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TV recording or buy a new PVR?

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I have just bought a new Samsung MU7000 TV and I am trying to decide whether to invest in an SSD external drive to record TV programmes as streaming catch up services don't always keep the programmes I want for long enough. I also want to buy an upscaling 4K UHD Blu Ray player. The comments on this forum about the problems of recording direct from TV are putting me off the external drive solution and I am now considering getting a combined Blu Ray/PVR box instead.  What do you think?

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Hi

 

Your TV should work fine for recording, I know some people are having problems but of course a forum is a place you will only really see people reporting the problems and asking for help.

 

Also don't worry about using an SSD, a standard hard disk is cheaper and fewer issues about wearing it out, unless noise might be an issue (TV in a bedroom for example), although 2.5" spinning disks are usually pretty quiet.

 

You also don't get a great deal of choice regarding PVR and Blu-ray integrated together.

 

Regards 

 

Phil

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23 REPLIES 23
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Voyager

Hi

 

We wondered the same thing.  I did pose a question here wondering if it is possible to record 2 things at the same time (as we use that alot with the PVR we were thinking we no longer needed if it could all be done with the TV), but got no reply.

 

I think the concesus is a dedicated PVR is probably more reliable.  If you have a pretty fast USB stick you can try that and set up a few tests to see how it works.

 

In terms of an upscaling UHD 4K player, you should note the upscaling bit is all marketing.  The TV will upscale the picture and often does a better job (and upscaling from HD to 4K is a very easy to do a good job, much easier than SD), if the TV didn't upscale then normal HD programs would be a much smaller square in the middle of the screen.  

 

So don't expect anything looking any different when playing HD content in a UHD 4K player, don't buy it for upscaling, but only if you want to play 4K UHD movies.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Regards

 

Phil

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@Phil12 wrote:

Hi

 

We wondered the same thing.  I did pose a question here wondering if it is possible to record 2 things at the same time (as we use that alot with the PVR we were thinking we no longer needed if it could all be done with the TV), but got no reply.

 

I think the concesus is a dedicated PVR is probably more reliable.  If you have a pretty fast USB stick you can try that and set up a few tests to see how it works.

 

In terms of an upscaling UHD 4K player, you should note the upscaling bit is all marketing.  The TV will upscale the picture and often does a better job (and upscaling from HD to 4K is a very easy to do a good job, much easier than SD), if the TV didn't upscale then normal HD programs would be a much smaller square in the middle of the screen.  

 

So don't expect anything looking any different when playing HD content in a UHD 4K player, don't buy it for upscaling, but only if you want to play 4K UHD movies.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Regards

 

Phil


Hi I have a 65KS9500 which when it does work (not been able to record from the planner) can record 2 things at once if it is in standby. Mine does still do time recording program you are watching, shift and pause which is still usefull. So for the price of a usb 2 driveit is still worth it. If you are still in warranty and it does not record from the planner then it is faulty and get it replaced. Save you the hassle that I am getting from Samsung. Hope that helps.

 

Paul

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Hi Paul

Yes seen your post in another thread. I was testing with a USB stick and didn't seem to record a second overlapping program, but possible the stick just couldn't keep up. Does the hard-drive keep spinning when the TV isn't recording or does it sleep?

As an aside, I've found this enclosure very reliable (search Amazon for ORICO 2.5 Inch Aluminium USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure Caddy) with a Seagate hard-drive in it, it spins up and down as required running from a little PC that houses our music and this has been powered up 24/7 for months and it's always worked. I can't try this on the TV as I don't want to risk losing what's on it, but may buy a second one and try it.

Regards

Phil

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Thanks for the reply. It seems there is a fairly serious problem with recording from Samsung TV's that they don't seem to be able to get to the bottom of.  Looks like a separate PVR is the way to go. It's a shame having paid out for a sophisticated TV that it doesn't work as advertised but then Samsung don't make it particularly clear what the TV should be able to do anyway. 

