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Recording TV in a motorhome


G and D

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First post so hope we are doing this right and in the correct section.

 

Also about to become new to motorhoming having been tent campers for years with no electric.

 

Now we are venturing into the shed on wheels way of doing things we need some info on how we go about recording TV whilst we are at the pub in the evenings or when we have to choose which channel to watch if two programmes we like are showing at the same time.

 

At home we have a DVD and VHS recorder in one unit which can record two different channels whilst we watch a third which doesn't happen often but as one of us is about to retire from a job where shift work meant catching up on tv after a programme had been shown it has often been the case that we do actually record stuff on the DVD and VHS at the same time.

 

Apparently we need to get a 12v hard drive recorder but can only find ones that are to do with CCTV when we google. Would anyone know where we can get an appliance that would record one programme whilst we watch another channel in a motorhome? One that only records the channel you are watching seems a bit pointless. We will probably be sticking to freeview rather than sky so don't think sky plus would be an option.

 

We are not telly addicts but don't like to miss episodes of serial dramas as we then lose the plot.

 

Thanks

 

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Spospe

I have to get my head around motorhome electrics. Not having a degree in physics or electrical engineering it is all a bit beyond my understanding.

 

A chap at a dealers said we would need an inverter to work our laptop so I guess that we could also use an inverter to operate other 240v items. However, would too many normal electrical items run through inverters not drain the battery when not on hook up? I have also seen threads on here berating people who use lots of electrical items on mains hook up as apparently too many volts are then used which puts the site fees up for everyone else.

The inverter for a laptop would be fitted on the opposite side of the van to where the TV and recorder would be and we don't really want wires trailing everywhere and sometimes one of us would be using the laptop at the same time as we recorded the tv and I am not sure we could use the same inverter for two appliances at once?

I think a visit to Maplins might be needed as we really have no clue how the electrical stuff works and about overloading or draining the 12v off site or 240v when on site.

Thanks

 

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Hello, not sure if this will be relevant to you but we have an avtex tv with a recording feature, you can have it mains or 12v, you use a usb stick to record your programmes on, a bit like sky plus but more primitive. It does the job for us though and generally we don't have any issues. It has a aerial which we connect directly into the TV so it all works off one source of electric. We bought ours from a very helpful chappy who explained everything too me with great patience. The TV is super and we bought a case that holds everything nicely inside for transportation.

 

Details for you are:

 

http://www.anrleisure.co.uk/

 

PS forgot to say it has a built in DVD player too !

 

Thanks t5T

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As you know, the twin tuner type recording devices are streets ahead of simple USB type adaptors, hence your reference to Sky+.

 

We have a Sky HD system which we move from home to the motorhome when we are travelling. We had a Camos crank-up plus twin LNB unit fitted as this represented the best performance/price/ease of use combination.

 

We would not be without this facility, not because we watch loads of TV but because we are selective about what we watch and the times we wish to watch it.

 

I realise some people might not want to get into a subscription arrangement for their TV but a Freesat twin tuner box with similar planning/recording capabilities would be one way forward.

 

Similarly, a Freeview twin tuner box would do the job. Humax and Topfield seem to be the most recommended boxes on the AV forums I frequent. I got a Humax for my Dad this christmas and he is very happy.

 

Pros/Cons? Well, satellite requires a dish which can be anything from a simple manual affair to the latest fully automatic devices, all depends on what cost/convenience compromise you are happy with. Also, some manual systems can be a bit of a pain to set up until you have had a little practice!

On the other hand, Freeview boxes are relatively competitive at £150 ish for a nice Humax (£250 ish for Topfield) and only need a 'normal' aeriel. However, we found that the UK Freeview signal can be a bit patchy especially if you camp near the coast.

 

RE power supply, we tend to use EHU but have an inverter which will run the TV and Sky box perfectly adequately, although we havent camped without EHU for any prolonged period to guage battery life etc.

 

Rgds,

Chris.

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I use a TB recorder hard drive and use the ordinary sat box with 128 sats pre-programmed in and never a Sky box as once away from home they are a pain in the bum-too slow to tune too narrow in sats compared with even a cheapy from Maplins.

