Freeview Switchover Questions

  warthog01 13:45 02 Jan 2010


I'm facing analog switch-off in the next couple months and have a number of questions I'd like to consider before I make some bad decisions.

I have an old, but extremely capable Sony TV, but it has no SCART fitting. I know there are digi boxes out there (TVonics, etc) that I can use to set up Freeview or similar, but I'd also like to be able to record programmes after switchover. My current DVD recorder is a Liteon LVW 5006--can I connect this to the telly as I do now via the TVonics or similar?

If not, can anyone recommend a reasonably priced method of getting around my SCARTless TV so I can both view and record in future?


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:44 02 Jan 2010

TVonics MFR-200:Tiny, and works on TVs without a SCART socket. Argos Online £38.99

Liteon LVW 5006 does it record from scart socket?

if so get yourself a cheap Technika freeview box from Tesco
Aerial to freeview box
scart cable to DVD recorder

you can set the timer in both machines
freeview box will switch to correct channel
and if you set DVD recorder to record from scart channel at same time.

I do this with both an old video recorder and AlBA analogue DVD recorder

  warthog01 09:54 03 Jan 2010

Hi Fruit Bat--you've helped me before, I think.

You've got great ideas--let me come back one by one to make sure I understand. I already considered the TVonic MFR 200-are you suggesting I use it to view programmes and then switch to your other system to record?

The 5006 has 2 SCART sockets--I don't use them as the TV is not compatible but I think the answer is yes.

I'm not sure what you mean by "timer in both machines"--one is the 5006, but will the Freeview box have a timer as well?

Sorry to ask, but you seem to have a handle on all this stuff. I got the following reply from Liteon when I asked them a similar question. Do you think their advice will work given my non-SCART capable telly?

"Kindly be informed,all our recorder built-in tuner could not support digital signal,but only analog signal.
However, the Freeview box can convert digital signal to analogue signal.
The connection should be
• RF out to Freeview box RF input,
• Freeview box RF output to LVW- 5006 RF input,
• LVW- 5006 RF output to TV RF input,and
• Freeview box Scart output to LVW- 5006 Scart input,
LVW- 5006 Scart output to TV Scart input.
And make sure the TV is in AV mode.
Then press SETUP button to enter SETUP menu.
And press TV Signal to select cable,and start auto channels search using Utility feature."

Thanks again, Fruit Bat!

  natdoor 11:59 03 Jan 2010

I assume that your TV has only an RF input. If it has Composite Video, you can use a Scart to Composite adapter to overcome your problem.

Also, you stated you wish to view and record. Fruit Bat has recommended getting two Freeview boxes so that you can record one programme and watch another. If you do not need to do this, a single Freeview box with RF feed-through connected as per Liteon's reccomendations will do. The Tv will have no AV facility and when tuned in to analogue stations will locate existing analogue channels and the one carrying the converted Freeview channel.

The freeview box will have its own timer.

  warthog01 12:16 03 Jan 2010

Thanks, Natdoor

I'm not completely technostupid, but a lot of this is beyond my current capability. Thanks for bearing with me...

Yes the Sony has a TV Aerial (RF?) input. It has two plugs, a red and a white which are labelled video and audio inputs, and these are currently attached to the Liteon DVD Recorder. I don't know about composite video--how do I tell whether I've got it or not?

When you say the TV will have no AV capability, is this a major stumbling block or does it just mean I have to select an unused TV channel for the DVD recorder?

Thanks again--living & learning


  dms_05 22:40 03 Jan 2010

We now live in a digital world, in my case we had DSO (Digital Switch Over) a few weeks ago. Whilst your old Sony TV may be still working well now is the time to buy new equipment that conforms with the digital format. Ideally you need a new TV (probably HD Ready as they are almost all you can get nowadays) and a PVR (Personal Video Recorder).

However you can cobble together a working system with your old TV at it's centre. As your TV and DVD machine are analogue only they will continue to talk to each other as before, it's just that no over air broadcasts will be available. So you can feed each with a cheap Freeview box and you should be OK.

