Do Smart TVs Record Shows? (Explained for Beginners)

The integration of recording functions in smart TVs is a game-changer when it comes to watching programs outside the platform of your smart TV.

This function lets you pause and rewind a program, in case you missed something, or want to check another channel.

Also, it’s a helpful tool, especially if you want to get a segment of a video for a school project.

Do Smart TVs Record Shows?

Most smart TVs have recording functions built into their programming to allow you to watch shows and movies later. This allows you to pause and rewind as you watch. You can’t record from apps like Netflix, but those apps allow you to pause and rewind anyway, so it isn’t needed.

Here are some of the things you need to know about recording on your smart TV.

Can You Record a TV Show on a Smart TV?

High-end smart TVs have built-in Personal Video Recorder (PVR) or Digital Video Recorder (DVR) functions that allow you to record your favorite program so you can pause and rewind a show, in case you miss something:

  1. That function is usually known as “Timeshift” or “Extended PVR” for Samsung TVs.
  2. LG calls this function the “Time Machine.”

Unfortunately, this function was not designed to permanently store recordings from your TV.

The external storage plugged into the smart TV merely serves as temporary storage for the file you can playback, after which the TV deletes the video.

If you want to record and save, you need a Personal Video Recorder (PVR). PVRs are external devices you connect to your TV to record and save videos.

PVRs are different from Timeshift and Time Machine since the former can save the files permanently onto your external storage.

Here are data on the demographics of TV show viewers.

What Smart TVs Can Record TV Shows?

Sony released 14 models of smart TVs that have hard drive recording capacity.

These are from their KDL line of TVs.

How do you Record a TV Show on Your Smart TV?

If you are looking to record via the Timeshift or Time Machine function, make sure you have a flash drive or external hard drive plugged into the USB port of your smart TV.

  1. Press the record function, and the TV will check your external storage plugged in.
  2. Once the TV finished checking your external storage, it will then begin recording.

In some smart TV models, you can use the record function so you can switch channels without any interruptions.

If you are looking to record using a PVR, you need to make sure external storage is plugged into the recorder.

The external drive you will plug should be at most 2 TB:

  1. Make sure your drive is formatted to NTFS for hard drives and FAT32 for flash drives.
  2. To be sure, format your storage on a computer, as some TVs can only format in FAT32.

After you format your hard drive, you can proceed to the recording.

Remote for VIZION TV held in fron of TV

If you want an on-demand recording, make sure the “Digital TV (DTV)” input is selected, and you are watching DTV content.

  1. Press the PVR button, and the recorder will begin recording your program.
  2. When you press the stop button, you will be asked to confirm the end of the recording.
  3. The recording will then be saved into your external storage.

Note that changing the channel will prompt the recorder to stop, but you will be asked to confirm this.

Also, on-demand recording stops automatically once you turn off the TV.

You can also schedule recording, in case you won’t be around to record the program personally.

That would be perfect for times you have to attend to other things so you won’t miss your favorite show or game:

  1. To set up a scheduled recording, make sure the content is DTV, and the input is selected.
  2. Open the Electronic Program Guide and select the channel of the program you want to record.
  3. Set the scheduled time, and the frequency of this recording. Don’t forget to input the start and end of the record.

Once this is done, you can now record while your TV is on standby mode.

What File Format is Used for TV Recording?

PVRs save your recording in the Mpeg2 file format.

You can then move this to your computer and convert it to an appropriate file format for future viewing using your USB drive.

Which is the Best Smart TV for Recording Shows?

When it comes to screen size, the Sony KD-65X9004A smart TV comes as the winner.

With a 65-inch screen, you will be able to enjoy the recordings on your external storage.

How Much Disk Storage do Smart TVs Have?

Smart TVs do not have much disk space on-board.

They usually have an average of 8 GB and are purely for the installation of apps.

You cannot record directly to the external storage of your smart TV.

How Much Disk Space Should I Need for My Smart TV?

It depends on your requirements.

If you want to be sure, smart TVs can recognize external hard disks of up to 2 TB, and 32 GB for flash drives.

You might not be able to do much if you only use a flash drive, so it is better to use an external hard drive.

What Device Can I Use to Record TV Shows?

You need a PVR or a Personal Video Recorder.

Many also refer to these as a DVR, which has been used to record shows from your TV for about a decade now.

There is a wide range of PVRs in the market that let you record your favorite programs onto a hard drive.

Some of these devices also have internal memory for you to use.

Can you Screen Capture your Apps on your Smart TV?

Some smart TVs allow you to capture the current state of your screen.

These will be saved onto an external drive plugged into your TV. You can also download CestusPlay if your TV does not have this function.

Note that this app also needs you to download a parallel version onto an Android smartphone or tablet, and your device and TV must be on the same Wi-Fi network.

Can you Record Shows on YouTube or Netflix from the TV?

Unfortunately, you cannot record Netflix from your smart TV.

Other programs can handle this task on mobile and your desktop.

Meanwhile, YouTube has its TV service, which gives you a DVR for you to record shows that you like.

Called YouTube TV, this service gives you access to different content, like you cable TV.

But this service costs $65 a month, with a seven (7) day trial period.

Each subscription gives you six user accounts so other family members can also use the service.

Can a VHS Recorder Record from a Smart TV?

If you are looking to cut corners to record from your smart TV, a VHS player will work but requires a DTV converter to feed the signal into the recorder.

Aside from buying a converter, you will need to find VHS tapes to record on, which have been phased out and can be difficult to obtain and use.

More importantly, you may not preserve the HD resolution once transferred to a VHS tape, so your end result may be of low quality.


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