How to record Freeview from my TV?

Trouble recording Freeview onto DVD

Question submitted online by David

“I bought my mother a Sony DVD-Recorder last Christmas, but since she has been switched over to digital, we are struggling to get it to work. Sony have said that she needs a set-top box in order for the DVD recorder to work – which we’ve tried, but without success.

What is confusing matters (well, me at least) is her TV has built-in freeview. Whenever she tries to recorder anything it ‘appears’ to be recording the analogue signal of the TV – which has been switched off – and therefore records nothing.

Can you help please and tell me the best way of connecting this equipment together – it would be much appreciated and save any remaining hair i have? “

Our Answer

First off, I’m assuming that the DVD recorder doesn’t have Freeview built-in. If that’s the case, then yes, Sony are correct – You will need to connect a Freeview set-top box to the DVD recorder if you want to record Freeview.

Although the TV may have Freeview built-in, it’s not always possible for you to use this to record. There are three problems trying to record from the TV:

  1. Some TV sets don’t support outputting Freeview to a socket that you can use for recording
  2. You’d only be able to record the Freeview channel you’re watching (so no good for recording BBC1 while watching ITV)
  3. The TV would have to be switched on and tuned to the right channel – so no good if you’re going out for the day.

The best option is to get a Freeview set-top box to connect to the DVD recorder. Here’s how you’d connect it:

  1. Connect TV aerial to set-top box (remember the TV set also needs to be connected to an aerial, so you may need a splitter)
  2. Connect set-top box to recorder using a SCART lead
  3. Connect Recorder to TV using a SCART lead

To record, you’d need to tune the set-top box into the right Freeview channel, then set the Recorder to record from the Line In (SCART)


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