Your problem will be the inter connections between the various bits of equipment. I seem to remember the LiteOn has only a RF loop through (the DVD doesn't output through the RF but only via SCART or Composite video through RCA phone sockets). So you don't have any alternative but to connect the LiteOn to the Sony through the cable you currently use. This means you will have to search for a Freeview box that can feed your Sony via the Sony RF socket, you can have a second Freeview box that will connect to the LiteOn with a SCART socket as the Freeview box and LiteOn have SCART sockets.

However please do consider buying new equipment when you will get the very best of the new digital age, especially if you buy a PVR like the Humax PVR9300T which has twin tuners and a large hard disk for recording 150 hours of TV. I have a new Samsung HDTV and a new Humax PVR9300T which gives me the ability to record two programmes at the same time whilst watching a third one already recorded - and the TV has a built in Freeview tuner. So the alternatives choices are wide for the many TV and Radio channels broadcast on Freeview.

Good luck whichever route you chose.

  dms_05 22:45 03 Jan 2010

After all that I should have said try experimenting with a single Freeview box connected to your LiteOn throught the SCART sockets. By carefully changing the 'source' for the LiteOn you may be able to feed your Sony through the Video/Audio cable and so watch TV that way. However you could only record the channel you are watching.

  natdoor 09:42 04 Jan 2010

The second post from dms_05 would be a good approach but it depends on the LiteOn outputting the video input on one Scart as output on the other when a DVD is not being played.

Should that not be the case, the video inputs to your TV can be used to overcome the lack of a Scart input. Incidentally, there should be three RCA (phono)inputs, white (L audio), red (R audio) and yellow (composite video). It is possible that video could be carried via S-Video, which is a slightly larger connector and has four pins.

You would need a two-way scart to phono/S-video adapter and a multi Scart switch connector, used in the Out state. This would enable the Freeview box Scart, which will have two scart connectors, to be connected to the LiteOn and one of the Scart inputs on the switch and the Liteon Scart to be connected to another. The Scart to RCA adapter would plug into the output of the switched Scart connector and RCA cables used to connect between this and the TV. Some of the Scart switches have remote switching. Anyway, to watch a TV programme, select the appropriate Scart output and to watch DVD select the other.

This arrangement might cost around £20 to set up but would enable you to get any Freeview STB that you choose, which would save you something. I could post links to such devices if it would help.
As has been said, a second Freeview box connected to the to the LiteOn in place of the first would enable you to watch one channel and record another.

By the way, I hope that you did not feel that my earlier input was condescending. It is difficult to pitch a response at the right level. To many it will be granny sucking eggs. But there will be others who have little knowledge of the topic and it is necessary not to talk over their heads. None of us knows everything!

  warthog01 10:09 04 Jan 2010

natdoor (and everyone else who's taken the time to assist)

Re: your last paragraph--I fall firmly into the latter category and just wanted to give you a level to pitch to--certainly no offense taken--you're all being very helpful.

Trying to think laterally, there's another possibility for solving my dilemma--we do have a SCART equipped Telly in the bedroom--14" screen, so not something I want as a main box (our old Sony is part of the furniture as well as having a super picture).

Anyway, if I can set up the 5006 DVD Recorder to record on the small telly (using a cheap Freeview box for example), could I then view Freeview via the TVonics on the Sony and PLAY the resulting DVDs on the Sony with a cheap DVD Player?? We normally only record programmes while we're away--not much requirement to view one and record another simultaneously, although we could even do that if the two-telly option will work!

Thanks again!

  dms_05 12:35 04 Jan 2010

If the TV in question doesn't have a SCART it means it's over 30 years old, my Dad had a Sony with SCART bought in 1980. So the TV in question is well before later connections were introduced.

The TV is so old it probably does output Video as Composite but only mono sound, thus only two connections.

This all takes me back to when I was a young man!

  warthog01 13:13 04 Jan 2010

DMS & Natdoor

Almost--I bought it in 1983 (When I was a young man!)--state of the art as it was multi-system PAL and NTSC (I'm a Yank--was in the Air Force in Germany at the time. W've used it in Germany (twice), the US (Twice), and now the UK (third time)--would hate to part with it--it has character!

As far as connections go, you are correct--I've got red and white plugs only--video and audio connected to the Liteon DVD Recorder--works like a charm.

What do you think? Will it play dvds recorded on my little telly via Freeview? This may not work out, but I'm enjoying the challenge!

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