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  • johng
    replied
    I am going to stay out of these discussions now since it is all getting too technical and complicated for me. The fact is that I can still record everything as I always did from Virgin so I will worry about the changes when and if I run into trouble.

    There should still be plenty of good serviceable second hand equipment around for many years so that should not be a problem in itself.



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  • Bonekicker
    replied
    When mine died I replaced it with a BluRay player. Ironically my old VCR still works fine. I will have to pay my local photographic studio to convert my never copied video tapes onto disc now (they offer such a service but it's not cheapr!)
    Just use a VCR and a digital converter, as I suggested in comment #30 - it will set you back about £15. Of course, if you can find that content digitised already, then even better.

    When these set top box things came out, annoyingly they just didn't work where I live. This town doesn't have cable, and unless you have satellite (I have SKY) to this day I'm told there are neighbourhoods which simply cannot "get" Channel 5!
    Everyone can get Channel 5 - even 'light transmitters', which serve just 9% of the population (they fill in for places which geographically/population density wide make it difficult for the main transmitters) get far more channels than before digital switchover (as to why they dont get more channels, see here: https://ukfree.tv/article/1107051883...the_Freeview_L ). Picking one at random, you can see that West Runton not only gets pretty all the BBC channels in HD, they get C5 in both SD and HD https://ukfree.tv/transmitters/tv/West_Runton

    If your unlucky enough to live in an area which has real reception problems or simply want more channels than can be supplied by a light transmitter, then go for Freesat. Its basically Freeview for a dish, and you can use an old Sky dish with no problem - many TV's will have a tuner built in, you can always buy a seperate box (£60-99, depending on the brand), and a Humax Freesat PVR will start about £179. A lot of former Sky customers have swapped that for Freesat, because they are basically paying for but actually not using the extra Sky channels.

    If I've understood the ensuing posts correctly, the gist of all this is down to market forces, as usual. Because few other (if any?) people out there apart from me still try to record specific snippets from the (obviously never repeated nor ever to be commercially released as a box set) TV news, the modern equipment just doesn't cater for this once simple operation - it's not economically viable.
    True, unless your go for one of the Panasonic models that does.


    So, as my old SKY Box conked out and I was railroaded into their standard replacement, the new SKY Q Box (way too slick to recognise an antiquated contraption like a VCR)
    We live in a digital world, where the last scart only TV stopped being sold 11 years ago - Sky Q also does multi room, streaming to various devices and 4K - so its not for people who still have a VCR. But if Sky Q isn't working out for you, when your contract is coming to an end, say you dont want it.

    You can just buy an old Sky box, and hook it up to a dish - if your just using the standard channels ('Sky No-card' https://ukfree.tv/article/1107052106...hat_Sky_No_Car ) you might even not need a subscription at all. The only problem you might have is that the Sky Q dish is different from the older ones, and therefore might not be compatible with older equipment. But if yo can get an old one you work with your dish, you can hook up your VCR to it.

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  • Tonch
    replied
    Originally posted by johng View Post
    Carl V

    Thank you for your input. Apart from the price the Panasonic is a somewhat useless piece of equipment in this context since it has no inputs. How is one supposed to connect a Sky or cable box, transfer VHS tapes to DVD, connect another DVD player or for that matter a video camera?
    Exactly. And if I'm understanding things, the old combi DVD/VCR machines (I had one and could at one time convert from tape to disc or vice versa) are long since obsolete . When mine died I replaced it with a BluRay player. Ironically my old VCR still works fine. I will have to pay my local photographic studio to convert my never copied video tapes onto disc now (they offer such a service but it's not cheapr!)


    Originally posted by johng View Post
    Whilst it has a Freeview tuner that is inadequate for many people. I live in area served only by a relay station which only broadcasts a limited number of channels nothing like the full number therefore one is forced to go to Sky or cable.
    When these set top box things came out, annoyingly they just didn't work where I live. This town doesn't have cable, and unless you have satellite (I have SKY) to this day I'm told there are neighbourhoods which simply cannot "get" Channel 5!

    Originally posted by johng View Post
    Possibly the way out is to arm oneself with a few spare DVD recorders whilst second hand or refurbished ones are still available.

    I accept one can possibly resort to a PC but that is complicating what before was a relatively simple operation.

    Like many other aspects this is technology gone into reverse.

