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FrequencyCast UK - Show #07

The contents of the seventh of our online shows

Listen to FrequencyCast Show #07

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Here's what you'll find in FrequencyCast #07:


This show's news section covers the following:

  • Top Up TV - The hot topic continues to be Top Up TV Anytime, and we have an update on the story we featured last show. We've been contacted by Top Up TV, and it seems that, contrary to the call with Top Up Customer Services that we featured in Cast #06, the current TopUp TV non-Anytime service will be continuing after all, but in a reduced form - there'll be less hours broadcast, and four channels will vanish: UK Food, Bloomberg, Toonami, and Boomerang. Price for the reduced service remains £7.99 a month. In answer to other questions, Top Up told us that there will still be some Live content available, and that downloaded programmes will stay on the Anytime disk drive for 7 days before being automatically deleted, unless the customer chooses to store in their personal disk space. More details of the Anytime service can be found on our Top Up TV Anytime page.
    Top Up's also announced a movie service called Picture Box, which will offer seven movies from Universal Pictures per month. You'll pay £5 a month for this, on top of the £9.99 Top Up TV Anytime subscription.

  • Nintendo WiiNintendo Wii: Launch details of the oddly-named Nintendo Wii games console have now been confirmed. The console, which has support for wireless Internet, will now be out WAY ahead of the delayed PS3 console. It's set to launch in the UK on 8th December 2006 at an estimated retail price £179 in the UK.
    Update: Wii has now launched. We reviewed the Wii in Show 10. See our Wii page for more, and for availability in the UK

  • BT Vision: This service has still to confirm a launch date for their home TV service. Many were expecting September, but our insider at BT reports this may now be starting in December. EMAP and Sony BMG have announced their content will be on BT Vision, and BT Podshow has recently been announced, meaning that audio and video podcasts can be expected on the Vision platform.

  • Digital Radio news: Commercial Radio group GCap has announced plans to launch a national Jazz station due to start on DAB, aimed at the over 35's. The station should launch by the end of 2006. "Jazz Club", anyone?. Update - theJazz launched 25 December 2006.

Freeview News

On the 4th of October 2006, we saw a few of the Freeview channels get renumbered - This affected Film 4, ITV4, E4+1 and ITV Play. Five US has been assigned to channel 35 and Five Life is on 36. You may need to do a manual scan on your Freeview kit to pick up the changes and new channels.

Digital Switch

For this show's Focus section, we asked the audience what they'd like us to cover. Nearly 50% of votes cast wanted to know more about the digital switchover.

The UK Government are slowly switching off the current analogue TV service, starting with the Border TV region in 2008, with the target "no more analogue telly" date being 2012, when the last regions switch off.

The upshot for us, the UK viewers, is that we have to go digital...

This means that we'll need to switch to Freeview (via existing TV aerials), or move over to satellite service offered by Sky, or go to our local cable TV providers for telly.

We've set up a page on this subject, and we'd suggest you take a look at our Go Digital page for full details of the digital TV switch, what it means to you, and what your options are.

Lobster 700 Mobile

Lobster 700 TVCarl and Pete love to get their hands on new technology. In this show, we gave them a new toy to play with - the Virgin Mobile Lobster 700TV phone. This new handset has a built-in DAB digital radio that can get up to 50 channels of digital radio, and it can also get TV (BBC1, ITV1, ITN News, E4 and Channel 4). OK, so TV on a mobile isn't that new - but in the past, TV on a mobile has been a frustrating affair, as the TV content has been downloaded over a mobile Internet connection.
With the Lobster 700, the TV is not received over the Internet, but plucked out of the air using spare capacity on the DAB digital radio network. The service is provided by BT Movio, and we take a closer look at the phone and the TV service in this show.

As of July 2007, the Lobster 700 was available free on contract, or less than £50 on pay-as-you-go on the Virgin Mobile network, but this has since been discontinued.


Thanks to everyone who got in touch. In this show, we respond to the following mails and calls:

  • Sky Broadband. Nicola asked us if we knew when Sky Broadband would be available in her area. We recommend trying The Broadband Resource, which lists exchanges soon to be upgraded, with dates and a handy telephone exchange search. The address is

  • BT Home HubBT Vision and Home Hub. Arthur Turner got in touch, saying he's interested in BT Vision, but is concerned about having to use a Home Hub even though his existing network is working. We sympathise on this one. It looks like BT assumes the average home can cope with just the BT Hub.

  • PVR without tuner: Bob Smith doesn't want a Freeview or Sky+ digital recorder, just one that can be used with Freesat. We can't find one, so we suggested either going for a DVD recorder, or using a PC.

  • Subtitles on ITV2 and ITV3: Anne called our Podline to say she was unhappy that ITV's two digital channels had no subtitles. It seems they have some subtitled content, but not anything close to the 84% on ITV1. Plans are for 60% of all ITV content across all of the ITV channels to be in place by 2010. We suggest Ann, and others, contact ITV to make their views on this subject known.

  • NASN on Freeview? David Ward asked if the North American Sports Network channel is on Freeview. The answer is no, and we've not heard of any plans. It is available on Virgin Media cable and Sky

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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