DVD/HDD recorders and analogue TV

I’m thinking of getting a DVD HDD recorder, mainly because my current DVD player is dying and a recorder is relatively cheap and would let me watch the MotoGP when I’m awake rather than when it is on!

Normally I don’t have much trouble coming to grips with technical terms and doing some research on the internet. This has me a bit confused though. HDD recorders invariably advertise whether they have a digital tuner or not, what none of them seem to tell me is what, if anything, is required to play and record analogue TV signals. This is important because I live in an area that does not have any digital coverage.

So my question is, can I expect DVD HDD recorders to tune an analogue signal the way a VCR does or is this a special feature in today’s digital world? Here’s an example of the sort of thing I’m looking at.

It states in the specs "Standard Definition STB Built In ", which is analog. But I don’t see anything about HD (high definition), which leads me to wonder if you’re not going to have problems with a device like this when the great digital switchover takes place next February.

There are quite a few devices like this on the market, but personally I think you’re safer with Tivo. LG products (based on my own experience) are not actually very good quality and the company does not provide very good customer service.

Do they have Tivo in Australia? The OP is Australian.

Not a problem for the OP, but if it were an American… the issue isn’t if it can record HD. There are many DVR/HDD recorders that (justly) claim they can record digital content, but that doesn’t mean that it’s high definition.

And to complicate it further, there are recorders that can tune an HD signal and output higher than “standard” definition, but still aren’t HD. I sold a few of these on eBay. They have a 480p output, but can tune over-the-air digital HD content.

The one you linked to only seems to have an analog tuner. What says that is the amount of recording time, 230 hours on 80 gig HD. I do not see a digital tuner listed.

You might be surprised though who has digital coverage. I know you’re in Australia, but a lot of stations here do both at the same time and have been. Then again if it doesn’t have a digital tuner you wouldn’t know.

Tivo is available here but many of its features are disabled. Also, I’m after a DVD player, the HDD recorder function is secondary and I didn’t think Tivos played DVDs.

I’m not overly concerned about HD, I just want to make sure it will take an analogue signal. I’m pretty sure we don’t get digital here, it’s not that I’m in Australia, but I’m in one of the most remote towns that gets two regional TV stations and 2 national ones. One of the national ones (ABC) is about to start digital broadcast testing in my town. The rest don’t do it at all.

The digital ones have a similar amount of recording time, I think it says more about the compression and that it’s only SD not HD. I’ve figured that the LG models will explicitly say if they have a digital tuner and also have “D” at the end of the model number, if it doesn’t have those things but still advertises a built in tuner then it’ll be analogue. The problem is I’m still not sure if the ones that advertise a digital tuner will also tune an analogue signal. I’d like to get one with a digital tuner for future proofing.

I’m not necessarily looking at LG they just have one of the larger and more confusing ranges. Sony have a couple of products with similar prices to the LG ones and are much clearer with their feature list.

The switch to digital is not a switch to HDTV.

I used to sell HDD DVD recorders at my previous job (Electronics store Assistant Manager); some of them will record Analogue but many wont. Check the box or have a look in the manual if you can.

“Standard Definiton STB” is NOT analogue; it is Standard Definition DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcast, Terrestrial). In other words it’s bog standard Digital TV.

HDTV is High Definition Digital TV.

Standard Definition Digital TV is a vast improvement over analogue TV, even on an old CRT (big chunky style with glass front) TV.

HDTV is better than Standard Definition Digital TV, but not enough to get excited over IMHO…