Freeview Boxes : Classic or Dud?

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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 (thirteen years ago) link

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

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

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

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

I mean - how would that help?

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

I dunno, but there is a 'replace all' option that's best. I tried "add new ones only" once but it ended up a complete mess (BBC4 was actually ITV3 and loads of other type mixups)

Mark G, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 17:19 (thirteen years ago) link

Looking at to-days listings I can see that would be disastrous - sitting down to enjoy Masterpieces of Vienna and being confronted with The Two Ronnies. For shame.

Ned Trifle II, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 17:29 (thirteen years ago) link

You'd only know which one you were watching when the fat lady started to sing! (maybe)

Mark G, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 17:30 (thirteen years ago) link

Miss Elaine Paige is not fat.

Noodle Vague, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 17:31 (thirteen years ago) link

She's not as thin as she was.

Alba, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 17:43 (thirteen years ago) link

Rear of the Year 1984.

Noodle Vague, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 17:44 (thirteen years ago) link

Weren't we all.

Alba, Wednesday, 9 January 2008 17:47 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm getting really pissed off with freeview. The reception has been terrible recently and half the channels have gone including C4. Someone down my road reckons it's because they've changed transmitters or something - could that be true? If so does that mean I need a new arial or can I just get on the roof and point it in another direction. I emailed the freeview website and (quelle fckng surprise) no answr. If this is still the case when they switch of analogue I am not going to be happy.

Ned Trifle II, Monday, 21 January 2008 11:38 (thirteen years ago) link

Some of the channels are reasonable. Some go into pixel meltdown every 15 seconds or so.

What to do about it? I used to have a standalone Freeview box, now it's internal to the TV, which is a drag for reasons probably mentioned above. (quick check, nope: Basically, I can't record off the freeview channels unless TV is switched on and showing *that* channel)

Mark G, Monday, 21 January 2008 12:11 (thirteen years ago) link

one year passes...

Well, those channels have had a big shift-around.

The one that had grrls in not much, 'vibrating' while shaking mobile phones has gone.

And "Russia Today" has begun, a news programme that's on 2 hours each day, around 07:00

There's one called QUEST that's starting in May.

Still, I'd scrap the whole thing if it wasn't for BBC4.


Mark G, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 13:16 (twelve years ago) link

Jarlrmai, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 13:47 (twelve years ago) link

^ Shit, that's quite neat. Never bothered to check it out before. It's also a way of catching the Gaelic sitcom my mate wrote for BBC Alba (no, really) ... assuming they show it again. (If BBC Alba is anything like BBC3, I imagine it's on a constant loop).

Obviously, I won't understand a word of it, but hey.

a tiny, faltering megaphone (grimly fiendish), Tuesday, 7 April 2009 13:52 (twelve years ago) link

Mine are all working really well now. I watch BBC4, E4 and More4 and a surprising number of films on Film4. What the hell is on 5 these days?

commons hack spat (Ned Trifle II), Tuesday, 7 April 2009 15:30 (twelve years ago) link

30 Rock! or maybe it stopped again

using Zattoo more and more lately

Hard House SugBanton (blueski), Tuesday, 7 April 2009 15:34 (twelve years ago) link

What the hell is on 5 these days?

FUCK ALL. One of the things I occasionally have to do at work is write little extended captions for the TV page -- ie pick something and knock together four lines about it for any given night on each of the terrestrial channels. The only thing that stops it being anything other than a one-minute job is the fact there is never a fucking THING worth writing about on Five. Once you've done CSI a few times, you're on to plums.

a tiny, faltering megaphone (grimly fiendish), Tuesday, 7 April 2009 15:39 (twelve years ago) link

Peppa Pig getting short shrift here

also The Shield (i still haven't seen it but i'm sure it's lovely)

Hard House SugBanton (blueski), Tuesday, 7 April 2009 15:42 (twelve years ago) link

Five shows a lot of Segal/Van Damme movies.

a turducken of Hindu deities (gnarly sceptre), Tuesday, 7 April 2009 16:01 (twelve years ago) link

Dudes, Neighbours is on Five!

