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Larry the Loafer5,615 posts since 2 Jul 2005
Granada North West Today
Somebody has been lovely/stupid enough to offer me a job that'll require finally moving out and relocating to another city. However, over the years, I've been spoilt by the pleasures of Sky and Virgin, and I'm preparing to find myself in the position where I can afford neither and will have to rely on Freeview.

I'm looking for some advice from you lovely people, you. The Freeview scene has changed quite a bit since I last gave a toss about it and I'm not quite sure which is going to be the best option. There are certain elements of Sky/Virgin I'm looking for, which are the following:

- Ability to record more than one programme at a time
- Dynamic EPG (you can tell I'm a TiVo viewer)
- Ability to add padding to recordings
- Manual recording feature
- HDMI and SCART outputs

I don't know if Youview has most/all of these features, or if there's a cheaper, more capable option out there. What would you recommend?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
davidhorman2,261 posts since 8 Mar 2005
Channel Channel Islands
Don't forget Free sat . My Humax Freesat box does have the ability to add padding, but it seems to then ignore PDC - so if you add 5 minutes padding to the end, you might miss the beginning if it starts early.

Both Freesat and Freeview do allow multiple recordings, but how many depends on the combination of channels. I think you can always record/watch at least two channels (as long as you have dual connections in the case of Freesat) but anything over and above it depends on exactly which channels are in use.

No idea if either has a dynamic EPG. My old Youview box had SCART, but the new Freesat one has HDMI only.

Pretty sure neither has manual recording.
Neil Jones5,668 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
Freeview HDD recorder may be the best solution. Many of these have the various catch-up apps built in as well and often have two tuners ala Sky.

Whether these pad the recordings like Sky I don't know; I suspect they probably don't, not automatically anyway. The EPG operation/dynamicness can vary dramatically on the cheaper boxes and I find all of the are a pain in the proverbial arse if you're so used to the way Sky works.

SCART output may be a rare beast on more modern machines especially if you can get access to Freeview HD. Many of the budget units that just act as a receiver will have SCART.

If you have or could get hold of a satellite dish, Freesat might be another option.
Neil Jones5,668 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
PDC was transmitted as part of the Teletext signal. Which we don't have any longer. Plus in the analogue days while it was available on the BBC, Channel 5 and probably Channel 4, support on ITV was dependent on your region.

Plus it's hardly "padding" Sky+ style. That just records a minute or two either side of the programme and extends the end time if the programme overruns. PDC didn't do that IIRC.
noggin14,651 posts since 26 Jun 2001
PDC technically went the way of all things with analogue TV. However it was replaced by a similar system on DVB platforms, often implemented using EIT (Extended Information Tables I think) that offers similar functionality, allowing PVRs on Freeview, Freesat, Sky etc. to properly start and stop recordings based on programme junction triggers and dynamic schedule updates from the broadcaster.

All Freeview +, Freesat + (and HD variants) should include proper EIT triggered recording options.
nwtv20038,413 posts since 5 Jan 2003
Granada North West Today
If you can pick up a cheap maybe second hand YouView box I'd certainly recommend that. We had YouView prior to Sky, the reason we left was because TalkTalk was crap, but the Box and YouView in general is quite decent.

Or depending how new your TV is, buy a USB hard drive and record on to that, my in laws swear by that, and they have that plugged into a smart TV.
picard421 posts since 2 Jun 2016
Having left Sky over nine months ago, I went straight to FreeView and used my smart TV for catch up. I have never looked back.

Admittedly I purchased Now TV for one month to catch up on the TV series I have been finished off, only series I have now is the walking dead. Im not going to watch any more series unless they are on a free channel.

My parents have YouView and it's good. Gets the job done and easy to use.
Rex (previously MetalGearRex) 1,545 posts since 11 May 2016
London London
Is there any benefit to getting a BT-branded YouView over Humax and the likes? I can only assume I'd get the flexibility of receiving BT TV more easily if I choose to pay for it, but I don't know if I'm missing anything else.

The latest Humax boxes have a sleek design and are quite fast - BT's is also manufactured by Humax. The Huawei boxes are worse by comparison.

BT has the advantage of having a subscription service on top of having YouView - but be warned - the Sky channels are notably absent, and Now TV is a joke on YouView. Alternatively, the BT branded box is sold separately - so the option of adding BT TV is completely up to you.