One point tho. you MUST change the file management to FAT 32 as comp files wont work.

You may find the quickest way is to go to a comp repair place and have it done electro-magnitically.

I had mine done and this then gives you the record replay fast forward etc as well as record one watch another.

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dikyenfo - 2011-02-25 11:44 AM

 

I use a TB recorder hard drive and use the ordinary sat box with 128 sats pre-programmed in and never a Sky box as once away from home they are a pain in the bum-too slow to tune too narrow in sats compared with even a cheapy from Maplins.

One point tho. you MUST change the file management to FAT 32 as comp files wont work.

You may find the quickest way is to go to a comp repair place and have it done electro-magnitically.

I had mine done and this then gives you the record replay fast forward etc as well as record one watch another.

 

Eh .... :-S :-D

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dikyenfo - 2011-02-25 11:44 AM

 

I use a TB recorder hard drive and use the ordinary sat box with 128 sats pre-programmed in and never a Sky box as once away from home they are a pain in the bum-too slow to tune too narrow in sats compared with even a cheapy from Maplins.

One point tho. you MUST change the file management to FAT 32 as comp files wont work.

You may find the quickest way is to go to a comp repair place and have it done electro-magnitically.

I had mine done and this then gives you the record replay fast forward etc as well as record one watch another.

I'm sure that someone who has asked a fairly gereric question about recording TV in their motorhome and is seeking a fairly straightforward solution is going to find your post a tad technical.

 

I've had 35 yrs in IT and am an avid AV enthusiast and I got lost after '128 sats pre-programmed'.......................

 

Rgds,

Chris.

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Why not? I record programmes at home while away and watch them when I get back. The OP has said that they are not avid telly watchers.

 

As for your laptop, do not use an inverter, use a proper device that you plug into the 12 volts and it converts the voltage to that of your laptop. Maplin sell them, I have one and it works well. If you have an unusual make of laptop, look at the back of it and find the voltage, then make sure the laptop adaptor can be set to the same voltage. They have about 6 different voltage settings to suit most makes.

 

I use a Sky digibox and a 150 watt inverter. I have no bother setting it up manually.

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747 - 2011-02-25 5:12 PM

Why not? I record programmes at home while away and watch them when I get back. The OP has said that they are not avid telly watchers.

......but he specifically asked about systems for recording in the motorhome. He already has the capability to record at home via his existing equipment. They may not be avid telly watchers but, again, wanted to keep up with soaps while in the van as they can lose the plot......depends how long they stay away, I suppose.

 

747 - 2011-02-25 5:12 PM

I use a Sky digibox and a 150 watt inverter. I have no bother setting it up manually.

I, too, use a Sky+ HD digibox and can run it from an inverter and have no bother setting it up. However, the OP said he did not want to get involved with subscription TV and a free to air box would be easier to manage if satellite TV was the chosen route.

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Guest Tracker

Before buying lots of techy kit do be aware that a TV signal in far away places even in the UK can still be very iffy and without a good signal you won't be watching let alone recording.

 

You can sometimes get an analogue signal where the digital fails because analogue is more tolerant to a weak signal than digital, but as the analogues are being turned off that won't last much longer.

 

They would have us believe that once the analogue signal is off they will increase the power to the digital and whilst that will help there will still be blind spots - and anecdotal evidence seems to support this - especially away from centres of population and in secluded rural locations - in other words exactly the sort of places motorhomers like to go!

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Have to agree Rich, we did a tour of Wales last year and many of the beautiful coastal areas we chose to stay at were bereft of any sensible signal (digital, analog or otherwise).

It definitely influenced us into getting a satellite dish (Camos flat sat) on our new van which we got in May last year.

 

Rgds,

Chris.

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bolero boy - 2011-02-25 5:51 PM

 

747 - 2011-02-25 5:12 PM

Why not? I record programmes at home while away and watch them when I get back. The OP has said that they are not avid telly watchers.

......but he specifically asked about systems for recording in the motorhome. He already has the capability to record at home via his existing equipment. They may not be avid telly watchers but, again, wanted to keep up with soaps while in the van as they can lose the plot......depends how long they stay away, I suppose.

