Can I Record From Freesat With My DVD Hard Drive Recorder?

Updated April 17, 2017

Freesat is the free-to-air digital satellite television service for the United Kingdom. It offers fewer channels than the rival subscription-based Sky TV service, but you can watch all the main standard-definition and high-definition channels, or record Freesat programs to view later. One way of recording Freesat's output is to connect the satellite receiver to a hard-disk DVD recorder.


To connect a hard-disk DVD recorder to a Freesat satellite receiver, you'll need a suitable connection lead. The most common connection is via a 21-pin European SCART lead that plugs into the SCART output socket on the Freesat box and the SCART input socket on the DVD recorder. SCART connections allow recording of widescreen TV pictures and stereo digital sound. If you have an HD Freesat box, then you can connect it to the DVD recorder with an HDMI lead. Depending on the equipment, you may also be able to connect with component or S-video cables.


Connecting the hard-disk DVD recorder to the Freesat box is straightforward. Plug the connection cable into the output socket on the Freesat box and the input jacks on the DVD recorder. You can find these on the back panel of the recorder and the receiver. Use high-quality connection cables and push the cable jacks into the sockets firmly to form a secure, tight connection.


Before you can record programs from Freesat, you'll need to find the correct channel on the hard-disk DVD recorder. Switch on all equipment, including the TV set, and tune to the correct TV channel for viewing the DVD recorder's output. Press "Input," "AV" or "EXT" On the DVD recorder's remote control handset until the screen shows the Freesat signal. Note down the correct channel for Freesat from the display on the TV set. This usually starts with "AV" or "EXT" followed by a single digit. For example, the correct channel might be "AV2" or "EXT3."


Set the DVD recorder to record in the usual way, but remember to enter the correct channel for Freesat when you're scheduling a recording. One disadvantage of using a hard-drive DVD recorder, rather than a Freesat personal video recorder, is that you can't watch one channel and record another at the same time. You'll need to leave the Freesat receiver tuned to the station that you want to record.

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About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.