Freeview Boxes : Classic or Dud?

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Just got one, have had it for a week. Now the kids watch cbeebies all day despite what I say...

And this bid up TV / Drop Down TV where they sell towels/jewellry/golf clubs to callers on-line ....

And cause of all this, I missed Psychomania on BBC1!!!

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 22 March 2004 16:50 (eighteen years ago) link

You may wish to see this thread, mark. It's not very good though.

N. (nickdastoor), Monday, 22 March 2004 16:54 (eighteen years ago) link


No, but then it's just worth it for Radio 6, ocasionally.

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 22 March 2004 16:59 (eighteen years ago) link

I meant that thread, not Freeview. I suppose that's not very good either, but hey, it's cheap.

Digital Radios is a better thread.

N. (nickdastoor), Monday, 22 March 2004 17:03 (eighteen years ago) link

True, re: the thread. But, not great source material I guess.

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 22 March 2004 17:04 (eighteen years ago) link

Classic for Sky Sports News (immensely entertaining, if occasionally heartbreaking, on a Saturday afternoon), BBC4 (Richard Rorty/Emmylou Harris/John Cage/Paul Morley/Alan Clark/Gyorgy Ligeti/Mark Steel...), Radio 3 & 4 hiss-free, Five in near-DVD kwal for CSI, etc., the entire-series-in-a-day rerun approach of UK History (dip a toe into The Cuban Missile Crisis).

Dud for ropey BBC/ITV bitrates, the shopping channels (only funny the first time), the wasteland of ITV2 and the creeping menace of Top Up TV (I don't have an old OnDigital box so I can't see these extra subscription services - which are eating into channel-space, goddammit*), the plethora of EMAP-owned trash radio.

(* - OK, more to it than that, but, y'know...)

Jury's out: BBCi (I'm waiting for June...) and TMF/Hits channels (one could get sick of even "Hey Ya"), BBC3 (comedy on weeks before BBC2 - which I still can't help thinking of as a taster for its real analogue broadcast... the endless looping repeats on BBC3 don't encourage any kind of timeslot loyalty and by the time of BBC2 screening I can't remember what I have/haven't seen; the rest of its programming is without merit).

Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Monday, 22 March 2004 17:10 (eighteen years ago) link

Don't forget Bunk Bed Boys, 11pm tonight. Comedy you'll never see on BBC2.

Pete (Pete), Monday, 22 March 2004 17:25 (eighteen years ago) link

one year passes...
OK, I've just tried retuning so I can pick up the unencrypted E4.

Not matter how many times I retune, I can get E4+1 perfectly but I've completely lost the reception for E4, Channel 4 and ITV etc.

James Mitchell (James Mitchell), Friday, 27 May 2005 16:10 (seventeen years ago) link

E4 only came on for me at about 10pm (which wasn't really a problem I suppose, since BB was on C4 at the time).

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Saturday, 28 May 2005 07:12 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah i've now got both E4 and E4+. yay!

Ste (Fuzzy), Saturday, 28 May 2005 13:13 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah, I've got mine all sorted out now. You might be able to go straight to channel 705 for the Big Brother live stream.

James Mitchell (James Mitchell), Saturday, 28 May 2005 13:23 (seventeen years ago) link

Freeview boxes are okay, I haven't got mine connected though. Can't work out the connections with my TV and DVD recorder.

jel -- (jel), Saturday, 28 May 2005 13:26 (seventeen years ago) link

two years pass...

ftn seems to have been replaced with virgin1 which is showing Deep Space 9 5 times a week (opposite Daily Show unfortunately).

Tivo is currently listing 50+ episodes of takeshi's castle, all of which i've seen before. i deleted the Season Pass thing only to have them all reappear due to Takeshi Kitano wishlist thing. will have to delete them all individually...

bbc radio channels seemed to rejig last week sometime - needed a channel rescan to pick them all up again. annoying - missed start of dirk gently.

koogs, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 12:57 (fourteen years ago) link

I heard a couple of Radio 4 trailers saying that you'd need to rescan around October 2nd, the other week.

