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Future for VCRs limited as digital switch beckons

September 20th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Digital help group The TechGuys, part of the Dixons Stores Group, have issued a warning that hundreds of thousands of UK homes will find their video and DVD recorders crippled once the digital switchover process begins.
VCRs will only be able to record programmes being viewed at the time and TVs will need to remain on for VCRs to record programmes, rendering time delayed recording impractical. DVD recorders that do not have integrated digital tuners will also be affected.
Fewer than one in ten homes currently own either a DVD recorder with a Freeview tuner or a digital set top box with hard drive, the two technologies that will enable households to record their favourite programmes in the conventional way once digital switchover takes place. In contrast, nearly 100 per cent of UK homes own a video recorder, which was in its time one of the most successful consumer technology products of all time.
“The VCR will still play old tapes, so it won’t be entirely redundant,” says David Bugg, commercial director of the TechGuys, “but it really is yesterday’s technology. Owners will still be able to watch their collections of Postman Pat videos, but after a while, the experience, as well as the tape, will start to wear a bit thin. The main benefit of video, its capacity to record TV while we’re away, will effectively disappear when digital switchover takes place.”
Digital switchover begins in the UK in October, when Whitehaven in Cumbria becomes the first town to move to digital-only reception. The Borders Region, with 300,000 homes, becomes the next region, beginning in Autumn 2008. To assist with the transition to digital, the TechGuys are offering advice and guidance on the readiness of UK homes.
The TechGuys can be reached through their service centres in 160 PC World stores, by phone on 08456 024024, via the TechGuys website, www.thetechguys.com, or via the TechGuy’s network of stand alone service centres.
In a parallel initiative, Currys are retailing ‘Switchkits’, digital switchover packages, which include a set-top box, installation, detailed demonstration and an aerial test for eighty pounds.

Tags: Miscellaneous items · Trade

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 terrytorq // Sep 21, 2007 at 8:27 am

    I’m somewhat confused by this. Are they saying I won’t be able to use my vcr which is fed via a sky box and a freeview box? I thought as long as I had a digital signal being received by something I would be able to record it.

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