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How do I set up a standard definition digital box or digital TV recorder?

Posted March 25, 2013 - Setting up

A standard definition Freeview digital box or digital TV recorder will come with instructions on how to set up, but if you’re having problems, we’ve put together some information to help you along. If you require further support, you should contact the manufacturer.

With your box you should have the following items:

  • a power lead
  • a remote control and batteries
  • a SCART lead (some Freeview boxes don’t come with a SCART lead, but they are available from most electrical retailers)

NB: Most products are now HD and use HDMI cables.

You will also need an aerial lead and a working aerial.

an aerial lead and a working aerial

1. Plug your aerial lead into the aerial socket on your box (1). The socket may be marked ‘RF in’, ‘Antenna’, ‘Aerial’ or ‘Ant in’.

2. Using a SCART cable (or for Freeview HD, a HDMI cable) connect to the equivalent socket on your TV to the port marked AV1 (HDMI 1) on the box. If your TV does not have a SCART/HDMI socket, then certain boxes with something called an ‘RF modulator’ will allow you to use another aerial cable to connect the box to the TV.

3. Put your TV on standby and then switch the TV on using your television remote control.

4. Plug the power lead into your new box and turn it on. Most televisions will automatically detect the recorder; if yours doesn’t, go to the AV1 channel using your TV remote control.

5. Most boxes are ready to automatically start tuning. If you have problems with tuning see our Retuning Guide. Once your box is tuned, you’ll be able to save the channels you have found and go to BBC One. You can now use your Freeview remote control to explore the range of channels.

The exact arrangement of sockets you see will vary across products.

Related content:

How to set up Freeview in your home – watch the video
Retuning guide
How do I set up a TV with Freeview built in?
How do I set up a Freeview box, TV and DVD together?
How do I set up my Freeview+ HD recorder?
How do I contact the manufacturer of a Freeview digital box or TV?

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