Forest Pines Mk2, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 13:27 (fourteen years ago) link

(note to self: remember to listen to Dirk Gently whilst in the car tonight)

Forest Pines Mk2, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 13:28 (fourteen years ago) link

Our box spazzes out and demands a rescan once every week or two. It happened again yesterday and afterwards we were missing bbc 1 and 2.

ledge, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 13:52 (fourteen years ago) link

I seem to be rescanning every other week, what with C4+1 and Virgin 1 and the BBC radio stations moving about. It's quite a to-do and I worry about how the old folk cope.

Also, ITV2 never seems to provide any programme guide information anymore. Luckily, I couldn't care less.

Alba, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 13:53 (fourteen years ago) link

One of our Freeview boxes started demanding a rescan every time it started up, for a couple of months, before dying completely.

Forest Pines Mk2, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 14:04 (fourteen years ago) link

What I don't understand is why you can't search for a show title on these things. The schedules are just stored as text in some database sitting right there inside the box - why not let me search for "Kath and Kim", show me the results, and then let me select "Record All"?

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 14:06 (fourteen years ago) link

We recently got a new freeview box which can has about 100+ channels on it, can record programmes, and can pause TV shows (even live ones) for up to 30 minutes. It's amazing! and it only cost £50.

C J, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 14:09 (fourteen years ago) link

The schedules are just stored as text in some database sitting right there inside the box - why not let me search for "Kath and Kim", show me the results, and then let me select "Record All"

er ... you can pretty much do that with ours (some kind of two-year-old humax thing that actually rocks a lot harder than i think i realise, given that it does all the stuff CJ's new thing does and i just take it for granted). you can certainly search for programmes by name, and it's piss easy to set up a repeat-recording schedule.

grimly fiendish, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 14:27 (fourteen years ago) link

Yes well that... makes sense

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 14:29 (fourteen years ago) link

Everyone should have a Humax.

Alba, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 14:43 (fourteen years ago) link

i want the one that can output to my computer.

grimly fiendish, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 14:44 (fourteen years ago) link

I need to read the instruction book with my Sky+ box to see if it can do fancy searching stuff. It can record whole series and that, but if I don't actually see it in the TV guide, it doesn't go "yo, you're going to miss that thing you might have wanted to see". Or maybe it does and i just don't know how to work it.

Anyway, that's not freeview. Our freeview box doesn't work due to crappy aerial set-up in the house. Luckily a guy about five doors down from us has a van with "TV Aerial Repair" written on it, I just have to befriend him for some spurious reason.

ailsa, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 14:48 (fourteen years ago) link

I am scared to make mine rescan, since I currently appear to be getting Setanta Sports without paying Top Up.

aldo, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 14:58 (fourteen years ago) link

It seems like you've got a non-spurious one already!


Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 14:58 (fourteen years ago) link

"hello, I've just moved in a couple of doors along from you, care to fix my aerial for nothing in a neighbourly kind of way?"

ailsa, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 15:00 (fourteen years ago) link

"hello, I've just moved in a couple of doors along from you. nice van. be a shame if something happened to it, eh? now, about my aerial."

grimly fiendish, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 15:07 (fourteen years ago) link

Here's a "controversial" article about Freeview .. I can't say I really buy the guy's argument. I may not even grasp it in the first place.

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 15:38 (fourteen years ago) link

Our Freeview box recently broke (it won't turn on - yes, I've tried replacing the remote control batteries) and would like to know where CJ got a box that records for only £50.

James Mitchell, Thursday, 11 October 2007 11:15 (fourteen years ago) link

yes, me too. i have seen cheap freeview boxes, less cheap recording boxes but freeview boxes that also record have, in my experience*, all been around the £200 mark. need a second digibox for the bedroom and may as well get one that records.