(also Highland Emergency, which no-one except my mum watches)

ailsa, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 16:10 (twelve years ago) link

And also THE MENTALIST which is OK, if you like watching Cracker reimagined as glossy American drama.

ailsa, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 16:12 (twelve years ago) link

Zattoo doesn't appear to have any of the additional ITV or Channel 4 channels, which is a bit crap. You're probably better off forking out £20 or so for a USB TV stick or something.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 16:23 (twelve years ago) link

Dudes, Neighbours is on Five!

Thus my point is made. (I've always hated Neighbours. Even when I was a kid. Mind, I also hate fun.)

a tiny, faltering megaphone (grimly fiendish), Tuesday, 7 April 2009 16:24 (twelve years ago) link

Don't think the 2 are connected.

Straight from the Top of My Dom (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 7 April 2009 16:27 (twelve years ago) link

Rejected Neighbour spin-offs:

Bouncer's Nightmare
Bertha Goes Bananas
The Mangles Christmas Carol

Hard House SugBanton (blueski), Tuesday, 7 April 2009 16:29 (twelve years ago) link

and not forgetting "Hello again, we bludgeon"

Mark G, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 16:31 (twelve years ago) link

> 30 Rock! or maybe it stopped again

last 2 of season 2 are on friday night. seems to be of the same opinion as grimly, the listings link keeps giving me:

"The system cannot find the path specified."

anyway, gadget show (increasingly terrible), NCIS (increasingly terrible) and Numb3rs (increasingly terrible) are all on 5. as are L&O:* (although despite being 4 or 5 years behind on L&O:SVU they keep showing only repeats)

koogs, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 16:45 (twelve years ago) link is one of the worst web sites ever made, and it hasn't changed in fucking years. Just try to find information about the baseball games they show. I dare you! They show two games a week. What teams will be playing? Who knows!

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 16:49 (twelve years ago) link

four months pass...

apparently HD is coming to freeview on or around nov. 1! hotcha

Tracer Hand, Friday, 21 August 2009 21:54 (eleven years ago) link

that's BBC HD, mind you - which i believe currently has about five shows on repeat and a test card

Tracer Hand, Friday, 21 August 2009 21:56 (eleven years ago) link

the "x" on the tic-tac-toe board marks the exact center of the screen, fact fans

Tracer Hand, Friday, 21 August 2009 21:58 (eleven years ago) link

one month passes...

Remember to retune your boxes if you want more TJ Hooker and Ironside repeats.

James Mitchell, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 07:42 (eleven years ago) link

Channel 4 HD coming soon too, apparently. Course, existing freeview receivers (including lots of those built into HD tellies) won't actually be able to decode HD channels, we'll need new boxes for that. (although apparently the USB DVT jobbie I've got for my PC will be able to cope with it)

JimD, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 08:19 (eleven years ago) link

You need really good reception for the HD channels. If you have problems picking up the regular channels, you'll be out of luck.

Unless this is what the whole retuning thing is meant to solve, who knows?

James Mitchell, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 08:32 (eleven years ago) link

Doesn't digital reception become less of an issue when analogue gets switched off? Because then they can turn the power up without worrying about disrupting the old system, or something.

JimD, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 08:36 (eleven years ago) link

Remember to retune your boxes if you want more TJ Hooker and Ironside repeats

What channel shows TJ Hooker repeats?

The Prince's choice: making a brush. (Tom D.), Tuesday, 29 September 2009 09:07 (eleven years ago) link

still not got a humax

cozwn, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 09:10 (eleven years ago) link

xp the new Quest channel.

James Mitchell, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 09:16 (eleven years ago) link

i also usually enjoy Gideon's Way, which is a 1 hr police procedural, on daily. and Interpol Calling which is 1/2 hour and less frequent.

saturday morning they are now showing all the kinds of crap i used to hate when it would replace Swap Shop over the summer holidays. Champion The Wonder Horse, CFF films, Popeye etc

koogs, Monday, 17 May 2021 13:05 (one month ago) link

Also Fleischer Superman cartoons and Looney Tunes.