 

Re upscaling: if all the upscaling is done by the TV then why do BluRay players include it as a feature at all? What happens if the input from the player is already upscaled before it reaches the TV? Does it process it again? I am confused.

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Hi

 

Yes a few people are reporting issues with the recording functionality, so far for us it's been good, but time will tell if it stays that way. 

 

Blu-ray players and other similar devices include upscaling for marketing reasons, as simple as that.  If it's a 4K UHD Blu-ray player it will upscale HD to 4K, this can be convenient as it doesn't cause the HDMI connection to need to change resolutions and can just stay at 4K.  If it’s a standard HD Blu-ray player or perhaps an AV amplifier that advertises upscaling to 4K, it's not worth getting those to simply replace existing non-upscaling equipment, as the TV will upscale.

 

The TV must have an upscaler in it, as otherwise HD video at 1920x1080 (or any other type of resolution isn't 4K) wouldn't fill the TV panel which has 3840x2160 pixels.  TV's these days have very good processing capabilities and do a very good job, it's unlikely any other bit of equipment would do anything any better.

 

What usually happens when anything upscales is it will try and compensate for the fact it's taken a lower resolution picture and filled a much larger screen, by using various tricks such as edge enhancement to make it look better than it otherwise might.  Any differences we may see between different equipment upscaling is just down to how much sharpening or other tricks the manufacturer has added, but all of these tricks actually only make the picture worse, it's an optical illusion really that it appears sharper to our eyes.  You can't add detail that wasn't there in the first place.

 

Upscaling typically doesn't happen twice as if the player upscales to 4K and that goes to a 4K TV, the TV doesn't need to upscale again, however, some TVs have overscan, this is where they zoom in very slightly to make sure any rough edges are cut off and are outside of the picture.  This would mean the picture has been resized (upscaled) twice, and as any scaling process is lossy, you only want this happening once, and that's why it is best the TV does it.  Most TVs will allow you to turn the overscan off (it isn't really needed for HD and 4K, it's more left over from analogue TV days where the edges of the picture had lots of junk or even teletext encoded in it that needing chopping away).

 

Regards

 

Phil

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Thanks for the comprehensive reply. Now I am even less sure what to do! If I understand what you say correctly, then if any connected device does 4K upscaling then the TV won't do it again (as long as you turn off the overscan). The question then becomes whether there is any discernable difference in the upscaling technologies used by different vendors. Would an expensive 4K BluRay player upscale any better than a mid-range TV like the MU7000?

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Hi

 

Upscaling is just a mathimatical process, there can be different maths involved, but the visual differences are not going to be that different.  

 

Buying a 4K UHD Blu-ray player just to upscale HD discs is a waste of money really in my opinion, and there is precious little difference between a cheap one and a more expensive one, in many cases they will all be using the same chips.  In this all digital world things are more the same then the marketing and PR tries to have us believe.  A one is a one and a zero is a zero after all.  The TV is what makes the biggest difference now a days with all digital interfaces.

 

 

Of course a 4K player will be fantastic playing 4K UHD discs, but only buy one if that is your aim, and you don't need to buy an expensive one, a cheap one will produce just a good a picture. 

 

Regards

 

Phil

 

 

 

 

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Phil,

 

Your explanations are very clear - thank you. My main issue now is that, if I need to buy a new PVR and a BluRay player, then there is only room for one box in my room so I will have to look at a combined unit. This is likely to be expensive. I was hoping to use USB-connected storage and buy just a 4K BluRay player. Many thanks for your help anyway.

 

Richard

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Hi

 

Your TV should work fine for recording, I know some people are having problems but of course a forum is a place you will only really see people reporting the problems and asking for help.

 

Also don't worry about using an SSD, a standard hard disk is cheaper and fewer issues about wearing it out, unless noise might be an issue (TV in a bedroom for example), although 2.5" spinning disks are usually pretty quiet.

 

You also don't get a great deal of choice regarding PVR and Blu-ray integrated together.

 

Regards 

 

Phil

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