Freeview Boxes : Classic or Dud?

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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 (eleven years ago) link

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

and not forgetting "Hello again, we bludgeon"

Mark G, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 16:31 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 was hoping it was 24 hour repeats of old Richard Quest shows.

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

Is that up and running? It's been on there for ages as "Coming Soon"

The Prince's choice: making a brush. (Tom D.), Tuesday, 29 September 2009 09:18 (eleven years ago) link

I remember to take this opportunity to report that I have been listening to music that I think features TOM D.

Specifically on vinyl the whole of Close Lobsters' 12-inch, 4-track 45: 'What Is There To Smile About?'

The lead track can be heard here:

the pinefox, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 09:09 (eight months ago) link

four months pass...

Sony Movies Classic has now been rebranded Sony Movies Christmas for all your festive TV movie needs, three months early.

But that prompted me to finally watch The Swimmer before it disappeared and that was great. Nice device, the way back story is gradually revealed, but never fully. And the ending... Odd film for such a big name.

Also taped Miss Jean Brodie and American Graffiti.

Legend of Hell House was on tptv at weekend. Dvd has been on my Amazon wish list for about a decade after learning about the Delia Derbyshire soundtrack.

koogs, Thursday, 24 September 2020 04:28 (four months ago) link

What do people who aren't in London get on freeview channel 8? (Ie instead of London Live)

koogs, Thursday, 24 September 2020 06:35 (four months ago) link

In Glasgow, 'That's TV Scotland', which mostly seems to show fuzzy music clips from the 70s and 80s. I hear from London friends that London Live shows some interesting films from time to time - definitely not the case with That's TV Scotland.

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 24 September 2020 07:24 (four months ago) link

Just recently discovered that I can now get Sky Arts on Freeview.

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 24 September 2020 07:26 (four months ago) link

(I was asking because Stuart maconie was saying that he wanted to see Deep End and it was on LL yesterday. There were 6 months when it would show a new Ealing B-movie every day. Then it went onto Norman wisdom movies... And in the evenings it's all London gangster movies)

koogs, Thursday, 24 September 2020 07:34 (four months ago) link

i've just watched the whole of american graffiti without recognising harrison ford...

koogs, Thursday, 24 September 2020 12:13 (four months ago) link

Ah, he was so young..

Mark G, Thursday, 24 September 2020 12:16 (four months ago) link

'73, so only 4 years before SW.

koogs, Thursday, 24 September 2020 13:26 (four months ago) link

three weeks pass...

i keep forgetting about Sky Arts (ch 11?) but over the last week we've had

KT Tunstall on Ivor Cutler (including her singing Beautiful Cosmos to Phyllis)

Trailblazers: Two Tone (Noddy Holder narrated documentary, very Specials-centric, some good contributors like, surprisingly, Pete Waterman, who was DJ at the Locarno when the Coventry Automatics played there)

The Art Of Architecture on Battersea Power Station

er, Portrait Artist Of The Year

Punk Night tomorrow by the look

koogs, Thursday, 15 October 2020 14:18 (three months ago) link

I thought 'Danny Dyer on Harold Pinter' on Sky Arts was some kind of pisstake, but apparently Dyer worked with Pinter and is a big fan, so fair dos.

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:00 (three months ago) link

I watched a thing about John Belushi which was quite poor (and had an odd, stilted, machine-translated-back-and-forth voiceover), and "Rankin's 2020", which obviously fulfilled my long-held wish for EXIF data to pop up onscreen when showing pro-grade photographs, but was still unsatisfying. Still, it beats Border Patrol on ch11.

Michael Jones, Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:32 (three months ago) link

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