(* argos)

koogs, Thursday, 11 October 2007 11:21 (fourteen years ago) link

ok, they are coming down in price - a sony here for £80

koogs, Thursday, 11 October 2007 11:27 (fourteen years ago) link

It's no Humax.

Alba, Thursday, 11 October 2007 11:29 (fourteen years ago) link

(that sony's a refurb, oops)

and humax ain't no tivo. 8)

koogs, Thursday, 11 October 2007 11:32 (fourteen years ago) link

We bought a fairly bog-standard freeview box (to replace an unreliable one which kept freezing up) from Argos about six months ago. We pay monthly for that top-up TV thing, so presumably our details exist on some top-up-tv-database somewhere .... because a couple of weeks ago we had a phone call from whoever the manufacturer of our freeview box was, offering us an upgrade to this spiffing new recordable one for just £50. My husband, being a sucker for gadgetry, said yes immediately and it arrived by parcel courier the next day. I can't remember what make it is, but I can check when I get home tonight if anyone's interested.

C J, Thursday, 11 October 2007 11:33 (fourteen years ago) link

oh, the topup tv thing, that makes sense. they've switched to uploading content to recordable devices during the times when other channels don't broadcast and the content is then available for topuptv people the day after, like tv on demand. as far as i understand it anyway.

koogs, Thursday, 11 October 2007 11:48 (fourteen years ago) link

Top-up TV is rub-a-dub, as far as I can make out.

Alba, Thursday, 11 October 2007 11:50 (fourteen years ago) link

two months pass...

bought a new set-top box to watch at christmas whilst parents monopolised downstairs tv. only the bedroom tv didn't have a scart-in.

tried it on parents' bedroom tv which does have scart-in. no dice - loop aerial, even one that's amplified, doesn't get a good enough signal for digital tv. i fear this will be the same for millions of sets come 2012.

anyway, got it home and tried to use it to replace the old itv digital box that keeps freezing up (sticks on bbc channels, which meant i lost about 5 hours of recordings over christmas, 5 hours of bbc7 rather than virgin1) but the tivo cannot replicate the remote control commands that it needs in order to turn over to the correct channel.

it will, i think, let me watch one channel whilst tivo is recording another, so not entirely useless. i will need to rejig wiring though as i know have more scart inputs than i have scart-in sockets.

koogs, Wednesday, 2 January 2008 13:12 (fourteen years ago) link

argos are doing a wharfedale 160G pvr thing for £75 in their sale btw

have no idea what it's like other than the shape and the price. 8)

koogs, Wednesday, 2 January 2008 13:16 (fourteen years ago) link

I think I need to get myself one of those, but the thought of disconnecting everything and trying to work that into my existing set-up gives me nightmares.

nate woolls, Wednesday, 2 January 2008 13:43 (fourteen years ago) link

i believe it should come first in the chain, then output to your DVD/VCR/whatever, which then outputs to your TV - i think?

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 2 January 2008 17:51 (fourteen years ago) link

My OnDigital box finally died last week, so I replaced it with the only cheap crap that Tesco had. It's bollocks. Audio keeps going out of sync, and you can only pull up now/next info for the channel you're watching!

Staggeringly, neither can the Humax PVR that is tied for "best" in all the reviews. But the Topfield TF5800PV can, as it just as good, and also has firefox-esque extensions you can download to it. So that's the one for me.

stet, Wednesday, 2 January 2008 18:01 (fourteen years ago) link

I can press "guide" on the Humax and it tells me all the channels (providing it has been on for a few minutes).

We now have a cheap crap Tesco telly that is digtal-enabled, but it is total shit, can't get a decent picture for most of the channels, whereas the Humax can get a good picture through the same (not very good) aerial setup.

Mind you, all I do is record crap and never watch it.

PS: What did you end up doing, Deano? Giving up and Watching To The Manor Born?

