SD quality definition as outputted by the PVR.

You should connect the PVR to the HDTV with a SCART lead and that will deliver SD quality pictures.

If you want to record HD quality you will need a PVR with HD tuners and these are still expensive.

If you really want HD quality pictures then consider Freesat which is Freeview delivered from a satellte but has a wider range of channels and has much more room for HDTV.

To receive the widest selection of HD prgrammes you will have to have Sky. They currently have 50+ HD channels whereas Freeview has only 2 at the moment (and only room for 5 in total).

So not quite that simple!

  ukthesis 11:22 09 Jan 2011

I have one that has twin tuners on Freeview+. But it doesn't do HD. So this means that I can't buy a HD television ("If it's a true PVR then it's only SD (as opposed to HD) and will record only SD channels. It won't even tune into the HD channels as they use a different transmission method."). Is this the upshot?

I am not a technical expert, so this is getting confusing since you later say that if I do this and that, I can use the PVR box with an HD television.

What about a "HD ready" television? Can I buy one and use this PVR with it?

  jack O'lantern 11:24 09 Jan 2011

I have both digital PVR and digital TV for two years and both 'work well PVR recording whilst watching another on TV etc.,and allow me to 'chase' a program already recording- all as it should.
But it was only in the last week or so - over the -holiday period- that I discovered whilst everything worked as it should- the PVR and TV, whilst both 'digital only 'speak' to each other in analogue

  BRYNIT 12:21 09 Jan 2011

IF it can record channel direct from the TV via Scart lead it may be able to record the HD channels (I could be wrong). If it could, it will not be able to record in HD quality. It will only record to the quality the recorder is capable of.

  ukthesis 12:28 09 Jan 2011

But what I need to know is whether this PVR machine, which is not HD, can record programmes from a HD television. Okay, it goes without saying that the recordings made will not be in HD. But the replier above seems to imply that because of a technical issue, that HD programmes simply don't record on a PVR that isn't HD, as mine isn't. I found this surprising, but perhaps it's true?

The reason for my asking is clearly that I don't want to buy a HD television.

The other point I asked about. What about HD ready televisions. How do they differ and can I record programmes from those with this PVR machine?

  jack O'lantern 12:28 09 Jan 2011

To get a handle on this forget
'IF it can record channel direct from the TV '

Recorders do not record from TV- they have their tuners and are independent from the TV.
You access the recorder via the TV- but there after it does its own thing.
Is that right dms_05?

  dms_05 16:46 09 Jan 2011

TV is only a playback device - it has NO input for recording on a PVR. So as jack says - forget the TV it's the PVR that does all of the recording.

However when it comes to playing the recorded material back then the TV will display in the format presented to it.

So if you have an SD PVR the TV will display it as SD even if the TV has the capability of displaying HD. That's because HDTV can display various resolutions whereas SD TV's can't.

SD is infact 576i (that's the number of horizontal lines). HD can be 720p or 1080i or 1080p. Sky for example is 1080i in HD whereas Blu-ray is 1080p.

Generally HD is passed between PVR and TV using an HDMI lead whereas SD uses a SCART lead (which can't handle HD).

  ukthesis 17:08 09 Jan 2011

So the upshot is that a PVR with no HD capability can record from an HD television. Naturally (and this is what one will expect after all) the recording will not be in HD. But it will be okay to watch, as though the television is not HD. Is that it?

  natdoor 09:43 10 Jan 2011

You say that you have a PVR with twin SD tuners. Programmes recorded on this will be viewable on an HD Ready or Full HD TV. You also say that you record programmes from your TV. This is possible if the TV has a displayed video output (Scart, component or composite) and your PVR has a corresponding video input.

Your concern seems to be that, if you buy an HD TV, will your PVR be able to record from the TV the programme being viewed in HD. Providing the TV outputs video then it will be possible, although the output will be in SD. Since, however, all Freeview HD programmes are currently also broadcast in SD, I believe, the only reason for requiring such a facility would be to make an instant decision to record while watching rather than pre-programming your PVR.

I hope that I have addressed your concern and, if more information is required, it would possibly help if you stated the make and model of your PVR and of the TV you are contemplating purchasing.

  ukthesis 20:26 10 Jan 2011

So using my twin tuner PVR that isn't made for HD televisions, I can successfully record from both HD ready and full HD televisions. There are scart sockets in the TV and in the PVR. Naturally, when I play back recordings, they will not be in HD. Is this correct?

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