Looking for a brand new DVD player to pair with your new display and sound system? There are a number of DVD players that not only have recording capabilities but Freeview tuners too.
What this means is that not only will you be able to watch your favourite shows via Freeview but also record them to either a hard drive or DVD. When you’re done reading this article, you’ll know how to choose the best DVD player for your needs.
Without further delay, let’s take a look at our top three DVD players with hard drives and Freeview.1
Key Selling Point: Budget FriendlyAlthough a little dated, the Samsung SH8393M is a mid-range DVD recorder. It has a 160 GB hard drive, a single tray DVD recorder, and a built-in Freeview Tuner. The recorder can also upscale various formats to 1080p HD.
The DVD recorder also has HDMI, USB, and SCART outputs. The USB port is great for watching content from other devices, such as flash-drives or cameras. The built-in Freeview Tuner makes it possible to record TV programs for later.
- Old (Released in 2009)
- No Freeview+
- Small Hard Drive (160 GB)
Overall, this DVD recorder is decent, but a little old. It’s a budget-friendly choice. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support Freeview+, only the older version.2
Key Selling Point: Freeview+ and Great HDD SpaceThe Panasonic DMR-EX97EB-K is a great recorder. It has Freeview+ features and a much larger hard drive (500 GB) that allows up to 860 hours of data. With this recorder, you can not only control live programmes but also record two at the same time.
It also has a much faster start-up control system, which drastically improves function speeds. You can also attach an external hard drive to improve the hard drive space and add more content to your library. As for advertisements, there is a built-in video editor to remove advertisements from your recorded content. It’s a consumer favourite. One downside would be the lack of a Scart input socket.
Overall, a very easy to use and high-quality Freeview DVD recorder.
Key Selling Point: Budget Freeview+ ModelAlthough not the most-liked recorder, the Toshiba RD99DTKB is budget-friendly and has Freeview+ capabilities. Even though it was released during the same year as our other budget-choice, it has a larger hard drive, 250 GB vs 160 GB.
On the other hand, consumers have complained about the UI and navigation menus, saying they’re difficult to use. Overall, the RD99DTKB is a budget model which could be good enough for most people, but it doesn’t really provide the most bang for your buck.
Nevertheless, if you need something a basic DVD recorder with Freeview, this is one option. It supports Freeview+ as well as several other features usually only found in modern devices.
DVD Player Recorder Buying Guide
You might be wondering what criteria we used to pick those top three DVD recorders. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll walk you through the steps needed to find the perfect recorder for your home entertainment centre. Without further delay, let’s get started.
Keep an Eye Out for The Right Freeview Version
As you probably know, Freeview is the UK’s free terrestrial TV service, but there are other versions, such as Freeview Plus and Freeview HD. If you want to get the benefits of the newer versions, then you have to buy a device that supports them.
Usually, most televisions and DVD recorders have a Freeview+ logo printed on the box. If they don’t, then you might have to dig a little deeper to see if they support it. Then there’s Freeview Play, which is the same as the previous versions but with broadband internet. In short, make sure to check if the device supports the Freeview versions that you want. Ideally, it should support Freeview Plus.
Consider Hard Drive Space
Do you watch a lot of TV shows? How often will you record programmes? Modern DVD recorders have plenty of hard drive space, but if you only use a fraction of it, then you’re not making the most of the device.
It would not make sense to spend extra money on a recorder that has a 1 TB HDD unless you plan to use that extra space. Out of the devices we mentioned, the DMR-EX97EB-K has the largest hard drive, although there are models out there with even more space.
On the subject of hard drive sizes, it’s important to keep in mind HD programmes are much larger than standard definition. If you download a lot of HD shows, chances are you’ll need a much larger hard drive. It’s something to think about.
Make Sure The Recorder Is Compatible With Your Equipment
There’s nothing more frustrating than buying a new device only to find out it doesn’t work with your other devices.
To avoid this problem, make sure to double-check to see if all the sockets on the DVD recorder match the cables on your other devices; such as audio system, TV, and whatnot.
One common scenario is people try to match a modern DVD recorder with an older TV, only to find out the TV only has SCART output, while the recorder only has HDMI.
In most cases, if your other devices are relatively modern, they should all be compatible with one another. But it’s always best to double-check. Worse scenario, you’ll have to buy adapters.
What is a Freeview Recorder Box?
A Freeview recorder box is a device that not only has a Freeview receiver but also allows you to record programmes to an internal hard drive. Although most modern TVs have a built-in Freeview receiver and recording capabilities, they don’t necessarily work that well.
If it has Freeview Plus then you can pause and control live TV. In short, it makes watching TV much more convenient and fluid, and you won’t have to worry about missing a show. Keep in mind, a Freeview recorder doesn’t provide many features, it’s more like a standalone device.
What are The Benefits of Using a Bundle?
You might be wondering what are the benefits of using a bundle when you can use a standalone Freeview recorder. While that may be true, bundles include many more features and make things a bit easier in the long run. One way they’ll make your life easier is you won’t have to worry about cable management.
Most bundles use one cable, usually an HDMI cable for both sound and video. Additionally, bundles provide a wide range of new features, such as; DVD or Blu-ray support, Wi-Fi, ability to watch movies while recording shows with Freeview, and a lot more. Bundles are also only slightly cheaper than Freeview recorders, and most people agree they’re worth it.
Do You Need an Internet Connection?
Although some DVD recorders can connect to the internet, if you’re only interested in Freeview, then there’s no need for an internet connection. Freeview is broadcasted through the air-waves, similar to radio, so all you need to watch Freeview is a device that has a receiver. In short, you do not need an internet connection to use a DVD recorder. Most people agree that an internet connection is not necessary for a recorder.
Can DVD Recorders Play Music?
Although the CDS are a dying technology, there’s a good chance you have a lot of them with music lying around. The DVD recorder can usually play music from CDS, so you can listen to your favourite music while recording TV shows. Or seamlessly switch between watching TV and listening to music. This is great for people who have high-quality home theatre sound systems.
Can I Copy Files from My DVD Recorder to a USB Flash Drive?
It depends on the device. Generally, if a DVD recorder has a USB port, then you can move files from the recorder to an external hard drive. Moving the files makes it easier to bring your favourite shows with you wherever you go. Just keep in mind most HD files are quite large, so a bigger external hard drive is recommended.
You might be wondering what are the top brands for DVD recorders with Freeview. There are many different brands and products out there, so if you don’t know where to start, narrowing down your choices can be a challenge.
Generally, you can’t go wrong with one of the big five electronic companies. The prices are about the same across the board, although you might find some cheaper lesser-known brands. Overall, I recommend going with one of the top five electronics companies because they have a great track record, detailed product manuals, warranties, and customer support.
- Samsung – One of the most popular companies in the electronics industry.
- Panasonic – Panasonic is well known for creating DVD players and other gadgets.
- Sony – Consumers recognize Sony as a reliable product manufacturer. Their devices are usually in the high budget range.
- Philips – Philips often provides the best customer support, with replacements being shipped almost instantly, and near life-long warranties.
- Toshiba – Toshiba tends to offer great budget choices.