    Yes, yes and yes! I'm sure many of us see making things difficult/impossible that were once easy as a retrograde step.

    If I've understood the ensuing posts correctly, the gist of all this is down to market forces, as usual. Because few other (if any?) people out there apart from me still try to record specific snippets from the (obviously never repeated nor ever to be commercially released as a box set) TV news, the modern equipment just doesn't cater for this once simple operation - it's not economically viable.

    So, as my old SKY Box conked out and I was railroaded into their standard replacement, the new SKY Q Box (way too slick to recognise an antiquated contraption like a VCR) I felt that my rolling, multi-volume collection of "Celebrity Deaths", started back in 1995 with Harold Wilson, would finally itself die with the passing of Barry Norman.... then I remembered that my mother has SKY and doesn't watch much telly (more of a reader) so her "old" SKY Box (which still caters for her VCR, which she's never known how to use) is still as good as new! A simple series link of the 10 O'Clock News on her planner and I'm up and running again! OK, I can no longer sit at home in my armchair and click buttons to record without getting off my arse, but mum only lives a five minute drive away, so a visit armed with my tape has thankfully caught Robert Hardy, Glen Campbell, Bruce Forsyth and Jerry Lewis in the safety net!

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  • Bonekicker
    replied
    Mr Average can still archive on DVD, but he's going to have to find slightly different ways to do it, other than a Panasonic EX79/Sony HXD 890 (I've got the 995), and to be honest, most stuff in available on boxsets/the internet. But a collector could still use a USB tuner attached to a PC, or a hard drive attached to a TV, if they wanted to archive stuff thats been broadcast.

    However, the majority of people haven't really bothered to archive very much since the advent of VCR's - they've mostly been used to timeshift or play purchased TV/films. The current crop of PVR's recognises that, but on the other hand may have as many as 4 tuners, and will of course stream from the net, etc.

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  • johng
    replied
    I still have a Sony HXD 890 so apart from Virgin I can still record Freeview using either the PVRs own tuner or the one on the TV.

    This has been an interesting dialogue and I think we are all faced with different problems depending on ones set-up. The people I feel sorry for are collectors who normally want to store on DVD, however I suppose they are in the minority and Mr Average now probably only uses recording as a "time shift" so he is not really interested in the DVD problem which has arisen in recent times.

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  • Bonekicker
    replied
    I assume therefore that the problem just arises in relation to Sky/Virgin and that there is no DRM problem of you attempt to record a Freeview channel via an aerial?
    Actually, my Sony PVR is now kaput as far as recording is concerned, since the EPG software has gone haywire and the DVD recorder hasn't worked for a couple of years either, but my brother in law was saying theirs is working fine, so SD is fine to record both to a HDD and then a DVD, if you want to.

    But if I was to get a Panasonic 850 HDD/blu ray to replace it, then although its probably fine in SD, possibly not HD (on a blu ray disk). However, since HD is no longer as special, there are rumours that it will let you do that. But the bulk of Freeview PVR's are just tuners and hard drives, and have no outputs for even a SD recorder, never mind HD. You might be able to transfer from a Humax (in theory) via the USB, but even some years ago, it looked like a faff.

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  • johng
    replied
    I assume therefore that the problem just arises in relation to Sky/Virgin and that there is no DRM problem of you attempt to record a Freeview channel via an aerial?

    Leave a comment:


  • Bonekicker
    replied
    Virgin took away my old hub when I moved and replaced it with a new one.

    You can record from Freeview in exactly the same way as Virgin/Sky, but very few boxes allow you to output to another device anyway (no scarts, and not really equiped for it anyway, as I've already pointed out).
    Apparently the Panasonic 850 series (used to be the 7) will apparently allow you to archive to Blu Ray even in HD, but its not a cheap option. Panasonic also do a EX97, which is like an update of the older EX79,. Sort of similar to their 530, but with a recordable DVD.

