Yes its probably perfectly true. My mums got a Panasonic one and its exactly the same. My solution was to buy a seperate Freeview box and link that up so the video could record from that. And it gives the advantage that you can watch one freeview channel using the freeview built into the TV and record another freeview channel recording from the seperate box.
You can of course still record a non freeview terrestrial channel on your video without having the TV on.
I couldn't believe this was the case when my mum got her TV either but its rather common. My TVs got built in freeview and its the same as well.
I would buy a seperate freeview box and link it up as I suggested.