Now the SCART cables run from the Freeview box to the DVD, and daisy-chain to the TV, so unfortunately this does not necessarily reveal where the fault lies. Of course, everything is behaving itself today. I've tuned the TV to find the old-fashioned signal from the DVD player. The Freeview box is second hand and has no manual, so I'm not sure whether I can do the same for that - for the time being it's hooked directly to the TV via the SCART. So I can't record from it, but then again, I rarely if ever did that, anyway, as it couldn't be pre-programmed.
It seems that the problem could be the SCART output from the DVD, or the SCART input into the TV. The DVD is under warranty (and has over a year to run on that, so no particular need to rush if it's at fault); the TV is just over 10 years old. Or it could have been the SCART lead - the connection at the TV end is a rather poor fit and the cable is a bit loose. I think I would rather the TV was the problem, because otherwise I shall find it very difficult indeed to have any faith in modern consumer electronics - I have had numerous problems in the past few years with DVD and Freeview. On the other hand, TV technology is in something of a state of flux at the moment, what with HD around the corner, and at a quick glance, unless I go for built-in obsolescence, it all looks rather more expensive than I'd really want to pay. I'm not a heavy TV user and don't need all the latest gadgets; I just want something that works, and isn't too bulky. And if it isn't entirely broken yet, I won't fix it. Paradoxically, the way everything is connected at the moment, this means that I want the Freeview box to fail, as a sign that it isn't the DVD. Perhaps in a couple of weeks time, if there is no problem, I will shuffle things round again to try to diagnose things. I wonder just how the average man-in-the-street is supposed to handle all this?