PJ Miller, Wednesday, 2 January 2008 18:13 (fourteen years ago) link

(Portal / Half Life 2 / babylon 5 avis on laptop)

koogs, Wednesday, 2 January 2008 19:27 (fourteen years ago) link

um, Teletext Extra. meant to be a 14 day episode guide but what you end up with is (virgin broadband) adverts top and bottom and room for 5 channels worth of listings in the middle = so much paging up and down.

new set top box is sharing a scart lead and a plug socket with the dvd. bit of a faff but should be ok as i should never be using both at the same time. but unplugging set top box means having to sit through 5 minutes of setup every time i turn it on. oh um. it's 'interactive' red button indicator is also eye-searingly bright compared to the last one.

koogs, Thursday, 3 January 2008 09:49 (fourteen years ago) link

So, until last weekend I had all the 'normal' channels (bbc1,bbc2,itv1,c4,5) working tickety boo through the freeview box, suddenly itv1,4 and 5 give me "no signal' or "service unavailable" and when I re-tune they've gone altogether. What gives?

Ned Trifle II, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 17:10 (fourteen years ago) link

Reload your channels when it's quiet and the reception is good (i.e. not during a thunderstorm)

Mark G, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 17:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Somebody told me that I should "empty" the box first by unplugging it from the aerial so you that when you retune you get nothing and then turning it off for 15 seconds and then plugging it all back in to re-tune again. Do you think he was having a laugh?

Ned Trifle II, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 17:17 (fourteen years ago) link

I mean - how would that help?

Ned Trifle II, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 17:18 (fourteen years ago) link

wow for some reason i thought Brooks had died years back

bury my heart in wounded kieth (Noodle Vague), Friday, 1 July 2022 16:26 (two months ago) link

didn't he spend a bunch of time homeless? or am i thinking of someone else?

koogs, Friday, 1 July 2022 16:59 (two months ago) link

He did murder Pauline Fowler, so anything is possible

Eavis Has Left the Building (Tom D.), Friday, 1 July 2022 17:08 (two months ago) link

Sadly Ray does not play the character named Mark E. DeSade in House of Whipcord

Ward Fowler, Friday, 1 July 2022 18:01 (two months ago) link

the film before that is a William castle joint. I've also set the video for the one after even though i know 1943 zombies are not our zombies

koogs, Friday, 1 July 2022 18:04 (two months ago) link

loads of good stuff on That's TV these days but all seems to be taken from low quality 90s digitizations with a 0.2 second delay between audio and video, which is barely watchable imo

Sudden Birdnet Thus (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 2 July 2022 12:37 (two months ago) link

lots of aspect ratio errors as well, 4:3 stuff stretched to 16:9

koogs, Saturday, 2 July 2022 13:07 (two months ago) link

yeah it's all done with the minimal possible care, when they get big name stuff like monty python and do this to it you really have to wonder what's going on there, did they blow their entire budget and can't hire just one person to sort this out?

Sudden Birdnet Thus (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 2 July 2022 13:15 (two months ago) link

This listing on the TPTV website has to be a fake right

A Tale Of The Fjords
Filmed in 1955 by the distinguished Swedish Cameraman Arne Sucksdorff, focusing on the Vestland region of Norway. A beautiful presentation of two children hunting for the Valley Of happiness

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 7 July 2022 16:39 (two months ago) link

^ would watch

sky arts (ch11) starts Alfred Hitchcock Presents on Monday which i don't think I've ever seen.

they've been showing Portrait Artist Of The Year from the beginning every day, which I've enjoyed. must be nearing the end now because the episodes are COVID-safe. Landscape version once a week too.

other than that everything seems to be finishing, my days are emptier.

koogs, Saturday, 9 July 2022 12:56 (two months ago) link

I noticed this morning that That's TV has been added to my Freeview. Don't know when that happened.

