DVD players are home entertainment devices of the past. However, if you have a huge collection of DVD boxsets, you will need a DVD player to enjoy them on your TV and sound system. Some of them even include a Freeview tuner that enables live TV recording.
With such DVD players, you can record hours of programming from your favorite Freeview channels and store them on either DVDs or a hard drive. You can build up your personal library of recordings and visit them in the future.
In case you are interested in buying a DVD player recorder with hard drive and Freeview capabilities, check out our picks for the best options below. To help you make your purchase decision, we also have briefly discussed the features of the best DVD recorders in detail.
- 1 Best DVD Player Recorders with Hard Drive and Freeview
- 2 Things to Look out for when Buying a DVD Recorder with Hard Drive and Freeview
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 To Conclude
Best DVD Player Recorders with Hard Drive and Freeview
You can find some of the best DVD recorders for just under £350. Paying anything above that isn’t worth it, considering such devices are now close to obsoletion. If one of the following picks matches your preferences, click the link below under the product description to view its price on Amazon UK.
1. Panasonic DMR-EX97EB-K DVD Recorder with Freeview HD Black
The Panasonic DMR-EX97 (EB-K) is a great DVD recorder in its class. It comes with Freeview HD capabilities, meaning you can record your favorite programs in high-definition. It also has two separate TV tuners inside, so you can simultaneously record two different live channels.
The following DVD recorder from Panasonic also comes with 500 GB of built-in hard drive, which can store up to 120 hours of HD recording. Fortunately, it has a USB 2.0 port you can use to connect a flash drive or portable HDD (up to 2 TB formatted in NTFS/FAT32) and increase the recording time.
The Panasonic DMR-EX97 can directly access and playback content stored on external storage devices, whether it’s the recordings, videos, music, or photos. Of course, the device can also read and write recordings to DVD and Blu-ray discs.
The “Series Recording” feature on the particular model lets you schedule recordings for the TV shows you like to watch. You can later access the recorded episodes from an organized list.
Unlike most other DVD recorders, the Panasonic DMR-EX97 offers snappy navigation across the interface. Scrolling through the EPG feels smooth, and the remote shortcuts give you access to the recorder’s various functions. Thanks to its processing capabilities, it can also upscale low-resolution content to 4K over HDMI.
The DVD recorder is Miracast certified, so you can mirror your Android phone or Windows PC screen to your TV over a wireless connection. Apart from Wi-Fi, it comes with an Ethernet port, enabling Freeview Play’s catch-up and on-demand content library.
With the Panasonic Media Center app on Android and iOS, you can remotely access the recordings stored on your DVD recorder, as well as schedule recording and view the TV guide. Note that the recorder has to be connected to the internet for the remote viewing feature to work.
If you are looking for a DVD recorder with smart features, the Panasonic DMR-EX97EB-K is an excellent choice. It’s easy to set up and intuitive enough to use. Its feature set is also unmatched at the sub £300 price point.
2. Toshiba RD99DTKB Freeview+ Hard Drive DVD Recorder
In case the Panasonic DMR-EX97 doesn’t fit your budget, the Toshiba RD99DTKB is a worthy pick. Priced at just under £200, this DVD recorder comes with Freeview+ support. The single digital TV tuner inside gives access to all the Freeview OTA channels, and you can pause, rewind, and record live TV whenever you want.
Speaking of recording live TV, the Toshiba RD99DTKB’s 250 GB hard disk drive offers recording time of up to 200 hours in standard-definition. It doesn’t support HD recording. However, you can burn the recordings on DVD discs if you wish.
The Toshiba RD99DTKB is also decent at playing back DVD media. If you have a collection of old DVDs that you often visit, the following player has the ability to upscale low-resolution content to 1080p and deliver a superior image quality.
It includes a USB port, so you can plug in an external thumb drive or portable HDD to view photos and play music/videos.
Considering the model is quite old at this point, you can’t expect any smart features like auto-recording or internet access. However, its user interface is simple and straightforward to understand. If you have an older TV that doesn’t have an HDMI port, you can rely on the SCART video output instead.
3. Sony RDRHXD970 – 250GB Hard Drive DVD Recorder With Freeview
The Sony RDRHXD970 is another budget-friendly option among our selections of the best dvd player recorder with hard drive and freeview. It has a built-in Freeview tuner and offers the same pause, record, and rewind options as the Toshiba RD99DTKB. It can record only on SD quality, but the 250 GB internal hard disk drive can record 300+ hours of programming.
