Hi Tamás, we have an update test of PVRs scheduled for April.
From our current review, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the Humax 4Tune (I use one of these at home) and 2Tune, or the Panasonic DMR-BWT955GL (we use a 945 in the TV Lab). Looking at Panasonic’s current line-up, there appears to have been only minor updates. LG may have left the market, but our market researchers and buyers will be on the prowl for new models across all brands.
Blu-ray has not set the world on fire compared to when old school DVD’s were introduced but buying a DVD (not blu-ray) player may be questionable these days even though they can be near cheap as chips. An increasing amount of content is produced on blu-ray that delivers quality mostly evident on newer TVs. As old technology is replaced it is usually best to adapt to the newest affordable even if one doesn’t need it at the moment; products on the market evolve to those new standards.
While we still buy the occassional DVD or blu-ray or get them from our library the market is slowly evolving to streaming content from services like netflix, Stan, SBS Viceland library, etc, and then there is freeview, which is off this topic but helps explain what is slowly happening to the player market and why PVRs are front and centre for the player market, and even that category seems to be static or shrinking regarding product choice.
There don’t seem to be unbiased credible recent DVD player reviews but there are a few you can take or leave by searching ‘best DVD player’ or similar.
A smart TV will let you stream (video delivered over the internet) movies and TV series that you might otherwise buy or rent on DVD or Blu-Ray discs. The video quality can be very nearly almost as good from services such as Netflix, Stan, and even the FreeView catch-up services like ABC iView and SBS On Demand. The apps for these are available on almost all new TVs, but you need a reasonably good internet connection for streaming. A slow connection will lead to the movie or TV show being shown in lower resolution.
If you want to watch actual DVDs or Blu-Ray discs, you’ll need to buy a player. Blu-Ray players will play DVDs, but DVD players can’t play Blu-Ray. The player connects to your TV with an HDMI cable. Some of these players support apps too, and so can be used to add smart functionality to an older ‘dumb’ TV.
We bought a PVR from the Choice review that had a DVD player in it as well. This way we can record programs like we used to with the old video recorders, but many, many, many, many, many, more due to the capacity of the hard disc drive (HDD) compared to the video tapes. We also borrow DVDs from the library (free!) and play them through the PVR to the TV. Best of both worlds!
Reference @ScottOKeefe’s and @meltam’s posts but also the threads about smart TV’s becoming obsolete and no longer supporting various ‘smart apps’ after only a few short years. It is technical obsolescence as well as business models.
PVR’s are generally more up to date than smart TVs and stay that way for longer. If you are technically a little savvy using a PC, chromebook,or even a higher end mobile phone with the TV as the display device are all better bets than depending on the apps in a smart TV that could be ‘intellectually challenged’ by apps stopping working as time moves ahead, and nobody wants to talk to you.
Thanks everyone for your insights. What I do not understand with the PVR is how does it communicate with the downloads on my PC?
My PC and NBN modem are in another room and have cable broadband. Do I need WiFi NBN modem?
All the devices need a way to communicate to each other, and a connection to the internet to get the material in the first instance. I hope the following will be more helpful than confusing.
That is a good question that could challenge the technically disinclined and is dependent on product makes and models and home network itself and your goals. In a simplistic way a PVR and a PC do not have to communicate and each can provide source material to your TV independently; one solution is called DLNA that acts as glue between devices,
One can configure, say a PC, or a suitably endowed PVR, as a DLNA Sever and other devices on the network can display or play media located on them as ‘DLNA Clients’.
To make that connection all of the relevant devices need to be connected, be it through Wifi or wired ethernet. Depending on the age of your PC and TV, there may be an opportunity to plug the PC directly into the TV (if they are close enough and a cable can be routed) just like a PVR. Alternatively some new TVs can be configured as DLNA clients (or even servers in their own rights) and display material right off the PC that is the Server, assuming the TV is also connected to the network by wifi or wired ethernet.
These tutorials may be instructive although anything older than a few months can be dated already
In addition, streaming content to a TV can be as easy as particular mobile phones being capable of ‘casting’ displays onto compatible TVs. Note this only applies to particular makes and models, and in the case of the following requires ‘Chromecast’ software in one way or another.