recording on freeview

Recording on Freeview – The The Fool Proof Guide

Recording on Freeview? Is it Possible? Gone are the days when viewers could record TV shows and favorite movies with VCR (videocassette recorder) technology.

2012 saw the death of analogue TV in the UK and the VCR recording option died the same year.

The analogue TV broadcasting system which supported video cassette recorders was replaced by DVB-T (standard definition) and DVB-T2 (high definition).

Both of which can only be decoded by Freeview or Freeview HD tuner.

Although viewers may no longer enjoy the freedom of copying and pasting recorded files to their computers/phones, nothing can stop people from recording TV shows as long as they have access to DVRs (Digital video recorders) and PVRs (personal video recorders).

This guide is an eye opener for people who do not know how to record on Freeview.

Guide Outline

  • Recording on Freeview
  • What devices do I need to record on Freeview?
  • How to record on Freeview

Recording on Freeview

recording on freeview possible

Recording on Freeview is only available on company authorised boxes or any smart TVs that has this feature enabled.

With the Freeview recorder, you can do the recording and play any shows or series when you want to.

What Devices Do I Need to Record on Freeview?

devices required freeview

DVRs and PVRs operate differently from VCRs. Unlike the first two models, the VCR model has an in-built analogue TV tuner which records programs from the signals it receives from the television aerial.

On the other hand, digital video recorders and personal video recorders operate by encoding video data in MPEG video formats.

Then, they store the video in a hard drive or USB. Some smart TVs (with in-built DVRs) allow users to record TV programs directly to USBs or hard drives instead of using an external digital video recorder.

Below are the devices you need to record on Freeview.

DVRs with In-built Freeview Tuner

You can either use a smart television with in-built tuner or Freeview+ approved set-top boxes.

Not all channels can be recorded. Check your Freeview guide to know the available channels by pressing the EPG/Guide button on your remote control.

USB HDD or External Hard drive

With the aid of USB or hard drive, you can record and store your favorite shows for future viewing.

There’s no restriction on the amount of storage space per USB, but the USB hard drive should have at least 128 GB storage space so it won’t fill up easily.

The MPEG video files recorded from the Freeview are locked to the particular TV set.

This means you cannot transfer the files to your PC or watch with another television without some form of online registration.


  • Hard drives with their own internal power supply are better than those that rely on power from the USB socket.
  • Ensure your USB HDD type is the same as the USB port. Only use USB 2.0 for a 2.0 port. The same rule applies with USB 3.0.

How to Record on Freeview?

how to record on freeview

The record option is only available on Freeview-approved set-top boxes or smart television.

With a Freeview recorder, you can watch a show while recording another, use series links, pause live TV, and save TV shows.

This section takes you through the setup process and the recording procedure.

Follow the steps below to record on your TV or APP.

For Freeview Smart TV

can you record freeview on a smart tv

To enable the feature on your Smart TV, you can follow the steps as mentioned below:

Step 1. Put on the TV. Ensure your aerial and your remote control are in a good condition.

Step 2. Search for your Wi-Fi network and login.

Step 3. Connect the power lead into your set-top box. For smart TVs with in-built Freeview tuner(s), you don’t need an extra set-top box. However, if your TV does not automatically detect the recorder, navigate to AV1 channel using the remote control.

Step 4. Tune your television to the accessible channels. This might take up to four minutes.

Step 5. Save the channels.

Step 6. Check your EPG for available shows. The EPG shows you channels that can be recorded and those that are off-limits.

Step 7. Select the shows you want to record and start recording.

For Freeview App

record using app

You cannot stream programs online when you’re abroad; hence the best option is to download your favorite shows ahead of the vacation trip.

Before leaving, download on-demand shows on the Freeview app and watch offline when you get to your destination.

For users who don’t have the app yet, Freeview apps are only accessible on phones with a minimum of android OS 4.4 and iOS 11.

As with the TV guide, this app section takes you through the setup process and the recording procedure.

The steps given in this section work for both android and Apple phone users.

Follow the steps below to record on your app.

Step 1. Connect with Wi-Fi

Step 2. Download the Freeview app

Step 3. Download and install the on-demand players for your preferred channels such as UKTV Play, BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub, and My 5.

You can download these apps via Google Play Store or App store depending on the type of phone you’re using. Alternatively, you can check the list of the available players in the ‘My Freeview’ area of the App.

Step 4. Click on demand at the bottom of the Freeview App.

Step 5. Click on the programs you wish to download and you’ll be taken to the show’s player.

Step 6. Press watch or download.

How to Record with USB

record freeview using usb

You can record SD, HD, and 3D formats with the aid of a USB hard drive (USB HDD).

Follow the steps below to record on your USB HDD.

1. Connect USB HDD

Insert your USB HDD to the port at the back of your smart TV.

Sometimes, the USB port can be situated at the side of the TV depending on the TV you’re using.

2. Format the USB Hard drive

Most smart TVs format/delete the files in the hard drive automatically, but some need to be operated manually.

In case the USB is not formatted automatically, go to ‘menu’, then select ‘format HDD’.

3. Start Recording

Press the record button on your remote control. You can schedule daily records with the timer functions.

If you have a Freeview recorder, you can record while watching another show.

Some smart TVs allow users to record when the TV is off. Check your television manual for more information.


We hope you have now understood how to enable recording on Freeview.

As mentioned, go for the compatible devices or boxes as far as possible. Else you can use other methods as mentioned above.

Further Read: Want to know how to watch catch up tv on the box, you can check the guide for more details.

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