 

747 - 2011-02-25 5:12 PM

I use a Sky digibox and a 150 watt inverter. I have no bother setting it up manually.

I, too, use a Sky+ HD digibox and can run it from an inverter and have no bother setting it up. However, the OP said he did not want to get involved with subscription TV and a free to air box would be easier to manage if satellite TV was the chosen route.

 

You have reinforced my argument for recording at home. As Tracker and yourself has just said, no terrestrial signal, no TV and no recording either.

 

To be 100% sure, record at home. I know, I have been there and there is no hell like a woman deprived of her soaps. 8-)

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747 - 2011-02-25 7:21 PM

 

You have reinforced my argument for recording at home. As Tracker and yourself has just said, no terrestrial signal, no TV and no recording either.

 

To be 100% sure, record at home. I know, I have been there and there is no hell like a woman deprived of her soaps. 8-)

 

Not quite sure that I have. I was advocating that, with the potential for dodgy terrestrial signals, a non subscription satellite twin tuner system would be better. With a tripod mounted dish this could also be a very cost effective solution.

 

I'm sure that someone who, despite not being a telly addict, wishes to 'keep up with soaps' would not like to wait until the trip is over and then have to plough through multiple episodes.

 

In addition, the OP says he has a DVD and VHS recorder at home. Even given that (presumably) these have digital tuners or connected digiboxes, they have many disadvantages compared to modern point and shoot recorders.

 

Setting up the recordings is a pain, you have smaller finite amount of storage on a single disk and/or tape and attempts to extend the recording length of either results in seriously degraded quality.

 

Yes, I agree that if there is a 'must have recording' while you are away then set it up at home in addition to whatever system you adopt in the van. a belt and braces scenario might well offset the wrath you alluded to in your post.

 

For the OP, it's likely to be down to cost (value) against their actual recording requirements -

 

terrestrial still requires a twin tuner box, some setting up of the aeriel and a tune in process:

Satellite can vary between automatic and manual systems but will require aeriel positioning and a twin tuner box.

 

There is no right answer, it's down to the OP.

 

The other advantage not previously covered is that a satellite system will also allow the reception of UK programming in parts of Europe where a terrestrial system can only pick up local language stuff.

 

Rgds,

Chris.

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bolero boy - 2011-02-26 9:40 AM

 

 

 

There is no right answer, it's down to the OP.

 

The other advantage not previously covered is that a satellite system will also allow the reception of UK programming in parts of Europe where a terrestrial system can only pick up local language stuff.

 

Rgds,

Chris.

 

Not being technicaly minded (being female) Can I ask,? Does all the info only relate to Watching in UK? Don't think this clear in the postings

As stated you do need a sat dish abroad over the water. We have a sat dome , and can watch a lot of programes abroad, depending where we are.

the origanal question was about recording, don't know about that. I

always record at home when away, and watch when I get back

. We are away for any thing up to 3 months , so have to be selective as to what to record, and hope all goes well! Don't watch soaps, but do like the detective progs

PJay

PS You can always wait for the repeats!!!!

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My advice on this subject to the OP really referred to his question about using a recordeing device in his motorhome.

 

Firstly, the question arose about whether one was needed at all as he could record programs at home.

 

If, however, a device/system was required then the question was wether a terrestrial twin tuner type system would do the job. In this country the answer would be yes provided that a good signal was available.

 

To be more certain of a good quality signal, a dish and satellite twin tuner box could be used. This, as you know, has the advantage of being able to provide television from most of Europe where a terrestrial system can not.

 

Rgds,

Scorp

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Thanks for all the info although some of it went way over my head as I am actually a female poster.

We looked at the TV with built in recorder on www.anrleisure.co.uk mentioned but it looks like you can only record one channel at a time if you are out or only record the channel you are watching whereas we wish to be able to record two channels at once if out and be watching one channel whilst recording another channel if programmes clash. This doesn't happen that often but for example Larkrise to Candleford and Wild at Heart were both on at about 8pm on Sundays until recently. And a couple of times Casualty on BBC1 has slightly overlapped with The Tudors on BBC2. We can resort to BBC Iplayer etc on the laptop but as we will be on pay as you go internet and watching TV uses a lot of MBs we would sooner have the option of recording programmes. Don't want to have to rush back to the van on a summer's evening.

