Recording Digital TV – Help and Advice
Got a digital TV service like Freeview, Sky, Virgin, BT Vision or Freesat, and need help recording TV? Here, you’ll find help and advice on how record digital TV.
- Buy a DVD recorder with a built-in Freeview Receiver – DVD Recorders
- Connect a Freeview box to a DVD Recorder or Video recorder – How to do it
- Connect a Freeview TV-set to a DVD Recorder or Video recorder – How to do it
- Buy a PVR – A hard-disk recorder that records without tape – PVR options explored
- Record on a PC or Mac computer – Freeview on a PC
- Get aSky+ or Sky+HD recorder – record hours of Sky with no tape
- Connect a Sky box to a DVD Recorder or Video recorder – How to do it
- Record on a PC or Mac computer – Sky TV on a PC
- Get a Virgin Media V+ box – record hours of cable TV with no tape
- Connect a Virgin box to a DVD Recorder or Video recorder – How to do it
- Record onto a PC or Mac computer – Virgin on a PC
- The BT Vision box is a hard disc recorder that lets you record hours of TV already
- Connect your BT Vision box to a DVD Recorder or Video recorder – How to do it
- Record onto a PC or Mac computer – BT Vision on a PC
- Buy a PVR – A hard-disk recorder that records without tape – Freesat Boxes
- Connect a Freesat receiver box to a DVD Recorder or Video recorder – How to do it
- Connect a Freesat-enabled TV-set to a DVD Recorder or Video recorder – How to do it
- Record on a PC or Mac computer – Satellite TV on a PC
How to record from your Freeview, Sky, Virgin, Freesat or BT Vision box:
You need to do two things:
Connecting via SCART
Connecting via SCART is the better of the two options. Here’s what to do:
Connecting via Co-ax / Aerial / RF Cable
If you want to record the output of your Freeview box onto your video/DVD not using a SCART lead, your set-top box must be capable of generating a “modulated output“. This means it creates a TV channel that you can tune your video into (just like a normal TV channel).
Note 1: The majority of basic Freeview and Freesat boxes don’t have the ability to modulate their signal. Sky and BT Vision boxes do modulate.
Note 2: Your recorder must be able to record an analogue signal via aerial – most VCRs will do this, but newer digital-only DVD recorders may not.
If your box definitely has a modulated output, do the following:
In some cases, it’s possible to record directly from a TV that has a built-in Freeview or Freesat receiver, but there are often complications:
Your best bet is to check the TV’s manual – it’s bound to have something about how to record onto video/DVD. If you still have no joy, try contacting the manufacturer of your TV to check whether it’s possible to record Freeview with your model.
If your TV does not support recording, or you find the limitations listed above, to be a problem. then the best option is consider buying a cheap set-top box (£30) just to connect to your recorder. This will allow you to record one digital channel while watching another.
If your TV does support recording via SCART, here’s how to do it:
- Digital TV Basics – A basic summary of the digital TV options
- For more on Freeview and free-to-air set-top boxes, see our Freeview page.
- For more on Sky and Freesat, see our Satellite page.
- Discuss digital TV in our TV forum
- Help and Advice: BT Vision , Freesat, Freeview, Sky TV, TalkTalk TV, Top Up TV, Virgin Media