Video/vcr combi?

  gola1 14:59 02 Sep 2007

I have bought a new ditital tv which gives me the freeview channels (which are all I need) but the new video/vcr combi that I also bought just gives me nine of the usual basic channels (bbC 1 etc.) and no extra freeviews. Can I buy a plug- in which will allow me to record all the freeview channels (similar to the one which I have in the kitchen allowing me to see the freeview channels on my analogue portable tv ). Am I right in thinking that I could have bought a digital video/vcr combi which would have done the required job without any add-ons?

  holme 16:32 02 Sep 2007

I'm rather confused by a few things you said so, before answering it, and maybe/probably going on the wrong tack, can I check a couple of points with you:

a) By "video/vcr combi", do you perhaps mean a conventional vcr, plus either a DVD player or alternatively a DVD recorder, in a combined box with the VCR? Which is it please?

b) I don't know what you mean by "nine of the usual channels". An analogue-only tuner will give you five channels; BBC1/BBC2/ITV1/Chan4/Chan5. A terrestrial digital tuner will give you all TV and radio Freeview channels (many more than 9).

Can you resolve this uncertainty please?

  anchor 17:44 02 Sep 2007

"Am I right in thinking that I could have bought a digital video/vcr combi which would have done the required job without any add-ons?"

Yes!, my friend has just bought one of these;

click here

There are many freeview digital set-top boxes available which you could connect to your recorder, via a scart connector. The cheapest is a Techwood from Tesco; cost £10. I read that it is selling well.

  GroupFC 17:49 02 Sep 2007

"The cheapest is a Techwood from Tesco; cost £10. I read that it is selling well" - rather too well. I went to my local tesco's just a little while ago to pick up one of these bargains but they were nowhere to be seen!

  holme 17:59 02 Sep 2007

Folks, before anyone else responds with further suggestions, may I respectfully suggest we wait until gola1 clarifies what unit(s) he has already got.

Without wishing to pre-empt his replies, it is quite possible that he'll be able to do what he wants without any further expense on a set top box or whatever.

Only last week, a punter was about to spend 200 quid on a new unit, but following a question and answer session with him, he was able to do a very similar job - for free.

  gola1 19:43 02 Sep 2007

...Many thanks to everyone who has responded to my questions so far. To hopefully answer holme's question, both the dvd and vcr in the combi can record and play back programmes. Re the number of channels, yes, only five channels have been tuned - some doubling up has taken place on the other channels it seems. Sorry for the lack of clarity in the original post.

  holme 20:29 02 Sep 2007

Aha, now we understand... :-)

In that case, we recommend the following:

a) If you haven't already done so, connect the DVD/VCR combi to the TV, using a standard SCART cable. This must be 'fully wired', i.e. all 21 connectors must be connected.

b) Connect the SCART lead in accordance with what the two user-guides recommend. I'll assume this is 'AV1' on the DVD/VCR combi to 'AV1' on the TV, but that needs double-checking.

c) With the TV running, the selected digital TV channel will be output from AV1 (or whatever) to the combi recorders via the SCART lead.

d) So if on the recorder you set the programme selector to AV1 (or whatever; it may just be called 'A1'), you will be able to record the selected digital TV programme.

e) That should work fine - unless you switch the TV to standby or off, in which case there will be no output to the recorder. This isn't very convenient if you want to go to bed/down the pub etc. So if you wish to record with the TV set at Standby, you need to set the TV timer as required (see the user-guide for the procedure). At the appointed hour, the timer will switch on and send the selected digital programme to the recorder (the TV itself remains at standby).

f) You also need to set the recorder timer to start recording at the same time (still with A1 or whatever selected). You /may/ find that the two boxes will talk to each other so that setting the TV timer will also set the recorder timer automatically, via 'Q link' - again check the user-guides.

g) Note that the signals going from the TV to the recorder will unavoidably be limited to the 'Composite video' standard which is fine for a VCR but a bit limiting for a DVD recorder.

Hopefully that should work as advertised - and no need to buy a set top box... Any probs, please come back with the symptoms and we'll work on it. But HTH.

  gola1 21:32 03 Sep 2007

I'm afraid I have not been able to sort out the problem. I do have an AV1 on the combi and the scart cable is plugged in there, but there does not seem to be an AV1 marked on the tv, so the other end of the cable is plugged into one of the two scart sockets. (The ariel is plugged into the aerial socket of the combi and another cable is plugged into RF Out of the combi at one end and the tuner socket of the tv at the other end. There is a spare scart on the combi and one on the tv, and I have also tried connecting the two sockets with another scart cable instead of the above set-up (and at the same time as the above) but without success. I hope someone may be able to advise. Thanks

  holme 22:55 03 Sep 2007

I'm afraid it isn't going to be possible to sort out the problem without specific information on what the various SCART sockets are named, and what they do. There are simply too many possible combinations to guess the answer. Even if the connection is guessed correctly, by chance, it will still not work if you don't make the right switch settings.

You will have to go into the user-guide for the TV, look up the Connections pages, and sort it out from there. You need to determine what are the names of the two SCART sockets on the TV. Even if they are not physically named on the set, there must be an illustration in the user-guide which will tell you what they are called and which is which.

Similarly, you will have to look up the Connections page in the DVD/VCR user-guide and determine which is the correct SCART socket to connect to the TV. It will most likely be called AV1 - but it could well be AV2 or even AV3.

If for some reason it still isn't possible to get this important information, please provide the make and model number of the TV and the DVD/VCR unit and we will attempt to find out the answers for you (which could take a while).

In the meantime, I recommend that you do not use the second SCART cable which might only confuse the issue further. Leave the aerial and RF IN/OUT cables as you have described them.

  gola1 11:22 07 Sep 2007

Many thanks to everybody who responded to my query. I have now found out what was wrong ( I was not selecting AV1 in the combi's front window )

  holme 12:38 07 Sep 2007

Ah, pretty fundamental. :-) Covered in sub-para d) of my post at 20:29. Glad it works.

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