 

After looking at the Humax option mentioned we worked out we need a twin tuner receiver/recorder and after some googling found this:-

http://www.leisurepower.co.uk/acatalog/gufsdtr500hd12.html

Which seems to be ideal. We have emailed the dealers just to clarify that what it says on the tin is what it does.

 

If we can't get a signal whilst in remoter areas we will go back to good old Iplayer when we get somewhere with a decent signal. And yes we could record at home as we always have done when we have camped, but we did plan on being away for more than a fortnight at a time and as the Radio Times only gives you programming for a week ahead (we don't have skyplus) it then involves a lot of guesswork as to when stuff is showing plus spending hours trying to catch up when you get home and that is all according there hasn't been a power cut to muck up the timings.

 

So we now appear to be sorted on the recording side and just need to work out what we can afford to stick on the roof to get the best signal.

 

Thank you for all the advice

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G and D - 2011-02-26 7:35 PM

 

So we now appear to be sorted on the recording side and just need to work out what we can afford to stick on the roof to get the best signal.

 

Thank you for all the advice

We went for a Camos Flat Sat Plus - the Plus model is slightly larger giving the equvalent to a 65cm dish and can also be skewed if required (although we haven't needed to do this yet).

 

http://www.roadpro.co.uk/retail/product_detail.aspx?prod=Camos+Twin+LNB+Crank-Up+%22Plus%22+Satellite+Dish&id=1293

 

It's really easy to set up (after a bit of practice) and is less affected by wind than normal dishes.

 

Good luck!

Chris.

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  • 1 month later...

I thought the below might be of help to anyone who wants to record TV in their motorhome whilst away, or alternatively, record items at home beforehand and take the unit away with them to watch in the motorhome.

 

We've just got an Hitachi HDR255, which is not much bigger than a standard freeview box. It has a 250gb hard drive, giving 120 hours of recording time, with a twin tuner so you can watch TV through it whilst recording 1 channel, or record 2 channels simulataneously and also watching a recorded item at the same time. The power consumption on standby is 0.9w, in use it is 9.9w, but the best part of it is - it works off 12v!!!!! :-D

 

Its only 3 months old (I have the receipt from the chap we got it from so if there's any problems in the future I can get it fixed under warranty), and it cost well over £100, we only paid £55. I got it for my mum who is still using her old VCR and will soon lose it when they turn off our analogue signal in August this year. I've read the reviews on it and it is very highly thought of and easy to use.

 

It saves having to pay the extortionate cost for some of the equivalent '12v' versions.

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Topfield Humax and Isoscrypt make satellite receivers with twin tuners and bags of storage space for HD. Howver I do not think they are available in 12 volt.

 

I would suggest a satellite system with 12 volt tv and a receiver/recorder run through an inverter.

 

From my experience of receiving torrestrial digital in the UK the signals are so poor in many areas that is why I went for Freesat.

If you propose travelling into Europe then satellite is a must if you wish to have TV.

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Update on the Hitachi, hubby has been playing with it today, it was very easy to use and negotiate round the various options, so my mum should be able to use it without a problem.

 

For anyone who wants a way of storing stuff to watch, without having to have a laptop to plug a USB stick into, or pay for a new TV, it is certainly something to consider.

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Twin tuner terrestrial digital recorders have been around for several years but had varying amount of success in the reliability stakes - I have attempted to resolve many issues for family and friends!

These are now getting toward the reliability and flexibility of Sky+ and are available as terrestrial or satellite units.

Topfield and Humax are well respected but may not have dedicated 12v inputs. For those who want simplicity of use and reliability I would suggest running one of these from an inverter if not available in 12v.

However, for Europe wide TV recording you will need the satellite version and your dish will need to be a twin-LNB version for 2 channels at once.

For Sky subscribers it's a no brainer - take your box with you and have access to all the movies and sport (even in HD) that you could wish for.

 

Rgds,

Chris.

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