Eavis Has Left the Building (Tom D.), Saturday, 9 July 2022 13:05 (two months ago) link

it moved around the same time horror got renamed (2 weeks ago?) so maybe you picked it up then. enjoy your Benny hill ..

my pvr handles renumberings for things that clash with old channels by shoving everything above ch 800, but keeping the old versions too. it's confusing but the other option is losing all my season passes

koogs, Saturday, 9 July 2022 13:33 (two months ago) link

Several hours of the Kenny Everett Video Show this morning. Hasn't really aged very well, you'll not be surprised to hear.

Eavis Has Left the Building (Tom D.), Saturday, 9 July 2022 13:41 (two months ago) link

That's TV (UK) has some corkers on tonight:

Apparently the death of Davy Jones was not as straightforward as we had been led to believe - I assume so anyway as they're spending almost an hour on it.

Does exactly what it says on the tin.


This I might actually watch, although it's on till half twelve. Still, sleep? Who am I kidding?

Tom D: I was in the army (Tom D.), Monday, 18 July 2022 17:25 (two months ago) link

would rather watch MONKEE DEATH STAR MYSTERY

dear confusion the catastrophe waitress (ledge), Monday, 18 July 2022 17:49 (two months ago) link

A few nights ago TPTV screened HENNESSY (1975), a sort of poor-man's DAY OF THE JACKAL, wherein Rod Steiger and Lee Remick do their best Irish accents and there's a plot to blow up the State Opening of Parliament. Worth watching for the moment (SPOILER) Stanley Lebor shoots Peter Egan - a glimpse of the Ever Decreasing Circles finale that could have been.

Michael Jones, Monday, 18 July 2022 22:37 (two months ago) link

At least Doug Yule is in this Velvets documentary for a change, and quite a lot of Doug Yule too!

Tom D: I was in the army (Tom D.), Monday, 18 July 2022 22:55 (two months ago) link

Watched Caravan (1946) on TPTV today, utter crap but also very enjoyable.

Sudden Birdnet Thus (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 18 July 2022 23:44 (two months ago) link

Someone e-mailed TPTV recently to ask if they'd play Abel Gance's Napoleon. Just slightly outside of their wheelhouse I think.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 20 July 2022 14:36 (two months ago) link

lol i'm not buying another two tellys for that

pasty drunks fuck off (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 20 July 2022 14:46 (two months ago) link

Is it not on the BFI player? They released the DVD/Blu-Ray of it not that long ago, after a cinema tour.

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 20 July 2022 15:02 (two months ago) link

I was watching the first episode of Lynda La Plante's Widows on Talking Pictures TV and this bizarre show presented by Mike Read came on afterwards:

it's (mostly) new tracks by old bands with ultra-cheap videos, and a strange interlude where they play a popular song from 1777 while three Mike Reads float around the screen playing banjos. (mostly because there's also stuff like a 2008 song by the late Robin Gibb about Alan 'Fluff' Freeman and Everlasting Love by Love Affair from 1968, I guess because it was in the Kenneth Branagh Belfast film last year?) Here's the most recent chart to give you a feel for it

I didn't know which thread to post it to, this one, Things that have to be Tim and Eric skits or The last famous person you were surprised to find out is still alive, but it's very strange. You can watch all the previous episodes on the website, the quality varies from actually alright to genuinely some of the worst stuff I've ever heard.

soref, Friday, 22 July 2022 09:49 (two months ago) link

also learned that the woman who played Linda Perelli in Widows is now called Sara Farouk Ahmed and lives in Cairo teaching Egyptian dance

soref, Friday, 22 July 2022 09:54 (two months ago) link

AH, yeah I saw the one where The Rubettes were playing their latest single.

A few bits in common with their first/biggest hit, but.

