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Tv with recordable hard drive

The VCR may be dead, but that hasn’t stopped us from finding new ways to save our favourite shows.  There are now more ways to record TV than ever before, none of them require maintaining a cupboard full of video tapes and you may not need any additional devices if you have the right TV. Our guide will help you weigh up your options, make sense of the jargon and find the device that’s best suited to your needs. Personal video recorders (PVRs) explained PVRs are straightforward devices that let you record from Freeview channels onto a built-in hard drive. Here’s a quick breakdown of everything you need to know. PVRs allow you to record multiple programs at once – in some cases as many as seven – while watching something else. They can all record Full-HD TV. They have built-in electronic programme guides, which is where you choose what to watch and record. They have a built-in hard drive, usually 500GB to 2TB (2,000GB). A 500GB hard drive can hold around 125 hours of HD footage and 250 hours of SD content. Some connect to the internet giving you access to catch-up and streaming apps, such as iPlayer and Netflix. Not all PVRs are created equal. Find one that looks and sounds great, and is easy to use in our Best PVR guide. DVD recorders A DVD recorder (sometimes known as a DVDr) records TV programmes onto a recordable DVD disc. However, a DVD disc can usually only hold between one to four hours of footage. If you’re intending to use it as your main TV-recording device then buying one with a built-in hard disk is probably the most sensible option. They were popular for a time, but have seen a sharp decline in the number available over the past ten years or so. With PVRs and on-demand content so popular you’ll likely struggle to find a new model to buy, and we don’t test them, either. Pros: You can record TV programmes for long-term storage You can share recordings with family and friends Cons: You can only record one programme at a time Most DVD players can’t record HDTV Generally more difficult to use than PVRs Can only record Freeview channels Few in existence nowadays PVR/DVD recorder combis PVR/DVD recorder combis combine the hard disk storage capacity of a PVR – typically 250 hours, or 125 in HD – with the option to transfer your favourite recordings onto DVD if you want to keep them for a long time or share them with others. This is ideal if you want the best of both worlds but, much like with DVD recorders, they’re something of a rarity nowadays. Pros: Large internal hard drive Can archive to DVD Cons: Can generally only record one programme at a time More complicated to use than a standalone PVR Very few on the market They’re generally more complicated to use than a good standalone PVR. So if both a PVR and a DVD recorder are required, we would recommend buying two separate devices, unless space is an issue. How to turn your TV into a PVR In some cases you may not even need to buy a PVR – the majority of modern smart TVs have a PVR function built-in. To make use of it you’ll need a USB hard-drive or memory stick, which then plugs into one of the USB ports on the TV. You’ll only be able to record broadcasts that are received locally by the TV’s built-in Freeview or Freesat – that means it won’t be able to record anything off of an external device like a Sky set-top box or an Amazon Fire TV Stick. £50 The typical cost of a 1TB external hard-drive – far cheaper than a PVR of the same size. You’ll also be restricted by the number of tuners built in to the TV. If it has just one then you’ll only be able to record the same show that you’re watching. Two means you’ll be able to watch one show whilst recording another. The upside, though, is that you’re not confined to the hard-drive size imposed upon you like when you buy a standalone PVR – you can attach any sized drive you want, and they’re much cheaper, too. 

Finding a smart TV with recording functions can be a challenge, as many TVs with this feature have been discontinued.

Here, we have compiled an overview of smart TVs with a built-in recording function.

Here Is the Short List for Smart TVs with Built-in Recording:

Built-in recording has become an outdated feature on smart TVs. However, there are perfectly functional older models with built-in recording available. Our top pick is the 2013 Sony KD-65X9004A 65-inch smart TV, and our budget pick is the 2013 Sony KDL 32W600A.

If you just want to see our current recommended smart tvs, you can always
click here to see the models and prices for our current recommendations

Criteria for Selection

Not all television manufacturers have a smart TV with built-in recording.

For the most part, the recording function has all but disappeared from televisions, one reason being that it may violate copyright laws. This is why the televisions featured on this list are all from 2013.

Sony is the most notable brand that includes a built-in recorder with some of their smart TVs.

Sony was one of the first brands to come out with video cassette recorders, and it’s now one of the only manufacturers that has kept the recording feature on some of its models in the last decade.

And that is why the brands chosen here are all from Sony.

The smart TVs listed here only support up to 500 GB of hard disk space.

The Top Pick: Sony KD-65X9004A 65-inch smart TV

This 2013 smart TV is the hands-down winner when it comes to smart TVs with a recording function. Check out the Sony KD-65X9004A 65-inch smart TV’s pricing on Amazon.

