How to record digital television

We describe the different methods you can use to record digital TV

Over half of all Australian households watch digital television. But if you've got a shiny new digital television or set-top box, chances are that recording shows using your old VCR will be awkward and deprive you of the quality offered by digital broadcasts. We've rounded up the options open to you to make good quality recordings of your favourite shows.

Option 1: Buy a digital video recorder (DVR)

This is probably the most hassle-free option for recording digital television. A Blu-ray disc recorder like the DMR-BW850 or DMR-BW750 will decode the digital television signal from your antenna and display it on your television via HDMI. These devices have twin television tuners so you can record one channel while watching a different one. A large internal hard drive allows you to store many hours of high-definition digital content, while a Blu-ray drive allows you to copy shows to recordable Blu-ray discs and store them for later use. Of course, you can also watch Blu-ray movies with them.

DVRs without a Blu-ray drive also exist and they are generally much cheaper. They usually record to a hard drive (like the DVICO TViX R-3300 media streamer does), but models with DVD recorders like the Panasonic DMR-EX79 also exist. These aren't as feature-packed as Blu-ray DVRs, but they might do the job.

Option 2: Use a media centre PC

For those comfortable with technology, a media centre PC offers a wide range of options — you can even build your own. If you have the time and money, you could spec one of these babies out with four digital television tuners, a powerful CPU and a bunch of 1TB internal hard drives — creating the most powerful option for recording digital television short of the Cell Regza TV and recorder. Companies like Claritas offer custom-built media centre PCs in Australia, while larger companies like Sony and HP also offer preconfigured solutions.

Option 3: Buy a television with an internal recorder

If you're not keen on buying an extra box just to record television — hell, isn't this the era of convergence anyway? — your choices are limited. However, LG's Time Machine plasma televisions like the LG 50PS80ED plasma television feature dual internal television tuners, an internal hard drive for storing content and a USB port for transferring saved videos to free up space. If you're keen on cutting down on devices — or just don't want to learn to drive another remote control — a television with an internal recorder is your best choice.

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags digital video recorderdigital television

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?