Frequently asked questions

These are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Freeview VDR:

Q: Is the Freeview VDR as difficult to use as it is to build?
A: Building the Freeview VDR is actually not that difficult. Once put together, it is as easy to use as your average set-top box.

Q: How do I connect the Freeview VDR to my TV?
A: The Freeview VDR connects to your TV using standard audio and video cabling.

Q: It records radio, right?
A: Yes. The Freeview VDR records all the programmes transmitted free-to-air, and that includes radio.

Q: Can I store my recordings forever?
A: Certainly. However, bear in mind that a one hour recording takes about 1.5 GB of space on the Freeview VDR’s hard drive.

Q: What size hard drive should I use to build the Freeview VDR?
A: The larger the better. Hard drives of around 250 GB currently afford the best value for money, enough space for approximately 160 hours of your favourite TV programme.

Q: How do I get the Freeview VDR to record the programme I am watching?
A: Just one button press on the remote and the Freeview VDR will start recording immediately. It really is that simple.

Q: Why should I get excited about time-shifting?
A: Time-shifting here means that you start watching a programme while it is still being recorded. If you allow the Freeview VDR to record the first few minutes of a broadcast, you could then begin watching the recording and use it as a buffer to fast-forward your way through any advertising.

Q: I’ve heard about live pause. Can the Freeview VDR do that as well?
A: Yes. Press pause at any time to halt the programme you’re watching. Go make yourself a cup of tea. Come back and press play to continue where you left off.

Q: Can I get rid of the advertising on my recordings?
A: Yes. You can use the Freeview VDR to edit your recordings. Get rid of any advertising or compile your own programme highlights with ease.

Q: How are picture and sound quality affected by my editing the recordings?
A: They are not affected in any way. Because everything is done digitally, the quality of your edits is always the same as that of the original recordings.

Q: All this Freeview VDR business sounds interesting, but wouldn’t it be easier to just buy one of those PVRs instead?
A: The Freeview VDR is a Personal Video Recorder. However, because it is based on a full Linux distribution, there are many more things it can do. There are many ways in which you can expand the Freeview VDR’s capabilities.

Q: Can I get network access to my recordings?
A: Yes. This is easily configured.

Q: Do I need a subscription and how much does it cost?
A: No, just be sure your TV license is paid…

Q: I only want to watch digital terrestial television. Why do I need a satellite card?
A: The satellite card generates the Freeview VDR’s output signal to the television. You need the DVB-S premium card to be able to watch what the DVB-T budget card receives.

Q: How many programmes can the Freeview VDR record simultaneously?
A: It depends. For every DVB card, the Freeview VDR is able to record a minimum of two programmes at any given time. Use two cards and record, say, BBC One, Two, Three and Four all at the same time.

Q: Does the Freeview VDR work reliably?
A: Yes. If there is ever a need to reload the drivers for the DVB-T card(s), the Freeview VDR will handle this automatically and in a matter of seconds. Unlike other PVRs, the Freeview VDR does not have a tendency to freeze and therefore rarely requires manual intervention to get going again.

Q: What does the Freeview VDR actually look like?
A: There are endless possibilites…