Switch to digital, I need basic advice.


New member
Aug 10, 2019
Visit site
As a digital TV numpty, I need some basic help/advice/info to avoid being left in the dark when the London switch over happens in April.

I currently have 21inch Philips near flat stereo nicam CRT TV which I use along with a Panasonic DMR-ES20VED analogue VHS/DVD recorder. My wants are simple: watch TV; record one programme while watching another and play DVDs. Not fussed about timed/series recordings, HD channels and such like, and I don't want to invest in a new TV at the moment, even though mine only has a single scart in and no HD etc.

So, as far as I can work out, I need at least a set top box to convert the TV, possibly a digital recorder and I need to know how to connect up any new equipment to my existing TV and VHS/DVD recorder.

I've read that using a set top box with the Panasonic DMR-ES20VED would mean you could only record the programme you're watching. Is that true?

Assuming it is, I think that means using a twin tuner digital recorder is the only way I can watch say Channel4 while recording a BBC channel at the same time. Is that right?

Humax PVRs are popular, the HDR-FOX T2 is relatively expensive and has stuff I may never use (HD, network capable, read from USB) but it does have BBC iplayer. The simpler PVR-9300T may suffice. What would you recommend if it has to have scart to TV?

I've seen different wiring arrangements, so how do I connect something like a Humax PVR to my TV and existing Panasonic VHS/DVD recorder, when the existing record is used for playback only?

I can't try trial and error, physical disability means I need to get it right first time. Is it Humax scart to the analogue VHS/DVD recorder, and then scart from the VHS/DVD recorder to the TV? And what about the aerial connections? Is it aerial to RF in on Humax, then RF Humax out to VHS/DVD recorder RF in and finally recorder RF out to TV RF in?

John Duncan

Well-known member
My kitchen setup sounds similar to what you're looking for since I have an analogue-only television. I have a Humax PVR9200T, which can be had (refurbed) cheaply:


No HD, but it has a 160gig hard drive and twin tuners, so I can watch (and pause) TV while recording another channel (sometimes another two channels if they're on the same multiplex). I have never, ever, had to use the tuner of the TV.

Has served us wonderfully well (despite some occasional - over a period of years - freezes).

The one potentially tricky bit is the SCART arangement, I'll have to have a dig in the instructions to see how to get pass-through from the DVD to the TV; though at a guess you'll just have to plug it in to the socket marked 'VCR SCART' on the back of the unit.

John Duncan

Well-known member
Had a quick dig in the manual


And it's frankly a bit vague about VCR operation :) Further, I don't have anything with a SCART I could try it with so cannot confirm. I'd be astonished if it didn't work like that though, and even if it didn't, you could get a SCART splitter for peanuts (switched or unswitched, I'd probably go unswitched for convenience):




Thanks for your feedback and looking at the 9200T manual for connection info. I think I'm likely to get a 9150T/9200T/9300T refurbed or otherwise, so I guess I'd better get my skates on before they become scarce.

After a tussle I managed to find the manual for my panasonic recorder which has a wiring diagram for use with a set top box, but it's different to the arrangement shown in the PVR-9150T/9300T manuals online.

The difference beging in the first it's set top box scart to recorder, and then scart from recorder to TV. Whereas in the PVR manuals it's one scart from PVR to (VCR) recorder and another scart is from PVR to TV. In both cases it's aerial to set top box/PVR and a first loop to recorder and then a second loop from recorder to TV.

I found a third wiring arrangment at http://www.digitaluk.co.uk/how_do_i_switch/connections__and__retuning/connections. This shows the scarts arranged as per the PVR manual, but the aerial connection is first to the PVR and then a single loop straight to the TV. There is no aerial connection between the recorder and PVR in this example.

I still don't know which of these (last two) to use.

John Duncan

Well-known member
I'd be surprised if any of the wrong diagrams for the VCR work, tbh, since *it's* expecting to be the recorder and is expecting the TV to be the second 'tuner'; ie it and the telly are the only things that need a tv signal, since
The set top box would be cable or sat.

I *suspect* that the VCR will pass through to the telly if plugged into the Humax's VCR SCART socket, I just can't confirm as have no SCART sources to try it with. Again, though, I think it's easy to resolve with a three quid box, so personally I'd be inclined to just go for it :-D.


Latest posts