DVD recorders - a backward step?

  y_not 07:51 30 Oct 2004

When my last VHS tape deck finally died I thought I'd "play clever" and go for the new alternative ... a stand-alone DVD/HDD recorder.

What I found during the search for the ideal DVD recorder was that, whilst all DVD recorders have an RF in and out plug the signal is "looped through" i.e. the same signal comes out as goes in.

The effect of this is that whatever is recorder to the HDD can only be played back via a TV connected by a SCART lead. This has to be a backward step, in my opinion, as my house (like many) is wired for a TV network allowing VHS player output to be viewed on any TV connected by RF cable.

The reasoning given by the manufacturers is that this is to stop piracy of DVD's which, they tell me is possible if they modulate the signal for RF output (I'll take their word for that).

I can understand the need to minimise piracy but, as the recorders do not allow commercial DVD's to be copied to the HDD it would make sense surely to output the HDD signal via the RF output on the basis that this would (I think) meet their desire to limit piracy.

The other reason given is that the signal is degraded when modulated for RF output ... my wife's recorded copy of Coronation Street is not needed at DVD quality as she watches it on a 14" portable in another room!

I have finally found the solution (which required a couple of other "black boxes" and another 75 quid) but it seems that the manufacturers are not making this backward step very clear in any of their information.

  Dorsai 19:04 30 Oct 2004

i think the real reason is "because it's cheaper to make it without the RF socket." from then on, it's just a case of coming up with a reason that sounds better than 'because we are cheapskates'.

My solution to a dvd player with scart only, plug the DVD into the video, and the vid outputs the signal on the rf line. It works fine, but shuts down if i try and record the 'scart in' but then i dont want to to record from the DVD, just watch it.

But in your case this defeats the object of getting the unit. and you have bought a seperate solution.

  Confab 13:47 01 Nov 2004

Same probelm as yours so I bought one of these last week. Fitted it Saturday and it works a treat.

click here

  Confab 13:52 01 Nov 2004

B.T.W. I've tried copying a DVD to video via the RF output of the modulator. It can't be done if the DVD is copy protected unless you buy additional equipment.


  TomJerry 16:22 01 Nov 2004

Dorsai's solution is simplest and cheapest.

By the way, copy protection is just a joke for those people who want to make illegal copies in the first place. Most honest people will not make any illegal copy even if technically strightforward.

  Confab 16:37 01 Nov 2004

Just one point - y_not said "When my last VHS tape deck finally died." - He/she hasn't got a video. That's why the FR modulator is the best solution. You can set it to output on any RF channel you want from 21 to 68 (I think) and it's small enough to be hidden behind the TV.


  y_not 18:19 01 Nov 2004

Thanks for the suggestion. I bought a similar device, connects via either SCART or phono's and has selectable channels.

As for illegal copying; I can't remember the last film I watched more than once and the hassle that must go with copying for profit (to say nothing of the risk of losing ALL your equipment) just doesn't seem worth it.

So I'll go merrily on my way knowing that I can still make pirated (HDD) copies of last nights Coronation St so my wife (Confab - I'm the "he bit of "he/she" lol) can stroll from room to room and not miss a second!

My thoughts remain the same that these recorders are brilliant but don't perform all the options that my old VHS player did!

  oresome 18:47 01 Nov 2004

The absence of a RF modulator can be a blessing in some circumstances.

I have just purchased a freeview box with RF Modulator. The aerial lead loops through the box to the TV.

It's not possible to record off the digibox (via the 2nd scart) without the RF o/p to the TV changing to the channel being recorded, making viewing an analogue channel at the same time impossible. My other set top box has a switchable (by software) modulator and is always switched off.

The simplest solution to the problem is not to loop the aerial through the set top box, but to split the aerial feed, 1 to the TV, 1 to the set top box, assuming the TV has a scart socket to i/p the digibox signal.

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