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FrequencyCast UK - Show #04

Details of the contents of our fourth show

Listen to FrequencyCast Show #04

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Here's what you'll find in FrequencyCast #04:


This show's news section covers the following:

  • "Quad-play" - The scramble for telecoms companies to provide Broadband, digital TV, home phone and mobile services. Latest from the big three in this field:
    • Telewest, NTL, and Virgin Mobile: Combining forces to offer TV, Internet, landline and mobile services. They've also just announced a free-to-view rival to Freeview - 36 free channels over their cable network. More at

    • Sky TV: Now offering Free broadband to Sky subscribers. Speeds are up to 2Meg - you can pay £10 a month for a faster connection with no usage cap - speeds up to 16Meg. Given that they offer the largest number of digital TV channels in the UK, their free Broadband offer is exceptionally good value.

    • BT / BT Vision: They plan to launch their TV service, BT Vision, in the autumn, and are already offering phone and Broadband. It looks like Philips will be manufacturing the BT Vision set-top box, which will receive Freeview, will be HD-ready, have a 14 day electronic programme guide, and support Ethernet and USB. BT Vision will need connected to the BT Home Hub. Video-on-demand services will be available over broadband. We understand the service will be subscription-free to BT Total Broadband customers, and the box will be below £100.

  • Film4 logoFilm4 launch: On Sunday 23 July 2006, Film Four became subscription-free on Freeview, cable and satellite. Audience figures show it got off to a flying start with almost 900 thousand viewers tuning in at launch. Upcoming films include Lost in Translation, Strictly Ballroom, Zoolander, Elizabeth, Apocalypse Now and the remake of The Italian Job.
    See below for a question about Film4 reception.

  • Remote Control Sky+ - If you're a Sky+ user, you'll find that you can now set your box to record programs remotely - so if you're reading the paper on a train, and find a show you want to record, you can send a text message to get your box to record the show. To use this, you need to register via Sky Active on your TV, or via When registered, you can send a text to Sky on 61759 , and enter details of what you want to record, using the following format:
    Programme. Channel. dd/mm. hh:mm
    ... and Sky will send out an over-air command to get the event added to your EPG. Confirmed recordings cost 25p. If you have a Symbian phone, you can download a Java app to provide access to Sky's Electronic Programme Guide over the mobile phone network. More on this on our TV Control page.

Freeview News

A couple of snippets of news on the digital TV service, Freeview:

  • Games channel YooPlay vanishes. This games channel started in May 2003, and could be found on channel 106.
  • Virgin Radio added to Freeview's radio lineup (channel 727) on 18th July 2006


TomTomOneSatellite Navigation uses orbiting satellites to work out where you are, and find the most convenient route to your destination.

In this podcast, we look at how easy it is to use an all-on-one SatNav unit, the TomTom One (pictured here). This powerful, portable in-car navigation system supports multiple voices (such as John Cleese and Yoda), and is available for a little over £200.

For more, see our dedicated Sat Nav page, where you can see some screenshots of the TomTom in action, and find a voucher to allow you to buy the One online at a low price.

BT Voyager

BT VoyagerThe BT Voyager Digital Media Player is a portable radio that connects wirelessly to a USB dongle that you plug into your PC. The Voyager then uses your PC and broadband connection to play Internet radio stations wherever you are in the house.

The BT Voyager can also allow you to play other media from your PC, such as MP3 music and podcast files or CDs, providing an affordable way of accessing music from your desktop and around the world.

Update Nov 2006. Seems that this has been out of stock with BT for a few weeks. The Voyager DMP is also listed on Amazon.


SlingboxA couple of messages about Slingbox, the box that connects to you TV setup and lets you watch TV over the Internet. It seems that demand is outstripping supply and there's a shortage. We've also been asked about accessing Slingbox wirelessly. Yep - it's do-able. We recommend the T-Mobile Web ' n' Walk datacard for laptops - this supports GPRS, 3G and wi-fi, and it's cheaper than Vodafone's datacard offering. More on Slingbox availability and wireless connectivity on our Slingbox page.


Thanks to everyone who got in touch with feedback on Show 3 - we still want more of your comments and questions... Here are some of the questions we answered in Show 4:

  • Freeview Channel 30 missing - John from Leeds reported that he couldn't Channel 30 (ITV 4). The normal advice if you can't get a channel is to see if you can get other channels on the same multiplex. The ITV channels are on the same multiplex as E4 and Film 4 - so if those channels can be received, then you should be able to get ITV4 on your box. John's call mentioned seeing other channels in the background, which sounds like a box or cabling problem, and we'd suggest checking connections, resetting the box (by removing from mains), then trying a full channel rescan. More help

  • Big Brother extra stream ends . Freeview channel 305 was being used to provide an extra stream of Big Brother as there was some spare bandwidth, but this had to be switched off to make room for Film 4 in mid-July 2006.
  • Bluetooth pairing -  Pairing a mobile phone and a PC can be tricky. If you can't pair from PC to phone, try phone-to-PC. Make sure the phone has Bluetooth enabled and is set to "discoverable". Also, make sure you have the latest drivers and software, and check with the manufacturer's website for compatibility.

  • Talking DAB - Thanks to Matthew Cooper for getting in touch. He's blind, and looking for a talking DAB radio. The RNIB site gives some good tips for visually-impaired listeners: for changing channels, the site says that not being able to see the display shouldn't be a problem, as you can learn the order of stations. Most DAB radios can be set to select or store stations alphabetically by station name. The RNIB site lists a few tuners and portable radios, with information about how to use them, but we can't find details of any DAB radios that read out text. Update. Solved in Cast 05?

  • Setting up a radio station. We had a call about setting up a DAB radio station and broadcasting the station on Sky. First, need to be licensed as a UK broadcaster -  take a look at Ofcom , and look for the document "Application for a Radio Licensable Content Service Licence" which outlines how to apply. You then need to negotiate with bSkyb to buy some satellite bandwidth, or with a local DAB multiplex owner. For some general guidance on setting up your own station, see How to start your own radio station.

  • Lodos Set-top box - If you're having problems with a set-top box, it's best to pay a visit to - the site has a number of frequently-asked questions about Freeview, reception, channels and help with different makes of boxes.

  • Problems tuning in to Film4 on Freeview - Film4 is on Multiplex D - along with the channels Ideal World, Virgin 1, Magic and Smooth Radio.
    • If you can't get any of these channels either, it's a reception problem. There are several ways to improve Freeview reception - including reducing interference, checking cabling, getting a booster, and in some cases, upgrading your TV aerial. For more help Freeview reception, see our Freeview advice page
    • If you can get the other channels on Multiplex D, and it's just Film 4 you're missing, then it's likely to be a problem with your box. Rescan doesn't work; try a reset - power off for 30 seconds, then a rescan. Check manual for how to do a factory reset.



Not a lot of response to last show's competition. In case you were curious, the answer is that we are "Barking" over at

For this show's competition... Help us invent a new word. We played a sound effect of a common noise that we should all be familiar with. We want to find a word for this phenomenon. To enter, ring our Podline on 020 8133 4567, giving us a word to describe this noise.

For more, see our list of previous shows , or have a look at our Topics page to see what we've covered recently

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