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26th October 2010
I have a new Panasonic Plasma model TX-P42S21B. Can I connect it to a laptop, if so how? Can I fit a USB port?
As best I can tell that particular mode of television doesn't have a PC/VGA input which is what you are most likely to have as an external monitor output on your laptop. If this is the case you're a little stuck as you would need an active video converter to convert the VGA output from your laptop to either component or HDMI on your HDTV. This will be quite expensive as you would be converting from one signal format to another.
If you're laptop happens to have a DVI or even and HDMI cable both of these are already digital formats you're TV is able to handle and it's just a matter of cable and/or adapter to connect them up.
24th October 2010
Our area is not due to go digital/freeview until 2012 but our VCR has just died and we are thinking of replacing it with a Freeview + HD digital recorder (for future proofing). Will all such recorders record the analogue signals we are currently getting? This seems such a basic question but I've not seen it answered anywhere. (I have asked in the local branch of a well known chain store but I have grave doubts about the reliability of some of what I was told.)
As soon as you purchase any type of Freeview recorder you then be watching digitally as such devices come with one or more inbuilt digital tuners so they can record or or more programmes at a time. You won't be able to record the old analogue signals but then again you wouldn't really want or need to having 'gone digital'.
A high-definition Freeview+ recorder will be a little more expensive but as you note will be ready for when Freeview HD transmissions begin in your area in 2012. A Freeview HD device will work with both high-deftion and regular standard-definition Freeview, but you will not be able to receive/record Freeview HD on a standard-definition Freeview device.
24th October 2010
I have a full HDTV but would like Freesat, question can I connect a Humax Freesat box with no problems?
For the best connection you will want to use an HDMI cable and in all likelihood your TV will have one or more HDMI inputs on the back ready for connection to other high-definition devices like set-top boxes. Just about any Freesat box should feature an HDMI output so it's just a matter of connecting them with an inexpensive HDMI cable.
22nd October 2010
I currently have a Freesat HDD recorder (Humax Foxsat HRD DTR) coupled with a Full HD Samsung 40" LED TV. This provides me with BBC & ITV HD, Will this Freesat tuner eventually pick up any future additional HD channels, such as Freeview & Freesat?
Your Freesat recorder will be able to record new HD channels as they are made available on the Freesat service. From the 3rd of November you should be able to receive BBC1 HD as well as BBC HD. Channel 4 is the only high-definition channel that is presently available on Freeview but not via Freesat. The issue is that Freesat can be received across a vastly bigger geographical area than just the UK so the programme licensing is more complex and expensive for Channel 4. This should be rectified eventually but I can't tell you specially when sadly.
22nd October 2010
I am having Virgin cable installed and would like to change my TV hopefully this week. I am looking at the TVs in M&S but am confused which to go for either the:
Sony Bravia 32'' KDL-32EX401 LCD TV or Sony Bravia 32'' KDL-32W5810 Full HD LCD TV
I like the 5810 as it has scart connection so I can plug my DVD player into it. The 401 does not appear to have scart connection so would need to change DVD player or purchase adapted at around £60. What advice can you give me please?
The main difference between the two seems to be that W5810 contains a Freesat tuner built in where as EX401 has Freeview. You don't need to worry too much about finding a SCART socket although I think both have them, as so long as there is a least one analogue/component video input it's just a matter of getting an inexpensive SCART to component cable/adapter. Component video is carried on a few of the many pins within the SCART cable so it's simply a matter of physical rather than electrical conversion.
19th October 2010
Can you confirm the HD channels available on Freeview in the Granada area. I thought Channel 5 was only going to be available via Sky?
You should be able to receive BBC HD, ITV1 HD and Channel 4 HD at present irrespective of where you live (subject to the completion of digital-switchover).
Although Channel 5 did have a provisional slot on the B (HD) multiplex it was unable to fulfil Ofcom's criteria for launch so that space was given instead to the BBC. More space will be made available in 2012 when Channel 5 will be able to bid again but obviously I can't tell you what the outcome of that process will be.
13th October 2010
I have a Samsug HD ready TV with Freeview built in. I want to upscale to full HD and able to record programmes. What do I buy? Do I need a PVR and which would be the best one?
You will want to buy a PVR of some description as it's not really practical or sensible to try and use the inbuilt tuner if your HDTV for recording, better to use that to allow you to watch something else when recording.
As for which PVR to buy depends one what you want any your budget but it sounds like you're after and upconverting, either standard-definition or Freeview HD recorder. An upconverting standard-definition Freeview+ box will be less expensive but will obviously not be able to record Freeview HD when/where available. A Freeview HD recorder will be more expensive but more future proof. The decision you will have to make is if you're able to Freeview HD, how much HD content do you want to record relative to extra cost.
12th October 2010
I want buy an HDTV with Freeview HD I have a Freeview box with recorder can I use it to record from a TV which has freeview built in?
You're going to find if hard if not impossible to record from the in-built Freeview HD tuner inside a television, and certainly won't be able to record high-definition programming on a standard-definition Freeview recorder. I'm not sure though in reality you would want to do this as you may well find at this stage there isn't sufficient HD material to warrant a high-definition recorder, and that buying a dedicated HD recorder now or in the future will give you a better/tighter integrated EPG/recording set-up.
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