First of all, it features a 4K resolution. That means rich color details, including deep reds and vibrant greens, and clarity, all of which makes for great viewing.

The Magnetic Fluid Speaker design was the first of its kind in 2013, and you still get remarkable audio quality with it today.

Out of the box, the X9004A includes Netflix and YouTube, as well as a few other apps. It also supports Skype, but it requires a separate webcam to operate.

This smart TV also has good multimedia support through the USB media port. These include the standard files used for video, including MKV, AVI, MOV, and WMV.

The X9004A also has 3D compatibility. Sure, 3D viewing may be considered a bit passé these days, but it’s a fun addition. You even get four pairs of 3D polarizing glasses!

On the downside, this smart TV has some issues when it comes to handling reflections and glare. If you are considering this smart TV, you may want to find a spot for it without a lot of sun.

The Budget Pick: Sony KDL 32W600A

This 2013, 32-inch smart TV is a quality pick for its price. You can see the Sony KDL 32W600A’s current price on Amazon.

Although this TV does not have 4K resolution—its resolution is 1366 x 768—the W600A still produces remarkable image quality for its size.

While it offers recording options, this smart TV is pretty basic, and it lacks features like MHL or mirroring.

The sound quality is quite decent, as it uses Dolby Digital with Pulse support—although, compared to current televisions, the sound system is considered a bit outdated.

Sony KDL W900A 55-inch smart TV

The Sony KDL W900A is another smart TV with built-in recording released in 2013. You can head to Amazon to see its current price.

The W900A is packed with quite a lot of features—it’s considered the “Kitchen Sink” model, as it has almost everything you could expect from a 2013 model.

Here is what you can expect from the W900A:

  • This smart TV already comes equipped with local dimming, making for quality black levels—in 2013 standards. In 2020, the quality is pretty average.
  • The W900A also comes with Triluminos Color IQ, which provides good color enhancement that holds up in 2020.
  • The W900A also features Miracast and MHL, which is great if you want to stream content from your compatible devices, such as your smartphone or tablet.
  • The W900A is also 3D enabled and comes with four pairs of 3D glasses.
  • The sound quality of the W900A is superb, even without a soundbar.
  • When it comes to gaming, the W900A is adequate, although newer consoles may have issues with this television due to the more advanced chipsets used for graphics in the consoles.

Since this is an older smart TV model, it doesn’t have the most up-to-date features—and that includes an app store.

Yes, while this is a Sony smart TV, you do not get the Google Play Store on this TV.

Instead, it comes with a lot of pre-loaded apps. One of the apps you get right out of the box is Netflix.

But because the W900A comes with mirroring, you can display any missing apps directly from smartphone or tablet onto your TV.

Sony KDL 55W800A 55-inch smart TV

Price-wise, this 2013 smart TV is in the mid-range for this list. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have great features. Check out the Sony KDL 55W800A 55-inch smart TV’s current pricing on Amazon.

This smart TV has great image quality. In 2013, its image quality was top of the line, and although not as stunning by today’s standards, it holds up.

When it comes to connectivity, the W800A has the essential connections, including WiFi, USB for recording, and it even has NFC.

Gaming on this smart TV was okay—it is what one might expect for a 2013 television.

Sony KDL-50W700A 50-inch smart TV

The Sony W700A is another smart TV at a mid-range price point with built-in recording worth checking out. See its current price on Amazon.

  • While it does not have 4K support, it makes up for it with superb imaging at 1080p resolution.
  • The W700A also supports NFC and MHL, which is great for mirroring your apps to your smart TV.
  • If you are into video chats, this smart TV supports Skype, although it requires a separate camera to use.
  • It also supports a wide range of video formats. So if you want to watch programs you recorded after reencoding them to a smaller file size, it will not be a problem for the W700A.
  • The refresh rate of the W700A is only at 50 Hz, which can be a problem when it comes to games. If you plan to use this smart TV for gaming, you may have a problem with first-person shooter games.

How Much Should You Spend on a Smart TV with Recording Functions?

Because a lot of smart TVs that include recording functions are outdated already, you should not consider spending too much on it. All of the smart TVs recommended on this list are from 2013.

Given depreciation, you should be spending no more than 20 percent of the television’s original retail price when it was new on the market.

Final Thoughts

There are not many options for smart TVs with recording these days.

Companies have stopped manufacturing televisions with recording, as traditional broadcasters have moved their content online for on-demand streaming.

There are also subscriptions you should consider putting on a more up-to-date smart TV before buying a TV solely for recording purposes. Most networks have an on-demand app you can subscribe to that allows you to play content on-demand. That way you don’t have to set up a recording every time you want to see a particular program.

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