The DVD R/RW drive in the recorder can read and playback DVD videos, as well as burn recordings on empty disks. It supports neither Freeview HD nor Freeview Play, which is expected considering its date of release.
When released back in 2007, the Sony RDRHXD970 was one of the best DVD recorders among consumers. You can grab one today for less than 150 quids or even lower if you can find a used one in the market. Of course, it doesn’t connect to the internet or offer any of Panasonic DMR-EX97’s smart features, but it’s a great addition to an older home entertainment setup.
It has HDMI, SCART, DV (for camcorders), and a USB port for playing back external media. The recorder even has a one-touch dub button, if you are still into that sort of thing.
Things to Look out for when Buying a DVD Recorder with Hard Drive and Freeview
In this age of smart TVs and streaming media players, DVD recorders seem to be an ancient relic. However, that doesn’t stop you from buying one, so we will help you find the best DVD recorder for your home entertainment hub.
If you are wondering how we selected the top three DVD recorders above, check out the requirements below that we took into consideration when picking them up.
Assuming you haven’t been living under a rock this whole time, you probably already know about Freeview, UK’s digital terrestrial TV platform. There are currently three different revisions of the original Freeview: Freeview+, Freeview HD, and Freeview Play.
TVs and DVD recorders with the Freeview+ logo labeled on the box means that they have a Freeview tuner built-in. Freeview HD expands the idea by offering users access to high-definition channels (1080i). Freeview Play provides catch-ups and on-demand content from the UK’s popular video streaming services, but it requires an internet connection.
Ideally, when you are looking for a DVD recorder in the market, it should at least have Freeview+ support. However, the Panasonic DMR-EX97 that we mentioned in the list of top DVD recorders also supports Freeview HD and Freeview Play. It’s a great choice if you wish to take advantage of the smart Freeview features.
If you are into recording TV programs every now and then, you will definitely need plenty of storage space. Fortunately, the most recently released DVD recorders come with up to 1TB of hard disk drives, with expandable storage via USB.
The Panasonic DMR-EX97 comes with 500 GB of internal storage space, offering 100+ hours of recording time in HD. The more expensive variants of the model come with even more storage.
Speaking of storage space, it all comes down to the quality you prefer for recording programs. SD recordings occupy considerably less storage compared to HD. If you wish to record your TV shows in HD, then we recommend you get the DVD recorder with at least 500 GB capacity or above.
Nothing’s worse than finding out that your shiny new DVD recorder isn’t even compatible with your TV. You can steer clear of such problems by checking whether the recorder has the same video output connectors as your television.
If your TV has an HDMI port, most DVD recorders should work with it out of the box. For older TVs with SCART input, you will need to double-check on the web before buying a particular DVD recorder. Having said that, you can probably use an HDMI to SCART converter in the worst-case scenario.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does a Freeview DVD Recorder do?
It’s built for doing literally the same thing as a regular DVD recorder but comes with a built-in Freeview tuner instead. You can watch the over-the-air channels and record the programs when needed. They get stored on the recorder’s internal hard disk drive, which you also can burn to DVDs.
If the DVD recorder has Freeview+, you can pause and rewind live TV from the remote. You can watch high-definition channels on recorders with Freeview HD and online content on-demand over Freeview Play (requires internet).
2. Does a DVD Recorder need an Internet Connection to Work?
Not necessarily. Freeview channels are broadcasted over-the-air, similar to radio stations. The receiver connected to the DVD recorder picks up the signal waves, which doesn’t require internet.
In case you want to use Freeview Play on your supported DVD recorder, only then you will need to connect it to the internet over a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection.
3. Is it possible to copy files from the DVD Recorder to an External Storage Device?
It depends on the DVD recorder’s capabilities. As long as there’s a USB port on the recorder, you should be able to read and transfer your recordings from the device to an external storage device (e.g., flash drive, portable HDD).
Despite that, it all comes down to the manufacturer. On some DVD recorders, file transfer over USB is disabled on firmware-level. Refer to the device’s user manual or support page for confirmation.
4. Can you play CDs and DVDs on a DVD Recorder?
DVD recorders can also function as a regular DVD player, capable of playing back different music and video formats from CDs and DVDs. Some DVD recorders can also read Blu-ray discs and playback Ultra HD content on supported televisions.
This guide covers the top 3 best DVD player recorder with hard drive and Freeview. We have also discussed the various criteria to consider before purchasing a DVD recorder from the market. Lastly, we have answered some of your lingering questions regarding DVD recorders and their features.
When buying a DVD recorder, make sure to go with the one manufactured by either Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, Philips, or Samsung. They are trusted names in the market and offer exceptional customer support.