They're showing One Step Beyond on Tuesday nights but from the ep I saw it's no Outer Limits.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 17 May 2021 13:08 (one month ago) link

yeah, i caught half of one the other day but it didn't seem to go anywhere.

some freeview channel should show all the Outer Limits and Twilight Zone episodes.

koogs, Monday, 17 May 2021 13:19 (one month ago) link

The Singer Not The Song, Wednesday at 14:45 - A British produced western (shot in Spain), with Dirk Bogarde and John Mills. Word on the street is that Bogarde camps it up something rotten in this as an act of protest against the film's direction. It's about an Irish priest standing up to a Mexican bandit? And why this title? So many questions. There's also The Strange Loves Of Martha Ives on late at night

Oh man, you haven't seen this? This is like one of the campest British films of all time. I remember seeing this for the first time, with my brother, on like a boring Saturday afternoon on BBC2 and both of us not quite believing that we were watching. Dirk struts about in tight designer leather trousers and everyone in Mexico has a RADA accent. It's a pity that boring old John Mills is playing opposite Bogarde as soembody a bit more attractive - and able to actually do an Irish accent - would have pushed it entirely over the cliff of homoeroticism.

Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? (Tom D.), Monday, 17 May 2021 13:28 (one month ago) link

watched a George Formby and half a Norman Wisdom with the kids yesterday, they were surprisingly into the George Formby.

A viking of frowns, (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 17 May 2021 13:34 (one month ago) link

Sylvia Sims seems to have been in every other British movie from about 1955 to 1965. That's fine though, I like Sylvia Sims.

Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? (Tom D.), Monday, 17 May 2021 13:37 (one month ago) link

Today at 16:15 there's Home At Seven, Ralph Richardson's only directorial effort (he also stars in it). A man loses a day, having no memory whatsoever of what transpired - useful reference points would be The Twilight Zone at the popcult end of the sprectrum and Kafka at the highart end, but it's very much about the British suburbs.

This *does* sound good.

the pinefox, Monday, 17 May 2021 13:45 (one month ago) link

and Jack Hawkins is the Dixon actor i couldn't remember the name of (he's in Home At Seven)

Sky Arts showing old Landscape Artist Of The Year episodes which are relaxing tv. also the odd Portrait Artist Of The Year for those who prefer your paintings taller rather than wider.

and there are The Tube highlights on London Live.

koogs, Monday, 17 May 2021 14:38 (one month ago) link

(Jack Warner is Dixon, not Jack Hawkins)

koogs, Monday, 17 May 2021 14:42 (one month ago) link

Following the tip earlier I managed to catch most of HOME AT SEVEN (1952). Very much like a play in a provincial theatre - a few sets: the house, the doctor's surgery, the police station, the pub for a rare flashback; and a few main characters. Must have been cheap to make. I see the TWILIGHT ZONE link, at least at the start when he learns of the memory loss, but that aspect is rather overtaken by the police murder investigation.

the pinefox, Monday, 17 May 2021 17:02 (one month ago) link

I watched this too, I'm afraid it was far too In Every Old British Movie Ever for me.

Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? (Tom D.), Monday, 17 May 2021 17:44 (one month ago) link

"Lower Middleswallop, you say? Well you'll be wanting the 3.30 from platform 3 but better hurries along now, young sir, it'll be leaving in *pulls out fob watch* five minutes *winks*."
― Bees Against Racism (Tom D.), Wednesday, June 12, 2013


the pinefox, Monday, 17 May 2021 19:00 (one month ago) link

but that aspect is rather overtaken by the police murder investigation

Yes, and the eventual resolution is very weak, but I like to think that the way it's turned the main character's life upside down will have repercussions for years to come.

Very much like a play in a provincial theatre

You're probably right about budgetary concerns but also films directed by actors are likely to go easy on the Film As A Visual Medium stuff to give the acting more of a spotlight.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 18 May 2021 09:36 (one month ago) link

I liked the film, more than Tom D did. I actually liked the way that the solution lay in the City pub that he had mentioned to the doctor early on but that might since have been forgotten. And it involved an element of WWII / PTSD that gave the memory lapse theme more historical weight.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 18 May 2021 10:04 (one month ago) link

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