Mark G, Friday, 22 July 2022 12:37 (two months ago) link

Veronica Mars starts from the beginning on itv2 from Tuesday morning

koogs, Sunday, 24 July 2022 19:15 (two months ago) link

Amazing - was thinking of rewatching that

kinder, Sunday, 24 July 2022 19:21 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

the jordan peele-related-somehow twilight zone reboot has started on Pick on monday nights. not sure of his involvement beyond being a rod serling for the 2020s but... hour long epiodes though...

enjoying veronica mars, even though i still have trouble telling the male teenagers apart.

koogs, Tuesday, 9 August 2022 15:09 (one month ago) link

Synth night on Sky Arts (ch11) tonight including TD documentary and I Dream OF Wires, that documentary on modular synths that i've still not seen. more tomorrow (including one focussed on women)

koogs, Friday, 12 August 2022 15:08 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

probably most have seen it, although i haven't, but excited to catch 'In A Lonely Place' on one of the Great Movies channels next thursday at 9pm.

oscar bravo, Saturday, 27 August 2022 16:16 (one month ago) link

Great movie

seo layer (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 27 August 2022 17:22 (one month ago) link

It's so good it could convert anyone to Cahiers auteurism, even if they're not called Noodle Vague. Hope it's the same print that Criterion had access to for their gorgeous looking blu-ray.

Ward Fowler, Saturday, 27 August 2022 17:53 (one month ago) link

It’s a good one.

I’d Rather Gorblimey (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 27 August 2022 20:43 (one month ago) link

today on TPTV

British Rails Are Long and Fast (1969)

Intended as a sales tool for manufacturers, this short film details the production, installation and maintenance for long welded track in use on British Railways.

koogs, Thursday, 1 September 2022 16:15 (four weeks ago) link

(i am learning a lot - 20 or 30 miles without a joint in the track, but that also means 20 or 30 miles without an expansion gap, hence the recent heat-related problems)

koogs, Thursday, 1 September 2022 16:21 (four weeks ago) link

Great Movies has been showing rolling Christmas films since the beginning of September. I bet they think they're so funny and random. Cunts. Revoke their broadcast licence

seo layer (Noodle Vague), Monday, 12 September 2022 06:59 (two weeks ago) link

yeah, i notice this every year (actually started last thursday)

they aren't even the good xmas movies...

koogs, Monday, 12 September 2022 07:49 (two weeks ago) link

at least ch5 leaves it until after halloween

koogs, Monday, 12 September 2022 07:49 (two weeks ago) link

There aren't enough good Christmas movies for 4 hours television, let alone 4 months

Buckfast At Tiffany's (Tom D.), Monday, 12 September 2022 08:23 (two weeks ago) link

christmas carol (alistair sim version)
christmas carol (jean luc picard version)
christmas carol (kermit version)

koogs, Monday, 12 September 2022 08:43 (two weeks ago) link

Love & Peace
It's A Wonderful Life
Bad Santa

think that's it

seo layer (Noodle Vague), Monday, 12 September 2022 08:48 (two weeks ago) link

Holiday Affair!

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 12 September 2022 10:10 (two weeks ago) link

ppl also really rate Remember The Night but I've not seen, Indicator blu on the way

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 12 September 2022 10:11 (two weeks ago) link

For those with London Live, "Nico, 1988" om tonight at 11pm. John Gordon Sinclair as her manager!

Buckfast At Tiffany's (Tom D.), Friday, 16 September 2022 06:49 (one week ago) link

and my PVR caught Press Gang series 2 on That'sTV at, er, 3am this morning

koogs, Friday, 16 September 2022 07:59 (one week ago) link

Seems like a good time to be sleeping downstairs due to Covid in Da House. Last night I saw Fry & Laurie and Reggie Perrin.

Michael Jones, Friday, 16 September 2022 11:07 (one week ago) link

(you all okay mike?)

koogs, Friday, 16 September 2022 17:38 (one week ago) link

Koogs - I'm negative, C is positive, so keeping our distance. Thanks for asking :)

Michael Jones, Saturday, 17 September 2022 13:55 (one week ago) link

Phase IV on TPTV tonight, if you can't sleep.

koogs, Saturday, 17 September 2022 19:43 (one week ago) link

stoked for the upcoming british transport films season on tptv

("stoked", do you see!?)

koogs, Wednesday, 21 September 2022 13:40 (one week ago) link

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