    This BBC diary from 2009 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcintern...nitials_d.html points out that recording to SD wasn't ever a big deal, but rights holders didn't like HD content without some DRM protection, which sort of made sense in 2009. Frankly, I think the most sensible two comments on that page (most of which are foaming at the mouth about something that hardly anyone cares about) are that the bulk of people can't be faffed with trying to bypass DRM, so it works and :
    is it just me? am i the only person who couldn't care less about copying stuff? sure, i record stuff on my Sky+HD box but once i've watched it i delete it (unless it's something i can't get elsewhere such as a 'special' on one of the music channels showing every video by a certain artist which is not yet available to buy on dvd).

    if a series is worth a repeat viewing/keeping, i will wait and buy the series on dvd/blu-ray - that way i get a MUCH better picture and sound quality (the bit rates tend to be higher) and i get the 'bonus' features.

    when i can do this, why would i want to record DOG-covered shows off of the tv? it seems a bit pointless to me.
    And thats most peoples attitude eight years later.

    So its still perfectly possible to archive stuff in SD on Freeview if you have the right kit/know what your doing, and probably HD as well. But since relatively few people bother all that much in doing so, its not a big part of the market.

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  • johng
    replied
    There was the time when if you upgraded, the engineer took away the old box and you could not keep it.

    However in more recent times, Virgin tend not to send an engineer, they merely post the new box to you with instructions and leave you to do your own thing. I think I'll keep my present box as long as it continues to function.

    Is this merely a Virgin/Sky issue and can one still record as normal from Freeview?

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  • Bonekicker
    replied
    From what I can see I should keep this box and not go over to a newer one with hard drive otherwise I am likely to lose my recording facility to an external source.
    I did find a Virgin media forum (which I might have linked to in a previous post) which pointed out that if you do upgrade, its possible to keep the older box as well, but you might possibly have to pay extra.

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  • johng
    replied
    Thank you for your very helpful explanation which I am sure will indicate to others that the position may vary over the country and depending on your box

    From what I can see I should keep this box and not go over to a newer one with hard drive otherwise I am likely to lose my recording facility to an external source.

    I am not really worried over HD - SD does me fine.

    Thank you again for the explanation.

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  • Bonekicker
    replied
    We are talking about recording to DISC rather to Hard Drive where there appears to be no problem
    I'm guessing that the confusion as to what and what is not possible might come from the various different boxes that are in circulation, what their firmware allows, and perhaps even if that firmware has been updated. Virgin have seemingly regularly changed their range of boxes throughout the years, which might do more in some cases, but also sometimes less. And its likely that not everyone has the same box, and therefore cannot all do the same thing. And your confusing the boxes hard drive, which will be recorded to as a standard feature, as opposed to an external output, like a disc recorder, which these days probably will not.

    Virgin boxes are essentially receivers for Virgin cable - some have hard drives (which I assume are the bulk of them) as well.

    In your case, you have a Vbox HD, which seemingly does allow you to output to an external source. But a quick search shows that the Vbox HD came out in 2010, which was the point that DRM was in force for HD generally in the UK, but seemingly OK for SD http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcintern...nitials_d.html

    So if your outputting to a disc recorder, then since its SD, it might work. HD, no.

    But later boxes might not allow someone to output in either SD or HD. If your trying to record something to another machine, say a disc recorder or VHS (!), the machine has to communicate with it, and the Virgin box is likely programmed not to output that content, so that it cannot be recorded. In essence, its a sealed system.

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  • johng
    replied
    I accept that it would not solve a DRM problem. We are talking about recording to DISC rather to Hard Drive where there appears to be no problem.

    The question which is puzzling is why some people can record nothing, others can do so on certain channels and for my part I can record on to disc from Virgin, live broadcasts, Catch Up TV or TV on Demand. The box I have is a Vbox HD. I have yet to be confronted with any message preventing me from recording to disc and I can therefore only go by personal experience. Standard set-up no fancy gadgets or software - wouldn't know what to do with them anyway!

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  • Bonekicker
    replied
    You are without correct re DRM however as far as outputs from the box are concerned then just put the DVD recorder between the box and the TV. That usually solves that problem.
    But that wouldn't solve a DRM problem. The Virgin (and I assume Sky box) are set up to be in essence closed systems, although it depends on which box you use (as these forums seem to suggest, a V+ box, a V+ HD ,a Tivo, etc all do different things in terms of DRM, etc - http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/...D/td-p/3373991 & http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/...x/td-p/3310788).

    But DRM is DRM - its to stop recording, not watching. The DVD recorder is just that, and therefore DRM would kick in, if the outputting Virgin box is equiped in that way whereas watching it on TV would not.

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  • johng
    replied
    You are without correct re DRM however as far as outputs from the box are concerned then just put the DVD recorder between the box and the TV. That usually solves that problem.

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