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FrequencyCast UK - Show #12

The show notes to go with Show 12 of our online technology radio shows

Listen to FrequencyCast Show 12

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Here's what you'll find in FrequencyCast #12:


This show's news section covers the following:

  • Sky vs Virgin Media: In February, Virgin Media launched, combining cable TV firms NTL and Telewest Cable with Internet and phone services. This puts them head to head with Sky Digital, and the games are getting dirty!

    On the 1st of March, over 3 million of Virgin Media's Cable TV customers lost Sky One, Sky Two, Sky News, Sky Travel and Sky Sports News from their TV lineup after negotiations regarding carriage fees broke down in February. Sky and Virgin Media have been busy with press statements and TV ads blaming each other for the situation. Sky has created a special 'Rescue package' fans of Lost, 24 and Battlestar Galactica.

    Virgin Media Logo For their launch in February 2007, Virgin Media went with the headline "The cheapest place to get Sky Sports... isn't Sky!". If you sign to Virgin Media's phone service, and you're in a cable TV area, you can get Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Xtra, plus 39 digital TV channels, for £26 a month - comparable to £34 a month with Sky's own Sports package.

    Virgin's fair-play anti-Sky campaign has tried to assure customers that Virgin Media offers freedom and choice, and they've struck a deal to show Lost Series 3 on it's new 'on demand' channel, Virgin Central from August. Virgin Media also offers over 500 movies and thousands of TV shows over their cable network, unlike Sky.

  • Sky and Freeview: In February, we heard that BSkyB are planning to drop Sky Three, Sky News and Sky Sports News from the Freeview lineup, and offer a pay-to-view service on the freed space, to show Sky One, Sky Sports, Sky News and Sky Movies. Viewers will need a special set-top box to get the Sky pay TV service via a TV aerial. The regulators, OfCom, are said to be taking a close look at this proposal, which if it gets approved, will make it even harder those looking to go Digital to make an informed choice. We'll be keeping a close eye on this one...

  • Sky's On Demand: So, what are Sky up to? Just to confuse everyone, Sky will be launching Sky Anytime TV in March 2007. Sky's current Anytime service offers content over a PC, but in March this moves to TV. The service has similarities to Top Up TV Anytime's offering, in that movies and TV shows will be sent over-the-air to Sky+ and Sky HD boxes, which can then be viewed "on demand". There's also a re-org of Sky's movie channels, planned for early April.

  • Setanta Sports: Sports channel Setanta Sports launched on Top Up TV on 1st March 2007. For the £10.99 monthly subscription, you can watch live and exclusive sporting action including: live Barclays Premiership football (from August 2007), US PGA TOUR Golf, as well as Scottish and European football. To get Setanta Sports via a TV aerial, you'll need a set-top box with a card slot, or a Top Up TV Anytime box, plus a Viewing Card.

  • Joost IPTV: This is a new Internet-over-TV service from the people that brought you Kazaa and the hugely popular voice-over-IP service Skype. Joost will be offering a full-screen TV service over Broadband, with a mix of TV programmes and Internet video - Apparently it will be much more than other online services that offer a bunch of short video clips to download - programming is to be supplied by TV networks and large content providers. One to watch, and you can sign up to a limited-user beta trial now, if you so wish, over at

BT Vision BT VisionAt the start of February, the FrequencyCast office got itself connected to BT Vision, the new TV service for BT customers. In this podcast, we review the BT Vision box, and what's on offer with the BT Vision service. We've created a special BT Vision page, but here are the basics:
  • BT Vision offers a DVR that can hold up to 80 hours of telly
  • There's hundreds of hours of TV content available for instant download and viewing - including movies, TV shows, music videos and kids TV series. In 2007, a number of sporting events will be offered on BT Vision too.
  • BT Vision is a Freeview receiver that gets live digital TV without subscription
  • The service is free to BT Total Broadband customers, and there's no monthly subscription for using the service.

On this show, we run down a list of the 'on demand' content, and look at some of the extras on offer with BT Vision (such as Series Link and the excellent content search facility).

Want to get BT Vision?

Not with BT Total Broadband? Prices start from £7.99 a month for the first three months. Find out how to: sign up or switch provider

Got BT Broadband? Sign up at

Homesight Security

Homesight boxFor the second part of the show's Focus section, we look at the Motorola Homesight home security system. Here's what it has to offer:

  • Wireless Motion detector camera, that saves colour stills images and audio
  • Wireless door-entry detector
  • Easy to install - wireless connectivity
  • Alerts on door opening or motion detection - by email or text message
  • Event logging, to your local PC or to designated webspace
  • Add optional accessories to the system, such as more cameras, temperature and water sensors, a keypad, mains power switches and a security siren.

The Motorola Homesight Starter Kit is available at the surprisingly low price of £50, from MyHome247.

There's more information and some screenshots on our Motorola Homesight page.


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

  • Slingbox & SlingCatcher: Adam Child contacted us to say "Very interested in Slingbox and have used it with both PCs and mobiles over Wi-Fi and 3G, but am now interested in SlingCatcher". The Slingbox allows you to stream your TV around the world to a PC or Mac over the Internet. The Sling Catcher was announced at the start of January this year, and can be used to "catch" the video sent using a Slingbox, and display it on a regular TV. Great for those looking to watch their home TV on a TV set, not a PC, somewhere else in the world. It's due to become available in July or August 2007, and we'll be hoping to feature a review of this once it's available.

  • Skype Lie Detector: Thanks for site visitor Linus for getting in our regarding the Skype Lie Detector we featured in the last show, and sent us a link to a piece on The Register. Essentially, it's believed that the Skype plug-in that detects stress patterns in phone call contravenes data protection laws, and users could get a £5,000 fine, or go to prison for using it without the caller's knowledge. Details of the story here

  • Revo BlikInternet Radio: We were asked about Internet radio by Dennis Parkin. He asked: "I am interested in Internet radio and the various receivers that you can now purchase. My PC is hardwired to the Ethernet port on a BT Home Hub and I would like to do likewise with the radio." Well, the best bet here is probably to look for a Wireless Internet radio that can connect to the Home Hub using Wi-fi. There are two we recommend, the BT Internet Radio, which supporting streaming Internet radio using Real Audio and Windows Media formats, or the Acoustic Energy Wi-Fi Internet Radio. We're also fans of Internet radiso from Revo.

  • Artsworld: A message from Jacqueline Bortoft. She's looking to find Artsworld on Freeview. Well, it's not. You can find it on Sky Digital channel 267. From March 2007, the channel will be known as Sky Arts.

If you enjoyed listening to the show, check out our previous shows , or have a look at our Topics page to see what we've covered recently.

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